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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has finally lifted the lid on its 2016 smartwatch models and there's two devices, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Samsung Gear S3 Classic.

The Samsung Gear S2 will continue in the line-up, but the new watches have all-new features and interesting additions.

So here's our handy guide to the latest additions to Samsung's smartwatch range.

Samsung Gear S3: Release date and price

Officially announced at a special pre-IFA event in Berlin, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic models have both been confirmed for a UK release, but we're still awaiting an official release date and pricing details.

Samsung's UK store still isn't selling the product, although you can grab the S3 Classic or Frontier from various third parties on Amazon.co.uk.

We'll update the moment we find out more.

Samsung Gear S3: Design

Both variants look similar to last year's smartwatches, in that they are round and have a rotating bezel to access features.

The Frontier is designed to look the bolder, more active of the two. It has a rugged outdoor look and is aimed at those who want a beefy watch that performs well in any environment.

The Classic, however, has a more refined look, with a minimalist, elegant design. It is aimed at those who are looking for a luxury watch feel.

Both are compatible with conventional 22mm watch straps, making it easy to change them for others depending on your mood. 

The Frontier measures 46 x 49 x 12.9mm and weighs 62g, while the Classic has the exact same dimensions but weighs fractionally less, at 57g.

Samsung Gear S3: Hardware

Both the Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic come with a 1.3-inch circular Super AMOLED screen. The display used has a 360 x 360 pixel resolution (278ppi) and it is always-on, so you don't have to flick your wrist whenever you want to know the time.

The screens are covered in Corning Gorilla Glass SR+.

Both watches run on a dual-core 1GHz processor, with 768MB of RAM. They each have 4GB of internal memory too.

The Frontier and Classic have Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and built-in GPS, although the former can also be found with LTE or 3G support to work without tethering it to a smartphone. Unfortunately, that model is not planned for a UK release.

The watches come with wireless charging and 380mAh batteries.

Finally, they are both IP68 water and dust resistant - much like the recently launched Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

Samsung Gear S3: Software

Like last year's models, the Gear S3 devices use Samsung's own Tizen operating system - in this case the Tizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2.

Most functionality and app use can be controlled through the twistable bezel and the watches are currently compatible with Android smartphones with Android 4.4 or above. The phones also require at least 1.5GB of RAM to work effectively.

iOS support was added in January 2017, so that now customers with an iPhone can download the Gear S app from the App Store and connect to the Gear S3. However, the experience is more limited than on Android. 

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Samsung Gear S3: What about that luxury edition?

Luxury jewellers de Grisogono revealed earlier this year that it is working with Samsung to co-create a high-end version of the Gear S3.

"We are currently collaborating with Samsung to develop its next-generation smartwatch," a de Grisogono official told the Korea Herald, while emphasising Samsung wants to enter the luxury accessories market. However, we're still waiting to see the fruits of that labour.

There is a version of the Gear S2 made by de Grisogono, which was unveiled at Baselworld 2016, so that could give you an indication of what to expect.

Only 100 units are handcrafted each month, and each watch costs $15,000. We expect the luxury-edition Samsung Gear S3 device to be priced similarly.


Writing by Rik Henderson and Elyse Betters. Originally published on 21 June 2016.