BERLIN - With rumours that Apple might be unveiling Apple Watch 2, Samsung has jumped the gun and launched a new smartwatch, the Gear S3.
It will come in two designs - a rugged, outdoorsy version called the Gear S3 Frontier, and a more minimalist and elegant model known as Gear S3 Classic.
The South Korean electronics giant announced the smartwatches ahead of the annual consumer electronics trade show, IFA, in Berlin, Germany.
Both Gear S3 models come with a 1.3-inch circular watch face with a Super Amoled screen. It features a new "always on display", instead of turning on when the user moves or touches the screen.
It is still powered by Samsung's wearable operating system, Tizen. Like its predecessor Gear S2, the Gear S3 retains the line's signature rotating bezel but with additional functions. Users can now accept or reject calls, or snooze an alarm, using the bezel and without touching the screen.
The Gear S3 Frontier comes with both Wi-Fi and LTE capability, allowing users to accept calls while out of range of their mobile phones. The Classic does not support LTE.
Both designs accept 22mm watch straps, and users are free to replace the straps with those they like. Both are imbued with plenty of sensors, such as an accelerometer, gyrometer, barometer and heart rate monitor.
Supporting wireless charging, the Gear S3 is supposed to last up to four days on a single charge. That's because its 380mAh battery has a higer capacity than that of the Gear S2's, which tops off at 300mAh for the 3G-enabled version .
In addition, the Gear S3 will be compatible with Samsung Pay, with support for both magnetic secure transmission and near field communication. Users can add a credit or debit card directly to their Samsung Pay accounts and use their watch to pay for purchases at retail counters compatible with Samsung Pay.
Samsung did not announce pricing or specific launch dates during the announcement. However, the Gear S3 is expected to hit Singapore's shores in the last quarter of the year.