Samsung Praised for Gear Fit 2, major improvement over 1st Gen Fitness Tracker

In September 2013, Samsung introduced a wearable fitness tracker called the Galaxy Gear. With relatively limited features and a blatant bulkiness only The Hulk could appreciate, it wasn’t much of a success compared to slimmer, more attractive rivals. The new Samsung Gear Fit 2, however, takes the game to a whole new level.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Wearable Fitness Tracker

Gear Fit 2 officially went on the market earlier this month, and while it’s still not ‘perfect’ – what is, these days? – it’s a colossal improvement over the first-gen model. It’s been slimmed down, sleeked out, loaded with affable features and is the kind of stylish wearable tech most would be proud to don on their wrist.

It’s not just about looks, though. Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 has a lot great features. It tracks all of the usual fitness data, like heart rate, steps, distance traveled, flights of stairs and sleep, plus it almost doubles as a smartwatch… almost.

Today’s top-brand smartwatches are capable of taking phone calls and returning text messages. Samsung’s latest fitness tracker has no microphone built in, so those options are out, but it can sync to the user’s smartphone to deliver relative notifications.

Built on Samsung’s in-house Tizen OS, it has a 1.2GHz processor and 2GB storage space for apps, albeit a limited variety, and can store up to an average of 500 music files for your listening pleasure. Of course, you’ll need a bluetooth headset/speakers for that.

Gear Fit 2 vs. FitBit Charge HR

Gear Fit 2 GPSI’ve been an avid fan of the FitBit Charge HR since it first came out in early 2015, so it’s an easy point of comparison for me. And while I still love my FitBit as a straightforward fitness tracker, there are some unique advantages of the Gear Fit 2.

The Samsung model has built-in GPS and can map your runs and bike rides, displaying them directly on the screen. GPS is turned off by default, being a substantial battery drainer, but can be toggled on/off manually during workouts.

The screen is much larger and more vibrant than the miniscule display of Charge HR. It’s also a touch-screen, and can display up to three stats at a time in the base screen, which is customizable. I like setting it for BPM, steps, and calories burned, but you can choose from multiple interfaces, including digital or analog clock.

Navigation and UI

Gear Fit 2 AppsAs for navigating the device, there are two buttons on the side. One is basically a back button, returning you to whatever screen you were on last. I, for one, love that feature! The other button has multiple uses. One quick tap brings you to the app list, two taps opens a preset app, and a long press powers the Gear Fit 2 on and off.

The AMOLED display is really nice and vibrant, and unlike many touchscreen devices, is actually visible in the sunlight. You’ll want to set it to ‘Outdoor Mode‘ for this, boosting the brightness level to max 10, but it’s worth it when you’re out and about.

Potential Negatives

Of course, max brightness is going to draw more on the battery, which is one area I wasn’t too impressed with. Considering all of the features of the fitness tracker, a battery that lasts, at most, 40-48 hours (in my experience) is pretty good, but having gotten used to the 5-day battery life of the FitBit Charge HR, it was a major annoyance for me.

Last but not least, Gear Fit 2 has an IP68 rating, which means it’s dust-proof (dust won’t get in) and water-proof enough to survive immersion up to 3 meters. That means you can wear it in the shower and in a low-depth pool without fear. However, there’s a strange bug associate with getting the fitness tracker wet, and even Samsung admits to its legitimacy.

When the device gets wet, it tends to track way more flights of stairs than you’ve actually climbed. After wearing it in the shower for 8 minutes, the Gear Fit 2 told me I’d climbed 44 flights. A more accurate result would be around 8-10. That’s a remarkable discrepancy in data.

Inaccuracy is the biggest complaint in the wearable fitness tracker industry, and while flights of stairs may be one of the least appreciated features in a wearable, any significant level of inaccuracy is not a good thing, especially when it turns one of the Gear Fit 2’s best features – the IP68 rating – into a bug.

Overall though, it’s an amazing product for anyone looking to boost their fitness with activity data awareness, and impress their peers with the stylish design. The $180 price tag seems appropriate when you consider the leading FitBit Charge HR retails for $150, while a real smartwatch can run from $250 (Microsoft Band 2) to as high as four-figures (Apple Watch $350-$1,100).

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress and WordPress Themes, thanks to Live Jasmin