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MWC: Samsung Gear Fit hands-on review

Fitness focused wearable device impresses despite limited features
Tue Feb 25 2014, 11:34

BARCELONA: SAMSUNG UNVEILED the Gear Fit along with the Samsung Galaxy S5 at its Mobile World Congress (MWC) press conference on Monday, claiming it is the "world's first" Super AMOLED curved wearable device.

Unlike the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo 2 smartwatches, the Samsung Gear Fit is focused on fitness, although it does also have the ability to display notifications from a connected Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

We got some hands-on time with the device following Samsung's MWC unveiling, and here are our first impressions of the Gear Fit.

Design
Weighing just 27g, the design of the Samsung Gear Fit is clean and lean. Although we weren't keen on the vibrant orange rubber strap on the model we got to test, this can be switched out for less flashy black and grey options. We found that the device was quite comfortable worn on the wrist as designed, handy given the gadget's focus on fitness.

Display
Aside from its vibrant wrist strap, the first thing you'll notice about the Gear Fit is its 1.84in 432x128 resolution Super AMOLED screen. While that might not sound like much screen space, we found the display beautifully crisp and vibrant, with the AMOLED display technology offering deep blacks and colours that pop.

The Samsung Gear Fit has a 1.84in AMOLED screen

The display is very bright, although Samsung said that it will automatically dim in brighter lighting, meaning you'll likely squeeze two to three days of battery life out of the device. We also found the screen responsive, with the small AMOLED screen responding quickly to the slightest touch.

Software and fitness
Unlike Samsung's Gear smartwatches, the Gear Fit runs a custom Samsung operating system, rather than Tizen. While it has limited options, we found the colourful interface intuitive to use, and liked the clockface it displays when the device is not otherwise in use.

The Samsung Gear Fit has a built in heart rate monitor

As to its fitness focused features, the Samsung Gear Fit boasts a heart rate monitor, much like the Samsung Galaxy S5, along with a pedometer, an exercise tracker and a stopwatch and timer. Unfortunately, given that we were resistricted to the MWC show floor, we didn't get a chance to test these fully, although we did check out the heart rate monitor, which worked smoothly and accurately.

However, we hope that Samsung will open the Gear Fit to developers, as we found the device's features, while likely to appeal to fitness fanatics, somewhat limited.

First impressions
The Gear Fit is Samsung's most interesting wearable to date. It looks good, the screen is great and the onboard fitness features are intuitive and easy to use.

However, the Gear Fit's feature set is somewhat lacking and we were disappointed that it is compatible only with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Still, the Gear Fit shows off what Samsung is capable of delivering in the wearable devices market. µ

 

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