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Thursday
Aug042016

Review: Samsung Gear Fit 2 fitness wearable

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

The Gear Fit 2 has some unique features, the system allows for noting down water and caffeine intake during the day and makes it possible to factor these into overall health.

The new Samsung Gear Fit 2 is a vast improvement over past Samsung fitness wearables. Lightweight, outfitted with a heart-rate monitor and GPS, plus the ability to play music files through Bluetooth connected headphones, it is a device that's not overly reliant on a companion smartphone.

I tested the latest Gear Fit2 alongside my fitness tracker of choice, the Microsoft Band 2. I found the Gear Fit 2 to be unobtrusive, it provided an easy fit that made it easy to forger once it was on and didn't give me a rash, unlike some rubber-based wearables I've tried in the past.

The Gear Fit 2's super AMOLED display is bright, easy to read and has graphics that are easy to read. It is thinner and lighter than the Band 2 and seems to have around two days worth of battery life on a charge.

The Gear Fit 2 is a GPS sports band, which means that it is designed for serious runners and fitness buffs that want to be free of having to carry a smartphone on their runs. I tried the Gear Fit2 on my usual gym visit which mixes cardio on a treadmill with various weights and machines.

I measured the Gear Fit2 against my Microsoft Band 2, which has become my chosen health tracking device for accuracy and range of exercises. Heart rate accuracy did not seem to be as spot-on as the Band 2, which casts a bit of doubt on the Fit 2 (considering it is still new, I expect software updates to improve this in the future).

The Gear Fit 2 has some unique features, the system allows for noting down water and caffeine intake during the day and makes it possible to factor these into overall health.

Designed to be smart enough to track cycling, running or elliptical work. The built-in heart rate monitor is accurate and comparable to what the readings on the Band 2 were. Where Samsung beat the Band 2 decisively is in the display department. The Fit 2’s Super AMOLED display is bright and clear and, more importantly the graphics are well designed and fun to look at.

Battery life is decent and good for a day of heavy activity although the Gear Fit2 isn’t free from the curse of most wearable devices, a proprietary charging port. I just wish these companies could figure out a way to charge these devices directly from a microUSB port which is common and easy to find.

The Gear Fit 2 costs $249.99, a surprisingly good price for what it has to offer considering it has a built-in accelerometer, gyro, and barometer, the Gear Fit2 automatically detects whether you're cycling, running, or on an elliptical. The downside is that it is limited to Android users only, which is a missed opportunity since I know many iPhone users who would jump at a chance to integrate this wearable into their fitness regimen.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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