Skip to main content

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Coming Aug. 31: What to Expect

It looks like Samsung thinks it's time to talk about its next smartwatch.

The electronics giant sent out an invitation today (August 15) to an August 31 press event slated for the IFA trade show in Berlin. "Let's Talk About 3," the invitation reads under what looks like a watch face, so it's not taking too big of a leap to assume that the Gear S3 smartwatch will ge the star of the show at Samsung's Berlin event.

The Gear S2, which debuted last year, got solid reviews for its rotating bezel, which makes it one of the easier smartwatches to navigate. We also like the watch's water-resistant design and the way the Tizen-powered device handles email and messages. Its reliance on a paired smartphone to make calls was less impressive, though.

MORE: Best Smartwatches - Top Picks for Android and iOS

Samsung finds its smartwatches fighting with the Apple Watch for market share, even though it will be nearly a year and a half since Apple introduced its smartwatch by the time Samsung executives take to the stage in Berlin. So what might Samsung have in store for this latest version of the Gear if it hopes to steal some of the Apple Watch's thunder.

It's widely believed by rumor sites that the Gear S3 will maintain the current watch's distinctive round design and its bezel-based navigation. A report from SamMobile contends Samsung's focus will be on tailoringg the new Gear for an active lifestyle. That means adding an altimeter, barometer and speedometer to the watch, which will also feature built-in GPS. An earlier SamMobile report claims the watch is code-named Solis, which would also fit in with that active lifestyle approach.

Interestingly, built-in GPS and a barometer are among the features some analysts are predicting for the next version of Apple's watch as well, so we could in for a showdown of active-wear smartwatches this fall.

Samsung could also be planning to take the "three" part of the S3's name quite literally, with SamMobile reporting the company has three different editions of the watch in the works. The rumored names for the different editions are Frontier, Explorer and Classic.

Whatever Samsung announces in Berlin — and we'll be there to report on the details — the Gear S3 will have a short time to make a first impression. Apple is reportedly planning a press event of its own for Sept. 7, and while the iPhone 7 is expected to be the headliner, a new version of the Apple Watch could also get some stage time as Apple preps for the fall release of its watchOS 3 software.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.