Samsung announces Gear S3 smartwatch availability

Two months after Samsung announced its latest smartwatch, the company is ready to begin shipping the Gear S3.

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(Image: Samsung)

For the Samsung faithful who have patiently weathered the Note 7 storm while waiting for the Gear S3 smartwatch to launch, your wait is nearly over.

Samsung on Thursday announced both the Frontier and Classic models of the Gear S3 will be available for preorder on Saturday, Nov. 6 followed by retail availability on Nov. 18.

Retail locations currently set to carry the Gear S3 in the US include Best Buy, Macy's, Amazon, and Samsung.com.

Starting at $349, the Gear S3 follows in the steps of its predecessor, using a round screen with a rotatable bezel as an input mechanism.

The Gear S3 connects to any Android device running Android 4.4 or newer, with 1.5 GB of RAM. Often rumored iOS support, it appears, still isn't available.

There are two key features to the S3 line. One is the inclusion of an LTE wireless connection with the Frontier model. Using AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile networks, a Gear S3 users can place phone calls and reply to messages without a smartphone or Wi-Fi connection nearby.

Additionally, the Gear S3 is the first wearable device to feature full Samsung Pay support. Not only does the Gear S3 offer NFC payments much like the Apple Watch currently does, but Samsung has included its MST technology into the watch itself. Using MST, Samsung Pay users are able to transmit payment data to nearly all credit card payment terminals.

For the last two years, all Samsung Galaxy devices have offered Samsung Pay complete with MST capabilities.

Best Buy has already published preorder pages for the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier, with a "Coming Soon" button in place of the purchase button.

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