Samsung Gear Fit Review
The Samsung Gear Fit is a device that looks like it comes from the future: with its new-fashioned curved display and extremely light footprint, it looks like a gadget straight out of a Star Trek fantasy. At its core, it’s a cross-over between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, showing you the time, as well as tracking your steps.
The Gear Fit has a few tricks up its sleeve as well, like a heart-rate monitor and a coaching mode that can set the exercise pace for runners and cyclers. It also vows to last up to 5 days on a single charge. Can the Fit live up to all its promises? And is it really the best of the two worlds of smartwatches and fitness trackers, or a jack of all trades, but master of none? Let’s find out.
In the box:
- Charging add-on clip
- Wall charger
- User Manual
The Gear Fit has the looks of a Star Trek gadget, with a curved display and a compact, minimalist body which you can almost forget that you’re wearing.
The combination of a futuristic curved display and an amazingly light minimalistic body, makes the Gear Fit feel decidedly outworldly. And if we had to guess where Samsung drew inspiration for the Fit, we’d be quick to remember the eyepiece of Star Trek’s Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge or even Robocop’s attire. The Gear Fit truly looks like a gadget from a sci-fi movie.
Wearing the Fit is also nothing like wearing other popular wearables such as the Samsung Gear or the Pebble smartwatches - it’s more of a bracelet than a smartwatch, and at times you simply forget you have it on you, it’s simply that airy, weighing less than an ounce (27g). In comparison, the original Pebble weighs 1.34 ounces, while the Samsung Gear 2 tips the scales at more than double the Fit - 2.4 ounces.
While the Gear Fit has a decidedly inconspicuous feel, its looks are nothing but conspicuous. We’ve worn the Pebble for months and we’ve tried the Galaxy Gear for a few days, but none of them has gotten even close to the oohs and aahs the Gear Fit gets when you wear it. After Google Glass, this is probably just the second wearable device that sparks such genuine interest from bystanders, but unlike Glass, it does not have that weird, ‘Peeping Tom’ vibe.
The actual build of the device consists of fairly mundane materials - it’s mostly plastic, with a silver outline that you might mistake for metal (it’s not - it’s just plastic with a chrome finish), and it’s all very tightly put together. Those modern looks are backed up nicely by the Fit’s protection from the elements, so you can easily shower with it and not worry about it getting wet in the rain. It’s IP67-certified, which means that it’s protected from dust and it can withstand submersion in water of up to 3 feet deep for as long as 30 minutes (we would not risk to swim with it in salty water, though).
The Gear Fit timepiece is easily detachable from its band, and that’s good news, as it means that you can easily change those bands. The Fit arrives with a sporty, rubbery black band, but additional ones can be purchased separately, and Samsung is offering grey, blue, green, orange and red colors. The rubbery design is the only one you can get at the moment, and since the Gear Fit has a peculiar and rather unique form, there won't be many other custom bands at the beginning. With time, though, we could still see such custom bands from third-party accessory makers.
The display is a showcase of what AMOLED can do: it has a nice ergonomic curve to it, and the deep blacks and great contrast add to the experience.
The most fascinating part of the Gear Fit is the curved display with its peculiar long rectangular form, giving the whole device its distinct and modern bracelet-styled look. We are looking at a Super AMOLED touchscreen measuring just 1.84 inches in diagonal, with a resolution of 432 x 128 pixels. This translates into a very reasonable pixel density of 244ppi - not super high-res, but more than enough for users to make out even smaller text on the display.
The screen itself looks gorgeous: a showcase of what AMOLED technology is capable of with great contrast, deep blacks, rich and saturated, eye-popping colors. Typically for AMOLED, viewing angles are also great, and the picture doesn’t little of its vibrancy even if you glance at the screen from an extremely narrow angle.
Since the Gear Fit is meant to be used for quick-glancing information, you’d often use it outdoors. Luckily, you can adjust the display to very high brightness levels to see it better on even brighter days, but in less challenging conditions, keeping it around mid brightness gets the job done (and allows the Fit to last longer). Unfortunately, it cannot adjust its brightness automatically, so you’d have to manually set it to your liking.