Gear Fit - Great Beginnings But the Phone Application Needs A Little Polishing
This is my review of the Gear Fit, and is not incentivized by Samsung in any way, shape, or form. I purchased the device myself as I found it an interesting gadget that I wanted to try.
The Gear Fit by Samsung has really got some bad reviews out there on the Interwebs.
I happen to disagree with most of them. OK, the Fit tries to be a smartwatch and a fitness band – I get it. And it actually does both rather well.
The Gear Fit features a beautiful, curved AMOLED screen that has been described as bulky, but it fits on the wrist quite well in my experience. There’s never been anything like this on the smartwatch, or gadget market in general. The forward facing design is not only fantastic, a joy to use, but the bands can easily be changed to suit your style of dress. I have a big wrist, and it fits without any problem whatsoever. It features a heart rate monitor and a mostly accurate pedometer.
What I find impressive is that Samsung designed a new operating system, called Tizen, specifically for the line of new Gear devices. This is a switch from Android, which was used in the first wearable Gear watch. Each version of the OS, is custom to the device – meaning the Fit gets to use RTOS, or real-time operating system to increase it’s battery life to 3-4 days, which is more than the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo.
With the screen, and the snappy, always responsive OS – the learning curve is little to none. The Gear Fit will track your steps, sleep, and exercises. It will also track and “coach” you as you run, cycle, or walk. During these activities, your heart rate can be monitored in real time and the Fit will tell you when to speed up based upon your rate.
Heart rate monitor
Exercise tracking with coaching
I won’t go over these features individually in great detail as they are fairly standard in the fitness band arena.
Real World Usage
I have seen other reviewers only claim to get 2 days of battery life out of the Fit. I’ve worn it for two weeks and consider myself an active social media user who is rarely without their phone. I usually get 4-5 days out of a single charge depending on the amount of notifications I get, and how I have it set. Protip - you can turn off the “on gesture” in the Fit Manager application via your phone. I do this because when driving, the display tends to turn on as sometimes steering mimics that motion. After an 8 hour road trip, receiving notifications – my Fit battery was still at 96%.
I love sleep tracking in fitness bands. I’m not sure why but I just like having that metric available to me. The Gear Fit does this, but at a basic level. And the data it collects stays on the device. For some reason (and perhaps this will change in a future software update) the data is not view-able in Samsung’s SHealth application. As stated, it performs basic sleep monitoring offering a percentage of sleep versus percentage of time motionless. You can also view your sleep history on the device itself. While I find this useful, Jawbone’s UP24 does a much better job with this, more comparisons later.
In my experience, the pedometer was fairly accurate when compared to the UP24. The Fit logged some steps while I was driving for example, but I have also noted that from the UP24, and Fitbit products.
Heart Rate Monitor
This is a feature also available on the Galaxy S5, which I own as well. The monitor uses a green laser at your wrist to measure your heart rate. I was able to compare it to a dedicated heart rate monitor, and the Fit was astoundingly always accurate, a bit more, than the monitor on the S5.
Earlier, I mentioned the exercise coaching aspect. In my experience, the Fit always told me to increase my pace, even when tracking my walking. I can see where it would provide motivation but I haven’t had enough time to fully test it out.
In my testing, there was a tracking variance between all the trackers I wore – the UP24, Fitbit Flex, and the Gear Fit. The largest discrepancy was mostly with the Gear counting 50-75 steps more than the other two on a consistent basis.
Wearables are the future, and they’re coming. The Gear Fit by Samsung is a stylish, slick looking device. While it does leave something to be desired on the application side via the phone, it’s a solid contender that could replace your Pebble, UP24, and or Fitbit.
Before I got this, I had no idea what to expect. I never saw a need for having a smartwatch. This is more of a fitness band with a few smartwatch capabilities. The fitness features are fun. I like how it pushes me to go faster or slower depending on my running performance. I like the sleep tracking and step tracking. It has a few selection of apps. Search Google Play for "Gear Fit" to check apps built for this device. I can use a tiny calculator on the screen. The notifications work great (They work even better if you use Samsung apps, as I do). I can change settings on my phone remotely. Its a really handly little device, and I wear it every day.
I'm so impressed with this that I'm now looking into a Gear 2 in the future. Samsung has a winner here in my opinion. You just need to have realistic expectations. You can't talk to it. It won't talk to you. It won't serve you breakfast. Its just there to track your fitness and give you some basic smartwatch features. Oh and get this, you won't believe it; It tells time as well.
For a fitness tracker it exceeded my expectations
I love this fitness tracker. I have had this for about a week. There was quite a bit of frustration and trouble while getting it to sync with the phone and get it all set up, but once I got past that this device has been amazing! I love that you can pick your own picture to put on the background of the device. I have picture of my kids. I love that you can customize what you want on your home screen. I chose the clock and the pedometer. You can choose which notifications you want to receive from your phone. Tracking my sleep habits has been an eye opener. I could go on and on about all of the positives. It definitely keeps me aware of how much I am or am not moving. With little kids taking off with my phone often, I really appreciate the find my phone feature. While you can't store music on the gear fit, you can control it from the device. I can control pandora even from the gear fit. Being able to see texts, emails, and incoming calls from the gear fit without having to get your phone out or dig for it is a great advance over the other fitness trackers out there. Especially when you can't or shouldn't dig for your phone.
I think there is room for Samsung improvements with the app on the phone and the availability of the gear fit being compatible with even more apps. However, for a fitness tracker the gear fit has exceeded my expectations. I am glad I was able to finally get one.
The only negative I have about it was the trouble I had with the initial setup and pairing with my phone. I want to say that that was likely caused by a new update to their app that had some issues and was just coincidence that I had just gotten the gear fit at the same time. Hopefully that has not been everyone's experience from the start though.
Works for Me.
Fits. Certain. Situations. By this I mean that if you WORK in a facility (like a hospital) where you are not permitted to use your smart phone, then perhaps this is for you. Assuming that you OWN a Samsung smartphone the you might enjoy this little device. So... it's nice to NOT juggle your smart phone but leave it somewhere on your person (pocket/purse) and still be able to monitor texts & emails. I have only had this device less than a week so I need to use it more to provide a better evaluation. Here's a typical day for me and why this device works for me. I ride my bike to work and home again (exercise/heart rate/mileage). I walk a LOT at work (steps per day). I have a life OUTSIDE my work where my significant other or family likes to contact me (texts/email). I would rather NOT be handling my smart phone constantly. I hope this helps me keep my phone in my pocket and not out in my hands but still able to monitor texts and emails with less OBVIOUS smart phone use behaviors. I hope it tracks my bike commuting effectively as well as my steps. I hope you enjoy it too.
Unfortunately 3 isn't the best for daylight
I cant get enough of this device. Slim, & Small. It's on my wrist every day... It's in the shower. I've even swam with it!!
I've turned off the motion sense wake feature as it wakes it up constantly with just normal movement. So it tends to drain the battery allot quicker. I had to keep the brightness at 3 & wake time to 1min to keep it up longer. Unfortunately 3 isn't the best for daylight. I've since turned it off and am using the button to wake it and have the brightness at 5 / wake time to 5min. It'll have about 1.5 - 2 day of battery life depending on how many times you use the watches functions.
One more thing. The silver edge of the bezel flakes off with active use.
I decided to purchase this device after using the FitBit for awhile. I liked being able to track my steps, calories, etc., but I didn't like having to also wear a watch as the FitBit doesn't have a display and doesn't show the time. The Gear Fit meets all my needs...it has a beautiful clear screen that shows the time, date, and weather. The screen allows you to scroll through several other screens that have a pedometer, sleep, heart rate, timer, stopwatch, and the Gear Fit also notifies you of any calls, texts or alarms incoming from your Samsung Galaxy including who is trying to reach you. The Gear Fit is very lightweight and comfortable to wear. The charge lasts 4-5 days.
Loving my Gear Fit!
Love it! The battery is long lasting and at this point it is working really well. I love being able to see what is coming in on work emails at a quick glance and only respond to those that need immediate attention. I've used the timer - very convenient while cooking as it vibrates on my wrist so I can be anywhere in the house or yard and not worry about burning dinner. The sleep monitor acts like a magic sleep aid...I have slept so much better since I started using it (purely psychological I'm sure!). Having the pedometer on my wrist is more convenient than the one on the phone, I don't always have the phone on me and so I was missing steps.
Just right in form and function
While we wait for the Smartphone Revolution to take off, this may be just the perfect device. It doesn't scream "Nerd Alert" as most of the other huge and ugly devices do. It manages to fit into the socially accepted fitness-tracker category, yet will give you all the necessary alerts you need to keep from having to pull out your phone.
Best of all, it doesn't try to do too much. Who needs to take pictures with a device on their wrist, or talk to their watch? But a nudge that I can glance at and choose to take action or ignore when my phone receives a notification is perfect. I can even quickly respond to text messages without taking out my phone with "OK" or "Yes/No" or "Call you in a few minutes" or anything I decide to put into the choices. When I connect to the bluetooth in my car, I can adjust the volume (which is somehow always too low) without taking out my phone. Stuff I need, without the nonsense I don't.
As a fitness tracker, it's not as good as others I've tried. I carry a Fitbit One, and the Gear Fit is noticably different in counting steps. I get fewer on the Fit, which is much better than getting more. Gives me a marginal estimate of what my Fitbit is tracking, and it pushes me about 10-20% harder to get to my daily 10,000, which is good in my book. I like hearing the trumpet fanfare when I get to the magic number, and my Fitbit stats are that much higher.
Unfortunately, this device works best with Samsung phones. You can use it on other Android phones if you "sideload" the app. You lose the ability to respond to text messages and transfer your step counts, but most of the other functions work. I really wish Samsung hadn't limited it in this way, but I have a Samsung phone so it's OK I guess.
Anyway, the smartwatches today and those coming in this first round are much too big and ugly. None look like watches at all, and I refuse to put something that awful on my wrist. When acceptable watches are out, I may switch, but the price and function of this thing is just perfect for me right now. I'm sold.
great Samsung product!
Love this watch! Had it for 3 weeks and so far works great. I find that it syncs well with my phone and I don't really see a difference between what it records and my phone. I do however recommend getting a screen protector for it. I waited a week and as soon as I put mine on I rubbed it against a concrete wall and thank goodness for the protector. As mention the silver around the screen does satchel easily but I expected this as noting will last for ever even after rubbing against a concrete wall lol. I use this with a galaxy s5
I'll keep this short and sweet as I don't write many reviews.
I was a former Fitbit Force owner and recently switched to the Gear Fitness Tracker and I could not be happier. The pedometer works great. The specific "exercise" modes such as "Hiking" are amazing and have a great deal of information such as average heart-rate and elevation climbed.
While I bought the device strictly for the fitness functions, I also enjoy seeing my text messages and email alerts show up on the device. That way, I don't have to carry my phone on me at all times to know what is going on.
Last but not least, the screen is amazing and beautiful. I could not be happier with the device.