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Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic: Super-size watches go big on style

The Gear S3 Frontier and Classic add GPS, speakerphones, optional LTE, and Samsung Pay. We take them for a wrist-spin.

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Scott Stein
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Scott Stein
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1 of 50 Josh Miller/CNET

The Samsung Gear S3 is Samsung's newest smartwatch. It's feature-packed.

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It's also stunningly designed.

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There are plenty of bands. In fact, you can attach any 22mm band.

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It's ruggedized to withstand heat, cold, water (it has a IP68 water-resistance rating) and dust.

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Sitting in ice, S3-style.

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The Gear S3 runs the same Tizen OS and apps as last year's Gear S2.

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It's beautiful, but big: 46mm, bigger than last year. And thicker.

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Here it is next to a Gear S2 Classic (left). See the size difference?

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The outer bezel, which controls the watch, is thicker. There are two models: Classic (pictured), and the more sporty Frontier.

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There's a Nest app coming this year.

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The S3 side buttons: One brings up Samsung Pay.

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Seen here, the Gear S3 looks like a regular high-end watch.

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Heart-rate monitoring on the back. The Gear S3 can monitor heart rate just like last year's Gear S2.

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There are many preinstalled watch faces, and they can stay on in a variety of colors.

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The Gear S3 Frontier. It also comes in an LTE version.

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We don't know the Gear S3 price yet, but expect it to be slightly expensive.

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All models have GPS now, and speakerphones for answering calls.

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Comparing the sides of both the Classic (bottom) and Frontier (top) variants of the Gear S3.

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Samsung Pay is also onboard for mobile payments.

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The steel case and design feel far more watchlike.

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A larger 380 mAh battery should last an extra day: up to 4 days, according to Samsung.

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Paying via Samsung Pay: Thanks to MST, it should work at more places.

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The Gear S3 could work at credit card terminals that lack tap-to-pay, just like recent Samsung Galaxy phones.

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