Samsung has impressed again. While the smartwatch market is showing that less people are buying wearables, the Samsung brand may have made an exception in the new Gear Fit2.
The new wearable is special in that it does not seem to fit into any category. It is more than just a fitness tracker and it is more than a smartwatch — the Gear Fit2 is an unusual breed unlike other hybrid smartwatches on the market, and after this review you will see why.
To see if this wearable is right for you, consider the specs and features below. Let’s start with the design.
The Fit 2 looks much more like a watch than the previous model, the Samsung Gear Fit. Featuring a new elastomer strap with a new texture, this watch looks more sports-like than the Fit.
- Display Size: 1.5-inch
- Display Type: Curved Super AMOLED
- Resolution: 432 x 216 Pixelation
- Vertical Screen Interface
- 512MB of RAM
- 4GB of Storage
- Operating System: Tizen OS
- Compatibility Android 4.4 and above
- 1 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 2 Physical Buttons
- Notifications: Calls, Texts, Apps, Email, Calendar
- Microphone: No
- S Health
- Battery: 200 mAh
- Battery Life: 3 to 4 day with mixed use
- Charge Time: Approx. 1 Hour
- USB Cradle Included
In addition, the most important part of of the new Gear Fit2 is the display — this 1.5-inch curved super AMOLED display with a resolution of 432 x 216 displays vertically as opposed to the awkward horizontal display seen in the original Gear Fit. While this touch screen is smaller than the 1.84-inch curved super AMOLED display of the original Fit model, the Gear Fit2 definitely looks better at this size, is much more functional, and and is crisp and bright.
The screen itself is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is a great scratch- and crack-proof protection glass that will withstand bumps, bangs, and wear. This is a great feature to include in this watch (especially considering the great price), because the strap is made from elastomer and is water resistant with IP68 certification. You can go down into the water to a depth of 1.5 meters for a max of 30 minutes. However, resistance does not mean waterproof. You can’t go swimming with it and it is not recommended that you submerge it with any diving or anything other than washing your hands or an accidental drop in the water.
Size and Color
There are two size options available: small (for wrist sizes 125mm to 170mm) and Large (155mm to 210mm). What is great about the differences between the sizes, is that there are no differences.
The large weighs in at 30 grams while the small weighs 28 grams — this is the difference of the elastomer strap weight. Otherwise, everything from the display, resolution, battery, and features are all the same. You can also buy this in three different color options: Black, Pink, and Blue. While this is not an extensive range of options to choose from, it does well for most people, and the texture of the strap gives it a good look.
Health and Fitness
Wearables have begun trending towards functioning as a health and fitness tracker over functions relating to notification, texting, and hands-free smart use. Luckily, the Gear Fit2 does both so you can enjoy the range of fitness features that Samsung is known for.
With this wearable’s auto-tracking function, it can auto-detect and track:
- Steps taken
- Calories burned
- Sleep / Napping
- Exercise (including recognizing what type of exercise you are doing)
- Heart Rate
It will log your sleep, exercise, walking, calories, and more in S Health, where it will sync automatically. You can also manually choose a workout by selecting the type, choosing a goal for that workout, and see the results. If you wear earbuds when working out, you can read status updates to connected headsets at certain intervals.
However, for those who don’t like wearing smartwatches when you sleep, you may become annoyed at the Fit 2 turning on when you move at night. So, keep that in mind. It may or may not be worth it to you since the Fit 2 does not have a dedicated sleeping app on the device itself as it does for the fitness tracking. It will sync to S Health but nothing more.
The Gear Fit2 also checks your heart rate automatically, every 10 minutes when it detects a normal routine. When it begins tracking a workout or run, the watch does not track your heart rate. This means runners and those watching their HR during cardio probably won’t find this aspect very appealing. If you don’t need to check your heart rate every 10 minutes, you can turn of this feature which will help to conserve battery life. You can always tag manual heart rate checks during specific activities.
Personally, the heart rate monitor has shown to be a bit off in the Gear Fit2. Compared to Polar and Garmin brand fitness trackers with built in HR monitors, the Fit2’s resting heart rate tracking is good but during strenuous workouts, it can be off by as much as 20 bpm.
The Fit2 does not feature an altimeter but does pack the following sensors into the watch:
- HR Monitor
The GPS is built-in so you do not have to bring your phone with you during workouts such as hiking or running. There is a map feature for running and biking that is displayed on the screen.
Functionality Pros and Cons:
You can send and receive a range of notifications, such as: texts, calls, emails, apps, alerts, and calendar events directly from your wrist.
The curved Super AMOLED screen is well protected with the Gorilla Glass 3 construction and the display is brilliant. There is no glare and the screen can be brightened or turned down. Customize it to your heart’s desire.
The 200 mAh battery can charge in about an hour and can give you up to 4 days of battery life. However, like with most smartwatches and fitness trackers, this is with light usage. Two days is probably more likely if you have the screen brightness up halfway and are active. It can stay on standby, however, for around 5 days.
You can connect your Android 4.4 or up smartphone with the Fit2 through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.2.
Along with the so-so heart rate monitor, the touch interface in this Gear Fit2 can be cumbersome. When you are moving, swiping through the display can be difficult and even though the watch is supposed to turn on automatically when you bring your wrist up to check the display, half of the time it doesn’t do so. While this saves battery power by turning off as you workout, having to push a button on the device sort of defeats the purpose of “hands-free” technology.
The GPS performance is also another issue since it is mixed. Stationary, you can rely on its accuracy, but along with most activity trackers, when you become active, the GPS can be off. There can sometimes be a lag in movement — rather than real-time positioning, it could take 20 or 30 seconds to update to your location. However, the faster you are moving, the quicker the GPS can fix on your position using both the GPS and GLONASS. When driving, it will track within 5 seconds of accuracy.
The Samsung Gear Fit2 retailed for $179.99, but luckily you can now get this watch/tracker for much less.
The main Samsung website is selling this model in your choice of color for $129.99.
Black Friday Store (also called BF) is a Google Trustworthy-Certified store that is selling the Gear Fit2 for the best price on the internet at only $82.00. This link is for the color Black with a Large strap, but you can find additional colors and strap sizes for this price as well.
Even though the Gear Fit2 doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table with regards to fitness tracking or smartwatch concepts, it does blend together a great design, comfort, marked durability, the latest technology, and is a very cost effective alternative to simply buying a fitness tracker or a smartwatch. You can have both for under $200.
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