The 5 Best Samsung Gear S3 Watch Features You Should Try

Do more with that wrist

The Samsung Gear S3 watch includes features such as making calls, sending texts, playing music, tracking fitness activities, and Samsung Pay, and it comes in two designs: frontier and classic. As its name suggests, the frontier design looks rugged, while the classic design is on the stylish side.

Like all Samsung watches, the Gear S3 ships with the Tizen OS, not Google's Wear operating system. It's compatible with Samsung smartphones, Android phones running Android 4.4 and higher with more than 1.5GB RAM, and iPhones running iOS 9.0 or later.

All versions have built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a heart-rate monitor, a microphone, and speakers. An LTE version lets you make phone calls and send texts from your wrist even when you leave your smartphone behind.

These are the five best Samsung Gear S3 features.

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Rotating Bezel

Side view of Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch (Frontier design)
What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Different bezel options.

  • Fast.

What We Don't Like
  • Can scratch easily.

  • Dirt or debris can interfere with function.

  • Can become loose.

The Gear S3 has a rotating bezel that you use to navigate the smartwatch, including answering calls, reading messages, and accessing apps. You can twist it left to see notifications or twist to the right to view available widgets, such as a calendar, music player, or health information. It's the easiest way to interact with the watch, though you can also navigate using the touchscreen.

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Built-in GPS

Young sporty woman checking her smart watch in city
d3sign / Getty Images
What We Like
  • Share location.

  • Emergency contact setting.

  • SOS mode.

What We Don't Like
  • Can lose location.

  • Difficult to pick up location.

  • Sometimes inconsistent.

The watch has built-in GPS so you can track not just how long you've been running and walking but how far. This information is especially useful if you're training for a race or have a distance goal you want to hit.

You can also use the GPS to share your location in case of an emergency via SOS mode. Once you enable the feature in your watch settings, you need to assign at least one emergency contact. You can create a new one or pull one from your saved contacts.

To activate SOS mode, press the watch's home key three times in quick succession. Your emergency contacts receive an SOS message along with your location. They also receive a link that tracks your whereabouts on a map for up to an hour. You can also opt to have the Gear S3 automatically call your first emergency contact when you activate SOS mode.

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Tracking Activity Progress

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch activity tracking screen
What We Like
  • Tracks water intake.

  • Tracks steps.

  • Measures elevation.

What We Don't Like
  • Waterproof, but not for swimming.

  • Doesn't track all steps.

  • Heartrate monitor can be glitchy.

The built-in GPS mentioned above helps you track runs, while an accelerometer counts your reps when doing other exercises, such as weight-lifting and aerobics. The watch also integrates with Samsung Health so you can see your overall stats. The watch can also nudge you to get moving when you've been sitting too long and prompts to do some stretching.

The Gear S3 counts steps and even measures elevation if you're the hiking type or you take the stairs a lot. Note that the watch won't necessarily realize you're on an escalator, though. You can also manually input water intake, and weight and the watch can track your sleep and heart rate.

While the watch is waterproof, Samsung doesn't recommend using it while swimming; it can withstand showers and rainstorms, though.

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Watch Always-On Feature

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch (classic design)
What We Like
  • Easy to enable.

  • Access to time.

  • Multifunctional.

What We Don't Like
  • Sometimes freezes.

  • Consumes battery.

  • Not intuitive.

The Gear S3 has an always-on option in which you can set the watch to display a clock even when the screen is off. However, this eats up battery life, especially if you're using other functions, such as exercising and listening to music.

To enable this setting, press the home key or rotate the bezel to apps, tap Settings > Style, and then the checkmark next to Watch always on.

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Design Your Watch Face

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch watch face color selection screen
What We Like
  • Many options.

  • Third-party options available.

  • Easy to customize.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited apps.

  • Can't uninstall original faces.

  • 46mm size too large for some users.

Finally, you can customize your Gear S3's watch face by rotating the bezel to the left or right to see the watch face choices. Tap the one you want to use; then you can customize the font, color, and other attributes, depending on the watch face. The watch also comes with 15 preset watch faces, and you can download more in the Gear store. Each watch face also has an always-on version that you can also customize.

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