The holiday season is just around the corner. And really, Christmas isn’t Christmas until you get a gift for yourself, yes?
To that end, Samsung Philippines is making a bid to get into every techie’s last-minute shopping list with the Gear S3 smartwatch, which broke cover two months ago as the centerpiece of Samsung’s IFA announcement in Berlin.
The Gear S3 will be available from January 14, 2017 in the Philippines, but preorders start today, December 12, on Lazada and Abenson’s website. Local pricing is set at P16,490, or $330. Early adopters, though we probably shouldn’t call them that given the timing of the release, will receive an extra watch band (valued at almost $40) so they won’t have to spring for one when they eventually get tired of wearing the same strap all the time.
Similar to its predecessor, the watch has two designs: the Classic and the Frontier. The former is classier, updated with stainless steel and a polished silver finish, whereas the latter tends to appear more casual and rugged, sporting a darker, gunmetal face with textured buttons and a silicone band.
Regardless which model you pick, you’ll get an Tizen-based timepiece with the same hardware on the inside, in addition to wireless charging via the included magnetic dock; GPS for fitness-tracking purposes; NFC for wireless payments; and a speaker for calls and music playback. Both also tout a large, always-on AMOLED display and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
The Gear S3 Frontier that’s coming to the Philippines will not have standalone LTE connectivity found on models sold in other markets.
Samsung has packed a lot of features into a very small package, but in doing so, it’s sacrificed the thing that makes the Gear S2 so appealing and physically satisfying to wear. The new Gear smartwatch is bigger and much thicker than what came before. Still though, props to Samsung for not compromising on style and keeping them looking like traditional timepieces, the kind Apple Watch fans must miss having on their wrist.