Review Price to be confirmed
Samsung Gear Fit review: First Impressions
The Samsung Gear Fit finally shows some wearable promiseHaving ventured into the wearables market last autumn with the indifferent Galaxy Gear, Samsung’s second coming shows a lot more promise. The Samsung Gear Fit has been unveiled as a dedicated fitness tracker.
Lining up alongside the more generalised smartwatch offerings of the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, the Samsung Gear Fit offers wrist-based fitness tracking and will sync seamlessly with your Galaxy branded handset using lower power Bluetooth 4.0.
I took to the floors of MWC 2014 to see if Samsung’s first dedicated fitness tracker can cut it against the Nike FuelBand SE and Fitbit Flex.
Watch our Samsung Gear Fit video:
Samsung Gear Fit: DesignThe Samsung Gear Fit shows that Samsung is capable of making premium mobile products. The wearable is an aesthetically pleasing offering which is attractive enough to be worn for general everyday use.
As a running and fitness accessory, the hypoallergenic rubberised strap felt extremely comfortable while on. The clasp was easy to adjust with one hand for a more tailored fit on the move. Unlike the Galaxy Gear, I did not find the Fit in any way cumbersome. It weighs a minimal 27g and is a reasonable 11.95mm thick.
For those after customisation options, the straps are easily interchangeable, with orange, black and mocha colour schemes to be available at launch. To change, the centre unit can easily be popped loose in seconds. Both the strap and device are IP67 dust and water resistant meaning it should be fine when faced with those winter runs in the rain.
The Samsung Gear Fit features a single physical button. Fortunately, the side-mounted power/lock button is located out-of-the-way of stray fingers during use.
Like the Adidas miCoach Smart Run, the Samsung Gear Fit features an integrated heart rate sensor. This monitor is located on the device’s underside, next to the proprietary charging connection. I found the sensor to have been applied brilliantly, offering instant feedback without being obtrusive – or indeed noticeable.
Samsung Gear Fit: ScreenThe Samsung Gear Fit’s screen is what sets it apart from rival fitness trackers. The 1.84-inch curved Super AMOLED screen is sharp and vibrant. Compared with the basic LED display on the Nike FuelBand, the Fit is on another level.
After first use I have been left hugely impressed and can’t wait for a further play.
The screen’s gentle curve aids the wearable’s design too. Hugging the natural shape of the wrist, the curve helps the Fit sit as, or more comfortably than most standard watches I’ve worn in the past.
The Fit’s screen features a 432 x 128 pixel resolution. Although this might look low on paper, in practice it is more than ample for such a compact and narrow display. All text, although small, was easy to read and suitably sharp. Graphics were detailed with bright colours.
The downside of this impressive screen is sure to be the hit it will have on battery life. Samsung’s claimed ‘typical usage times’ of 3-4 days fill me with concern. In reality this is more like to be two days, tops – a lifespan that, for a wearable, is too disruptive to your general life.
Although the Samsung Gear Fit screen has impressed on first use, I would like to see how its touch capabilities stand up to being controlled by sweaty fingers during a run. This will be tested during our full review at a later date.
Samsung Gear Fit FeaturesDespite its compact size, the Samsung Gear Fit is packed full of features. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Gear, however, the Fit has, for the most part, kept the functionality to the required and the beneficial.
Based on the Tizen OS, the Samsung Gear Fit is easy to navigate. Icons are clear and the screen’s responsiveness is second to none. Hosting the standard collection of an inbuilt pedometer and gyroscope sensors, the Gear Fit is capable of monitoring all of your walking or running activity.
Connecting easily and seamlessly with a range of 17 Samsung Galaxy devices, including the new Samsung Galaxy S5, the Gear Fit allows you to control the phone’s media player from your wrist and receive call and messaging notifications. Of these connected features, I found the media controller and well-integrated ‘Find my Phone’ features to be particularly useful based on first tests.
Sadly I have been left disappointed by Samsung’s reluctance to make its wearables compatible with other manufacturer’s phones. This is a major drawback and one which could hamper an otherwise strong fitness tracker.
One thing missing from the band, which could put off some running enthusiasts, is integrated GPS. The Fit will not be able to log your run locations. For most, though distance metrics are more than likely to suffice.
Samsung Gear Fit: First ImpressionsDepending on price – which has yet to be finalised – the Samsung Gear Fit looks like a strong proposition. The fitness tracker is well designed, comfortable and features a stunning display. If it was made compatible with rivals’ phones, Samsung could have stolen the market. As it is, it will impress a market within a market.
The Samsung Gear Fit is set to hit the UK in April.