Samsung Gear Fit review

Samsung Gear Fit review

T3 4
  • Samsung's debut fitness tracker packs an AMOLED screen and heart rate monitor but can it compete? Find out in our Samsung Gear Fit review

    Samsung Gear Fit review

    Love

    • Screen
    • HR tracking
    • Sheer wearability

    Hate

    • Samsung handset lock-in
    • Pedometer accuracy
    • Bulk ruins sleep tracking

    The Samsung Gear Fit lands at a seminal moment for the fitness band market. From the early Fitbit-style pedometers and chunky GPS units through the recent crop of wearable fitness trackers that feature built-in screens (such as the Polar Loop and LG Lifeband Touch) we've never had so broad a choice of wrist-mounted fitness trackers.

    The Samsung Gear Fit fits neatly into the ecosystem in many ways, and jars with it in a few – most notably in that it's designed specifically to complement the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the brand's recent phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

    Although many of the fitness options work in standalone mode, all alerts are pushed via Bluetooth 4.0 from a mobile handset, and synching with Samsung's S-health app is the intended destination for all your health data.

    Samsung Gear Fit: Size and Build

    Once you've got past the glorious curved AMOLED screen (more on this below) you're looking at a fairly standard fitness band setup. At a mere 27 grams, and measuring 23.4 x 57.4 x 11.95mm, the Samsung Gear Fit is eminently wearable, although slightly too bulky to be useful as a sleep tracker in our opinion, in spite of this being an option.

    WATCH: Samsung Gear Fit unboxing and first impressions video

    The simple rubber strap is removable and features a 2-stud push closure, similar to many other fitness bands. Various colours and styles including Black, Orange and Mocha Grey are available to customise your look. The whole shebang is IP67 Dust and Water Resistant, which essentially means you can shower wearing it, but not swim. 

    Samsung Gear Fit: Screen

    The screen is what raises the Samsung Gear Fit above the pack of everyday fitness bands. It's a gorgeous 1.84-inch Curved Super AMOLED (432x128) sliver of vividness that's searingly bright even in direct sun, and even lets you switch backgrounds to any image (once synced across from your Samsung phone or tablet) . Text is super clear, and the touchscreen functioned superbly during testing given the small real estate.

  • Samsung is the latest brand to launch a fitness band but what does its debut offer? Find out in our Samsung Gear Fit hands-on review

    Samsung Gear Fit review

    Love

    • Screen
    • HR tracking
    • Sheer wearability

    Hate

    • Samsung handset lock-in
    • Pedometer accuracy
    • Bulk ruins sleep tracking

    While it’s fair to say that the Samsung Gear 2 was widely anticipated, the Gear Fit came as something more of a surprise. Launched alongside the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Gear Fit is the company's first foray into the increasingly crowded fitness band category. So how do they fare? Article continues after the video.

    Samsung Gear Fit: Size & build

    Weighing in at a sylph-like 27g, the first thing you’ll notice about the Gear Fit is the screen. It’s all screen. The 1.84-inch curved AMOLED screen is everything to this device, and it’s certainly a step up from competitors like the Nike+ Fuelband SE, which are stuck with retro-dot matrix displays.

    This packs a real visual punch. It’s also IP67 rated, so casual dampness shouldn’t destroy it, and dust from those desert training runs shouldn’t kill it either. The strap is removable for that personalisable effect, with the central pod popping in and out relatively easily.

    The band itself is slightly disappointing, the dual-pin fastening being slightly clunky to operate in our brief hands-on. The wakeup button is plastic, but neatly positioned, it’ll be hard to trigger accidentally.

    Samsung Gear Fit: Features

    Screen aside, the Gear Fit brings a host of functionality from the other gear devices as well as connecting with the new Samsung Galaxy S5. Bearing that in mind, many of the real-time coaching aspects are the same, as is the fitness manager. The real key to success here is that these are all operational independent of a phone handset.

    Exercises are synced back to the cloud once a phone is paired, but the band can deliver on its own. Other features include realtime coaching, such as setting and managing Heart Rate targets during exercise. Other alerts include email, SMS, incoming call alert, missed calls, alarms and calendar alerts from S-planner.

    Samsung Gear Fit: Apps

     

    Samsung has promised 100 plus apps for launch, but there’s enough here already to compete with most existing sport bands.

    Samsung Gear Fit: Verdict

    Our hands-on with the Samsung Gear Fit was tantalising indeed – given decent battery life and your choice of app partners this could be the best sports band by far. However, the accuracy of the HR and the partners will be vital - it’ll be fascinating to get this out on the road for a full test.

    Samsung Gear Fit release date: April 2014

    Samsung Gear Fit price: TBC

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