Be it an affordable fitness band or an expensive smartwatch, the world of fitness wearables is largely dominated by Fitbit, Apple, Xiaomi and Goqii, to name a few. But this doesn't deter other players from launching devices. Samsung is one such perfect example. The Korean technology giant has been launching a smartwatch and a fitness band every year. While the Gear Sports smartwatch competes against the Apple Watch, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is a fitness band offering functionality and experience of a smartwatch.
Design: The Samsung Gear Fit family has got a distinct design. Although it borrows characteristics from both - a smartwatch and a fitness band - it looks like none. It has a rather large, rectangular touch display accompanied by a rubberized band and weighs 34 grams. The 1.5inch curved sAMOLED display is bright to look at and offers good sunlight legibility. Although the fitness tracker supports touch input, there are physical keys on the side. The top button is used for going back and the bottom one is designed for accessing the menu. Overall, the controls are intuitive to use. Designed to be your workout companion, this is not just comfortable to use but is water resistant up to 50 meters.
Setup and pairing: Samsung has adopted an open approach for its wearables as the Gear Fit 2 Pro can be paired with an Android smartphones or even an iPhone over Bluetooth. Pairing the band is pretty simple and hardly takes a few minutes. When pairing with an iPhone, you need to install the Gear Fit app and follow the instructions. On an Android device, your first need to install the Samsun Gear app which prompts to install Gear Fit2 Plugin and Samsung Accessory Service to enable data transfer between the Gear and the device. Just by following the instructions, the band can be easily paired in just a few minutes. Once paired, the band shows the date and time along with the number of steps walked, calories burnt and more. Even when disconnected from the phone, the band continues to track the activity and syncs with the app whenever connected to the phone.
Faces: While most of the fitness bands come with a standard homescreen, Samsung has added multiple watch faces that a user can choose from. Just by long pressing on the home screen, one can choose from the 15 faces embedded in the band - fitness pro, step counter, fitness summary, digital, analogue and more, and can even customize it by changing the colour. More faces can be downloaded from the Gear Fit app.
Functionality: As the name suggests, the Gear Fit 2 Pro can be used to keep a tab on daily workout and physical activity. Swiping left from the home screen on the band's screen shows calories burned, steps walked, current bpm, the number of floors climbed and can be used to track the workout session or view activity log. The band has been designed to track numerous activities including running, walking, cycling, hiking, elliptical trainer, exercise bike, step machine, swimming, crunches, squats, star jumps, pilates, yoga, rowing machine and other workouts and it can even auto-detect workout. It comes with built-in GPS, which comes handy for those outdoor workout sessions. I was also able to add my caffeine and water intake from the band itself. More apps can be added to the watch for quick access. The band comes with internal memory, which can be used to store music. The saved soundtracks can be accessed over wireless headphones and one can even leave the smartphone behind during workout. Other than tracking physical activity and workout, the band also fetches notifications for an incoming call, messages, emails and more.
Battery: The Gear Fit 2 Pro packs in a 200 mAh battery, that can last anywhere between two to four days, depending upon the usage. Our review unit lasted me close to two days with above average use. Just like other fitness bands and smartwatches, even this one comes with a proprietary charger.
Verdict: It is one of the best fitness trackers in its price category. For Rs 13,590, it does face competition from Fitbit Charge 2 but then you trade off colour display in favour of a lasting battery.