The Short Version
Most fitness-tracking smartwatches value round £300 (see Fitbit Ionic, Garmin Vivoactive 3, Apple Watch, Huawei Watch 2 and Samsung’s personal Gear Sport), however the Gear Fit2 Pro presents a comparable set of options whereas undercutting all of them. It’s received standalone GPS, a heart rate monitor, it’s a superb swim tracker, and it will possibly retailer and stream music to Bluetooth headphones. Apps-wise, it’s inferior to any watch constructed on iOS or Android Wear, nevertheless it beats Fitbit and Garmin’s app choices arms down by providing Spotify and Under Armour’s suite of providers, together with the calorie counting favorite My Fitness Pal. Plus, when you personal a Samsung telephone you possibly can obtain the SpeedoOn app, making the aquatic providing much more compelling.
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (four/5)
£209, buy on samsung.com
Things we appreciated
- It’s nice worth. The function set is an enormous step up from mid-range trackers that value between £150 and £200, and an enormous step down in worth from smartwatches with out sacrificing a lot.
- The swim monitoring is nice. It nailed stroke recognition within the pool and even the heart-rate studying was plausible. If you’re a pool swimmer this must be prime of your buying listing.
- Loading music on to the Gear Fit2 Pro is exceptionally properly executed, with straightforward pairing of Bluetooth earphones and dependable streaming.
- There’s a frankly foolish variety of watch faces to select from.
- Where the native run and cycle monitoring apps fall down, Under Armour’s Endomondo, MapMyRun and Record step in to enhance the expertise.
- Samsung is among the few smartwatches to supply a Spotify app – and that’s what you employ now, proper?
- You can monitor particular person bodyweight exercises just like the squat, lunge or press-up. Sets and reps may be modified, and reps have been counted unfailingly precisely.
Things we didn’t like
- The battery life is poor – it gained’t final 24 hours even with out utilizing GPS.
- Using the Gear Fit2 Pro with an iPhone 6 was a faff, and in addition meant I couldn’t obtain the SpeedoOn app. This is a look ahead to Android customers, however Samsung house owners particularly.
- You can’t find a GPS sign after which begin a run or journey. You have to start out the exercise and hope the sign locks in, which it did not do quite a few occasions in our checks.
- The stay tempo studying on Samsung’s operating app was too delicate, leaping all over to the purpose the place it turned ineffective.
- The plasticky strap feels a bit low cost and there’s no approach to change it.
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Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro In-Depth
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro To Track Activity
The Gear Fit2 Pro covers all of the bases for exercise monitoring and covers them properly: steps, flooring climbed, energy burned, lively minutes, and, for the latter, mechanically monitoring and including something above a reasonably quick stroll to your quantity. I had no complaints concerning the accuracy, it handed all the essential sense checks and the small print are all obtainable on the watch itself – if something, the app is a bit missing intimately.
The default day by day targets are 6,000 steps and ascending the equal of ten flights of stairs however every is definitely modified on the watch, and the stats screens on the watch provides a mean for the earlier 4 weeks in addition to the rely for every day. That might sound like loads of info to show on a reasonably small display, however the format is straightforward to learn. The app provides month-to-month developments and the “average steps at a healthy pace” quantity, a pleasant additional which may reveal that you simply’re juicing your step rely with frequent journeys to the merchandising machine.
As with virtually all exercise bands, the Gear Fit2 Pro will buzz at you after a interval of inactivity, on this case 50 minutes of stillness (though the function is suppressed if you’re sleeping or for those who flip Do Not Disturb on). It’ll recommend a couple of torso twists, show the transfer on the display and rely the reps, however should you rise up and make a cup of tea it’ll be glad.
You’ll additionally obtain a weekly exercise abstract on the watch each Monday at midday detailing your calorie burn, steps taken, flights of stairs climbed, time spent shifting at a “healthy pace” and sleep, plus a proportion change in contrast with the week earlier than. It’s a complete providing and packaged up well.
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro For Working Out
If you’re a fan of fitness courses the Gear Fit2 Pro will monitor periods and present the period, energy burned and your coronary heart price throughout exercise. The latter can also be colour-coded so you’ll be able to see which heart rate zone you’re in – particularly helpful throughout HIIT courses.
However, when you wish to comply with interval workouts by yourself, you’ll discover the Gear Fit2 Pro is missing a customisable interval timer to information you thru work and relaxation durations. I additionally couldn’t discover an app on the Samsung Galaxy retailer (a minimum of that works with iOS) that may fulfill this want. Even the Endomondo app, which usually gives interval exercises, can’t on the Gear Fit2 Pro.
There are particular modes for periods on cardio machines, like an exercise bike, treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical and step machine, however every choice tracks the identical factor: coronary heart price – it simply labels it precisely within the app. You can set a calorie burn goal or the period of the session and the gadget will buzz once you attain your aim.
There’s the choice to trace reps of some body weight exercises. Customise the variety of units and reps to carry out, and the watch will show the transfer on display. It asks you to undertake the beginning place and buzzes when it’s completely satisfied together with your type, you then full the reps. I attempted unweighted squats and lunges and the rep counter was spot on. The watch then counts down a minute of relaxation (though you possibly can skip this) till the subsequent set.
It’s a neat function however it might be much better if it had been developed additional right into a guided exercise. Sure, you might string collectively a bunch of exercises, however there’s extra to making a exercise than choosing a couple of health club strikes. It’s additionally a step behind the rep counting function on some Garmin fashions, which takes a powerful stab at mechanically recognising exercises in a multi-move exercise.
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro For Running
With the addition of built-in GPS, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro ought to attraction to semi-serious runners wanting to get correct tempo stats on the hoof and pour over their splits afterwards. Frustratingly, the native monitoring app has some critical flaws meaning runners ought to assume twice.
The largest beef I’ve is that you could’t hearth up the GPS, await it to lock on to a sign, after which begin the session. Instead, you hit begin, get a three-second countdown earlier than the timer begins and the Gear Fit2 Pro begins on the lookout for a satellite tv for pc. You can both stand there because the timer ticks away, throwing off your tempo stats for the primary kilometre and your common velocity for the entire run, or you possibly can set off and hope the GPS clicks in shortly. Unfortunately, it’s more durable for any system to get a sign on the transfer so whereas I tended to decide on the latter, I managed to get by way of a 40-minute run in central London with out GPS.
When the GPS did get a lock, I discovered that the reside tempo stat quickly jumped round in all places – typically from 4 minutes a kilometre to eight to 6 and so forth. I’ll admit my tempo in all probability isn’t clean, however I’d anticipate the software program to clean the readings out (I assume that’s what Fitbit does on its built-in GPS units, the Surge and Ionic, the place I’ve relied on the tempo studying with out problem).
This fault additionally torpedoes the pace-setter periods out there on the system. There are seven runs to comply with, with the gadget setting the tempo at which you run to realize totally different objectives (from mild jogging to hurry endurance), buzzing at you should you’re going too quick or too sluggish. I attempted it as soon as, it regularly buzzed at me and I gave up, which is a disgrace as a result of it’s a fantastic concept that’s extra generally discovered on running watches than fitness smartwatches.
The situation is much less pronounced when you use a third-party app to trace your run. I ran utilizing Endomondo as properly and located it to be extra usable, though nonetheless jumpier than I’d like. There can also be MapMyRun and Under Armour Record to attempt, however sadly not Strava, though you’ll be able to set the Samsung Health smartphone app to mechanically export GPS periods to the social community.
One big profit for runners is that there’s built-in reminiscence for music you can stream on to Bluetooth earphones, so you’ll be able to head out with out your telephone – however just for a restricted period of time. I obtained one hour 15 minutes of GPS and music off of a full cost. Not sufficient contemplating I used to be operating a half marathon and I’m not that fast. It’s one space the place the Gear Fit2 Pro can’t compete with costlier smartwatches.
For runners who aren’t that bothered about extra superior options, which might be the bulk, the Gear Fit2 Pro will do the job. However, it does lag behind different units, each smartwatches and cheaper GPS operating watches. The Garmin Vivoactive three can deal with music and GPS for 5 hours, the Apple Watch three much more.
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Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro For Cycling
The Gear Fit2 Pro is appropriate for informal cyclists, however even then it’s removed from one of the best in school. The GPS suffers from the identical drawback of not with the ability to lock on to a GPS sign earlier than beginning a experience. This screenshot additionally exhibits the accuracy of the GPS as soon as it’s locked on.
For the avoidance of doubt I began at Alfred Place and cycled alongside Windmill Street. This lack of accuracy isn’t confined to the Gear Fit2 Pro (particularly in central London), however reinforces the sense that you simply shouldn’t ask an excessive amount of of the Gear Fit2 Pro’s GPS.
The Gear Fit2 Pro does routinely log biking, so in concept you shouldn’t want to fret about manually beginning and stopping a session and nonetheless have the exercise contribute to your calorie burn and lively minutes stats, however it appeared to take too lengthy to recognise once I was shifting. My cycle commute is all the time someplace between 40 and 45 minutes. On at some point the Gear Fit2 Pro logged 12 minutes there and 17 minutes again. This is one thing Fitbit and Garmin can do with a a lot larger diploma of accuracy.
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro For Swimming
The Gear Fit2 Pro has taken its lumps up until this level, however swimming might be the killer app that persuades you to purchase one.
For starters the guts price monitor stays on within the water, one thing many manufacturers draw back from. It labored properly, matching my expectations of how onerous I used to be working.
I used to be additionally very impressed with the system’s automated stroke recognition, nailing breastroke and backstroke, though it did name my actually, actually poor entrance crawl tried with out goggles as “mixed” (the stroke was, to be truthful, all over). It additionally counted lengths appropriately, which is not any small feat.
The solely situation with the native app on the system is you can solely set the pool size as 25 metres, 50 metres or 25 yards. No good should you swim in a small pool at your fitness center.
In the Samsung Health app there’s a breakdown of lengths, alongside together with your greatest and common size period. It’ll additionally inform you your tempo and SWOLF rating, the latter a measure of your effectivity within the water.
This is the primary swim tracker I’ve tried that brings monitoring as much as the extent I’d anticipate for operating and biking. It’s helpful, intuitive and extra importantly it really works reliably.
If you’ve gotten a Samsung telephone, you may also obtain and use the SpeedoOn app on the gadget. SpeedoOn is a sprawling useful resource of exercises, training plans, method drills and extra. While I used to be unable to attempt it, I’m betting it provides a brand new dimension to swim trackers.
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Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro As A Heart Rate Monitor
The coronary heart fee monitor on the Gear Fit2 Pro works in addition to you’d anticipate any wrist-worn tracker to – a number of readings appeared means off mid-exercise however that’s par for the course.
For monitoring your coronary heart through the day you possibly can flip the HRM off (which didn’t save battery like I hoped it might), or have it taking readings regularly or all the time. Keeping it all the time on permits the Gear Fit2 Pro to start out recording any small little bit of exercise throughout your day, like a quick stroll.
There’s loads of info out there on the smartphone app – the time you spent in numerous zones, your most, minimal and common coronary heart fee – however unusually resting heart rate isn’t prominently displayed as a single quantity, however slightly as a variety on a graph.
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Using The Gear Fit2 Pro For Calorie Counting
The energy you’ve burned are solely viewable on the Gear Fit2 Pro, not the app unusually, nevertheless it’s the most effective format of the knowledge I’ve seen. The color coded timeline breaks up your day – from sleeping to mild exercise, to strolling, biking, operating, understanding or shifting at a healthy tempo – to point out if you have been burning probably the most energy. Click on every phase in your coronary heart price and calorie burn throughout that interval.
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro As A Smartwatch
Apple Watch customers and house owners of smartwatches that use Android Wear because the working system are spoilt for selection. Everyone else, not a lot, however Samsung gear leads the remainder of the pack because of the Under Armour and SpeedoOn apps already coated above.
Samsung can also be one of many few smartwatch producers to supply a Spotify app (it’s additionally obtainable on Android Wear). Once you’ve logged in (which I did not do, however I’m placing this one right down to consumer error/anger) and related the system to WiFi, it acts as a standalone music participant streaming by means of any related Bluetooth system. Since playlists aren’t obtainable offline, it’s good to make use of in your house, at work or the health club (when you’ve got respectable WiFi in every place), however much less so outdoors until you tether it to your telephone.
There’s additionally area for music on the Gear Fit2 Pro. The Music Manager on the watch provides an internet handle to hit on the browser in your pc and, so long as your system is related to WiFi, you simply drag and drop music to obtain to the system. No software program to obtain, no cables. I additionally discovered establishing Bluetooth headphones and streaming music from the system to them straightforward and dependable – principally every little thing you need on this division. Kudos, Samsung.
Finally, the system relayed notifications from my telephone with none further set-up and included sufficient characters from emails, WhatsApp and textual content messages that I might decide as as to if it was value getting my telephone out or not. It’s what you’d anticipate, however it’s not often executed as cleanly as this.
Apart from with the ability to reply calls by swiping the Gear Fit2 Pro’s display, communication between telephone and watch was one-way, nevertheless, so the Gear Fit2 Pro was the dumb associate on this relationship, however that’s commonplace until the wearable and telephone are from the identical producer.
Using The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro For Sleep Tracking
Samsung is up there with one of the best in sleep monitoring as a result of it’s included steerage as as to if the sleep tracked is good-quality or not. Like many trackers, the Gear Fit2 Pro will monitor the time asleep (and get it proper, cough Garmin cough) and cut up it up into mild, immobile (presumably deep) and stressed durations. But on prime of that it provides you a (considerably mysterious) effectivity rating and a a lot plainer score of excellent, truthful or poor.
There’s additionally a sleep aim within the app that permits you to set goal occasions to go to mattress and get up, as a result of consistency on this space is extensively accepted as a think about how nicely you sleep. The function may also take your caffeine consumption under consideration when you manually add it within the app.
The system is snug sufficient to put on via the night time and Samsung’s correctly included a Do Not Disturb function so the brilliantly vibrant display doesn’t change on if you flip over in mattress and stir you (it actually can get fairly shiny). The solely draw back is that the poor battery life means you’ll want be on prime of charging to keep away from having the gadget die through the night time.
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The Samsung Health App
Because I used to be utilizing an iPhone I needed to set up two apps, Samsung Gear Fit which connects your gadget to your telephone and supplies entry to the Galaxy app retailer, and Samsung Health, the companion app correct.
I had a number of syncing points now and again which have been resolved with a couple of makes an attempt or turning issues on and off once more – nothing too dangerous however it’s not as slick as platform-agnostic manufacturers like Fitbit and Garmin. I’ll wager you gained’t get these issues should you’re on an Android or Samsung telephone, although.
While the Samsung Health app doesn’t look as good as its rivals’ apps, there’s loads of depth should you spend the time clicking round. For occasion, should you manually report your weight the app may also calculate your BMI (a measure that’s not without its problems however one thing value understanding).
In specific I appreciated the objectives for exercise, sleep and nutrition, which may help to show dumb info into one thing extra helpful. For the latter aim, you’ll be able to set your goal calorie consumption after which log what you eat all through the day in addition to getting a nutrient rating (low, common/advisable and excessive) for protein, carbs, complete fats and saturated fat, fibre, potassium, nutritional vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and sodium. If you’re shopping for a tracker to enhance your health quite than, say, serving to you train for a marathon, this function is a implausible addition.
How Often Am I Going To Have To Charge It?
So much. On a full cost the app estimates round 20 hours of use, and turning the guts fee monitor off solely buys you an additional 30 minutes. Not stretching to a full day is a let-down in mild of the strong sleep-tracking options, however maybe you’ll find a daily time every day to cost it. About an hour and a half is sufficient to go from zero to full.
Using GPS is a critical battery hog too. I wore the Gear Fit2 Pro and the Fitbit Ionic for a run of 1 hour and ten minutes. The Ionic used about 20% of its cost, however for the Samsung gadget it was greater than half.
There is an influence saving mode which the Gear Fit2 Pro will immediate you to activate when it hits 20% battery, however meaning a greyscale display, and step and stair counting solely. Annoyingly, it doesn’t routinely flip it off when you recharge it so I’ve turned the function on, recharged it when handy and strapped it again on however forgotten to show off energy saving mode, lacking telephone notifications I actually might have finished with seeing.
Where Can I Wear It Without People Laughing At Me?
Plump for the all-black mannequin and also you’ll get by just about anyplace. It’s extra of a band than a watch so it might not fly in conservative workplaces, nevertheless it’s fairly modern and inconspicuous. There are additionally a metallic blue and pinky-red fashions obtainable, however contemplate your selection rigorously since you’re caught with it – you possibly can’t change bands like you’ll be able to with different trackers.
Should I Consider Buying Something Else?
Until very just lately I might have stated no, until you’re pleased to pony up one other £100-plus to maneuver up a worth bracket, or ditch the smartwatch and swimming chops and go for the ultra-cheap Huawei Band Pro 2 or Amazfit Bip, each of which’ll bag you GPS and a coronary heart fee monitor for one thing within the area of £50 in the event you store round.
However, it appears manufactures have cottoned on to the £200 worth level for a smartwatch. Fitbit is releasing the Versa smartwatch in April, which beats the Gear Fit Pro 2 for operating, biking (regardless that it must piggyback off a smartphone to supply GPS monitoring), battery life, basic slickness of the app and expertise, and elegance, however isn’t nearly as good at swim monitoring or being a very sensible smartwatch.
There’s additionally a brand new entrant, the Mobvoi Ticwatch, which whereas not waterproof does have GPS and a coronary heart fee monitor, however its largest asset is being constructed on the Android platform so it ought to supply far, much better apps. Another choice is the Suunto three Fitness, though preliminary studies from a colleague are iffy. Reviews of all three are incoming.
The Gear Fit2 Pro stays a powerful choice, although. If you personal a Samsung telephone, are a daily swimmer or already use any of Under Armour’s fitness apps, it’s definitely value critical consideration.