Sports Tech

Feature-packed Fit2 almost the perfect fitness tracker

The Samsung Gear Fit2, which works only with Android devices and not iOS ones, has a 24hr log function that shows your day's activities clearly in a timeline. The fitness tracker looks similar to its 2014 predecessor, though it is sleeker
The Samsung Gear Fit2, which works only with Android devices and not iOS ones, has a 24hr log function that shows your day's activities clearly in a timeline. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
The fitness tracker looks similar to its 2014 predecessor, though it is sleeker.
The fitness tracker looks similar to its 2014 predecessor, though it is sleeker. PHOTO: SAMSUNG

The Samsung Gear Fit2 has the works and could potentially replace GPS running watches

Billed as a feature-packed fitness tracker, the Samsung Gear Fit2 has plenty to offer.

Its list of features starts with the tracking of daily activities, including sleep. It also has a built-in heart-rate monitor (HRM) to measure your exercise intensity and heart rate through the day.

Among its more exciting features is a built-in GPS function, for tracking your outdoor runs. So, you do not need to link it to a smartphone for GPS tracking. That's one item fewer to carry during runs.

This means that the Fit2 is a potential replacement for GPS running watches.

The Fit2 has a bright and sharp 1.5-inch (432 x 216 pixels) curved touchscreen.

It doubles as a smartwatch, as it can be paired with a smartphone to display notifications.

You can also use it as a music-player during workouts. It has 4GB of internal memory for your music files. You need to pair it with a Bluetooth headset to listen to your music, as it does not have an audio jack.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $298

    MATERIAL: Plastic tracker with rubber strap

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 30g (L size)

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 5/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

With an IP68 rating, it is dust- proof and water-resistant down to a depth of 1.5m, for up to 30min. You can wash your hands or jog in the rain with it, but swimming with it is not recommended.

The Fit2 works only with Android devices, not iOS ones. You will need the Gear Manager app to configure the watch face or notifications, and the Samsung S Health app to look at your fitness stats.

Supported devices include Samsung Galaxy phones running Android 4.3 and above, with minimum 1.5GB of system memory; or any Android phone running Android 4.4 and above, with minimum 1.5GB of system memory.

The Fit2 looks similar to its 2014 predecessor, though it is sleeker. There are two buttons on the right, with the top button being the back button, while the bottom button lets you access apps. Holding down the bottom button powers up or shuts down the device.

The curved display looks sharp and is very responsive to touch. However, it looks dim under bright sunlight, even on the highest brightness level.

Swiping the display left and right toggles through panels displaying the watch face, steps taken, calories burnt, floors climbed, heart rate and notifications.

The default watch face shows the time and date, as well as the number of steps taken, calories burnt and floors climbed.

I like it that I can easily download and change the default watch face. And there are some nice watch faces to download with the Gear Manager app.

Step tracking accuracy is almost on a par with my calibrated Fitbit Charge HR, with readings differing by around 4 per cent (but always less).

Sleep monitoring is spot on. Data regarding my sleep duration and sleep quality was nearly similar to that of my reliable Charge HR.

Unlike typical GPS watches, the Fit2 does not indicate if it has locked on to GPS signals before a running workout. But fret not, just choose Run as your exercise and go ahead. Its built-in GPS has been able to correctly track my jogging routes so far, with readings differing by only tens of metres from those of my calibrated TomTom Spark Cardio.

While the heart rate measured through the day was spot-on and matched the readings of Charge HR, the Fit2's heart-rate readings were off the chart during my running workouts. I have seen it hitting 206 beats per min (bpm), when my Spark Cardio's readings of the same run were at most 179bpm.

The Fit2 has a 24hr log function that I like, as it shows your day's activities clearly in a timeline. By scrolling up and down the timeline, you can see the duration of your sleep, runs, inactivity and even when you are not wearing the band.

The biggest downer about Fit2 is its mediocre battery life. When paired with a smartphone and with notifications turned on, it could last only two to three days. My Charge HR can last around five days.

• Verdict: Other than its lack of support for iOS, the Samsung Gear Fit2 is every bit a fitness tracker should be.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Feature-packed Fit2 almost the perfect fitness tracker'. Print Edition | Subscribe