We analyze the Samsung Gear Fit 2, Samsung’s high-end sports smartband: half bracelet half smartwatch, which lands with important innovations including the internal memory to play music and the built-in GPS support to work without the mobile.
An insurance bet
Samsung surprised everyone two years ago with the launch of the Samsung Gear Fit, a sporty smartband trying to take quantifying wristbands to the next level. That experiment came out in a thousand wonders as the audience responded positively to a product that shone thanks to its curved screen and practical design, with more than 250,000 bookings in just 10 days.
The success of the original Gear Fit prompted Samsung to position itself within a market segment where even nothing coexisted only native brands. Two years later the competition within fitness wristbands is huge, not least because of Fitbit’s dramatic growth or the foray of brands like Garmin or TomTom into highly popular, audience-oriented products.
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is presented with important innovations compared to the previous generation that highlight it as one of the most balanced bracelets on the market thanks to its fantastic display and its wide possibilities, extended this time thanks to the incorporation of a GPS sensor and the increase of internal memory up to 4 GB.
Then in this analysis of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 we will assess its main characteristics, its greatest strengths and also its weaknesses with the aim of answering the million question, is it worth buying?
An even more attractive design
Samsung already took the praise of half the world two years ago with the release of the original Gear Fit, which this time is renewed with a design with a strong sporty character that is comfortable and practical, two features that say a lot in favor of such a wearable.
The bracelet is still made of plastic, which a priori may not seduce many, but we have noticed a significant advance in the finish of the strap compared to the previous generation. It is also much more flexible, does not attract dust and we have a new anchorage system that makes it very difficult for the belt to go out of place.
The weight of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 stays at a reasonable 30 grams, somewhat above the Fitbit Charge HR but much lighter than the Garmin Vivoactive HR.
The smartband is comfortable and light, not to the extent of going unnoticed but it is true that it is no longer any inconvenience because it has a thickness of just 12 millimetres that allows you to hide it even under the shirt.
The bracelet is available in black, pink and blue – there will be expected more colors in the coming months – but unfortunately they are not interchangeable. We also have the handicap that the charging port is not microUSB but own, so we will need an accessory – included – in the box to load this wearable. Watch out for losing it because then it will be impossible for us to power its battery.
On the other hand Samsung has improved the water resistance of this device, which is IP68 certified so as noted before it is protected against dust and is submersible in the water up to one meter deep for a maximum time of 30 minutes.
A spectacular screen
However, the best thing about the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is its 1.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen that raises the resolution from the previous generation to reach up to 311 pixels per inch, a figure that translates into spectacular sharpness.
- The colors offered by the screen are quite natural, although it is loose again in terms of luminosity: we will have problems if the sunlight directly affects our smartband unless we put the brightness level to the maximum, which implies intensive drainage of the battery.
- This Gear Fit 2 features a wider display than the previous model, which means a larger surface area to display all kinds of information in a more engaging way. For example now we can comfortably see images received through WhatsApp or review the tour made during our last sporting activity on a map without having to go to our smartphone.
- The screen can be customized with dozens of different dials both from the wristband and via the Samsung Gear app on your mobile phone. In addition to the initial screen we have the following spheres:
- 24-hour registration: Shows a linear progression of your activity during the last day, with inactive, active, sleep phase periods and even the hours you haven’t worn the wristband.
- Exercise: To start an activity you only have to select the type and some objective for the bracelet to start recording the data. You can review data from already completed exercises.
- Steps: Pedometer with the number of daily steps and progression from the marked daily goal.
Floors: Number of floors you have climbed during the day, with the possibility to access the statistics.
- Heart Rate: Displays data from the last heart rate measurement along with the minimum and maximum number of beats of the day. You can tap to access weekly statistics.
- Water vessels: To record the number of glasses of water you have taken.
- Coffee: To enter the number of coffees ingested.
- Together: To challenge your friends.
In addition, if you click on the home button you can access other options such as handling the music playback controls, launching the stopwatch, counting, running an app to find the mobile phone associated with the bracelet or accessing the different settings to – for example – activate the GPS connection or raise the screen brightness.
Before purchasing the Gear Fit 2 you should be aware that the wristband is compatible only with devices running under Android KitKat (4.4) or higher, with a minimum of 1.5 GB of RAM. That means a significant improvement over the previous generation but still leaves iPhones out of it for the time being.
Synchronizing the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is quite simple and intuitive. To do this, simply download the Gear Fit app through the Play Store, turn on the Bluetooth of your mobile phone and make sure it’s also active on your wristband, which you can confirm through the settings section.
In a matter of seconds both devices will be paired, but for security reasons the wristband will show you a PIN code that you will need to confirm. Then it’s quite likely that you’ll have to download a second app – it’s actually a plugin – to be able to make the most of the new features of the Gear Fit 2.
Once you’ve paired your devices, you’ll be able to access a handful of options to customize your wristband – clock faces-, set up notifications, send music or configure for example the quick messages with which you can respond to notifications, an interesting option to set type messages with which to respond directly to WhatsApp from the bracelet.
If you do not know how to transfer music to the Samsung Gear Fit 2 you have to use the Gear Manager app, but unfortunately you will not be able to perform the process through the computer, at least for the moment.
What the Samsung Gear Fit 2 can do
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 hides inside a dual-core Exynos 3250 processor along with 512 MB of RAM, denoting that we are facing a device much more powerful than its predecessor.
In addition to incorporating GPS the Gear Fit 2 has a long list of sensors intended to monitor your physical activity to the smallest detail. Among them stands out of course the heart rate sensor, but we also have a pedometer, accelerometer, barometer or gyroscope.