Samsung as a brand is known to rule the consumer electronics space on so many levels. With the new Samsung Gear Fit2, the brand is overlapping between a smart watch and a fitness tracker. This device shares hardware from both the Gear Fit and the Gear S2, which gives it immense power and loads to feature to create something new in the category of fitness tracking.
This fitness tracker is not offering something new that you won’t already have in a smart watch or a fitness tracker but it is offering you a mix of features from both the devices in a cost effective hardware. Let’s unearth the true potential of the new Samsung Gear Fit2 and see what it has to offer you.
The Good and The Bad of Samsung Gear Fit2
Refined look with design
Heart rate monitoring
Brighter and better AMOLED display
Onboard music storage for up to 1,000 songs
Automatic exercise detection.
No iOS support
Short battery life
Lacks alarm function
Can’t wear in the shower or while swimming
Features of Samsung Gear Fit2
On the first look the differently designed screen of the Samsung Gear Fit2 will get your attention. The large 1.5 inch AMOLED screen gives this device a more conventional watch look as compared to its predecessor. The new textured strap is also an improvement over the old design and gives this fitness tracker a sporty look.
The AMOLED display has a resolution of 432 x 216 with color touchscreen. The screen has bright and crisp display and data can be read on the screen without straining the eyes. Made from the Gorilla Glass 3, Samsung has ensured that the device screen is able to withstand any sort of stress and handling. We even dropped ours by mistake and it landed on the screen, but there was no crack or scratch on the screen. We think the Samsung Gear Fit2 can be trusted to be the most rugged fitness tracker around. The strap is equally quality material made from elastomer that.
As far as the size of this gadget is concerned, the Samsung Gear Fit2 is available for almost the same size as its predecessor. Except with this fitness tracker you get two sizes-small and large. For most people it is not much of a feature, but those of you who have small wrists will know how important it is to have small wrist sizes in such devices. The one button prong design of the strap makes it easy, fast and comfortable to wear this fitness tracker.
Both the sizes of the Samsung Gear Fit2 have no difference in resolution, battery, display size or features, the only exception is the larger version of the tracker is 2 grams heavier than the smaller one at 30 grams. Samsung is also offering more color options to choose from including pink, black and blue.
Auto tracking is somewhat a requirement in every fitness device these days and the Samsung Gear Fit2 delivers upon the same. It can auto detect all your activities like steps, calories, distance, sleep and can even recognize when you are on a rowing machine, doing squats or riding a bike. The Samsung Gear Fit2 keeps tracks of all your activities and prepares a 24 hour log to let you know what were you doing in the last 24 hours. In the log it also accounts for the time when you were not wearing the fitness tracker.
Sleeping tracking with the Samsung Gear Fit2 is somewhat irky as every metric is synched with S Health. For users like me, who are used to the simple interface of Fitbit and Jawbone apps, this is a little bit of a problem. But you should know that I found the sleep tracking by the device flawless as it was able to accurately log when I was asleep and awake.
Like most of its competitors, the Samsung Gear Fit2 also offers you an option to log your water and caffeine intake. You can manually record the intake of water and caffeine against the set goal of limiting caffeine and healthy water consumption.
Heart monitoring is another forte of this fitness tracker. This device monitors your heart rate every 10 minutes, but during activities, it continuously tracks your heart rate. You can also set the tracker to manually operate the heart rate monitor to save battery life. In some sports mode like rowing you don’t get the heart rate tracking option. We tested the heart rate tracking of the device and unfortunately it gets erroneous during high intensity workouts. In our review the heart beat was off by 15 beats per minutes when compared with a chest strap monitor. However the resting heart rate monitoring of the device is a lot steadier.
Optical heart rate monitor use in most of the wearables is making it difficult for these devices to accurately monitor heart rate. With Samsung Gear Fit2 it was more so, as on comparison with Garmin and Fitbit devices we found it falling back. Therefore, if you are serious about the heart rate monitoring data and need it for more than average fitness goals, you should consider some other fitness trackers.
The Samsung Gear Fit2 is loaded with GPS, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, accelerometer and barometer. Although there is no altimeter in this device, it still can detect your steps when you climb up the stairs. The inbuilt GPS frees you from carrying your phone around when you are running or cycling. A distinctive feature about this fitness tracker is you can see your route map on the screen along with your running pace.
You can manually select your workout from the options or the Samsung Gear Fit2 will automatically detect it for you. Once detected you can set goals for the workout and track your progress. If you don’t want to keep looking at your tracking or check the app for status, the Samsung Gear Fit2 can read out status update to you at various intervals. Auto tracking is reliably accurate as I found out on most of my workouts. Once the fitness tracker detects that you are in an activity, it starts logging the data and displays the metrics on the screen. It also vibrates to inform you about various developments during the activity.
Overall the fitness tracking with the Samsung Gear Fit2 is impressive for most people. But if you are someone whose goals fall beyond general fitness and you use a dedicated fitness device, this fitness tracker won’t fascinate you that much.
To save battery, Samsung has not made the screen always on. The display turns off when you are not looking at it. There is raise-to-activate gesture, that requires you to lift your arm to awake the screen, but we found the gesture not working as expected. With the touchscreens problem is you cannot operate those when you are working out out or running, the Fit2 suffers from the same. No button means you have precisely swipe through an option to get the data you are looking for.
GPS performance of the Samsung Gear Fit2 is satisfactory. In our review, we found the GPS works a lot better is some areas while sometimes lags by 20 seconds before it can lock our position. Altogether you can take the benefit of this GPS enabled fitness tracker to route your run.
You get Tizen powered 4 GB storage and 512 MB RAM in the Samsung Gear Fit2. All the heavy lifting for the device is done by Samsung’s very own dual-core processor. The UI of Tizen is a lot simpler and much efficient. As the layout of the interface is vertical instead of horizontal, reading data and using features is easier.
With a down swipe you reach the shortcut menu where you find the music player, brightness adjustment and ‘do not disturb’. It is here where you can check the battery level of the device along with Bluetooth device connection status. Swipe right and you have the notification screen where you can read them and clear them as well. To turn off the screen you can cover it with your palm.
The Gear Fit2 do not rely on the touchscreen only you are also provided with two buttons on the right side. The top one is the back button while the bottom one is home button. The latter will bring up all the apps you can use in the device, swipe up or down to navigate through the apps. This is somewhat a smartwatch function, but is nice to use and makes accessing apps easier in the Gear Fit2.
You can control the music player on your phone with the Gear Fit2 but its 4 GB internal storage provides you enough space to store hundreds of songs. What’s even more interesting is, you can also use Spotify with this device. You need to download the app on your phone and then you can shuffle, repeat, skip and save songs directly from Spotify. If that’s not enough, you can even control the Alexa speaker connected to your phone through this fitness tracker.
Notifications and apps
There is limited notification on this device, you get alerts for calls, text, apps, calendar and email. You can double tap the notifications to read the message and can also reply with pre-written messages and emoticons. However, you can use reply function only for Facebook Messenger and the native Samsung messenger app.
The Gear Fit2 app is a simple and easy to use software. You get S Health inbuilt in the app. The Gear manager app lets you adjust the watch faces, settings and apps for the device. Your fitness tracking data is available in different section. It is not wise to keep setting and fitness data separately, but most fitness trackers seem to follow the norm. Also no compatibility to the iOS platform is a major drawback of the app that keeps the device from reaching some potential users.
Battery and compatibility
The Gear Fit2 is powered by a 200 mAh battery that can last for 3 to 4 days. The battery life is a flaw and we were disappointed how fast battery power drains on using the device for daily fitness tracking. In our review, we found on using notifications and fitness trackers continuously, the battery lasted for 2 days. If you want to use the battery power conservatively, you can tweak the notifications, screen brightness and some other functions.
Speaking of compatibility, the Gear Fit2 is a lot better than the Gear S. You won’t find the Bluetooth connectivity issues in this fitness tracker. However, the device app is not compatible with iOS and for Android users it is necessary to have version 4.4 or above. This is a huge disappointment, especially if you are an iPhone user.
Reasons to choose Samsung Gear Fit2
The Gear Fit2 is an improvement over the original Gear S and we bet you will like it for its amazing AMOLED touchscreen display. With inbuilt GPS and heart rate monitoring you can keep a tab on your ticker and position. Various sports mode gives specialized data metrics related to the activity that makes it easier to improve the workout.
Notifications for third party apps are available. You can reply to your Facebook Messenger friends with pre-written messages and emoticons using the Gear Fit2 directly. On the inbuilt storage, you can store up to 1,000 songs and connect the device to Bluetooth speakers.
Samsung Gear Fit2 is a worthwhile consideration for its accurate fitness tracking, advanced app features and sturdy built.
With the Samsung Gear Fit2, Samsung has worked on the flaws of the original Gear S and introduced a better Android-friendly device. It is a great looking and stylish fitness band that overlaps between a fitness tracker and a smart watch. With Gorilla Glass AMOLED screen, GPS and heart rate monitor, it is a value for money device.