Samsung Gear Fit2 Review
Last July, Samsung introduced its new fitness wearables here in the Philippines, namely, the Gear IconX wireless earbuds and the Gear Fit2 which is the successor to 2014’s Gear Fit. While we finalize the tests for the IconX, we will first take a look at this fitness band and see what it offers.
Design and Construction
The Fit2 employs a curved 1.5-inch screen and, being a Samsung device, the company also implemented their Super AMOLED technology which is known for their deep blacks and vibrant colors. There’s a thin bezel on both sides but they’re not too visible while in use and in general.
Its chassis is made of metal so it’s tough enough to withstand the beatings of everyday use.
The heart rate sensor is located underneath and goes in direct contact with the skin. Additionally, the right side is where the wake/back and menu buttons are placed.
The device is secured using a metal nub that locks to the dedicated holes in the band. In our experience, it latched comfortably and didn’t come off unintentionally.
The Gear Fit2 charges wirelessly using a dedicated dock included in the package. It sticks sideways and holds its position with the use of magnets.
The band comes off by pressing the small button which releases the locking mechanism. Due to the way the band attaches to the device, you will need Fit2-specific replacements for it.
There are two choices for its band — small and large. We have the latter that fits wrists from 155 – 200mm in length.
Apart from the given features like heart rate monitoring and step-tracking, the Fit2 also comes with other features to help keep track of your lifestyle and further improve the user experience. You may first watch the short video above showing the UI and basic functions to further understand some of the following features.
Its built-in GPS tracks your route, distance, and speed while doing activities. We used it for cycling and walking and it provided the route we took as it was shown on a map together with the other stats during the activity.
Auto Activity Tracking
The purpose of this is that you can still view your activity/workout so you wouldn’t have to manually log every exercise you do. It recorded other activities correctly, like walking for a few kilometers. However, there were times it would say that we’re cycling but in reality, we were just driving a car. So that’s something that still needs to be polished or calibrated.
The Fit2 also acts as a standalone controller for your music needs. When jogging with earphones connected to your smartphone, for example, you can use the Fit2 to play, pause, skip track, or adjust the volume. Of course, it needs to be paired to the phone via Bluetooth. Additionally, users can upload songs onto its built-in 4GB internal storage to play and control music straight from the wrist.
With an IP68-certified body, it can be subjected to splashes of water (up to 1.5 meters for as long as 30 minutes) but you still couldn’t go swimming with it. It’s not a deal breaker but it would be one step closer to being the perfect activity tracker if it has that capability.
Together is a feature of the Fit2 for comparing stats with friends and family. Samsung believes that competition is a great motivator and with this function, you will be able to see who’s leading and who took the most steps.
Pairing the Fit2 with a smartphone requires both the Samsung Gear app and S Health app. The former is for all the settings of the device and downloading additional watch faces, while the latter is for viewing a detailed list of the activity and sleep that you log.
Running on Tizen OS, we didn’t experience any hiccups on its UI or overall performance. Navigating through the device was always fluid and responsive thanks to its 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM.
The Fit2 uses its gyroscope to detect whenever you look at your watch to check the time or check other stats. When you twist your wrist and bring it up (just like how you would look at the time on a regular watch), the display turns on. Putting your wrist down deactivates the screen.
There was a learning curve in waking up the display during the first day when we try to look at the time as it sometimes didn’t turn on. We would say about 30% of the time we still needed to press the wake button to check the time. Although after a few days, we found out that there’s a specific angle to effectively wake up the screen hands-free.
Notifications are also one thing that we liked from this device. As long as it’s paired to a smartphone, every incoming message or Facebook updates is thrown to the Fit2 so you wouldn’t need to whip out your handset every time you receive something. It’s very useful when you’re driving or busy working since one glance is all you need to see the updates.
There is also an auto-reply feature for messages. You can choose from a number of prepared responses like “OK,” “No,” “Good to know,” “Roger that” and you can even create your own auto-reply and save it to use later on. Small things like these, although simple, are helpful during day-to-day usage.
The Fit2 carries a 200mAh battery which is not a lot considering it powers a full-colored display. During our use with constant Bluetooth communication to our handset and activity tracking, it lasted two whole days. After that, you’d be forced to put it back on its charging cradle.
One good thing, though, is that it charges fast — around less than an hour from 0 to 100%.
The Gear Fit2 indeed provides its users a handful of information on a daily basis. From showing your heart rate during the most intense part of your exercise, logging your jogging route, how many flights of stairs you climbed, and even down to logging how many cups of water and coffee you’ve consumed for the day/week.
It aims to be worn 24/7 with its activity and sleep tracking functionalities. Although if swimming is part of your exercise, you wouldn’t be able to bring the device with you. Apart from that, the only time we removed the Fit2 from our wrist was when taking a shower. We take this time to charge the device to make sure we’ve got enough juice for the rest of the day.
The Samsung Gear Fit2 is priced at Php8,490 and is now available in Samsung concept stores.
Samsung Gear Fit2 specs:
1.5-inch, Curved Super AMOLED 216 x 432
Dual Core (1GHz)
512MB RAM / 4GB Storage
Accelerometer, Gyro, HRM, Built-in GPS, Barometer
IP68 certified (up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5m of water)
Standalone music player
24.5 (W) x 51.2 (D) mm
Black, blue and pink
What we liked about it:
- AMOLED display
- Sporty band
- Fast charging
- Detailed stats
- Inactivity alerts
What we didn’t like:
- Auto activity tracking is a hit-and-miss
- Not waterproof