Samsung Gear Fit2 review: It could have been so much more

Posted:  October 18, 2016   By:    15 comments   


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Apart from making smartwatches like the Gear S2 and the new Gear S3, Samsung has not forgotten about their fitness wearable segment. The latest incarnation of Samsung’s fitness bands, the Gear Fit2 certainly sports quite a few upgrades compared to its predecessor. Read on to find out what we think.

Build

In terms of looks, it is rather similar to the original Gear Fit, with the same curved screen and rubbery strap. They have however streamlined it so its face merges seamlessly into its colourful strap; which is available in Blue, Black and Pink. It features a touch-enabled 1.5″ curved AMOLED (216×432) display, 512MB RAM, 200mAH battery, built-in GPS and 4GB internal storage which you can load music into. Yes, the Fit2 can also stream music to any Bluetooth-enabled audio device.

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The textured rubber straps come in two sizes, S size which would accommodate wrists 125-170mm in diameter and L which will accommodate 155-210mm. We don’t know if Samsung will be making more strap options available in the future, but we hope they make more colour options available at least.

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Also, you’ll find no open ports on the Gear Fit2. Instead, the charging is handled via a charging dock. This is to ensure the device remains dust and waterproof up to an IP68 rating. Overall we do like the fit of the watch, and it did rest very snugly on our wrists without sliding around so it definitely gets comfort points.

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Performance

In a nutshell, the Gear Fit2 is somewhere between a proper smartwatch and a fitness tracker. It has all the usual features like a heart rate sensor,  step counter and will happily sync to your S-Health app so you can keep track of your progress. You can even compete with friends who also have the Gear Fit2 to see who can record the most steps in a day.

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On top of that, you get a bunch of different screens which you can customise from a range of apps at your disposal, which goes from the usual all the way to tracking your daily coffee and water intake. You should be able to add more apps but as of the moment, you can’t download much from Samsung’s store, and sadly Spotify support is only available for those in the US.

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That basically takes away a lot of functionality from the Gear Fit2, making it more a glorified fitness tracker with a nice screen than it is a smartwatch.

Also, if you want to listen to music from the Gear Fit2, you will have to manually transfer the music from your phone via your Gear manager as the cradle doesn’t seem to transfer data. Thankfully it’s a pretty straightforward process, though it isn’t the fastest.

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The screen however, is one of nicer ones we’ve seen. The colours are sharp and crispy and it’s pretty easy to see outdoors, though it’s a tad bit glossy. It’s made with Gorilla Glass 3 so it’s essentially scratch resistant.

The apps generally work fine too, so in terms of inbuilt functions, we don’t have anything to complain about. Even if the watch does bug us to get up if we’ve been sitting for too long.

Last but not least, it is compatible with any Android 4.4 device and above, but you will have to install additional apps to get it to play nice with the Gear Fit2. If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy device, you won’t need to install anything more than the Samsung Gear app.

Battery life

As far as battery life is concerned, we’re quite impressed. Granted you won’t be getting a week’s worth of power like on a Fitbit, but you will be getting about 4 days worth of battery life between charges on normal use. As for charging, it will take you about 90 minutes to go from zero to full, which isn’t half bad for the amount of juice you get out of the Gear Fit2.

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If you are streaming music from it to your IconX or a Bluetooth device, expect it to wind down a bit faster, but it depends on your usage. When your battery gets low, it will prompt you to switch on low-power mode; which turns your screen to monochrome and restricts tracking to the bare essentials.

Verdict

As a whole, we feel that the Gear Fit2 is trying to have the best of both worlds, being just as much a fitness device as it is a smartwatch. However, the lack of available apps does make it fall slightly flat, and that beautiful screen feels like it’s gone to waste.

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However, we do dig the ergonomics of it and it more or less does what is advertised on the tin, but it could have been so much more. At RM 699 you probably won’t find many fitness bands that come cheaper than the Gear Fit2. The Fitbit Charge 2 is pricier and it falls short on display, comfort and functionality. We do hope that Samsung will eventually buff up their app availability for the region so the Gear Fit2 can really shine.

Gallery

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Mobile Accessories, Product review, Samsung
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15 Comments for Samsung Gear Fit2 review: It could have been so much more

stormtroller

will it explode? (͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

leepc

can it be use on IOS iPhone devices?

    soyacincau

    Unfortunately, no. Compatible only with devices running on Android 4.4 and above.

dse

"It could have been so much more"??
Why this title? After I read the article, I fail to see how you point out the lacking features that are expected but failed to deliver?

You pointed out this is a bridge between typical fitness band (which you acknowledged is pricier) and a Full fledged smart watch (which is way pricier). And you also observed the somewhat good battery life.

And this device can fulfill its fitness duties of tracking all the vitals, with GPS, storage, good screen and water proving, good fitting, music streaming. Just "what could have been SO MUCH more"? are you referring to the price??

The only weakness you highlight was the limitation of getting more apps at the moment, which, what exactly are the apps you feel wanting with this device? Are you mindful that it is fundamentally not a smartwatch?

    soyacincau

    There's nothing wrong with the Gear Fit2. For its hardware and screen, it is quite affordable when compared to the competition. It is just that for something with a display this good, it's a pity that apps are limited especially Spotify which was one of the things we looked forward to.

      Peter Hill

      Hold on, there are many things wrong with it. The device has major major Gps problems, there is a thread on The Samsung support forum accruing around 10 comments a day. If the gear fit 2 is connected to the phone when starting an excersizes it will piggyback the gps signal from the phone. Under this circumstance, the watch will NOT secure it’s own gps signal if you move away from the phone – I.e. unless you take the phone with you, you lose gps. Worse still, any time the watch and phone have been connected the watch will cache location data received from the phone and will not secure a gps signal in independence. The only solution for this, is to disable Bluetooth and WiFi in the watch and then restart it to clear the gps cache, THEN start the excersize. This process has been tested and verified by users on the support forum – disconnect and restart gives reliabke signal every single time – any connection to the phone means the watch can’t find its own signal.
      Samsung however, has refused to acknowledge the issue and offer a solution, and it seems every single reviewer fails to note this issue as well.

        RoarLions

        I just read an article that the GPS caching is addressed (or will be shortly) in a software update. That the only drawback I see to this device. Apparently they cached the GPS to give the watch better battery life.

        andrew

        yes what peter say is correct..this watch still has many flaws..it is now my toy watch..gps sux and is not standalone.

RoarLions

Wait. This fitness tracker has the Best display of any watch, heart rate monitor, GPS!, 4 gigs of storage to play music from, does advanced notification including phone, email, text and third party app notifications, AND costs less than any of the comparable fitness trackers…. And it “could have been so much more”? Sheesh.

Sandy

It’s good for walking , cycling but you have to be really careful I lost first one the band kept coming undone I ordered a new band with a buckle to try to keep it on while walking but lost it the day my band was delivered the next one I had new bands had to take to jewelry store to have it put on and so far so good it was not as easy to change bands as it says the first time but changing it second time was easier

Lisa Deschamps

How much for this item I currently have last year’s model I just love this absolutely

Liz

Actually it isn’t thst great of a fitness tracker. Even though you have the heart rate which is nice samsung dies not base your calories burned off of your heart rate. It didn’t matter if I ran or walked if I went 30 minutes on the treadmill I always burned 185 calories. This is not the case with the fitbit blaze or the apple watch which I have used both. With the apple watch and fitbit the calories burned were based on your heart rate which is more accurate.

    PPD

    Everybody here seems to do a better review and give more insightful information than Soyacincau's review.

    70% of the content they wrote can be known by reading the spec sheet.

    I wonder they even take it out for a jog or cycle to just see whether the GPS works, and review it as a fitness tool. The review "could have been SO MUCH better" .

    Spotify missing a big deal?! Oh please…

    Lasted 4 days of 'Normal' use? What's a normal use to you? wear and go office? What about a run of 5km everyday with GPS on? That's abnormal use?

Miss Naughty

Wah. I like.

Tany32

Wow !!