The future could be all about wearables. So much so that they could end up eating into the smartphone segment. So those launching smartphones and fitness bands are just testing the waters for what could be the next big disruptor. Samsung launched its first Gear smartwatches last year. This year, it has upgraded the watches and launched the new Gear Fit, meant to be used as a smart fitness band that keeps a tab on your health. Here is what we thought of the Samsung Gear Fit.’
The Gear Fit is not much larger than a ladies watch. In fact, it looks like one too. It is sleek, light weight and sturdy with a plastic strap that makes it good for use in sweaty conditions. My problem with the Fit was the orientation of the screen. With a strip-like LCD, I did not know whether to wear it facing me or with the text facing out. This was when I realised the brilliance of the traditional watch face. But the 1.84” Curved Super AMOLED touchscreen display is great too and adds to the functionality of this device. The Fit has just one button for power. Behind the device is a sensor that acts like the heart rate monitor.
The set-up is amazingly simple and you just need the Gear Fit app to run on your Samsung Galaxy device. We tested the Fit with the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and the instructions popping up on the display were good enough for the entire set up to be completed in a couple of minutes. However, you need to add the apps on the phone and not the Fit. But the apps appear instantaneously on the band and don’t need to pushed there like in the Pebble.
Let’s get one thing clear. This is not a smartwatch. But it has a watch with weather alerts and you don’t need to wear another timepiece with this one on. It also shows notifications from your Galaxy device like in smart watches and it is very easy to read stuff on this OLED screen despite it being quite small. But what this is is a fitness band to the core. So it knows what you are up to, at least when it is told so. Yes, the Fit starts keeping an eye on you after you ask it to. So there are all activity trackers you will need on the band. It can measure your heart rate, quantify your workouts whatever you might be doing — walking, running on cycling. But it doesn’t do anything on the fly. You can tell the pedometer to keep a tab on what you are up to and the reading is quite accurate. The touchscreen is extremely good and works even when you have sweaty hands. The navigation is also swipe based and not complicated. So you wouldn’t have to get off the treadmill to do anything.
The Gear Fit Manager is the hub for controlling and customising the Fit. The app lets you change wall papers, watch styles and layout. It also conencts you to other fitness apps like the S-Health or Lark that use data from the Fit to coach you into a better lifestyle. However, this one does not let you use smartwatch apps likes Evernote.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if you have a new Samsung Galaxy device and you are serious about keeping fit. However, this device is useless for people who don’t own a new Galaxy device. It might be a lure for some of them to actually move to the Samsung ecosystem and that is exactly what the Korean giant wants.