While smartwatch shipments might be down across the world, fitness bands is where most vendors are focussing, according to the research firm IDC. While buyers are still confused on what purpose the smartwatch serves, there seems to be no such question when it comes to a fitness band.
In India, the wearables markets has just started to grow, with players like Xiaomi, Goqii, and Fitbit starting to make inroads. In June 2016, the wearables segment had crossed over 400,000 shipments, which is a modest start at best. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is another such wearable in the Indian market, designed to challenge bigger players like Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, Garmin, etc which offer some solid fitness bands. Priced at Rs 13,990, Samsung Gear Fit 2 comes with a heart-rate sensor as well. But is it worth the price tag? Here’s our review:
Specifications: 1.5-inch curved SAMOLED display (216 x 432 pixels) | 1GHz dual core processor | 512 MB RAM + 4GB storage | 200 mAh battery | Water resistant | Heart-rate sensor | Gyroscope, Barometer, Accelerometer | Compatible with Android 4.4 or higher
Price: Rs 13,990
Samsung Gear Fit 2
The Gear Fit 2 has a slightly bigger display compared to its earlier version, and I got the blue colour option for review. Unlike the previous version which ran on RTOS, this one is a Tizen OS device, just like the Samsung Gear S2, S3 smartwatches. The Gear Fit 2 comes in two sizes, Small and Large, and the strap can be adjusted to tighten it and get a better fit. Since I was wearing the larger band, I had to do this most of the time. But this fitness band is quite easy to wear and manage.
The Gear Fit has a home button, and two up/down buttons on top of it. Just like with the Gear S2 watch, you can choose custom watch faces for the Gear Fit 2. Below the Watch face, your daily step count is reflected. Just tap on the step count and you’ll be able to see the data for the entire week. Press the home button to exit. You can also keep swiping left from the watch face to see some quick stats like Steps, Activity, Water Intake, Heart-rate sensor, etc. Also when you plan to start an activity like walking, you can swipe left and just hit start walking. In order to change the activity, tap on the activity and the menu with other choices shows up. Choose what you want to do and set a target according to timing, etc.
There’s also a Swipe down menu from the top, with which you can control brightness, the music player, and see the battery levels.
I like the Gear Fit 2 for not being too bulky, which is always a plus in fitness bands. I don’t like wearing fitness bands to bed, and in this one the screen kept coming alive during bedtime which I thought was a nuisance. However, I did wear it to bed quite regularly to track of my sleep. The Gear Fit 2 synced easily with an Android smartphone (Moto Z in my case), although you need to download the S Health App, the Samsung Gear App and the Gear Fit2 Plugin to set up everything and get the data recording going. Why Samsung couldn’t stick with one app is unclear to me.
So what’s good?
Gear Fit 2 is a good fitness band for those who like to mix up their fitness routines. If you’re someone who goes to the gym, but also like to take walks or go running or even cycle around in your city, the Gear Fit 2 is equipped to deal with all of these tasks and track them well. The Gear Fit 2 also comes enabled with GPS, so you can eventually see a map of where you walked, cycled, and ask it to create guidance as well for longer hikes.
I have used the Fitness band for cycling and walking, I found it to be quite accurate in terms of time, and map log of where I went. These weren’t heavy duty exercise sessions, but the Gear Fit 2 is great for those keeping a track of their activities and wish to see all the data instantly. The S-health app gives a more detailed picture of the session with heart-rate, calories, map log, etc all shown neatly. Just tap on the activity, like say Cycling and you can see the trends data as well.
The Gear Fit 2 is also a great device for tracking your sleep. I used it more during some afternoon naps on the weekend, and it was accurate on that front as well. For my night sleep sessions, I find the Gear Fit 2 got the data mostly right. The S Health app is where all the data is collaborated and you can tap on on the sleep session to see light sleep, motionless sleep etc.
Gear Fit 2 also counts your daily steps as well as floor targets. It will prompt you move when you have been stationary for too long, just like other fitness bands on the market. I mostly obeyed this thing when it would buzz. It mostly gets the step count right, but there were times when I could see it overclocking. For instance, one while I was in bed my step count went up, which is ridiculous.
What’s not good?
Gear Fit 2 comes with its own proprietary charger, and I found myself charging this device at least twice a week, even with my activities being not so extensive. So yeah be prepared to carry the charger everywhere. I feel the battery life on this needs to be longer.
The step count accuracy can be improved. I’m also not sure how it is calculating daily floor count. I certainly am not climbing 10 sets of Floors a day, and there was one particular weekend where it told me I had completed my target for daily floors climbed. I had not even left the house, so I’m not sure what happened here.
Should you buy?
The Gear Fit 2 is one of the pricier options in the market, especially if you consider Fitbit Charge 2, or Fitbit Alta 2, Garmin VivoSmart 2, Misfit Shine 2, etc. I’m not impressed with the battery life, although I’d say this is better suited to those who like to do more than one activity for fitness. Gear Fit 2 is pretty accurate for sleep and activities, even if the step count is off in some instances. The Gear Fit 2 will also show notifications from your smartphone, and has GPS as well, but it’s not entirely swim-proof. The Gear Fit 2 can definitely be added to your list of wearbles if you are in the market to buy one, and don’t mind spending a little extra.