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Review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Review: When you take fitness seriously

While fitness trackers and smartwatches try hard to be as much of each other as they can, few truly succeed. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro comes as close to being both as it gets.

samsung gear fit 2 pro main

4 5
BGR Rating :
4/5

Highlights

  • The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is priced at Rs 13,590.

  • The device combines the functionality of a fitness tracker and a smartwatch.

  • The Fit 2 Pro is powered by a custom version of Samsung's Tizen OS.

Smart wearables as a product segment can roughly be split into two key sub-segments: smartwatches and fitness trackers. While the former is often considered a second screen for your smartphone in a more convenient place, the latter serves more to keep track of your physical activity and motivate you to improve your health. And while smartwatches are typically forgiven for short battery life, fitness trackers are expected to go on for days on end. Most of it typically comes down to the hardware under the hood.

Smartwatches try to integrate fitness features, while some fitness trackers integrate small screens to not only give you fitness information but also to push notifications and basic information on your wrist. Today we’re reviewing the Rs 13,590 Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, which is the strongest effort yet at effectively being both a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. Find out why we think so in our review.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Design and Specifications

The essential difference in design between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch is that the latter tends to look more like a watch, while the former resembles a band. The round, watch-like shape is indeed more suited to an everyday lifestyle, while the band design is lighter, more comfortable and easier during physical activity. The Gear Fit 2 Pro is the more fitness-oriented device between itself and the Samsung Gear Sport that it was launched alongside. As a result, it goes with the band design.

Built to be weather and element-proof, the Gear Fit 2 Pro comes with a rubber strap and in two color options – black and red/black. It has a 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED screen with the curve helping the band maintain its uniform shape and styling. It’s water resistant up to 5ATM, which means it’ll serve you well even when you’re swimming. There are two buttons on the right side of the Fit 2 Pro; the one at the bottom serves as the power and menu button, while the one at the top is the back button for navigation. It is of course a touch screen device, so navigating often involves a combination of gestures and button-presses.

In terms of connectivity and features, the Gear Fit 2 Pro comes with a pedometer for step-tracking, heart-rate sensor at the bottom, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity. There is 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage built into the device which can be used to store music for when you don’t want to take your smartphone along on runs, and a Bluetooth headset can connect directly to the wearable itself.

The device is powered by a 200mAh battery which keeps it going for about two days with regular usage. GPS functionality will of course bring down the battery time, as will the always-on display and continuous heart-rate measurement. With those modes on, I was able to get about 36 hours of usage before needing to charge.

The device comes with a magnetic charger that relies on contact points. While the Gear Fit 2 Pro has two contact points, the charger comes with four. This is useful as it lets you place the device on the charger in either direction to start charging. When you do so, the watch will go into a special low-power mode by dimming the screen to aid quick charging. It takes about an hour to fully charge the watch if you plug it into a wall-adapter, and a bit longer if you’re using and ordinary laptop.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Software

Samsung’s wearable range has for some time now run on its own Tizen operating system, which has been specially ported for use on its smartwatches and fitness trackers. While it’s a different version on the round-faced smartwatches, the version of Tizen OS for the Gear Fit 2 Pro is obviously modified to suit the screen size and form factor of the device itself. It isn’t as intricate an operating system and UI as what you’ll see on the smartwatches, but it serves the purpose.

The settings menu has a small set of apps and tools, and while you do technically have access to the Samsung app market, the selection is poor and rather badly curated. There are functional apps pre-installed though, including the music play, Speedo On for swim tracking, individual apps for step, floor and heart-rate tracking, find my phone, timer, calendar, stopwatch and weather. You get control over a fair amount of settings, including the frequency of heart-rate measurements, always-on mode and more. The Gear Fit 2 Pro also has an automatic workout detection mode which works well in tracking exercise without you needing to manually activate tracking.

Swiping from the top edge of the screen downwards shows you quick toggles, battery and other basic device information, while swiping left to right brings up notifications. The large AMOLED screen makes it particularly convenient to read on the device, so you can actually view and act on notifications effectively. As I’ve said many times, the point of a smartwatch is to serve as a second screen for your phone in a more convenient place. While it’s true that you may not be able to effectively do a lot of things on the Gear Fit 2 Pro itself, it serves well to give you a preview of what’s happening on your phone. You’re then free to pull out your phone and conveniently act on notifications.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Performance

Considering that Samsung has been in the business of wearables for a long time now, it’s tracking algorithms and methods are among the best in the segment. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro sees the full capability of that expertise, with accurate step and heart-rate tracking. The device can also count the number of floors you’ve climbed, based on detecting your movements and increase in heart-rate.

All of this is sent to your smartphone, and crunched by two apps. Samsung Gear is available for both Android and iOS, and handles the device connection and basic information, such as battery, storage and RAM. You can also control settings for the device from here. The second is Samsung Health, which processes the data your tracker collects and turns it into beautiful charts and statistics that aim to help you get healthier.

These include charts on the number of steps you’ve taken, heart-rate measurements through the day, your sleep trends and more. It’s all excellently laid out and fairly accurate for the most part. I did find some issues in sleep tracking, where the band would often not automatically detect that I was asleep and would log sleep hours that were fewer than the actual time I was asleep. However, heart-rate, automatic activity tracking (which worked well for my brisk walks) and step tracking were up to the mark. Even the GPS tracking works well when you use it with a dedicated exercise mapping app.

Verdict

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro might be a fitness tracker first and a fairly good one at that, but it doesn’t fall short when it comes to being a smartwatch too. If you’re looking for better apps above and beyond the fitness-focused ones, the Samsung app ecosystem may not be for you and you’re perhaps better off with an Android Wear device. Alternatively, if you just want good fitness tracking, options from Fitbit and others will also do a better job.

Where the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro succeeds is being an effective combination of both types of smart wearables. It offers decent activity tracking, great functionality as a second screen for your smartphone and effective handling and display of notifications. It’s comfortable, good at its job and decently priced as well for what you’re getting. At Rs 13,590, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is definitely a worthwhile option to consider if you’re looking for a single connected wearable to do all the work.

  • Published Date: December 21, 2017 1:48 PM IST