Have you considered purchasing the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, but question if it is worth buying now, given that it has been so long since it was initially released? I asked the same question, and after careful consideration, I decided to take the leap and purchase the Samsung Gear S3 Classic 15 months after its release date, and I have not looked back since. If you will allow me a minute, let me explain my reasoning for coming to this conclusion, and why I think it was a wise decision. But first, let’s take a look at some of the challenges that we are faced with when trying to figure out if we should take the plunge and make the purchase.
The Problem with Annual Flagship Product Release Dates
To begin, understand that there is an expectation that the major industry players will release an annual flagship product, especially from the big two, Apple and Samsung. Both Apple and Samsung have been releasing flagship phones every year for the past 10 years to stay competitive. Their loyal followers expect a major upgrade every year. Consumers just want more. They want to experience the same feeling they did when it was released. But, how realistic is it to expect a company to release a new revolutionary upgrade year after year?
The Exponential Growth Curve Slowdown
Although this is bad news for gadget junkies like me (and probably you too), there comes a time when the exponential growth curve slows down on innovation for a given product. It does not stop; it just slows down. The product engineers of any product are tasked with trying to out-do what they delivered the year before. If they cannot deliver, they are replaced with people who have fresh ideas of their own. But, you can bet that their days are numbered as well. As a Samsung Note 8 owner (which already is an astonishing product in its own right), I am constantly asking myself, “What else could they possibly do to the next Samsung Note that will blow me away?”
Innovation Cannot Keep Up with Our Expectations
Here is the point. There comes a time when a product reaches maturity. Though next year’s model will be “better” than the year before, rarely will it be exponentially better in just one year. With every new release, the exponential curve does not climb as high as it once did. The new release is a refinement of the prior model. Is the Samsung Gear S3 mature? Yes. Will it get better? Usually. Will the refinements be mind-blowing, so much so that I should wait for the Gear S4 to be released? Probably not. Is this bad news? No. On the contrary, it is good news because knowing that the Gear S3 had reached maturity gave me the confidence to pull the trigger.
The 4 Reasons Big Reasons Why I Purchased the Gear S3 Classic
1) Value for the Money
After having spent many hours reading all of the reviews I could find on the Internet about the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, and having watched numerous product reviews and “unboxings” on YouTube, I concluded that it was well worth the investment.
Understandably, ‘value’ is in the eye of the beholder; however, if the Samsung Gear S4 looked identical to the S3, and only offered more RAM, disk space, and software upgrades (and hopefully 5G LTE), I would be happy. Note that everything I just mentioned is internal to the watch itself. Aesthetically speaking, this watch just hits the mark, spot on. Would I like more RAM, disk space, and 5G LTE? Absolutely. But, wanting that does not decrease the value of what Samsung has already delivered.
2) The Gear S3 is Just Beautiful
Of all the features that this watch has, the most important is how it looks. After all, if we just wanted to know the time, you could spend $30 on a digital watch at your local Walmart. The fact that this watch does not look out of place or make me feel stupid when wearing it, is a big deal to me—and I bet it is a big deal to you too. It boasts style. Can other wearable watches confidently make this claim? Some can. With others, however, you only really want to wear them while you are either going to the gym or coming home from the gym.
3) The Gear S3 is a Solid Platform
There is tremendous growth potential for the Samsung Gear series. By “growth potential,” I mean that both the operating system and hardware offer a solid platform to build upon. I do not mean that it is “almost there,” as if to suggest that they almost delivered a solid watch. On the contrary, they nailed it. I could not say that about the Gear S2 for several reasons, but the Gear S3 knocked it out of the park. What are the two best selling wearable watches on the market today? The Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear S3.
The more I read about the Tizen operating system, the more I liked it. Granted, I might be an operating system aficionado (some would say “geek”), but I am intrigued by operating systems and their efficiency—especially when it comes to small devices, like phones and watches.
There is a great article entitled, “Tizen vs Android comparison – Samsung vs Google OS.” In it, Himanshu Singh discusses the main differences between the Tizen OS and Android OS. What really drew my attention were the advantages of the Tizen OS over the Android. Specifically, the flexibility of the Tizen OS allows Android apps to run on Tizen, and Tizen apps to run on both Android and on IOS. He conveys that the Tizen OS offers better battery life, offers smoother transitions, and even boots up faster than Android. You have to love it.
In a word, elegance. When I speak of hardware, I am referring to everything but the band of the watch. Well, almost everything. How can you talk about the hardware of the watch without referring to the pin mechanism that is used to connect the band to the watch itself? Samsung has developed an ingenious solution by creating a spring loaded pin called the “spring bar.” It allows you to easily insert one end of the spring bar into the lug, slide the spring bar inwards, and connect the band. To remove it, simply slide the spring bar (it will only move one direction at this point), and move the strap of the band toward the back of the watch for easy removal. Do the same on the other end of the strap to remove it completely from the watch housing to replace the watch band.
4) The Gear S3 is Flexible by Design
Speaking of watch bands, this has to be a major selling point. Not only are they easy to change out, but there are a plethora of watch bands to choose from. There are 4 major types of bands you can use, ranging from leather, silicone, nylon, and stainless steel. Additionally, you have countless colors to choose from. This means that you can have a different watch band for any outfit you wear. That is just awesome.
One observation that is noteworthy in comparing the Gear S3 with other traditional watches in the same price range relates to the watchface. Though traditional watches are classy and elegant looking, you cannot help but to address the big elephant in the room. You cannot change out the face of the traditional watch like you can with the Samsung Gear S3. Fortunately, there are hundreds of watchfaces available, each with its own features and colors. Some are even customizable, allowing you to change the color of the watch face or even the features that it offers.
I just spoke with a man who has the Gear S. He told me that he changes the watch face out every other day. That is one of the things that makes this watch so incredible. You can literally change its appearance on a whim. Simply long press on the watch face, and select the watch face of your choice. It could not be easier, and it feels like you have a new watch every time you change the face out.
Is the Gear S3 Still Worth it?
This is the $349 question. Admittedly, I like to have the latest version of whatever I am interested in. But, because it has intrinsic value, I would unequivocally purchase the Samsung Gear S3 Classic again. It is a smartwatch that has retained its value since it came out 15 months ago (it has, and I expect it to continue to retain its value even after the Gear S4 series is released, which as of this writing, is nowhere in sight). You can purchase the Samsung Gear Classic from Amazon by clicking the image below. [amazon_link asins=’B01M1OXXT8′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’thinksmartwatch-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7a183736-29ef-11e8-aec3-d1175ae9e53f’]
I love that it does not stutter and has no screen delay when navigating from screen to screen. I love that it looks like a watch, and not a thick postage stamp on my wrist (ehem,. . Apple Watch). Silly as it may sound, wrist-watches have always been round (not square), which makes the Gear S3 series look all that much more like a watch, instead of a fitness band. I love getting the soundless, vibrating notifications when I get an e-mail, or text message, or even a reminder. Would I recommend buying it, nearly a year and a half after it was released? You bet.