Samsung has revealed its latest smartwatch – a large, round-faced wearable called the Gear S3 which looks set to turn smartwatches from niche contenders into genuinely useful gadgets.
It's launching in two versions. The Frontier model is a feature-heavy, high-end smartwatch that comes 4G ready. Pay a for a data plan and you have fast internet right on your wrist, letting you stream music, take calls, send messages and use web-based apps without needing to pair it to any other device.
There's a GPS chip inside the Gear S3, too, and it's finished in matte black, with a chunky, rugged, rotating bezel.
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The second version, the Classic, is finished in polished silver and still relies on a smartphone to access most of its major features. Both watches can be submerged to depths of up to five feet for half an hour.
The Gear S3 runs the Tizen operating system, just like its predecessors, and comes with Samsung Pay capabilities.
The BBC points out a neat new trick here – the watches can mimic the signals given off by the magnetic strips on debit and credit cards so you can use them to pay even in shops with older, non-NFC-ready card terminals.
They're larger watches than those in the Gear S2 range, with thicker casings and bigger 1.3ins (33mm) screens, and won't be an essential upgrade for some, says The Verge. The Gear 2 was small and light enough to feel like wearing a normal watch, while the added bulk of the Gear 3 will take some getting used to, it adds.
The reveal comes just days ahead of the anticipated debut of the Apple Watch 2, the Daily Telegraph points out. Apple's next wearable isn't expected to gain 4G connectivity, but GPS and higher water-resistance are thought to be on the cards.
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