Samsung Gear Fit review

In our review of the Samsung Galaxy S5, we saw that the S Health app didn’t meet our expectations, especially when we checked the heart-rate sensor and the pedometer.

We are highlighting about this because Samsung has started focusing on fitness apps and gadgets; and one such device –a wearable smart watch– which is totally made for fitness freaks was launched at the MWC 2014 along with two other smart watches and the GS5. Yes, the Samsung Gear Fit.

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Gear Fit is priced at Rs 15,450, so is the camera-less Gear 2 Neo the smaller brother of Gear 2. What would you prefer? Gear Fit, Gear 2 Neo or wait for something new and worth of buying?

Is the Gear Fit truly essential for fitness freaks? Let’s find out the answers in the full review of the Samsung Gear Fit below.

PROS

  • Amazing design
  • Nice and smooth curved display
  • IP67 certified
  • Good battery back-up

CONS

  • No external apps support
  • So-so fitness apps
  • Only select Samsung devices supported
  • External dock for charging

DESIGN

Actually, there’s not much to talk about the design. You can customize the Gear Fit by using the inter-changeable straps which are available in six colors –red, orange, green, blue, brown and black.

The strap is made of plastic and we’ve got the black one here with us. The device can easily fit in hands, thanks to both the curved display and the body.

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The Gear Fit is also made of plastic. You can see a silver lining running around the display. Below the main unit, you can spot the charging area (with five golden boxes) and the heart-rate sensor.

The fitness device is IP67 certified – it means that the watch is dust resistant and can be immersed in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes

DISPLAY

Another thing we liked about this device is the curved display. Samsung Gear Fit sports a gorgeous looking 1.84-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display. The screen is silky smooth, so don’t worry about fingerprints and smudges on the Gear Fit. The fitness-device has big bezels, but they are not noticeable due to the glossy black screen.

The smart watch has some basic display settings like brightness, screen timeout, font size and you can even rotate the screen according to your wrist. Now, you can also choose between horizontal or vertical view, thanks to the software update from Samsung.

I liked the vertical one because it seems easier to scroll between apps this way. But alas, notifications and messages could only be read in horizontal mode, which means –lot of scrolling.

SMART WATCH FEATURES

You could totally customize the Gear Fit with pre-installed or custom wallpapers, different styles of clocks, home-screen widgets and more. You can select them from the settings (you’ve to install custom wallpapers and clocks from your phone first).

If you’ve connected the smart watch to your Samsung device via Gear Fit, then you could receive notifications for incoming calls, alarms, missed calls, messages and even emails from Gmail.

You can accept or reject calls from your Gear Fit, but still you have to pick-up your phone to have a conversation as the Gear Fit neither comes with a microphone nor a speaker.

It also has a Double Press feature in which you can open an app of your choice by double-pressing the power button.

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Gear Fit also has a media controller which works just fine as we expected. If your Samsung device is playing a song, you can pause/play and increase/decrease the volume using the smart watch.

An important feature you will find is –Find My Device. If you’ve lost your phone or tablet somewhere, open this app and click the green search icon, then your device will start ringing.

FITNESS FEATURES

Now we come to the fitness part. Samsung Gear Fit packs the same apps you would find in Galaxy S5’s S Health app -Pedometer, Exercise, Heart Rate and Sleep.

Pedometer

I really thought that Gear Fit’s pedometer too would show awkward results like the Galaxy S5. But no, it really works! Gear Fit doesn’t show real-time steps, but it sums-up and shows the steps after you’ve walked around 20 steps; and yes, it also shows distance travelled and calories burned.

You can also set your goal; it can be set between 1000 and 50000 steps.

Exercise

In this feature, you get sub-features like running, walking, cycling and hiking. It shows you real-time heart-rate, and a stop watch also runs along with it. You can set your goal here, too.

Heart Rate

This app is quite difficult and time-taking if you compare it with the Heart Rate app on the Galaxy S5.

On the Galaxy S5, you just have to place your finger on the sensor at the back, and you’re done!

But here, on the Gear Fit, you have to correctly attach the watch on your wrist and sometimes, it shows awkward warnings to clean the sensor and position it correctly.

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The sensor on the watch takes somewhat accurate readings. I am not totally happy with this.

Sleep

After Samsung announced the update, the device also got an app which can track your sleep and make logs regarding the number of hours you sleep. To make it work, you have to click the start button when you go to sleep and press the stop button when you get up. It’s actually –useless.

GEAR FIT MANAGER

To setup the Gear Fit, you need a Samsung device compatible with the smart watch (currently 17 devices are compatible including the GS5). Then you need to install the Gear Fit Manager from Samsung Apps, and then done! Connect both the devices via Bluetooth and maybe you need to install a software upgrade.

The Gear Fit Manager helps you to change the basic settings of the Gear Fit like the notifications and other small functions.

You can also transfer your S Health data on your smart watch to your phone via this manger. Pedometer data can be automatically transferred and you can even set the time interval between the transfers.

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I also liked the Home screen styler by which you can set wallpapers, cool-looking clocks and change the layout of the apps in the Gear Fit.

WRAP-UP

That’s it! This is our review of the Samsung Gear Fit. If you ask our views on this fitness smart watch, we’ll say that it has all the basic stuff for a person focusing on his/her fitness but it still lacks some features.

As I mentioned above, Samsung Gear 2 Neo is also priced at Rs 15,450. It has 3rd party app support and it can also be used as a remote for TVs. Gear 2 Neo also sports the heart-rate, pedometer and exercise apps found on the Gear Fit.

Now, it’s your choice whether to consider Gear Fit or Gear 2 Neo. It would be really good for Samsung if it would come up with a software update with some more useful fitness apps and introduce 3rd party apps in the Gear Fit.

Anand B
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