When it comes to Android phones, Samsung is the flagship device manufacturer. Their Galaxy and Galaxy Note devices are the go-to for any Android enthusiast. However, when it comes to smartwatches, they have decided not to go with Android Wear/Wear OS, and instead, have brought out their own range of watches and fitness devices that run on Tizen OS. The Gear series represent different kinds of watches. We had a look at their latest and greatest fitness watch, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro. Featuring GPS, Heart Rate monitoring as well as over 3000 apps, this is a nifty and light device for everyone.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro – Features
- See your activity, sleep, and workout stats in one dashboard and get insight into your health and fitness levels.
- Plan and track your routes with real-time maps and capture every run, ride, and walk.
- Eat smarter and achieve your health goals by keeping track of the calories you consume and burn
- Join a global community of fitness enthusiasts as you reach your running goals with personal training plans.
- With more than 3,000 apps and watch faces to choose from, including Spotify, you can customise your Gear Fit2 Pro to make it work for you
- Water Resistant (5 ATM)
- 4.0GB Storage
- 200 mAh battery
In the box
- Gear Fit 2 Pro
- Charging dock (magnetic)
Look and feel
Unlike your traditional smartwatch, the Gear Fit 2 Pro specialises in being petite and thin. I have had this on my wrist for around 3 weeks now, and I have never felt like there was a load on my wrist. Carrying a baby around can be taxing on your wrists, and believe me I would have noticed if this watch carried any bulk at all. At 34 grams without the strap, you know you are onto a winner!
The screen is brilliant and offers great colours. Bright sunlight does pose some challenges, but you can just about make it. There is no auto-brightness though, so you will have to set it to be what it is. After a bit of playing around, I left it at 4 out of 10.
On the side are two buttons, a big one, which offers a HOME/BACK feature, while the one below is for Settings. Being a touchscreen means that the screen offers as much of control as the buttons do.
The rear has a couple of charging points as well as the exposed LEDs for the heart rate monitor.
Annoyingly, the watch requires you to download two apps. One to pair and talk to the watch, and the Samsung Health app to be able to look at your health data.
Once you have downloaded the apps and signed in, the watch can look for them and you can try and pair.
It seemed a bit fiddly but we got there pretty quickly.
After that, you can have a browse of the various settings on offer, change things around such as watchfaces, and add/delete things.
Use as a watch
Normally I will not stand for a watch that does not have an always-on display. I started off the same way with this one, but battery life meant that I was forced to change that to the ‘gesture on’ display. Interestingly, it works every single time. Not once was I forced to hit the side button to wake it up, which is also an option.
It works well as a watch, offers a huge amount of watchfaces, and you can decide how much or little data is available on it.
Also available are apps for Alarms and such like.
The watch offers a ‘swipe’ UI. You can swipe right to see notifications, and swipe left to see various options, such as health data and more. As you add more apps, they can appear here.
In many ways, all it takes for a watch to be a smartwatch these days is to be able to offer you notifications. The Gear Fit 2 Pro will basically pass every single notification you get on your phone on to your wrist. From there you can either ‘CLEAR’ it or ‘Block’ the app.
As you start with the watch, you will find yourself blocking quite a few apps. For me, it was the likes of Twitter, Mail, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The ones where you get a lot of notifications but there is no urgency.
On the other hand, you can leave the likes of Phone, texts, Whatsapp, Skype, etc.
A good feature on offer is that it allows you to control what you see when a notification appears. You can either see the message you have received or just the fact that ‘Whatsapp’ has a notification to show you. Can be handy if you are expecting any sensitive information to be sent to you. Can’t be too careful in these GDPR times!
While Android Wear/Wear OS and Tizen are different beasts, there are a huge amount of apps available for both, meaning you can pretty much do everything with this that you’d do with the other.
You have options such as Spotify, RunKeeper, Weather apps, faces, and much much more.
Simply head to the Gear Fit app to download what you want. It can then be accessed by pressing the lower button. An app can also be added to the main screen.
Apps such as Spotify allow you to connect to a Bluetooth speaker/headphones and download offline playlists to your device. All very neat!
Use as a fitness device
The watch offers built-in heart rate monitor as well as GPS. This means that you can go for a run and get all the data you need. You can pretty much use any main app you want to record the fitness data. So while you use the default app for your basic info, you can add something like RunKeeper or Endomondo or Strava to track your exact run, heart rate, maps, etc.
On top of all that, the watch features ‘auto-workout detection’. In my case, it knew when I was going for a brisk walk, a cycle ride, a run and even realised I was doing a work out when I was doing a particularly tricky job in the garden. You will all be pleased to know that I won and that bloody ‘nettle tree’ got uprooted.
Under standard operation, which involves a few notifications, exercise and a few modes where the GPS and fitness tracking was on, as was Heart Rate monitor, I was able to squeeze about 2 days of battery life out of it. One day of use is pretty comfortable. However, you obviously want to have it on while you sleep to be able to get sleep data.
Power Saving Mode
Power Saving Mode is a pretty clever feature available on the Gear Fit 2 Pro. It turns the display to grayscale, cuts off functionality and allows you to run the watch for a lot longer. While doing so, it still maintains basic functions such as timekeeping and fitness measurement.
How to enable power saving mode on Gear Fit 2 Pro
The standard way to enable Power Saving Mode on the device is by going to settings and accessing it.
However, there is a shortcut to achieve it as well. Just hold the Settings button (the lower one) for a few seconds and you will be given the option to switch to Power Saving Mode.
How to get the most out of the Gear Fit 2 Pro battery
I found the best performance I could get out of the Gear Fit 2 Pro was 2 days of battery life.
To do so, I had it set that the display only came on with gestures, and I would normally enable Power Saving Mode in the evenings. It was useful to do so at that time because that is when I would be putting the little one to sleep. This would ensure that there was no distraction from that bright object on my wrist!
How to change the screen on the Gear Fit 2 Pro
Changing the screen on the Gear Fit 2 Pro is pretty simple. Simply hold your finger onto the display and it allows you to swap between the faces available on your watch.
More information on the Gear Fit 2 Pro can be found on the Samsung website.
It comes in black and red. While it officially retails for £209, Amazon has the black one for £134.99 at the time of writing.
As far as smartwatches go, the bulk is the main thing going against them. The Gear Fit 2 Pro offers a choice that has none of the bulk and all of the features. Definitely our go to watch for anybody who wants a serious fitness watch.