The Gear Fit2 is slim and smart, and deserves to do well in an increasingly crowded fitness band-cum-smartwatch market.

It offers all the basics associated with fitness wearables: it tracks your activity (steps and exercises) and sleep, and you can access the nicely crunched data to track your progress both on the device and via an app.

It has a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS and music storage, and auto exercise detection that will log things like a run or cycle for you.

The inclusion of the heart monitor is great, because it means more accuracy for the calorie burn and other health-related data, but note that, like all wrist-based heart monitors, this is applicable for a given level of accuracy.

GPS in the device means you can run without your phone to hand for data collection and you’ll be able to see your pace, route and distance. Another way it’s freed you up from your phone, is the music file storage for up to 500 songs.

The device uses a 1.5-inch colour AMOLED touch screen to see notifications and messages received on your smartphone, and you are able to reply directly from the device.

Via the S Health app, you can set goals and challenges for yourself or compete with friends. It’s designed to work with Samsung devices, but also supports other Android devices with Android 4.4 and up, and at least 1.5GB RAM. Unfortunately, there is no iPhone support.

But there are a few limitations: The battery will go for up to four days on a single charge, which is not bad, but not segment-leading either. It’ll survive light rain and sweat, but this is not a fully waterproof device.

Though fitness devices are a luxury segment of tech, with a small market, they have a place. But are they to act as mere connected pedometers (with extra functionality) or as an extension of your smartphone? Apple and Samsung come down on the side of the latter. If you agree, the Gear Fit2 is a solid option, and will set you back R3,999.

Gear Fit2

Cool factor ***

Usability *****

Value for money ***

 

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