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

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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.

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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.

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Gallery

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