Technology

Samsung Launches Gear Fit Smart Watch

Samsung Gear Fit Smart WatchEven though Samsung is rolling out its new pair of Gear smartwatches for 2014 (the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo) it clearly sees a lot of potential in the more humble fitness band.

So with that in mind it’s also pushing out a third Gear sibling in the form of the Gear Fit, a wearable band that aims to be big on style but a little less function-heavy than its brothers – no camera, no remote control, no storage for music – leaving it as a halfway house between fitness device and smartwatch that comes in at $199.

Initially, the Fit was locked at a horizontal display but Samsung has since issued an update that gives you the option of a vertical rotation instead. Having tried both, the vertical mode has an undeniably more ergonomic feel to it.

Reading SMS and emails is a neat addition but most people will find scrolling on the tiny screen in horizontal mode a bit fiddly considering that the screen height is little more than the diameter of the average finger.

The UI is built around the rough principle of each screen having three clickable areas (the left, the center, and the right, of the screen) as well as swiping between screens. This is consistent across the built-in apps, and gives the Gear Fit a shallow learning curve.

You can also set up when the pedometer data should be synced from the Gear Fit to Samsung’s S Health application, or force an immediate transfer. The pedometer will keep track of your walking without being connected to your Samsung smartphone, but if you are looking to use any of the other exercise applications, you will need to be connected over BlueTooth to your handset.

The reporting and tracking of your exercise activities is undertaken by the S Health application on your Galaxy smartphone (you will need to sign up for a Samsung account to use the service). The various activities and measurements can be selected from a menu that come sin from the left.

The Gear Fit’s sleep tracking is little more than tracking the motionless time when you are in bed. Sony’s SmartBand tracker will gather a mix of light and deep sleep depending on the amount of movement, providing more information and therefore better analysis than Samsung’s system.

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