Samsung has officially launched the Gear S3, its latest smartwatch device, at a media event in Berlin today.
While the Gear S3 sports a number of technologically sophisticated features, Samsung placed a heavy emphasis on design in announcing the device. In a statement, the company stressed that the device is “[i]nspired by traditional timepieces and the art of watchmaking”. The Gear S3 Frontier version of the device “evokes a rugged outdoor look” while the Gear S3 Classic is meant to emulate “the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic timepieces.” Samsung added that it’s also working with artist Arik Levy to develop new watch face and strap designs, which will be launched later this year.
While the focus on design and artistry could help to popularize the smartwatch among those looking more for a luxury accessory than a piece of cutting-edge digital device, the Gear S3 does offer some impressive technology. For one thing, it’s compatible with Samsung Pay, and unlike the mPayment app’s recent iteration on the Gear S2, this time it will feature the platform’s signature MST technology, allowing users to make contactless payments with virtually any POS. And the device also features a built-in altimeter, speedometer, barometer, and GPS for advanced environmental sensing and positioning.
Together with other features like music streaming and LTE connectivity, the Gear S3 could help to further popularize the smartwatch as not only a complement to the smartphone but an alternative to it.