HANDS-ON: SAMSUNG GEAR FIT2 PRO
Samsung used IFA 2017 to unveil new wearables, including the new Gear Sport Smartwatch and an update to its Fit2 fitness tracker, which is now called the Fit2 Pro.
Introducing swimming capabilities, continuous heart rate monitoring and more, the Fit2 Pro offers small but important improvements over its predecessor for fitness enthusiasts. Here, we share our first impressions of the new model.
GEAR FIT2 PRO: PRICE & AVAILABILITY
The Fit2 Pro doesn’t come cheap. It’s £209 / $199, which is right at the top end of the fitness tracker market, but it does have some brilliant features including on-board storage for music and GPS, as well as its smartwatch features such as the ability to display notifications from your phone.
Competitors include Fitbit’s Surge, which is priced at £199 / $199.95 and has lots of similar features, but the Fit2 Pro offers a lot more in the way of features and specs so could well find itself close to the top of our best fitness tracker chart when we give it our final rating. The Fitbit Blaze is also a strong competitor with a similar price tag.
GEAR FIT2 PRO: DESIGN & BUILD
The Gear Fit2 Pro is more practical than stylish, with slim band housing the curved touchscreen that is slightly smaller than the Fit2’s, at 1.5in diagonally. We still think the screen feels plenty big enough, and can provide lots of information without looking overcrowded.
Plus, the screen is crisp thanks to its 216 x 432 resolution, and is also bright and brilliantly colourful. The downside is that it’s quite shiny and reflective, which could cause some difficulties in direct sunlight. It’s made with Gorilla Glass 3, though, so it should be nice and durable.
The body of the Fit2 Pro that houses the screen is reasonably thick, but when you’re wearing it it curves with the wrist to look and feel comfortable and certainly not too bulky. It weighs a small 34g, too.
Available in red or black, the colour choices are a bit limited and might not appeal to all, and you’ll find that it doesn’t look the best with evening attire as it’s quite plasticky. You’ll need to choose from small or large at checkout, depending on the thickness of your wrist, as there are no interchangeable bands available.
For swimmers, the Fit2 Pro is water resistant up to 50 metres, and Samsung has teamed up with Speedo to offer top-notch swim tracking and summaries that include stroke types that we’re looking forward to trying. The Speedo app can’t measure your heart rate whilst you’re swimming, though, so if that’s a feature you’ll miss you’ll have to revert back to Samsung’s S Health app.
To make the Fit2 Pro work even better in the water, Samsung has added a Water Lock Mode that detects when you’re underwater and will disable the touchscreen to prevent any unwanted interaction caused by the contact of the water itself.
Samsung has also improved the fastening of the band, introducing a proper buckle to make it less fiddly and more secure than the Fit2.
GEAR FIT2 PRO: SPECS & FEATURES
The Fit2 Pro runs a Tizen OS that’s largely based around widgets. You can add new widgets to the list of screens that you can swipe through beyond the main watchface / home screen.
The Galaxy App Store means that there are more than 3,000 apps and watchfaces available to download, allowing you to completely customise the watch and its features to suit your needs.
And thanks to the on-board storage, you can use Spotify to download offline playlists of up to 500 songs to your Fit2 Pro, and stream them to a pair of Bluetooth headphones while you’re out for a run or working out in the gym, for example, without needing to bring your phone along with you for the ride.
You can also use the built-in GPS to map where you’ve been running or cycling, another reason you’ll be able to leave behind. On-board GPS will also make tracking the pace of your workout more accurate, but it will eat up the battery life quite rapidly.
Your heart rate is being continuously monitored by the Fit2 Pro for more in-depth summaries of your daily activity, and the new model also adds automatic activity detection to save you from needing to tell the band that you’re about to start a run or a bike ride, for example.
If you’re keen to keep track of your calorie intake, you can now do so directly on the Fit2 Pro. Doing so will offer up advice on how much exercise you should do in order to reach self-set goals, and how many calories you should aim to cut out per day.
Other widgets available include handy caffeine and water trackers to help you keep on top of your intake, encouraging you to cut down on coffees and drink more glasses of the good stuff.
There’s also support for Under Armour, MapMyRun, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, as well as the ability to carry out tasks from your wrist such as turning your heating down on your Nest thermostat or ordering an Uber.
The Fit2 Pro has a 200mAh battery, which should last for a few days if GPS usage is kept to a minimum.
Missing from the Fit2 Pro is an NFC chip for wireless payments via Samsung Pay, which seems a real shame when you consider how many other great features the device has, but with a price tag that’s already pretty high, perhaps it would have made it just that bit too expensive.
The Fit2 Pro is compatible with Android and iOS, but Windows phone and Blackberry users are out of luck.
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro: Specs
- 1.5in Curved Super AMOLED touchscreen (216×432)
- 51.3mm x 25mm
- 4GB storage
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Heart rate sensor
- Water resistant to 50 metres 200mAh battery
Samsung’s new Gear Fit2 Pro is a really impressive fitness tracker. It has almost every feature we could ask for, in a neat body with a gorgeous screen and practical design. It’s a shame that the band isn’t interchangeable and that there are only two colour options, but overall we think it’s going to be a popular choice for fitness fanatics who aren’t bothered about a fully-fledged smartwatch.
The price tag seems a little high until you dig into its features and realise how much it can offer, but that might be off putting to some potential buyers. It’s likely to drop in price a bit after a month or two as Samsung products often do, though.
We’re looking forward to spending more time with the Gear Fit2 Pro to test out how well the tracking features perform in practice, as well as trying out the various apps available to add to it. We’ll bring you our final verdict and full review soon.