Over the past few years I’ve become dependent on wearable technology, a compliment to my smart phones. For the past year I’ve been using a Pebble Time smartwatch, but since Pebble recently sold out to Fitbit and shutdown shop, I was left looking for a replacement to my soon to be disabled smartwatch. This lead me to the Samsung Gear Fit 2 smart device.
There were certain criteria that had to be met, in my mind, in order to find an acceptable replacement to the Pebble that I knew and loved. I’m going to evaluate the Gear Fit 2 and see how it stacks up to comparable devices that exist.
Cosmetics and Comfort
The number one deciding factor for me when purchasing a new wearable came down to comfort. I’m going to be wearing this thing all day long, so it better be comfortable in all circumstances.
I found the Gear Fit 2 to be very comfortable. It is light-weight and isn’t clunky at all. Before considering the Fit 2, I had considered the Fitbit Charge 2, but after trying it on, I was very turned off at how uncomfortable and clunky it was.
From a cosmetic and build perspective, it reminds me of the Microsoft Band and the Fitbit Charge 2. I can’t judge the other device’s quality, but from the appearance, they are all very attractive. The Gear Fit 2 has a curved screen and a soft silicon band that comes in two different sizes. I am a male and am using a small size band, but I do have a small wrist.
There is one very large flaw in the proprietary Samsung band. It tends to come undone when it gets snagged on things. There is an easy fix to this though. Using a simple silicon clasp that you can purchase from Amazon, you can keep your wearable from being lost. After using one of these clasps I felt much safer.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Software
I am familiar with Android Wear and Pebble software and have nothing negative to say about either of them. The Tizen software that powers the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is no exception.
The software is very easy to use and is controlled through touch gestures and two hardware buttons on the device itself. Because the Gear Fit 2 has WiFi, it can work independently and hold no reliance to a mobile application.
Apps and watch faces can be downloaded using the Samsung mobile application for Android.
Beyond how comfortable the wearable is, the second deciding factor that went into my purchasing of the Gear Fit 2 was in the device’s battery life.
The Pebble Time remained usable for about four to five days which is quite incredible with modern wearable devices. However, I had used a Samsung Gear Live which is Android Wear and it only had a day of battery life. I needed something at least in between because I travel a lot and can’t always charge my device.
With the default Gear Fit 2 settings I managed to get around three days of battery life. These default settings included the screen being off unless being viewed and GPS disabled. If I wanted to keep the screen on full time, the device survived a little more than a day and if I had GPS enabled it survived just a few hours before needing a charge.
Being that I received three days of battery life with desirable settings, I am considering the Fit 2 a rockstar in the battery department.
Samsung Gear Android Application
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is only compatible with Android devices. However, I found the Android applications, yes two applications, to be less than desirable to work with.
The Samsung Gear application is required to configure the device and requires several services to be downloaded as well. Instead of making me download three or four applications, it would have been nice to have them all bundled into the same application. The Gear application crashed several times on my device and often timed out without any kind of progress indicators. Definitely an inferior product for a company that prides themselves on mobile technology.
The Samsung Gear application does not handle fitness data. Instead the S Health application must be downloaded as an add-on application.
The good news is that I find most of my time not in either of the two applications. Once they are installed, I can access all of my data from the wearable directly saving me from the hassle of the Android application.
I am happy with my purchase of the Samsung Gear Fit 2. While it will never truly replace my Pebble Time, it is a worthy piece of wearable hardware that I’d recommend to any of my friends and family. It does a great job at fitness tracking and at being a smartwatch, which is what I use it as more than anything.
If you’d like to see a demo of this wearable as well as a video review, check out the video I created below.