About Samsung Gear Fit

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Jun 24, 2014

Samsung Gear Fit is a fitness band and smartwatch combination claims that it can help you monitor your heart rate and track the number of steps you take each day, while also giving you the ability to check emails, texts, and more. Whether you’re a tech junkie, an avid sports enthusiast, or perhaps a bit of both, you’ve probably heard about it by now.

But after everything is said and done, does the Samsung Gear Fit work as well as the manufacturer claims, or is it just another gadget you’ll find sitting in your junk draw next month? In order to answer these questions—and many more—we did some digging, and here’s what we found out about the Samsung Gear Fit.

Samsung Gear Fit Features

At its most basic, the new Samsung Gear Fit claims to take features you’d typically only find in a smartwatch or fitness band, and to combine them into one single device. As such, this wearable wristband is claimed to use green LED technology to monitor your heart rate, in addition to featuring a pedometer, both of which include real-time coaching and the ability to transfer your data to your Samsung smartphone and S Health account. On top of this, Samsung claims that you can also control media, and check emails, texts, and alerts with the Gear Fit, purportedly giving you the best of both worlds. In fact, the company claims that you can even set up customized alerts using third-party apps (more about this in the Bottom Line section).

Each Samsung Gear Fit features a curved, backlit 1.84-inch (128 x 432 Pixel) Super AMOLED® display, a 160MHz processor, bluetooth connectivity, a light weight of 27 grams (0.95 oz), and dust proof and water resistant construction. The Gear Fit doesn’t use an Android OS, instead opting for a proprietary OS created by Samsung, although the company claims that it can go up to 3 days before needing to be recharged.

Samsung Gear Fit Pricing & Refund Policy

If purchased directly through Samsung, the Gear Fit is priced at $199.99. However, keep in mind that this smartwatch is also available from numerous other third-party retailers, including Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, and more, some of which are priced 25% lower.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About the Samsung Gear Fit?

Overall, it appears that the Samsung Gear Fit has an evenly mixed online reputation, with most compliments citing comfortableness, wide variety of features, and a responsive touch screen. On the other hand, some of the most common complaints reference:

  • Short battery life (doesn’t actually last 3 days between charges).
  • Inaccurate readings (heart rate is off, doesn’t accurately count steps). In fact, in instances where it was compared side-by-side with traditional pedometers, the Gear Fit counted up to 350% more steps during the same exercise session.
  • Difficulty reading the small display, especially in sunlight. Also, the elongated screen requires you to tilt your head every time you read it. Alternately, you can view your content in horizontal mode, but this apparently condenses text into an almost unreadable format.
  • Some thought that the Gear Fit’s rubberized band looked cheap, while others complained that the display has a tendency to pop out of the band.
  • Samsung’s proprietary OS is very limited in functionality, and is not very intuitive to use. Also, numerous reviewers claimed they had difficulty syncing information from the Gear Fit to their Samsung smartphone and/or to their S Health account.
  • The Gear Fit’s small, proprietary charger is easy to lose, and would require that you reorder the same adapter should this occur, which could be a pain.

What’s the Bottom Line About the Samsung Gear Fit?

It’s admittedly tempting to have such a cool device on your wrist, especially if you’re someone who enjoys staying up to date on all the latest gadgets, and who also enjoys staying fit. But with this in mind, does the Samsung Gear Fit represent a good value for your hard-earned money? Maybe, but consider the following first:

Most importantly, unlike many of its smartwatch/fitness band competitors, the Gear Fit can only be used with other Samsung smartphones and tablets, so if you’re using an iDevice or Windows phone, you’re out of luck. But even then, the Gear Fit won’t work with Samsung’s entire lineup. In fact, we read more than one customer review claiming that even though Samsung stated that the Gear Fit would work with their phones, this only included limited functionality.

Next, even if you have a compatible phone, by far the most common complaint associated with the Samsung Gear Fit is that its heart rate monitor and pedometer are frequently—and sometimes very—inaccurate. To help with this problem, many customers recommended that you strap the Gear Fit tightly to the underside of your wrist for more accurate readings. However, under even the best of circumstances, most customers complained that this still didn’t completely solve the issue.

Finally, the Samsung Gear Fit does not feature built-in GPS, so you won’t be able to use it with any of the popular tracking apps currently available. In fact, although the Samsung website claims that you can use third-party apps to customize your alerts, this shouldn’t be construed to mean that you can use third-party fitness apps such as Strava, MapMyFitness, etc.

Bottom line: While the Samsung Gear Fit is one of only a few smartwatch/fitness tracker combos currently available, it seems that most customers feel it’s a step in the right direction, but that it ultimately fails to perform either function very well. As such, with a quickly expanding market segment, you may want to wait for a better adaptation before handing over nearly $200.

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