Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: We test and review the Gear Fit 2, Samsung’s feature-packed smart fitness tracker for 2017, to see if it’s a true Fitbit Charge 2 rival.
Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 is one of the smartest fitness trackers you can buy in 2017, packed with plenty of exercise-related tools and sensors that record your daily movements. You also get the usual handy wearable features, such as notification support and music playback. And with its crisp and colourful 1.5-inch screen, you can get real-time feedback independent of your mobile phone.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Design
The Gear Fit 2 is your typical wearable, strapping to your arm via a rubber wrist band. The good news is that those bands snap off relatively easily (once you learn the mechanism) and can be replaced with another colour at any time. Samsung offers a range of designs (in two different sizes), to suit your every mood.
The strap itself is pleasingly comfortable and light and you can wear the Gear Fit 2 all day, without even knowing that it’s wrapped around your arm. However, the fastening mechanism could definitely be better. On one swimming session, the Fit 2 came loose and fell off my wrist and I didn’t even notice.
Still, as you might have gathered, the Fit 2 is at least water resistant (with an IP68 rating). This means you can keep it on when swimming, to track your calorie burn.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Display and interface
Unlike more basic trackers such as the Fitbit Flex 2, Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 boasts a gorgeous 1.5-inch display. It’s a proper touchscreen so you can flick your finger across the surface to skip through menus and functions, while the Fit 2 also has two side-mounted buttons for accessing the main features and returning to the clock screen.
That 1.5-inch panel is one of the crispest wearable screens around, thanks to its 432x216 pixel resolution. That gives 321 pixels per inch (ppi), which means the Gear Fit 2 has a screen that’s as sharp as many mid-range mobile phones.
As usual with Samsung, you get a vibrant Super AMOLED display which pumps out gorgeous punchy colours. Samsung has really made the most of it too, as the interface is smartly presented with lots of easy-to-understand visuals.
Flick right from the main clock screen and you’ll find a list of waiting notifications, from your Fit 2 apps as well as your phone. Here you’ll be told if you’ve reached your floor and step targets for the day. You’ll also find any waiting messages and other notifications, so you can check if anything needs responding to without having to pull out your mobile.
Flick down and you have fast access to your media controls and brightness adjustment, while flicking right brings up the Fit 2’s main features.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Features
The Gear Fit 2 has a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and barometer, as well as full GPS support, so can quite accurately measure your motions. In this way it can automatically track your daily efforts, including energetic walks and jogs.
You also have the option to manually begin a workout session, which includes a wide variety of exercise types: running, walking, cycling and hiking all are covered, as are most popular gym activities. This includes exercise bikes, step machines, treadmills and rowing machines, plus the likes of lunges, crunches, squats and star jumps.
At any time you can check out your daily calorie burn, including a full breakdown of your heavy, light and inactive moments for the previous week. You can also check your step count and number of floors climbed per day. As usual, accuracy isn’t perfect - in one 24 hour period I apparently climbed 177 floors, despite spending most of the day in the car. We’re yet to review a tracker that is infallible, though.
The Fit 2 also has a heart rate sensor built in, just like the Charge 2. This can be used to track your heart rate throughout the day, or on demand. It’s impressively accurate and also works fast, which is great when you’re trying to check your recovery rate.
You get 4GB of built-in storage which can be used to carry around a few albums for your workout sessions. Just hook up a Bluetooth headset (which is a nice, simple process) and you can jog, prance or whatever to the beat of your favourite songs, without having to lug your phone around too.
You don’t get any built-in workout guidance or breathing exercises, like you do with the Charge 2. And there’s no swimming tracking either, despite the water resistant finish. But everything else we’d expect is present and correct, including sleep tracking (if that’s your bag).
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Battery life
The Gear Fit 2 reliably made it through three full days when used to track everyday activities and occasionally employed to measure an exercise session. That means it’s not quite as strong as the Fitbit Charge 2, which kept going for five full days between charges. But that’s to be expected considering the much bigger, more colourful display.
You charge the Gear Fit 2 using a bundled dock and USB cable. You’ll need to connect it to a laptop, computer or mains adapter and then slip the Fit 2 into the dock to power the 200mAh battery. The cable is under a metre in length, but that should prove long enough for most purposes. And there’s magnetic attraction to ensure the tracker stays firmly connected.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Android and iPhone compatibility
The Gear Fit 2 works with the iPhone 5 and newer iPhones, running at least iOS version 9.
If you have an Android phone, the Gear Fit 2 needs you to be running at least Android version 4.4. You’ll also ideally need a phone with at least 1.5GB of RAM.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Verdict
Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 is one of the more stylish fitness trackers out there, while the vibrant 1.5-inch screen is a great way to track your efforts and interact with the many useful features. You get full GPS support, heart rate tracking and built-in music playback, while the water resistant design means you can go swimming too.