The Gear Fit2 had a good way to get ahead of the curve – actually having a curved screen.
Strapping that bendy AMOLED display onto your wrist was a pleasure, even if the hardware underneath it wasn’t quite the Mr Motivator Samsung had hoped it would be. That’s why it’s back for round two, with a revised Fit2 Pro.
On the surface, not much has changed: you still get a gorgeous 1.5in AMOLED touchscreen, the clever Tizen wearable OS is still calling the shots, and you’ll still get about half a week of battery between charges. So what exactly makes this Pro, then?
Well, it’s because this fitness band has learned how to hold its breath.
The Fit2 Pro is now completely water-sealed, so it won’t just shrug off a rain shower – it’ll survive a drowning down to five atmospheres of water resistance. That’s diver-speak for 50m underwater, or deeper than you’re ever likely to go in a swimming pool. Probably don’t go scuba diving with it, though.
Keeping track of how many lengths you’ve done should be a cinch, thanks to a dedicated Speedo swimming app, which can count lap times and record which stroke you’re using too.
Landlubbers have plenty to get excited about too, with continuous heart rate monitoring now an option. By default, it’ll measure your pulse every ten minutes, helping that 200mAh battery eke out four days on a single charge. When you need more data, though? Switch to second-by-second monitoring and you’ll get a better idea of why you’re blown out before you’ve even hit your stride.
All the usual sports and exercise tracking options return, of course, along with GPS tracking and automatic activity detection, so you don’t even have to tell the band what you’re getting up to for it to record. So pretty much like having a miniature personal trainer living on your wrist, then.
LISTEN TO THIS
The Fit2 Pro has also been brushing up on its musical abilities, thanks to a partnership with Spotify. This is one of the only ways you’ll be able to bring your playlists with you on the move, without having to stream them from a phone.
Offline playback will hold up to 500 of your tracks on the band’s 4GB of internal memory (assuming you’ve not loaded it up with watch apps first), including Spotify Run playlists. Samsung is working out how to bring BPM tracking to your runs, too, so you’ll be able to keep pace to your music and keep chipping away at that personal best.
Spotify integrates perfectly with the established Tizen UI, which for our money is slicker than Android Wear. Everything makes perfect sense, with large icons and easy-to-read text, even at arm’s length. You get the usual phone notifications, music controls and app alerts, plus integration with a whole host of third party apps that have their own Tizen editions. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Apple’s watch app selection, but it’s getting there. Quickly.
SAMSUNG GEAR FIT2 PRO INITIAL VERDICT
Let’s be honest: the Gear Fit and Gear Fit 2 were smartwatches masquerading as fitness bands. The Gear Fit2 Pro goes that little step further, and while it’s still got more IQ points than your average Swatch or Timex, it’s a bona fide fitness fanatic too.
Water resistance and swim tracking courtesy of Speedo are great additions, second-by-second heart rate monitoring is perfect for serious exercise fiends, and offline Spotify streaming is the handy little extra that’ll get the rest of us off the couch and actually racking up the kilometres. With Tizen doing all the heavy lifting, you won’t be missing out on phone notifications, watch apps or music controls either.
Not everyone wants to wear their fitness ambitions on their wrist, but if you don’t mind the rest of the world knowing you’re into, y’know, staying alive and healthy, the Fit2 Pro looks like the full package. We can’t wait to strap one on a wrist (for more than a few minutes) and give it a full review a little closer to launch.