10 Samsung Gear S3 Hidden Features to Know

This watch is even cooler than you think

The Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch remains one of the company's most popular devices due to its rugged exterior that looks like a regular watch, its selection of impressive faces, and the 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, but a lot of people like to enable the always-on face feature so whenever they look at their watch they see the time. You can have the best of both worlds by enabling the Wake-up Gesture feature.

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

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Keep the Watch on All the Time

Samsung Gear S3 always on feature

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

To enable this 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

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

To turn this feature on, 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 opens 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 plays songs stored on your smartphone. However, you can 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.

Use the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone to install the Spotify app on your smartwatch. You 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 procedure before moving on.

Once you log in from your Gear S3, you can leave your phone at home. So long as you have access to Wi-Fi, your 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 the device.

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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 you don't want everyone around to hear it. If you're at the gym or somewhere else in public, you can pair a Bluetooth headset with your smartwatch by enabling Bluetooth. To do so, just tap Settings > Connections > Bluetooth, then tap the toggle switch to turn it on.

Bluetooth is usually already enabled if you use it to connect your smartwatch to your phone.

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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 takes some practice to do this while wearing the phone, but if you're right-handed, press the Home button with your thumb, and swipe the tip of your index finger from left to right across the screen. You see a small image appears when the watch captures the screenshot.

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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.

Tap Settings > Advanced > Double press home key, and then scroll to Recent apps and 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

Thanks to the built-in Find My Phone app, you never have to worry about losing your device again. Open it from the apps library and tap the magnifying glass icon. Your phone should 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, and then tap Locate phone to geolocate your device and see its location.

You need to enable the Find My Device service on your Android for this feature to function properly.

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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 strange neighborhoods, you might want to know about the Send SOS Requests feature on your Gear S3. With this feature enabled, you can tap the Home button three times to have your smartwatch immediately issue a call to your emergency contact to let them know you're in trouble.

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

You could also use 911 as your emergency contact, as well as enable whether you want the app to wait five 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 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 also enables 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.

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