Thanks to the folks at AT&T, I’m a short term owner of a Samsung Gear Fit.
If you’re not aware, the Gear Fit is Samsung’s cross between smartwatch and fitness band. There’s plenty written and reviewed about the Gear Fit, but you should definitely check out this CNet post for an in-depth look. Check out this video for a great review.
For what it’s worth
Samsung really wants this device to compete with the Fitbit brand of fitness bands. Here’s a great comparison video between the two.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed with the device, since it failed to track my steps throughout the day. Mrs. The Droid Lawyer was very anxious to see how “mobile” I really am, but alas, Gear Fit failed on my first attempt.
Of course, this was purely my fault, since I assumed the pedometer tracking was automatic based on movement. That’s not the case — as I would have found out if I read the included materials. Thus, when I tried using the Fit a second time I had much better success — let’s just say I had less than 10,000 steps.
Pros and Cons
If you own a Samsung device, you’re not going to find a lot of cons to also grabbing a Gear Fit. Samsung created S-Health, which is an all-in-one space for storing health statistics (think NSA but for health).
For non-Samsung owners, the Gear Fit is hit or miss when it comes to compatibility. Most HTC One M8 users report functionality, and there’s a hack for Nexus 5 phones, with an accompanying video.
I was able to get the Gear Fit working with my Nexus 5, though I couldn’t receive notifications (incoming call worked fine, but nothing else) or sync health information. At that point, the Gear Fit’s an overpriced pedometer and timer. Other functions, such as “find my phone,” worked fine.
I didn’t test the sleep function, though I suspect I would discover I don’t get great sleep.
Since I don’t wear a watch, I frequently got annoyed by the tiny distraction on my arm. The default Gear Fit band barely fit on my wrist — not sure if that’s intent or flaw — so if you have bigger arms, you’re advised to check out the fit ahead of time.
Finally, the slim screen really bothered me. Coming from a “traditional” watch world, I found difficulty adjusting to the display. Default is “landscape” mode, which is even more cumbersome to look at. Fortunately, you can rotate the screen to portrait mode and save some confusion.
Price and overall value
Overall, the Gear Fit meshes well with Samsung devices, and definitely not so well with others. If you own a non-Samsung device, I suggest you conduct detailed research into whether the product will work with your phone or tablet. Naturally, if you’re fine waiting until 3rd Quarter 2014, I suspect we’ll see a huge influx of new Android Wear devices that offer similar functions.
The Gear Fit doesn’t come cheap, at $189 (Amazon) you’re making a small investment — another reason to diligently test the device. For comparison, the Fitbit Flex costs less than $100 (Amazon). Thus, buyer beware.