Samsung Gear S3 debuts in Korea, one week before US release

The tech giant began the rollout of its latest smartwatch in its home country on Friday, a week before its release in Australia, Singapore, the UK, the US, Dubai, France, and Germany on November 18.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics has begun the rollout of its Gear S3 smartwatch in its home country of South Korea on Friday.

Additional markets will get the watches later, starting with Australia, Singapore, the UK, the US, Dubai, France, and Germany next week on November 18.

The watch comes in two variations: The Gear S3 Frontier -- which has a "rugged" design -- and the Gear S3 Classic that continues the sleek design of its predecessors. Both share the same specifications except the frontier model supports 3G/LTE connectivity, depending on the country.

The series is also the first to support Samsung Pay's MST payment capabilities, which will allow them to be used on mag-stripes. Previous generations had the mobile payment feature, but only supporting NFC.

Samsung said for the watches' design they took inspiration from traditional watchmakers, and that they come with its signature circular bezel.

They also have swappable bands, are IP86 water and dust proof, and have the always-on watch feature that shows the time while the screen is off. A single charge will give four days of battery power, the company claimed.

The company also launched the Blue Coral version of the Galaxy S7 Edge the same day in Korea.

The outlook of the smartwatch market has been far from positive. According to IDC, smartwatch shipments fell 52 percent in the third quarter. Apple is still number one, while Samsung was in third-place.

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