While the Samsung Gear Fit does a lot more things than any other fitness tracker, it’s not particularly great at any of them.
Samsung released the Samsung Gear 2, the Gear Fit and the Gear Neo a few days back. Since the Gear fit is not just a smartwatch, we decided to change the format of our review and assess the gadget simply in terms of its software and hardware.
The hardware (or the design) of the Fit is nearly perfect. With 1.84-inch, curved, full-color AMOLED touch display, and having the same vibrant colors as the much larger screen of the S5, we simply loved this beautiful band. There is a single button that turns the gadget on/off, wakes it up and takes you back to the home screen.
When the Gear Fit was launched, it only had a horizontal orientation and with the unique design, it was very difficult to read the text. However, Samsung quickly adapted to the feedback and released a firmware update that allows vertical orientation. Though it sounds good, but the text gets broken weirdly and reading it is a sheer pain in the neck.
The screen is lovely, the band – available in different colors – is comfortable, and the Fit as a whole looks simply amazing. All it’s missing is just an ambient light sensor, and maybe a mic.
The battery is also pretty good, I got three and a half days of usage on a single charge. Even with those vibrant colors, it’s better than the Gear 2 in terms of battery life.
The software of the Fit is a sheer disappointment and is unforgivably bad. The step counter is inaccurate – I walked 1000 steps, but the Fit said I had walked well over 1300 steps. Now that’s a huge difference, which nearly renders it useless.
The sleep tracker is also impractical. You’ve to manually start and stop it – and if you’re like me, you’ll forget it every six out of seven nights. On top of that, the data does’nt go anywhere, all you can do is view it on the Fit.
When I told the Fit that I’m about to sleep, I expected it to stop showing notifications or at least go into silent mode but it did not. And there is no way to do it manually either, the only way to stop getting notification is going to the Gear Fit Manager and disabling the notifications. Then you must enable them when you wake up.
The fitness tracker is compatible with just a few Samsung devices. What’s worse, it sounds like the team who developed the Gear Fit never talked to the team who was working on the S Health app. If you have the S Health app on an accompanying Galaxy device, both of them will show different readings of how many steps you’ve walked and the will not come to an agreement with each other.
It’s ironically funny that these two things were designed to be used together, but they don’t talk to each other. This really kills Samsung’s claim that they are making smartwatches compatible with only a few Samsung smartphones just to offer a better user experience. Now that’s what I like about Apple, when they lock you somewhere in their ecosystem, things actually (mostly) work just as you desire them to be.
Should you buy it?
Absolutely no! Though I really love the hardware as well as the design, the poor software has ruins everything. Unless Samsung does a major software overhaul, you better keep your money in your pocket. Or if you really want to get a Samsung smartwatch, then you may consider the Gear 2.
Samsung Gear Fit
- Great hardware and forward-looking design
- Beautiful screen with vibrant colors
- Almost four days of battery life
- Brief summary of emails and notifications/messages from social media channels
- You can control music from your wrist
- Reading the text is awkward
- Inaccurate pedometer
- Serious integration issues with counterpart apps and devices
- At $199, it’s expensive as compared to most other fitness trackers
- Works with just a few Samsung smartphones