We have just skimmed the surface of the Gear S3 smartwatches in most of posts so far. Today, however lets dig a little deeper to take a look at the engineering marvel that goes into making a smartwatch and more importantly a Flagship Smartwatch. Smartwatches like the Gear S3 are a fitting proof that as technology gets better with mass production, the size and price of the components keep getting smaller. The impulse rise in smartphone manufacturing and innovation can be termed as the primary reason emergence of smartwatches. The Gear S3's 46mmx49mmx12.9mm crams in a lot of interesting stuff (interesting atleast to us Geeks), so lets begin the teardown with courtesy of Samsung.
The image shows all the six main parts that goes into developing the Gear S3 Frontier and the Gear S3 Classic. Notice how only two parts, that is the Front case and the rotating bezel are responsible deciding whether the Gear S3 being made is a Frontier or a Classic while the display, bracket, pcb of motherboard and the rear case are shared between the two variants. This reduces the manufacturing cost and time for making multiple variants by a huge margin and also makes room for Samsung to introduce more variants in the future like the Luxury edition and possibly the rumored Explorer variant. The front case of the Gear S3 also doubles as a RF Antenna which is necessary for 3G/LTE connectivity.
A low resolution display is quite certain to turn down the mood of anyone, and in case of smartwatches this becomes a serious concern. To avoid such problems, the Gear S3 features 3-inch circular Super AMOLED display panel with a resolution of 360x360, this offers a decent pixel density of 278ppi. The display unit on the Gear S3 is 'always on' meaning that the screen keeps displaying the time like a regular watch and you don't have to press any button just for knowing the time. An Ambient light sensor is embedded in the smartwatch to adjust screen brightness with respect to the surroundings and also to disable the always on feature automatically when the smartwatch is thrown in your pocket or bag and thus save some power.
With the Gear S3, there were two 'firsts' introduced to the wearable industry. One- the Gear S3 is the first wearable device to be protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass SR+. The gorilla glass SR+ was made specifially for wearable devices which require more protection from scratches, dust,etc. Two- The Gear S3 features Embedded Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology which enables users to make contact-less payments at any store which has a magnetic stripe reader built primarily for MasterCard and Visa credit cards.
The bracket which acts as a supporting structure for the rest of the components with screw grooves and clipping slots, it also provides slot for the haptic feedback motor, speaker and the extremely tiny Bluetooth and WiFi chip.
The mainboard, like in any other electronic device is where things get interesting, the Gear S3 is no different in this regard. The tiny mainboard of the Gear S3 makes room for quite a lot of sensors like the Accelerometer, Gyro sensor, Barometer, GPS, NFC, Heart Rate Monitor and the Microphone. One side of the mainboard's PCB hosts the 768MB RAM and 4GB of flash memory chips, the mainboard also hosts the Exynos 7270 SOC which features a dual core 1 GHz 64-bit ARM Cortex A33 CPU. This Chip is manufactured by the latest 14nm FinFET fabrication technology. In some variants of the Gear S3 Frontier, the mainboard also features an Embedded Sim for LTE connectivity. On the other side of the Gear S3, there exists a 380 mah Li-ion battery which is capable of powering the smartwatch for nearly 4 days.
The rear case is made of anticorrosive material and in order to provide IP68 protection rating, the rear casing has a gasket. The Rear case also features a transparent space for the HRM sensor.