James Howe puts the Samsung Gear Fit2 through its paces. Here’s what he found.
I’ve just found a new way of discovering if something is useful or not. I mean really useful.
While testing a device lets you know if you think the product is any good or not, having to go a few days without that product after you’ve decided you like it is a quick way to cement whether something is essential.
Let me give you an example. I was fortunate enough to receive the brand new Samsung Gear Fit 2, a wearable that tracks your key health and fitness data as well as operating as a fully functional smartwatch. After a two weeks with it I then had to spend four days without it.
I missed it every day. Here’s why
Health and fitness benefits
As far as fitness trackers go, the Gear Fit 2 is up there with the best of them. It does all the standard tracking of steps and floors climbed as well as having a built in heart rate monitor and sleep tracker, all which record automatically. It also comes with standalone GPS tracking meaning I can record runs without having to take my phone.
An additional data field that I hadn’t seen on any other wearable was the ability to manually track how much water I drank during the day.
All of this generated great data which transferred seamlessly to the S Health app and allowed me monitor trends in my data to identify where I need to change my behaviour. After all, a wearable will only improve health and fitness if you know how to use the data.
Through the app I was also able to record additional data such as weight, oxygen saturation and even stress levels.
In my time without my wearable I genuinely missed the data provided to me – what was my resting heart rate overnight and should I push myself hard on my run or was this pesky cough starting to fatigue my body? I also feel like I was drinking less water and staying inactive longer because I wasn’t having the nudges and encouragement when I had the Gear Fit 2.
I know in an ideal world I’d be able to do these things without technology, but by having to go without the data after becoming used to it I felt that the Gear Fit 2 had gone from a gadget to a useful tool.
The main driver for me in choosing a wearable in the past has always been the fitness benefits it provides. As technology has evolved over the years I’ve been intrigued by the possibility of a smart watch and the Gear Fit 2 really delivered on that front.
The watch synched easily with my phone’s Bluetooth and provided immediate notifications of calls, calendar events and messages as well as the ability to personalise and choose which apps generated notifications. With a series of customisable template responses, I could even reply to messaging services. This was really useful when in meetings for instance and I wanted to be discreet.
Another winner for me was the “Find my phone” functionality. More often than I would like to admit I find myself at home looking for my phone. I dial it from another phone, and then have to tell my family to be silent as I run around like mad man trying to hear “buzz, buzz” because my phone is inevitably always on silent and hidden under a couch cushion. With “Find my phone” a simple press of the button makes my phone ring out loud, even if on silent, making it easy to locate. A small but useful feature.
In terms of battery life, on average I got through two days of usage before needing to charge. However, the big upside is that charging time is really fast. I usually place my Gear Fit 2 on the magnetic docking station when I wake up and have a shower and by the time I’m heading out the door for work it’s fully charged and good to go.
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is a great all round lifestyle wearable. Just don’t ask to borrow mine – I don’t want to go through more time without it!