Samsung Gear Fit Review
Under the hood, the Gear Fit is powered by a rather modest ST-Microelectronics chip going by the STM32F439 model name. It’s a Cortex-M4-based solution that is more of a microcontroller than a full-fledged processor. At a maximum supported clock of 180MHz, this chip is far less powerful than what’s used in other wearables like the Samsung Gear (the gear runs at up to 1GHz), but in exchange for this, it consumes a staggeringly low amount of power.
Battery life and charging
The Gear Fit ships with a 210mAh battery, but battery capacity alone won’t tell you much about how long this new type of a device lasts. Samsung claims that you should get 3-4 days between charges, and if you use the Fit rarely, you can expect up to 5 days. We found these official numbers matching our real-world experience, as even with our more intense tests, the Fit lasted over three days on a single charge.
Charging the device, though, is an interesting process. To make such an outworldly design possible, Samsung had to resort to some tricks. The most notable one is that you won’t find a charging port anywhere on the Gear Fit. It’s just not there - instead, Samsung includes a magnetic clip-on accessory that you attach to the bottom of the Fit. The sole purpose of this magnetic clip is to add a microUSB charging port to the device - with it on, charging happens just as on any other device, with a standard microUSB cable.
The Samsung Gear Fit price is set at the costly $199 (€199 in Europe), nearly double the price of entry-level fitness trackers, and higher than even the pricey $130 Fitbit Force and $150 Nike FuelBand+. It’s also costlier than the $150 Pebble smartwatch. At the same time, though, such a high price for the Fit is not unjustified - it’s truly a crossover device bringing both a sleek, outworldly design, and a gorgeous, informative AMOLED display that others lack.
After testing it, we can conclude that it’s not as accurate as a dedicated fitness tracker in many aspects, but it’s not way off either. The specific tricks the Gear Fit has, like a heart-rate sensor and coaching mode, are also a bit hit-or-miss. All in all, it’s not the perfect tracker. And at that - nor it is a perfect smartwatch - the screen is not always on, and waking it with motion does not always work. Plus, it does not support any apps that would extend the built-in functionality.
At the same time, though, with all its flaws, the Gear Fit is one of the first devices that gives us a taste of a sci-fi dream we’ve all been dreaming with its curved screen, beautiful display, and a rich notifications system. We’re not there yet, but with the Fit, Samsung is on to something, and we finally feel we’re on the way towards that dream.
- Killer style
- Extremely light, you can almost forget you are wearing it
- Gorgeous curved Super AMOLED display
- Rich notification system
- Water and dust-resistant, you can even shower with it
- Fitness tracking is not on par with others: exercise tracking and pedometer are less accurate
- Compatibility limited to Samsung devices only
- Heart-sensor is dishearteningly slow
- Sleep tracking does not yield much usable data
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