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The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is currently on sale at Amazon.com for $109.99 (note that it shows a price of $199.99 on the product page, but you should see the $90 discount on the final checkout page before submitting your order). That’s an awesome price on a cool watch that is particularly useful for those who have a card like the US Bank Altitude Reserve, which offers a bonus on mobile payments. That’s because you can use Samsung Pay on this watch after pairing it with any Android phone (you don’t even need to have the phone on you all the time) and — of key importance — this specific watch has a special type of technology that makes it possible to use mobile payments almost anywhere. I’ve been using one of these watches since last fall and I love it. The downside here is that I’m currently seeing it available for shipping “in 1 to 2 months”. That usually means Amazon is backordered on the item, but I’ve had very good luck with items like that shipping (and sooner than estimated). YMMV, but worst case scenario the order gets canceled. I think it’s worth a shot if interested.
- Amazon.com is offering the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier for just $109.99 after a $90 instant discount during the checkout process
- Direct link to this item (our affiliate link)
I’ve previously written about this watch and included a video demonstrating how easy it is to use (See: Why Samsung Pay is awesome & how anyone can use it). What separates this watch from other smart watches / smart phones for mobile payment is that, like some of the previous Samsung flagship phones, this watch has a special technology that works differently than most mobile payment devices. Whereas most phones and watches require the payment terminal to be equipped to accept mobile payments, the Samsung Pay watch essentially mimics the magnetic stripe on your card so you can hold the watch next to the area of a payment terminal where you would normally swipe a credit card and it basically tricks the machine into thinking you’ve swiped a non-chip card. That makes this card useful almost anywhere with a physical payment terminal. Note that the watch also works with those newer payment terminals that are set to take mobile payments by tapping the screen, this just adds additional functionality for any place that doesn’t yet have that set up.
There are of course some limitations. At a restaurant where they take your card to go swipe it away from the table, it can be awkward (but not impossible — the waiter/waitress might think you’re nuts, but I’ve not seen one say no when asking to go to the terminal with them to pay with your watch). It doesn’t work at gas pumps (unless the pump has a newer payment terminal where you can touch your watch to an area of the pump dedicated to mobile payments). But it works at grocery stores, inside gas stations, at fast food restaurants, pharmacies, small shops,big shops, Walmart, self-checkout, etc.
I find this watch to have a lot of good uses for credit card rewards enthusiasts:
- You can earn 3x almost anywhere you pay in-person from the US Bank Altitude Reserve (which offers 3x on Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay)
- You still trigger category bonuses like US Supermarkets, US restaurants, etc.
- You can load up to 10 cards on the watch, reducing the number of cards you need to physically carry
- You can add a spouse / partner’s cards. This can be useful if your spouse has the card that earns a good bonus at the grocery store but you don’t want to be added as an AU since you know it’ll add to your Chase 5/24 count
- You don’t need to carry the phone with the watch, you just need to sync the phone and watch every 10 payments or so (YMMV as to exact limits)
In my opinion, it’s a great watch. It’s not perfect. I have had an issue where one specific card seem to sort of “un-sync” from time to time — I sometimes go to pay with that card and get an error on the watch that says “please stay connected to your phone” (or something to that effect). When that happens, I usually just have to restart the watch and/or turn the bluetooth on the watch itself off and back on to re-sync with the phone and make that card available again. In my case, that has only happened with an Amex card. It has been annoying when I’m in the checkout lane and it happens (in that case, I usually just switch to a different card rather than hold up the line). At the stores where I use that card, I now just pull up Samsung Pay as soon as I walk in the store to see if the card comes up with the error so I can re-sync it if necessary. It has only been an occasional issue and hasn’t stopped me from wearing the watch daily, but I figured it was worth noting as that’s been the main drawback.
As someone with a baby, I’ve been further impressed with durability. On my son’s first birthday, after smearing cake and frosting all over the place, he grabbed me by the wrist and his fingers found my watch and smeared frosting all over it. I was particularly concerned because the watch has a spinning bezel that you turn in order to switch between credit cards / menus and it gunked up immediately. I tried just wiping it and waiting until the next day, but it was noticeably sticky when trying to turn it. The watch is water-resistant, so I finally shrugged my shoulders and ran it under the faucet for a few seconds. Voila! Worked smoothly once again and hasn’t been an issue after multiple food smearings since.
Overall, I’ve been very happy with it and would recommend it for mobile payments. For $110, I’d say this one is well worth it.
H/T: Dan’s Deals