[Review] Samsung Gear Fit
Samsung made their first foray into the wearable tech with last year’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch. A few months later, they came up with its successor, the Gear 2 along with a new smartwatch-cum-fitness band hybrid – the Gear Fit, which managed to steal the former’s thunder during their unveiling together due to its distinctive looks.
Speaking of looks, one cannot deny that the Gear Fit is one darned good-looking wearable. It takes advantage of Samsung’s breakthrough curved display technology to lend itself a futuristic look. The 1.84-inch Super AMOLED is gorgeous, bright and responsive to the touch. Sunlight legibility is good. It does not have any physical button except for the power/lock key on the side of main body (that is not really noticeable anyway) which does not get in the way of its sleek aesthetics. It’s safe to say that the Gear Fit turns head effortlessly.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the Gear Fit is just how light it is. You may even forgot it’s on your wrist once you’ve worn it, which makes wearing it a comfortable experience. To activate the Gear Fit for the first time, you’ll need to pair it with a compatible Samsung device via the free downloadable Gear Fit Manager app. Otherwise it won’t be brought to a working state. Once you have paired it however, you can use the Gear Fit as a standalone device but without some key features that require data from the paired device.
Inside you’ll find basic features such as Notifications, Media Controller, Timer, Stopwatch among others. Too bad the the Gear Fit does not have its own app store like the Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 do and you are stuck with the stock apps until Samsung decides to open one in the future. When connected to a Samsung phone or tablet via Bluetooth, it can display its message notifications and miss calls but unlike the Gear series however, you can’t answer or make calls directly on the Gear Fit (you can reject calls though) There’s also no camera on the Gear Fit for some quick snaps.
Initially, the Gear Fit displays its contents horizontally that just doesn’t go right with the normal viewing angle of a watch. Thankfully, common sense prevails and Samsung has since released an update that provides an option to display things vertically. No more awkward wrist-twisting maneuvers.
The major selling point of the Gear Fit is of course its fitness features. Ironically, this is where it disappoints. Sure they are fitness apps such as Pedometer and various tracking modes of exercise but they require manual activation to start and stop the tracking. Compared to a regular fitness tracker that automatically tracks your progress and stops when you stop, the Gear Fit does seem lacking.
The Gear Fit also packs a heart-rate sensor as with the Galaxy S5 and Gear 2. The sensor is located underneath the main body of the watch and will read your heart beats through your wrist. It would be ideal for it to read and display our heart rates continuously as they fluctuates but the Gear Fit is not capable of doing that. Rather, it displays its reading one at a time, not to mention it requires the wearer to keep his/her arm still while it do its thing, which usually takes no less than 4-5 seconds.
Granted, the Gear Fit does have IP67 certification and rightly so for a device of this nature. So no worries of wearing it to your workout sessions. Aside from being protected from sweat, you can also wash it clean with water afterwards. How convenient.
On the whole, if you just want the coolest-looking watch on your wrist, there is nothing cooler than the RM599-priced Gear Fit at the moment. However, if you desire a fitness band that offers full-functionality to fulfill all your fitness and workout needs, there are better options out there.
Its like the saying – style over substance.