Samsung Gear Fit2 – Product Review

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Samsung GearFit2
Samsung GearFit2

As a standalone device, the Gear Fit2 is an example of very good design. The textured strap fit securely and felt comfortable. The curved screen looked elegant, curved effortlessly around my wrist, and aesthetically was glossy, crisp, clear, and fluid. In fact, the design of the device drew quite a few stares and started conversations often as friends and colleagues noticed the device. Initially, in absence of a screen protector, I feared that the device might have scratched or scuffed with daily use and lost its charm as a result, but in my months with the device, regular knocks, drops and bumps did nothing to marr the hardened screen in the slightest, even finger oils and moisture seemed to brush off, with very little effort leaving no residue behind, which in my book is always a sign of a quality product.

The capacitive touch capabilities of the screen were smooth, tactile and accurate, the processor kept up with the quick pace I built up as I got used to the device, and it didn’t seem to slow or stutter if I went too quickly. The size of my fingers, which is usually a detriment on smaller devices, proved not to matter at all on the Gear Fit2, typing a wifi password, scrolling menus, and pressing buttons proved to be effortless and accurate, so bonus points for that.

The user interface was clean and clearly structured, easily navigable, and very familiarly laid out to anyone who has used a Samsung device before.

Onto functionality, I should state at this point, I haven’t been diagnosed with an arhythmia, or heart problems of any kind. However, the heart rate monitor, as a prerequisite feature of a fitness tracker, I found to be slightly erratic, perhaps on account of my pale complexion, but readings varied by anything up to 50bpm, even if you triggered the monitorings consecutively. One reading would be sitting at a stable 62bpm, standard sitting-at-my-desk heart rate. A following reading 10 seconds later would skyrocket to 134bpm, either indicative of tachycardia, or that I was in the middle of an intensive circuit of excercise, of which I had nor did either. But again, that might just be a technical failing on account of my pale complexion, the device uses green leds to shine through the skin and reflect back off the veins in my wrist to take readings, and the sheer pale reflectiveness of my skin may have caused false readings, so bear that in mind.

Compatibility with other devices was sketchy, as an iPhone 7 user, understandably the Fit2 didn’t want to connect. Undeterred by that, I downloaded an unsigned, and very beta app, developed by Samsung themselves but only available to developers, that supposedly was meant to bridge the iOS to Android Wear gap between the Fit2 and my iPhone, to no avail. However, I never expected much to change in that department, Apple and Samsung being the longstanding rivals that they are, I didn’t expect compatibility. What WAS surprising however, was the restrictions it has on Android compatibility. The following table, listed on Samsung’s Website, describes very specifically, which phones (and regional markets) do and do not support the Gear Fit2, so any prospective owners would do well to check that their handset and region combination, are compatible with the device.

HTC

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
ONE (M8) US 6.0 1080 x 1920 2GB
ONE (M9) EU  US 6.0 1080 x 1920 3GB
10 US 6.0 1440 x 2560 4GB

Huawei

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
P8 EU 5.0 1080 x 1920 3GB
Ascend Mate 7 EU 5.1 1080 x 1920 2GB
Nexus6P EU 6.0 1440 x 2560 3GB

LG

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
G Flex US 4.4 720 x 1280 2GB
G Pro 2 KR 4.4 1080 x 1920 3GB
OPTIMUS G2 US 5.0 1080 x 1920 2GB
OPTIMUS G3 EU  US  KR 5.0(EU)  6.0(US  KR) 1440 x 2560 3GB
G4 EU  US  KR 6.0 1440 x 2560 3GB
G5 US  KR 6.0 1440 x 2560 4GB
G Vista US 5.0 720 x 1280 1.5GB
Nexus 5 EU  KR 6.0.1(EU)  6.0(KR) 1080 x 1920 2GB
V10 US  KR 6.0(US)  5.0(KR) 1440 x 2560 4GB

Motorola

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
DROID Turbo US 5.1 1440 x 2560 3GB
Moto MAXX EU  US 5.0(EU)  4.4(US) 1440 x 2560 3GB
DROID MINI EU 4.4 720 x 1280 2GB
Moto X EU  KR 4.4.4(EU)  5.1(KR) 720 x 1280 2GB
Nexus 6 US 6.0 1440 x 2560 3GB
Moto G4 Play LATIN 6.0 720 x 1280 4GB

Pantech

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
IM-A910S KR 4.4 1080 x 1920 3GB

Sharp

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
Aquos EU 4.4 720 x 1280 1.5GB

Sony

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
XEPRIA Z2 EU 5.1 1080 x 1920 3GB
XEPRIA Z3 EU  KR 6.0.1(EU)  6.0(KR) 1080 x 1920 3GB
Z3 Compact LATIN 5.0 720 x 1280 2GB
Z3 + LATIN 6.0 1080 x 1920 3GB

Xiaomi

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
Mi4 EU  KR 4.4(EU)  6.0(KR) 1080 x 1920 2GB

Kyocera

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
Duraforce US 4.4 720 x 1280 2GB

Asus

MODEL NAME TEST MARKET OS RESOLUTION RAM
Zenfone2 EU 5.0 1080 x 1920 4GB

 

Provisionally, they do note that the Fit2, should be compatible with all Android devices running Android 4.4 and higher. with over 1.5GB RAM, but I’d take that with a pinch of salt, provided that they do, on the same page, make allusions to connectivity with an iPhone, which I proved personally to be a fallacy.

I attempted to connect the device to some colleagues Android phones, to Samsung phones it connected flawlessly, but which Android phones worked varied greatly.

All things considered, I never managed to connect the device to a phone for long enough to test it fully, and most of the functionality requires a mobile device. Notifications, music controls,  3rd party apps, and syncing and backing up fitness data, were all impossible without a phone connection. But the device lets you set it up as standalone, which works perfectly in its own right, but storage is limited and most health data isnt stored long term, so it’s not an ideal solution.

If the kinks can be ironed out, and they might be, with the release of Android Wear 2, this device stands to compared with the best. At a pricepoint of £120, I can’t complain too much, and with the right device connection, I’m sure this device performs outstandingly, but it’s ultimately up to the consumers intuition, to decide if the device will work for them, because it sure looks great.