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This is Gear Fit2, Samsung's $179 bid to out-feature other fitness wearables

Jon Phillips | June 3, 2016
Built-in GPS. 4GB of music storage. Android notifications. And a pretty curved display. The Gear Fit2 packs a lot of razzle-dazzle for $179.

Considering how many wearables Samsung has unleashed in the last two years, you almost have to applaud the company’s patience in releasing a follow-up to its original Gear Fit activity tracker, a somewhat flawed device that received middling reviews. But here we are. On the surface, the new Gear Fit2 looks a lot like its namesake from 2014, but its feature set has been updated to 2016 standards. 

For $179—that’s $20 cheaper than the original’s MSRP—the Gear Fit2 gives you stand-alone GPS, 4GB of music storage, all the same notifications as your Android phone, and automatic tracking for running, cycling, sleep, and other activities. 

All of this (and more) is delivered in a curved, 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display that looks way more sci-fi movie prop than anything you’ll get from Apple or Fitbit. Do you want to pretend you’re a time traveler from 2050? Then this is your wristband. But there’s no denying the Gear Fit2 is visually arresting, offering screen after screen of charts and graphs that should appeal to junior data scientists. The high-tech appeal is undeniable.

You can preorder the Gear Fit2 at Amazon, BestBuy.com, and Samsung.com tomorrow, or wait to buy it at retail on June 10.

gear fit2 trio
Jon Phillips You can’t swap out bands, but you can have your Gear Fit2 in two different sizes, and choose from blue, pink or black.

The story behind the story: Activity trackers continue to be consumer favorites despite pressure from ostensibly more useful smartwatches. Indeed, the latest report from IDC tells us that Fitbit owned 24.5 percent of the worldwide wearables market in Q1 2016, followed by Xiaomi (19 percent), and Apple (7.5 percent). Obviously, Apple leveraged Apple Watch sales, but Fitbit and Xiaomi are all about fitness wristbands.

Samsung held the fifth position with 3.6 percent of the worldwide wearables market. The company’s wearables portfolio has been almost entirely focused on smartwatches like the Gear S2, so a return to affordable fitness tracking—the product category consumers care about most—only makes sense. What’s more, Samsung is doubling down on fitness wearables with the just-announced Gear IconX, a pair of wireless earbuds that do step-tracking and heart rate monitoring on their own.

Gear Fit2, feature by feature

The Gear Fit2 may be “just” an activity tracker, but its feature set wanders into smartwatch territory. There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s dig in, feature by feature.

Full Android support: The original Gear Fit would only work if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone, whereas the Fit2 is compatible with any phone running Android 4.4 and higher.

 

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