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# 214664 23-May-2017 10:21
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As part of my recent purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S8 I got a Samsung Gear S3 - Frontier smartwatch as well. It is my third smartwatch, but the first operating Tizen. The previous two, a Sony Smartwatch 3 and an LG G Watch R, both run Android Wear, the latter AW2.0 but the former left languishing on AW1.5.
I recognise there is a thread addressing charging problems on an S3 but this is more about the watch generally.

I have had the watch for about ten days now so here are some of my impressions of it and comparisons to my other watches.

Hardware

Better battery life than the GWR. I can generally get two days in normal use (WiFi is turned off on both). Not quite as good as the SW3 which could be stretched into a third day due to it's transreflective display.

Charging via the proprietary wireless stand means having to take a specific device on the road with you to recharge. Same as the GWR with a specific mount required. The SW3 is alone in using a micro USB port for charging. It has a rubber cover for waterproofing, which I have somehow managed to keep intact. The advantage being less cables to take away with you (I am on the road quite a bit with work). I have ordered an additional charger for the S3.

The display on the S3 is great and easily on a par with the GWR, both being AMOLED. The SW3 comes in a distant third in every measure except direct sunlight where its transreflective display makes it readable when the others washout. I have the S3 set to always on, albeit with reduced components on a black background when in dim mode.

The strap on the S3 is a standard 22mm one (same for the GWR) although it does have a proprietary quick release pin mechanism. Standard pins look like they should fit anyway. There are different sized sets of straps supplied with the S3. The larger one was on the watch and is the one I use. It is a large watch on my wrist so it must look absolutely huge if you need to use the smaller strap! In use so far the S3 strap is the least comfortable to wear, the SW3's rubberised gel band being the most comfortable. The downside for the SW3 is it's strap is proprietary and expensive to replace and when Sony did release a 22mm adapter it is both expensive and ugly. I will probably replace the band on my S3 at some stage, although the asthetics of the Frontier S3 mean there are less good looking strap options than the Classic (imo).

The rotating bezel and two buttons are great and allow much better interaction than the singular buttons on my other watches. The bezel particular allows operations while keeping my fingers clear of the screen. I do wish the accelerometer allowed gestures like Wear does though.


Software

The operating system is probably the biggest limitation of the S3, but only if you are the type of person (geek) that wants to be able to do more with it than what comes out of the box. While the Samung App Store has more and more apps each day it reminds me of the early days of the Google Play Store, where apps are often poor ports of apps for other operating systems.
I was expecting extra interoperability between my Gear S3 and my Galaxy S8, but apart from the likes of S Health, it provides no more than my Wear watches do. In that respect I believe Samsung have missed a trick and could do so much more with the symbiosis between two of their premiere devices.
As I mentioned above, the interaction using the bezel and buttons is great, and your can also use swipe gestures on the watch face. One thing I miss from Android Wear though is the ability for one handed gestures. To be able to flick through and dismiss notifications without having to raise your other hand to the watch is a great feature and one I'm hoping may come to the S3 eventually.
Being able to assign functions to the buttons is a good feature, as is being able to put the apps in what ever order your wish in the launcher.

That will do for now, except to say that the S3 is a good device and could be great if it's software can be made to do more. I believe that Samsung could do more with it with respect to the way it works with their flagship phones. Compared to the SW3 that I paid $300 for, and the $120 that I got the GWR for, I think $600 is a little expensive (on a par with Huawei , LG, etc). I don't think I would have bought it without the bundle deal with the S8.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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Circumspice
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  # 1797328 9-Jun-2017 14:41
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Got the Frontier recently too (in terms of looks does double duty for business and exercise better than the Classic). Main frustration has been lack of watch faces that are styly and have battery+steps+date+weather complications (what's the fascination with moon phases?!) - settled with http://www.vektorlabs.de/elements.html

 

Battery is great, easily get 2 days out of it - turned auto-heart rate off, wifi auto, and almost constantly bluetoothed to Nexus 6 (which despite this ball and chain is still pretty nippy and gets through the day battery-wise). Agree bespoke charging has it's downside but if I forget to bring charger while travelling then I'm back to phone only, not a biggie for me. Where did you order spare charger from?




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  # 1797388 9-Jun-2017 16:23
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Spare charger was from eBay (HK). It was about $10 delivered, but is only the base and cable. I have been using a multi-port charger when away and it seems to work perfectly well, although I only use it when I have to, preferring the OEM one when home. My big fear was leaving the OEM charger behind in a hotel making my watch an expensive paperweight.
I use Watchmaker Android app and its Gear companion app and build my own watchfaces. It also downloads some pretty cool designs from other people. While the app was initially aimed at Android Wear users they recently added Gear S2/S3 support so I was able to transfer my previously designed faces. Through Lua programming you can add features as well, although that doesn't seem to be fully functional at the moment. Initially apps like Watchmaker weren't resident on the watch and that caused big battery drain and crippled the watch when not connected to the phone. That is no longer the case. Facer is another option if you want to build your own, but I didn't find it as versatile as Watchmaker, although it does have more ready made faces available. I also downloaded the 'Gear Watch Designer' program onto my PC, but haven't really had a chance to come to grips with it. I run my watch and phone in 4 modes whether I am home, away, driving or at work, and each has its own watchface with its own complications,. etc. That is why I like to design my own.
Having used the S3 for a few weeks now I would say the biggest thing I miss from my Android Wear watches is the ability to use wrist gestures to cycle through notifications one-handed. What I don't miss is how laggy my LG GWR was on AW2.0.
The ability to put apps and widgets in the order you want and assign button gestures on the S3 is great. I have my media controls as the first widget, so volume and track selection are just one click away on the bezel. And volume control is a breeze using the bezel. One trap I fell into is, the media is selectable between the phone and watch on the same widget. I have no music loaded on my watch so wondered where it had disappeared to when all that was available was "over the horizon" Samsung theme. I would say that feature would be great if you are wanting to listen to music while running without your phone, but I'm not a runner.
I don't even wear my Android Wear watches anymore, they are looking like being given to my kids.

Edit: Both Watchmaker and Facer are paid apps.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1797620 10-Jun-2017 10:11
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Good point re backup for OEM charger - I've ordered from Aliexpress.

 

Thanks for Watchmaker suggestion. Had tried Facer and didn't see much of interest. Watchmaker provides great config options but battery drain on Nexus 6 incredible. Will see how it goes for a few days.


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  # 1798590 12-Jun-2017 16:03
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selling my gear s3 frontier if anyones keen - pm me


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  # 1798928 12-Jun-2017 20:23
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Just a word of caution - I bought an additional charger for my S2 from eBay simply to keep in my pack for emergencies/to use when away, but it's a bit of a dog; it does charge, but sporadically and the watch runs really hot. I've given up using it as I'm not comfortable with what it may be doing to the battery or watch more generally. 

 

In no way am I suggesting all after-market chargers are dodgy, but it's clearly a matter of buyer beware...




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  # 1799587 13-Jun-2017 18:31
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I agree about third party chargers. I have monitored the one I got and it seems rock solid and the watch doesn't get any hotter than on the OEM one that came with the watch. I will always use the OEM one if it's available.
Still impressed by the battery life. While it won't last three days like my SW3 it still has 67% after being off the charger from 4am til 10pm. I have achieved similar results almost every day.
Now that I have excluded a few of the S3 companion apps from being 'monitored' (shut down) by my S8's powersaver connectivity is also better.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  # 1799620 13-Jun-2017 19:58
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Dingbatt: I agree about third party chargers. I have monitored the one I got and it seems rock solid and the watch doesn't get any hotter than on the OEM one that came with the watch. I will always use the OEM one if it's available.

 

Can you please post a link to the charger you bought? I'm keen on trying another one for my S2, and the same seller may sell these. Thanks!


 
 
 
 




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  # 1799817 14-Jun-2017 08:40
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jonathan18:

Dingbatt: I agree about third party chargers. I have monitored the one I got and it seems rock solid and the watch doesn't get any hotter than on the OEM one that came with the watch. I will always use the OEM one if it's available.


Can you please post a link to the charger you bought? I'm keen on trying another one for my S2, and the same seller may sell these. Thanks!



PMed you.




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  # 1810438 2-Jul-2017 16:14
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So today I purchased one of these, I purchased the classic as that was just my preference, got mine from Noel Leemings as was the cheapest in town and I get flybuys points off it as well.

 

Its paired with my S8 and so far (4 hours) I like it.

 

Its the first time I have worn a watch in 35 years so just that is going to take a little of getting used to.

 

Any certain settings or things you guys have come across that you would suggest ?? , What sort of real world battery life are you getting out of them.

 

Any Apps you would recommend installing to get the best out of it for real world use.





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  # 1810443 2-Jul-2017 16:30
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typically i get around 3 days

 

 


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  # 1810514 2-Jul-2017 17:20
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Does android pay work on these, does not appear to be any app. Holding down the back button does nothing.

 

Or is this Samsung pay which we do not have here ??





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  # 1810579 2-Jul-2017 19:13
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not sure, I know samsung pay is, but the service isn't available in NZ (AFAIK)


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  # 1810581 2-Jul-2017 19:20
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and samsung pay in NZ ...... connection error, translation, not yet supported in NZ.

 

 

 

BTW android pay, not sure what banks in NZ are supported, but not BNZ or ANZ....yet


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  # 1810593 2-Jul-2017 20:04
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No worries just getting used to everything and getting everything set up how I want it. Have android pay on my phone so not worried about it.

 

Hmmmm I am worried because I have an S8 and now a Gear S3 I am becoming a Samsung fan boy please say it isn't so.





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  # 1810595 2-Jul-2017 20:13
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Mspec:

 

No worries just getting used to everything and getting everything set up how I want it. Have android on my phone so not worried about it.

 

Hmmmm I am worried because I have an S8 and now a Gear S3 I am becoming a Samsung fan boy please say it isn't so.

 

 

 

 

most likely are, but it's not a bad thing :)

 

 


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