The Gear S3 Frontier is a rugged smartwatch designed for those who want a smartwatch that can handle life, and its ruggedness and the inclusion of certain sensors for barometric pressure and altitude indicates that the device is heavier than its predecessors (Gear S2, Gear S2 Classic).

Whereas the Gear S2 includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometer, ambient light, and GPS (on 3G models only) and Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity (outside of 3G models), the Gear S3 has the same sensors but includes MST for mobile payments, GPS/GLONASS (for both the Frontier and Classic), a speaker, and a microphone (4G chip for the Frontier only). These additional components, along with a larger battery in the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic, make these devices slightly heavier than before.

To match this argument, fellow journalists have gone so far as to declare an all-out war against Samsung’s latest-generation smartwatch. Female journalists, in particular (though they be few, unfortunately), have said that the Gear S3 is so masculine to them that they could never wear it on their wrists.

To add insult to injury, now, the claim is being made that the Gear S3 is for “large wrists,” that their wrists are too small for the Gear S3 and that anyone matching their wrist size will find it hard to wear the Gear S3. When you add the wrist size factor to the seemingly masculine appeal of the device, journalists have created what they deem a winning argument by which to pound Samsung.

Well, I’ve had a week or so to wear this seemingly large smartwatch that “doesn’t fit female wrists or small wrists,” and I find that the editorials that have blasted it and the journalists that have simply regurgitated the false claim are wrong. Flat. Wrong.

The Gear S3 does feel heavier when you hold the watch in your hands and take it off your wrist. It does feel heavier when you place it on the wireless charging pad to charge it at the end of the day. But “feeling heavy and bulky” and experiencing heaviness and bulkiness on the wrist are two different things.

The same thing happens with smartphones. The now-deceased Galaxy Note 7 felt so thin and light in my hands that, at first thought, it seemed as though Samsung had made the screen smaller to fit its thinner frame. In actuality, though, that wasn’t true: I was still holding the same 5.7-inch, Super AMOLED panel with Quad HD screen resolution, but it was thinner and lighter and that, in and of itself, deceived my first impressions.


And I say these things as someone who also received a free Gear Fit2 for my Galaxy Note 7 pre-order purchase from Verizon last year. The Gear Fit2 feels like a paperweight on your wrist: thin as a feather and feels “hardly there.” My Gear Fit2, however, is a “small” size (I didn’t order the large size), and the Gear S3 Frontier I’ve been using has a “large” wristband, so I know what small and large feel like on the wrist.

I know that the Gear S3 has some weight to it, but weight that lies in the right places. At no time has my wrist ever felt heavy, weighed down, or “exhausted” because I’ve been wearing the Gear S3 Frontier. And I have a small wrist as compared to most, even though I have rather large hands.

Well, what about the “first impressions” posts that have blasted it? Well, they should be seen for what they are: “first” impressions, the results of a quick encounter with the Gear S3. First impressions are not everything.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself how many people you’ve met in life that you thought would be cherished friends, only to discover that they were so far from friendship that it’s laughable. We’ve all been deceived by first appearances and impressions. The same can be said for claims about the heaviness and bulkiness of the Gear S3.

I have a small wrist, and I’ve been wearing the Gear S3 for the last week. And, despite journalist claims that the Gear S3 is too heavy for small wrists and too masculine for female wrists, I’ve been wearing it – and I see no threat to my gender, wrist, or character by doing so. Yep, humans are often guilty of exaggeration and “making mountains out of mole hills,” and when we’re not telling the truth, you can bet we’re blowing it out of proportion.

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Deidre Richardson has a strong background as a tech journalist, covering a little of everything before her love for Samsung blossomed. Having owned 9 Samsung smartphones (GS3, GS4 Active, GS5, Note 3, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy Note 7) and 3 Samsung smartwatches (Galaxy Gear, Gear S, Gear S2) since 2012, she sees her love for Samsung and tech as two paths that are merging into one with each passing day. When she's not covering Samsung news, reviews, and how-tos, she's talking to family and friends on her Gear S2.
  • Yecenia Tapia

    Well I own a gear S2 classic and I think that samsung is not thinking about small wrist women in my opinion. It does look a little big it is a bit heavy but I still love what it can do. The belt I put it on the last whole to fit well.
    So when you say is not accurate what the journalist wrote my personal opinion is that she does have the same opinion as many other women out there.

    So until samsung decide to consider two sizes as an option. I dont think I’ll upgrade to any other gear with samsung.

    • Deidre

      Well, I am an example of someone who is wearing the Gear S3 Frontier on a daily basis – and it isn’t too big for me. My wrists are not that large, so the excuse that the watch doesn’t consider small wrists is simply not true.

      It’s up to you to not buy another Gear, but remember this: where you won’t buy Samsung, others will. It’s no different with any other manufacturer: for every one person that won’t buy from a manufacturer because they don’t do what someone wants them to do, others will buy from them.

      Secondly, the Gear S3 and Gear S3 Frontier are outselling women’s smartwatches. That’s not a false claim but fact. Name one lady smartwatch out there outselling the Gear S3. There isn’t one.

      Since you’ve decided to not buy because you don’t think it caters to you, be prepared to not buy any smartwatch because they will all fail you in some way. This column was important to write because not everyone agrees with the common claim that the Gear S3 “isn’t lady-friendly.” And I don’t think looking to a smartwatch to validate or justify one’s gender is really a smart move anyway. I think it’s terribly misguided to assume jewelry is designed to validate or invalidate one’s gender.

      • Yecenia Tapia

        This is not personal, is only opinions, you may be an example of those who wear and love all about it and I’m an example who also wear it and think it can be more flexible in size. Just like there’s many that purchase, there also many that don’t. The meaning of upgrades is to better the product and bring MORE sales and profit.

        The style and product is not to please everyone it has its people. Remember that…..

        And your correct, I don’t think looking to a smartwatch to validate or justify one’s gender is really a smart move. It is terribly misguided to assume jewelry is designed to validate or invalidate one’s gender.

        • Deidre

          Well, in your latest comment, you and I do agree on something. The goal is to bring more sales and profit. If the majority of the customer base finds the wrist size to be just fine, and many do, then why make a smaller wrist size to cater to a few fringe consumers?

          Your response proves my point. There are very few consumers complaining about the wrist size. Then, there are women like me who find the wrist size to be just fine. So, when you add the numbers up, the ones complaining about small wrists and how the new watch doesn’t work for them are very, very few. That explains why the wrist size remains what it is, and why there’s only one wrist size.