10 Samsung Gear S3 Hidden Features to Know

This watch is even cooler than you think

The Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch remains one of Samsung's most popular watches due to it's rugged exterior that looks the most like a regular watch, a multitude of impressive watch faces to choose from, and impressive hidden features that make it a pleasure to own and use.

Here are 10 of the most useful Samsung Gear S3 hidden features you should know about if you own one of these smartwatches.

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Wake up Gear S3 by Raising Your Wrist

Samsung Gear S3 wake-up gesture feature

The Gear S3 has a battery saving feature that turns the screen off after a set amount of time to save battery power, but a lot of people like to enable the always-on face feature so whenever they look at their watch they'll see the time. You can have the best of both worlds by enabling the Wake-up Gesture feature.

This feature will turn on the watch face whenever you raise your wrist to your face. To enable it, just tap Settings > Advanced > Wake-up Gesture to enable the feature.

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Keep the Watch on All the Time

Samsung Gear S3 always on feature

As mentioned previously, you can prevent the watch face from turning off when you put your arm down. This is only recommended if you typically keep your watch charging whenever you're home or at work. Otherwise, the watch battery will last only a fraction as long as it would if you didn't use the always on feature.

To enable this Samsung Gear S3 hidden feature, just tap Settings > Display > Watch Always On, then tap the toggle switch to enable Watch Always On.

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Save Time With Auto-Open Apps

Samsung Gear S3 auto open apps

Normally, to open an app on your Samsung Gear S3, you need to press the Home button, scroll to the app you want in the app drawer, and then tap the app icon to open it. You can save avoid the last step by enabling Auto open apps.

To enable this, tap Settings > Apps > Auto open apps, then tap the toggle switch to enable Auto open apps.

Now you can follow the same procedure as above to open an app, but instead of tapping the icon just wait for the white dot to blink and the app will open automatically.

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Listen to Music Without Your Phone

Samsung Gear S3 Spotify app

By default, your Samsung Gear S3's music app will play music either stored on your phone or music you've transferred to your smartphone. However, there's a cool trick to listen to music without your phone since the Samsung Gear S3 is Wi-Fi capable, and the Spotify app for Gear S3 provides a feature for browsing and playing music right from your phone.

To do this, use the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone to install the Spotify app on your smartwatch. You'll need to log in from your watch. You can find the ID to use in the Set device password menu option inside the settings in your Spotify account.

If you haven't set a device password for your account, go through the simple procedure before proceeding.

Once you've logged in from your Gear S3, you can leave your phone at home. So long as you have access to Wi-Fi, your Gear S3 smartwatch can browse and play any music from your Spotify account.

You can listen to music without a Wi-Fi connection and without your phone by using the Spotify app on your smartwatch to download songs or playlists directly onto your Smartwatch.

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Listen to Music and Make Calls With a Bluetooth Headset

Samsung Gear S3 bluetooth settings

Listening to music from your smartwatch is great, but who wants everyone around them to hear it? If you're at the gym, you can pair a bluetooth headset with your smartwatch by enabling bluetooth.

To enable this, just tap Settings > Connections > Bluetooth, then tap the toggle switch to enable Bluetooth.

Usually you'll already have bluetooth enabled if you've connected your smartwatch to your phone via bluetooth.

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Take a Screenshot

A photo of a man wearing a Samsung Gear S3


Did you get an important text message you want to share with someone else? You can quickly take a screenshot on your Gear S3 by holding the Home button while swiping one finger across the screen.

It'll take same practice to do this while wearing the phone, but if you're right handed, just press the Home button with your thumb, and swipe the tip of your index finger from left to right across the screen. You'll see a small image appear when the screenshot is captured.

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Home Button Shortcut

Samsung Gear S3 home key shortcut

Tired of scrolling through the app drawer with your bezel to find the same app you use all the time? You can get instant access to your favorite apps by double-pressing the Home button.

To do this, tap Settings > Advanced > Double press home key, scroll to Recent apps, then choose an app. Now you can double press the Home key and use the bezel to scroll through your recently used apps and select it.

You could instead configure the Double press home key to open any other app instantly, including Weather, Spotify, Settings, Gallery, and more.

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Never Lose Your Phone With Find My Phone

Samsung Gear S3 find my phone

One of the best reasons to own a Samsung Gear S3 is that you'll never lose your phone again. This is thanks to the native Find My Phone app. Open this app from the apps library and simply tap the magnifying glass icon. Your phone will start ringing loudly so you can locate it.

If you aren't near your phone, tap the three dots to the right of the icon, then tap Locate phone. This will geolocate your phone and provide you with the address where it's located.

For this feature to work properly, you'll need to enable the Find My Device service on your Android.

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Never Be Afraid With Send SOS Requests

Screenshots of setting up Send SOS requests

If you often find yourself walking in a dark parking lot after work, or have to visit any dangerous neighborhoods, you'll be glad you have the Send SOS Requests feature on your Gear S3. The way this works is you simply need to quickly tap the Home button three times. Your smartwatch will immediately issue a call to your emergency contact so you can let them know you're in trouble.

To set this up, open the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone, then tap Send SOS requests > Send SOS messages to and enter the contact you want to use in emergencies.

You could also use 911 as your emergency contact, as well as enable whether you want the app to wait 5 seconds before calling so you have time to cancel the call if you need to.

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Easily Silence Your Phone and Smartwatch

Screenshots of Samsung Gear S3 modes

Your Samsung Gear S3 comes with three silence modes:

  • Do not disturb: All notifications are turned off, except alarms.
  • Theater mode: All notifications and sounds are disabled, including alarms. Watch always on and wake-up gestures are both disabled.
  • Goodnight mode: Same as theater mode, except you'll still receive any alarms (so you aren't late for work).

To enable any of these modes, tap Settings > Advanced, then scroll down to tap Do not disturb, Theater mode, or Goodnight mode to enable it.

Enabling Do not disturb will also enable it on your phone if you've enabled the Sync Do not disturb feature in other Galaxy Wearable app in the Sync phone settings section.