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samsung galaxy fit review 1

The Gear Fit is part of Samsung’s recent wave of wearable gadgets.

What differentiates it from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo is that it’s a dedicated fitness tracker with only some smartwatch functionality.

But even in a world gone mad for quantified-self gadgets, is that enough to justify the outlay? Read on for the skinny.

First impressions and design

Samsung Gear Fit Black

Unlike Samsung’s previous wrist-based gadgets, the Gear Fit sports a curved AMOLED screen.

While we’ve seen curved displays on a couple of smartphones so far, they’re still quite rare.

It’s nice and bright, and the curved design adds a certain something sorely lacking from Samsung’s other wearables.

The only problem is it’s so narrow that it struggles to fit much information on.

The strap feels a bit flimsy, and annoyingly it comes with the same charger cradle as the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. So you’d better not lose it if you ever want to charge it again.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit

Samsung has ditched Android for the Gear Fit, instead opting for the Tizen operating system.

As with the Gear 2, you swipe left and right to switch between screens and press the back button to return to the previous screen.

It all runs smoothly, though the Gear Fit's lack of third-party apps is a bit disappointing.

A rival device such as the Pebble has way more, so you could easily load it up with a fitness app and get most of the same features.

Features

samsung galaxy fit review 3

The Gear Fit has a heart rate monitor built into the back, so it can take your pulse. It’s waterproof, but only to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. It can’t track swimming either.

So it’s fine for the shower, but water babies are better off with a rival like the Misfit Shine.

It’ll log your running, walking, cycling, or hiking. The screen lights up when you move your wrist, so you don’t have to press a button to check the time.

You can also control third-party music apps from it, like Spotify.

Usability

samsung gear fit clock

Like the Gear 2, the Gear Fit feels rushed. The screen’s layout is awkward, which makes it harder to read than a smartwatch. It does get rather cramped too, with text breaking over two lines.

It is responsive though, and easy to navigate while you’re standing still. Start moving, however, and it’s all too easy to mispress.

The screen doesn’t light up every time you move your wrist either, which is annoying (The Gear 2 suffered from the same bug.)

More often than not, you have to press the button to check the time.

The pedometer doesn’t automatically count your steps, you have to manually start it every time. This is a major flaw, as every other fitness tracker we’ve tried sets it on by default.

It can’t display tweets, so it’s more limited than a smartwatch, and there’s no altimeter either, so it’s also a letdown as a fitness tracker.

Having to slot it into its charging cradle is a real pain as well. The sooner Samsung ditches this design, the better.

Verdict

samsung galaxy fit review 2

We like the Gear Fit in principle. The curved screen is nice and bright, and it’s a lot better looking than Samsung’s other smartwatches. But it’s just not usable enough to recommend buying.

With Sony and LG about to launch their own fitness trackers, Android Wear about to get off the ground, and Apple and Nike supposedly working on an iWatch or iBand, this is one to avoid for now. At least until we see what the competition can do.

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