SAMSUNG GEAR FIT REVIEW
With many makers putting their weight on fitness bands and smartwatches these days, we have had the chance to look a quite a handful of stunning additions to the growing smartwatch family. Samsung, which has hit the markets with two such wonderful watches, namely the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, has also come up with something for the fitness freaks! The Samsung Gear Fit is primarily targeted for fitness conscious users and promises to be a handy addition to them.
Design of the Fit
The Samsung Gear Fit is a wearable fitness band with a lovely screen and a well-designed face. From the design of this wearable wonder, one clearly feels that Samsung does have the potential to work well on designing smartwatches, even future releases that we might see. The Fit has a 1.85 inch AMOLED screen and has a bendy face to it. However, it looks gorgeous right away!
The band fits comfortably on the wrists, even though it looks a little huge at times and is incredibly light (one probably might forget, they’re wearing it). The buckle is well adjustable and hypoallergenic. One also has the option to change the band if they wish to. The screen of the Samsung Gear Fit is dust resistant and also water resistant up to a meter for 30 minutes. This ensures that you will not have worry about getting the screen ruined every time you step out.
The display is both ways (was horizontal only until a recent update). However, with the horizontal mode one is likely to be facing a little space crunch, especially while scrolling. The vertical display definitely gets the thumbs up over its horizontal counterpart. Notifications on the device can pretty much be well read though the scrolling can be an issue to some.
There is a button at the top of the device, which turns on the screen. Double pressing it will allow the user to add a specific feature for it. The ‘Outdoor Mode’ on the device has a screen brightness of 6 and that drops to 4 in a matter of five minutes. Now, this is done to conserve battery usage. The Fit can also be woken up, just by the turn of your wrists. This feature, however, might require a rather uncomfortable turn. The device can be charged using a micro USB charger and the battery can last at least around three days.
Interface and applications
The band runs on the proprietary Real Time OS (RTOS), and not Android like that of its other Gear cousins. Therefore, downloading of other applications is a strict no. Gliding around the OS is smooth and has that buttery feel to it. The interface is very vibrant and can also be well customized.
The Samsung Gear Fit is compatible with around 18 of Samsung’s devices, including the Galaxy S5. Also, it requires you to pair it up with Samsung’s fitness application S Health, and fill in a few good details. Then, you can customize the device rather well through the application. The two enter an auto-sync mode through the Bluetooth, whenever the devices are within range of each other.
Swiping away from the clock screen brings up a host of applications, like notifications, media controller, timer, pedometer, heart rate, exercise, etc. You can select them with a gentle tap.
The device has an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a fascinating built-in heart rate monitor. The monitor tracking seems to be rather an extra sensitive one, and that can slightly affect the readings offered by the Gear Fit. While exercising, the band lets you select the type of activity you are set to embark, which would be running, cycling, walking and hiking. The phone can be left out for running and walking, but is required for GPS in the other two. The lack of the pause option on the Fit can be a massive let down for many people here because the only way to do so is stopping the session entirely. It is expected that Samsung can easily fix this with a small software update. Samsung has also spelled out that it is clearly working to have the device display more accurate results.
The S Health application is a rather closed off one. So far, all your fitness data is stored into this app and cannot to transported or uploaded to another platform. The pedometer and sleep tracker has a lot of scope for improvement, and hopefully the Korean techies will take a good look into this.
The Samsung Gear Fit is more of a notifications friendly device, rather than a replacement for your phone. Reading messages and emails are something you will find very friendly in a device of this sort. Samsung has got this rather correct and managed to keep the two segments quite off each other. However, the Fit does pack a punch of good smartwatch, as well as fitness functions.
Competition, pricing and verdict
The Gear Fit’s competition comes in the form of display-less fitness band Jawbone Up24, which offers more accuracy. The there are cousins, the Gear 2, and the Gear 2 Neo, which offer total smartwatch options, besides fitness ones. The Fitbit Force remains one of the best fitness trackers in the market at present, and that could also be a good competitor to the Gear Fit.
The Samsung Gear Fit is roughly priced around $149 and offers features in between a smartwatch and a fitness band. For that price, it offers a beautiful design and usability are top notch. Performance seems to be what is lagging a little in this beast, and that can easily be fixed with minor software updates. On an overall scale, this should be a pretty handy device to the fitness freaks out there.