10 tips and tricks for Samsung Gear S3

Samsung's latest smartwatch is a looker, full of hidden features and potential. Here's what you need to know to get the most out of the wearable.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
Watch this: Samsung Gear S3: CNET Editors react

Samsung 's Gear S3 is a fully capable smartwatch, although CNET's Scott Stein would love to see more apps available for the watch.

Whether you received a Gear S3 over the holidays, or have had it for a while, odds are there are some features and aspects of the watch you have yet to explore. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you out.

The box is a charging stand

Instead of tossing the box in the trash, convert it into a charging dock for your watch. Other than assembling some pieces, no work is really required on your part. Turn to the included Quick Start Guide (page 5) for instructions detailing how to assemble the stand.

Pair with any Android device

To use the Gear S3 with almost any Android device, you'll need to jump through a few hoops. First, you'll need to make sure your Android device is running Android 4.4 and above along with 1.5GB RAM. Next, you'll need to install the Samsung Gear app from the Play Store.

During the setup process, the app will ask you to install two or three more apps, which are required for the watch and your phone to talk to one another. Follow the prompts and install the various plug-ins and services.

Change watch faces

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There are plenty of watch faces for the Gear S3, most of which you will need to use the Gear app on your Android device to browse and install.

Changing between watch faces can be done on the phone as well, or on the watch itself. Long-press on your current watch face, then swipe left or right to browse installed faces. If a "Stylize" option is shown below the preview, tap on it to change colors and customize it to your liking.

Use Samsung Pay

One of the standout features of the Gear S3 is total Samsung Pay compatibility. Meaning, you can pay on NFC terminals as well as older credit card swipe machines using your watch. I spent an entire weekend using it, and it's awesome.

Long-press the tip right button on the watch to begin the setup process. You'll need to add a card on your phone, but the app walks you through it and it's easy.

Then, when out and about, long-press the same button, tap on the card you want to pay with, and hold your watch up to the payment terminal. Magic.

Access quick settings

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Swipe down from your watch face to access quick settings for the watch. Here you can enable airplane mode, manually enable Do Not Disturb as you walk into a meeting or a movie, adjust brightness, volume of the speaker and access the music app.

Add, rearrange widgets

By turning the ring around the watch face to the right, you can view app widgets currently setup on the watch. When viewing a widget long-press on it to customize, rearrange, remove or add new widgets.

Manage apps

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The default app circles are also customizable, and can be triggered with a long-press on an app icon. A ring will outline the watch's screen, letting you know you're in edit mode. Drag, drop and delete apps right on the screen of you watch.

Set home button shortcut

Double-pressing the bottom button on the Gear S3, also called the Home button, will launch S Voice by default. However, you can customize this setting to launch other apps ranging from the Calendar to S Health.

On the watch, open Settings > Device > Double Press Home key and select a shortcut from the list.

Set Do Not Disturb

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With the Gear S3's battery life, you can wear it to track your sleep. But being woken up all night from alerts on your wrist isn't going to help you get a good night's rest, so you'll want to enable Do Not Disturb.

On your watch, open the Settings app > Device > Do Not Disturb. Select the days and time you want to watch to cease notifications, then double-check you have Turn on as scheduled enabled.

Disable Get Moving reminders

For some, being reminded each hour to get up and get moving is annoying. You can disable these alerts in the S Health app on your watch. Scroll to the Settings icon and select it, followed by tapping on Inactive Time.