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Samsung Gear S3 Unboxing and First Impressions

Samsung Gear S3 unboxing: We met Samsung’s newest smartwatch, the Gear S3, back at IFA 2016 but now it’s arrived in stores and we unboxed one so you know what you can expect.

As with the previous Tizen-based Gear smartwatches, Samsung has opted from a suitably premium-looking black cylindrical card container. There’s plastic protecting not only the sides but the shiny top face, which sees the Gear S3’s name foiled in silver and blue.

Peeling off the plastic and slitting the adhesive tab across the seam releases the top half of the container, which slides up and off to reveal the Gear S3 itself, set on its charging dock. As before the dock charges the Gear S3 wirelessly and connects to a power port via microUSB (no Type-C connection just yet).

To keep the Gear S3 secure in transit the inside of the lid features carefully designed foam padding, whilst the watch itself is secured to the dock by an additional piece of foam wedging the gap where your wrist would normally reside. Removing that and a screen protector highlighting the functions of the S3’s physical buttons, you can then free it from the container completely. 

We unboxed the Gear S3 Frontier, which adopts a darker gunmetal finish with peel-off plastic protecting the sides of the frame and the glass back, where you’ll find the watch’s optical heart rate sensor. The differences between the Frontier and the Classic Gear S3 are nearly entirely cosmetic, giving two different demographics a first-class smartwatch experience.

The latter swaps out dark gunmetal grey for brushed silver, textured low profile hardware controls for protruding crown-like fixtures and a more elegant leather band in place of the hardier rubber strap you’ll find on the Frontier.

Once the watch is free from its cradle you’ll notice a disposable protective rubber insert and that the plastic base in which the watch’s charger sits is actually designed to have a USB cable routed through it. It’s a nice touch that means users have the option of using part of the box as a sort of functional display plinth/charging dock. The base of the charging cradle is covered in a non-slip rubber, protected by peel-away plastic.

With charger and tray out the way, all that remains are a smaller strap option for daintier wrists, an individually wrapped hard-wired microUSB power adapter and the obligatory quick-start and warranty booklets.

Whilst the stylings of the Gear S3 Frontier won’t be to everyone’s tastes, it’s clear that Samsung has worked to refine the level of quality offered up by the hardware and software; with nicer materials, a more intricate design and a more considered approach to packaging.

Both the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic are available now, each priced at £349. Stay tuned for a full review soon.

Read next: Samsung Gear S3 hands-on review: The Gear grows up

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