While Android Wear 2.0 continues to be a mess, Samsung’s Tizen UI on the Gear family of smartwatches continues to impress, and it’s what gets strapped to my wrist every day. Now, Samsung is releasing a new update for the Gear S3 Frontier/Classic to give those a few new enhancements.

Samsung’s “Value Pack” update, rolling out now, gives the Gear S3 family a few tricks in the fitness department first and foremost. One of the biggest new additions is real-time continuous heart rate monitoring, something that comes in handy during certain workouts. Further, a new nutrition management feature has been added to keep track of calories consumed and a daily budget.

Another extra fitness feature allows Gear S3 users to view exercise programs on their connected phone or TV, and even view their heart rate on that display.

Fitness buffs looking to take their workout routine to the next level will appreciate the Samsung Health Fitness Program feature, which lets them watch exercise programs from their synced smartphone on a TV. Once connected, they can use their Gear S3 to control the displayed content, display their heart rates on the TV.

Fitness aside, this update also provides some handy features for the Gear S3 within Tizen itself. Users can now search through their contacts on the watch, create new contacts, and create calendar events with related information such as location, date and time, and alerts, all from their wrist.

Reminders also get a welcome change. Users can now create to-do lists on their phone and check items off on their wrist, and any reminders from your phone should now work with the Gear S3.

Finally, Samsung is giving the UI on the Gear S3 a fresh coat of paint. While it’s not a massive overhaul, there are some clear changes here and they align a little closer with the recently debuted Gear Sport. The bezel’s actions are also refined with new speed-related controls for seeing more or less watchfaces in the picker. Another welcome change is the ability to reply to a message using only the bezel.

By rotating the bezel at a faster or slower rate, users can view more or less information, respectively. For instance, if a user wants to change their device’s watch face, they can see more design options on the screen at once by turning the bezel at a faster speed.

Users can also use the bezel to naturally move from a text message notification to the reply input. Should they not have enough time to send a detailed reply, they can make use of even more default quick replies to express themselves in a snap. They can also create and edit their own quick replies directly on the smartwatch.

All of these changes, as well as a refresh Gear S app for phones, are rolling out now in a 257mb update. To install the update, simply download and install from the Gear S app on your phone.

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Ben Schoon

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