“The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro comes as the successor to the Gear Fit2 which was launched last year”
As far as wearables are concerned, Xiaomi amounts for the biggest market share with its budget fitness trackers. For anyone else who want a bit more jazz and features, offerings from FitBit, Garmin and Apple are the obvious choices. However, Korean giant Samsung hopes to change that with its own offerings. The company’s Gear S3 was arguably one of the best smartwatches of 2017, and this year, the brand is back with two new devices, namely the Gear Sport smartwatch and the Gear Fit2 Pro fitness band. I had the latter of the two to review and here’s what I think of it.
Design and Comfort
Samsung has a reputation for pushing the envelope with the design of its products, though the company has refrained from giving the Gear Fit2 Pro a facelift, and the fitness tracker looks near-identical to its predecessor. Personally, I liked how the original tracker looked and therefore, don’t have any qualms about the familiar design of the newer model. In terms of the materials used for construction, Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro sports a plastic body which might not feel as premium as the company’s S-series of smartwatches. However, the use of plastic helps in keeping its weight down, thereby allowing users to wear it all day long without any discomfort setting in. The wearable ships with rubberised bands which feel soft to the touch and come in two colours. You can either opt for the black on black colourway or a flashier black on red combination. Regardless of which hue you opt for, both models will look equally good strapped around your wrist.
Your primary means of interacting with the Gear Fit2 Pro will be via its 1.5-inch Super AMOLED curved display which gets plenty bright, even under direct sunlight and has good viewing angles too. You’ll also get two buttons on the right side of the Fit2 Pro – a back and a home button, both of which offer good tactile feedback. Towards the bottom, you’ll find the continuous heart-rate monitor as well as the charging pins used to connect the Fit2 Pro to its proprietary charger.
On the surface, the design of the Gear Fit2 Pro remains mostly unchanged from its predecessor, though Samsung has water-proofed the wearable’s chassis this time around. Therefore, you can take your Fit2 Pro for a swim and the wearable will be good for up to 50m in water.
Hardware and Software
Powering the Gear Fit2 Pro is a dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz which works in tandem with 512MB of RAM. The watch gets 4GB of internal storage out of which, around 2.1GB of memory is available for the end user from the get-go. As far as the performance is concerned, the Fit2 Pro functions admirably. Apps open swiftly, UI transitions are smooth and you won’t find any major instances of lag or stutter with the fitness wearable.
Much like the processors powering its smartphones, the Fit2 Pro runs Samsung’s homebred Tizen OS which comes pre-loaded with a multitude of watch faces out of the box. On the off chance you aren’t satisfied with how a watch face looks, you can customise it by choosing a different background or a different colour scheme. Moreover, you also get the option of choosing what information you want displayed on the main screen. If you still aren’t satisfied with the appearance of your Fit2 Pro, you can use the companion Samsung Gear app and choose from a plethora of third-party watch faces available there. Oh by the way, the Samsung Gear app on Android, and the Samsung Gear Fit app on iOS, is needed to pair and manage your Gear Fit2 Pro. You also need to install the Samsung Health app for syncing and viewing all the data pertaining to your physical activities.
The Samsung Gear app also acts as your portal to a bunch of third-party applications, though finding the app of your choice is a pain. My review unit of the Galaxy Fit2 Pro did not ship with an alarm app out of the box, and upon searching for the same on the Gear app, I was constantly shown results for various watch faces. It took me a while to figure out that most of the company’s own applications are available under the ‘Essentials’ tab. With that said, downloading and installing applications on the Fit2 Pro was a breeze and you can even transfer music files present on your smartphone to the fitness tracker through the Gear application. This eliminates the need of carrying your smartphone to the gym as you can simply connect your Bluetooth headphones to the Gear Fit2 Pro and listen to music stored on the wearable.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit2 Pro is no slouch when it comes to tracking activities but before I talk about my experience with the fitness wearable, let me briefly mention what all it can do. Much like its predecessor, the wearable can track a myriad of different exercises including cycling, walking, running, hiking and squats, and a new addition this time around is swimming. Furthermore, you can even log how many glasses of water or cups of coffee you’re consuming in a day with the Fit2 Pro, albeit, you’ll have to enter the data manually through the wearable’s built-in widget for caffeine/water intake.
The fitness tracker also comes equipped with GPS this time around, giving you another reason to leave your phone behind when you’re going out for a run. The benefit of the presence of GPS onboard the Fit2 Pro is that you will be able to record your fitness data more precisely too. You’ll also get continuous heart-rate monitoring with the Fit2 Pro, though you’ll have to clasp the band to your wrist tightly for the sensor to pick up your pulse. Lastly, the Gear Fit2 Pro can automatically detect when you’ve been exercising for a while and auto-logs the activity. This was, by far was my favourite feature of the wearable as it automatically picked up when I was out for a walk and showed me my stats once I was done. Lest I forget, the Fit2 Pro automatically tracks your sleep patterns too and you can get an in-depth look at all of the data regarding your workouts and sleep from the Samsung Health app.
I primarily used the Gear Fit2 Pro to track my runs and walks, with a few sessions of swimming thrown in here and there. For my runs, I used the Endomondo application (can be downloaded from the Gear Store) and with the GPS turned on, I got very accurate numbers from the Fit2 Pro. The wearable was off by only a couple hundred meters when measuring the distance of my runs, which is an excellent result. Furthermore, during my testing, the wearable managed to lock onto my location using the built-in GPS in a jiffy and mapped my runs accurately too. Steps and stair-tracking on the Fit2 Pro bore similarly accurate results and the Gear Fit2 Pro did well not to add ghost steps to the tally of my daily step count.
To track swims, Samsung has partnered with Australian manufacturer and distributer of swimwear accessories, Speedo and has bundled the Speedo On app with the Fit2 Pro. From within the app, you can set the length of the pool and can either jump into a quick session or set a time/distance based goal for yourself. From there, the Fit2 Pro will track your pace and the distance of your swim. Furthermore, to avoid any accidental interactions with the wearable’s display while swimming, Samsung has also bundled a water-lock mode which essentially disables the touchscreen during your swims.
I tested the Gear Fit2 Pro in a 25m pool and got mixed results with the wearable’s calculations. During my first lap, the wearable correctly notified me that I had clocked in 25m, but the total distance remained unchanged after I had finished my second lap. Other times, the wearable calculated the distance of multiple laps accurately.
Notifications and battery life
Although the Gear Fit2 Pro is primarily a fitness tracker, it can also double up as a smartwatch, allowing you to view notifications from various applications installed on your phone directly on your wrist. You can even turn off notifications for select applications from within the Samsung Gear app and can even choose to wake the Fit2 Pro’s display every time you receive a new notification. Thankfully, you also get the option of responding to messages on the Fit2 Pro and can either choose from a bunch of pre-baked messages or an emote as your reply.
The Gear Fit2 Pro is backed by a 200mAh battery which the company claims can last around four days off a single charge on typical usage. However, during my testing, the wearable lasted me just two days with both GPS and notifications enabled. Therefore, you’ll have to pack the charger with the wearable if you plan on going on a trip.
The Gear Fit2 Pro does little to improve upon its predecessor, but despite that, remains a solid option for those who want a reliable fitness tracker which comes with notifications support. The added benefit of purchasing the Fit2 Pro is that you’ll be able to track your swims with it, but if that’s not something you plan to use the tracker for, then you’re probably better off with the older model. You will have to plug in the wearable every other day, but that’s a tradeoff you’ll have to make with most GPS-enabled fitness trackers. The Fitbit Ionic is an exception, since it offers better battery life, but comes at a significant premium. Everything considered, the Samsung Fit2 Pro is yet another excellent addition to Samsung’s lineup of wearables and will be hard to rival at its asking price of Rs 13,590.
Editor’s Rating: 4 / 5
- Comfortable, all-day wear design
- Accurate step/run tracking
- Notification support
- Sub-par battery life
- Mixed results with swimming
- Samsung Gear store needs some work