Samsung Teases Gear S3 Smartwatch With IFA Invitation

Samsung Gear S2

It looks like the whole smartwatch category might have legs, after all. Rumor has it Apple is getting ready to launch a new Apple Watch line while Samsung, it's main rival in all things mobile, has sent out invitations to members of the press for what it strongly hints will be a smartwatch announcement. The invitation doesn't actually mention a smartwatch, but unless it's planning to release a clock, there's little else it could be.

Samsung's press conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 1, at IFA 2016. The invitation has clock hands, which we presume to mean the launch of the Gear S3. The rumored Gear S3 will allegedly feature the same round design as its predecessor, along with the rotary bezel found on the Gear S2.

Samsung Press Invitation

There will also be three variants of the Gear S3, including the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and Gear S3 Explorer. This time around there will be a bigger focus on fitness, as seems to be popular among wearable devices. The watches will sport an altimeter, barometer, speedometer, and an integrated GPS as found in the Gear Fit 2.

Barring a major surprise, the Gear S3 will again use Samsung's own home brewed Tizen OS, not Android Wear. Samsung initially had big plans for Tizen, at one point hoping it could compete with Android in the smartphone space, but that didn't happen. However, Tizen seems to have found its niche in the smartwatch market, as Samsung's Gear line has been fairly well received.

One interesting side note—there's been talk of there also being a luxury version of the Gear S3. It's worked for Apple and rumor has it Samsung will give the luxury market a try as well, though not at IFA 2016. If such a model is in the works, it would debut next month at the World Watch and Jewelry Show.