Gear Fit Review - Thoughts and Observations here
A surprise came in the mail today from AT&T. I had pre-ordered the fit back in March and it has finally arrived, and even earlier than the expected launch date.
The gear fit is very light, and comfortable to wear. The design is something that I can appreciate more than its big brother the gear 2/Neo. The display is vibrant and the picture quality is what you would expect from a AMOLED display. The heart rate monitor works well, I had it over my wrist bone at first so it couldn't see me vein to get a reading since it uses infrared to count your BPM. I enjoy the simplicity of the design more than some other smart watches/fitness bands because its just a simple layout with one physical button and a touch screen. This is more aimed at the fitness side of things than the everyday smartwatch, but that doesn't mean its not a great device. Don't forget that this product is meant to compete more with items such as the fitbit, jawbone and other fitness trackers but with added functionality. Samsung is also releasing their other fitness product the S Band which is more on par with the two mentioned above, but the fit could be seen as a premium version of these rather than a new category in general. I don't see the fit complete with the Polaris line of products in terms of monitoring because its only meant for Samsung devices currently. Overall I am happy with it, and I will update this with more details, images and answer any questions that you guys have.
Hopefully Samsung will post prices and make the other colored bands available for people to buy on the official launch but these days who knows.
Pictures Part 1:
I have been using this device for about 6 hours messing around with the settings and seeing what works for me. The battery was at 63% when I started and is now at 55%. Keep in mind that I have had the screen on a lot, along with trying out the gesture to wake which is a little too sensitive. If you use the gesture wake the display will turn on when you lift your arm up (a battery killer obviously) The notifications do push instantly to the device and you can select any of your apps to push out their notifications to the fit. The pedometer also works well and you can pause it so you are counting steps by moving around at your desk or in your car. The RTOS is very simple and it works much better than the gear 2 in terms of functionality. The band is very comfortable and the clasp is secure enough so you don't have to worry. There is also a feature you can enable where your phone will beep if you walk about 25ish feet away from the fit which works also on the fit in the form a vibration that alerts you. The APK for the Gear Fit Manager fromt he S5 does work (I'm running it on my Note 3 N900A) with 4.4.2 without any problems so far. The heart rate monitor is very fast now that I know what to do. (The screen shows you a reminder of how to do it). A nice feature that I was not aware of until I tried it out was the media control. I can adjust my phones volume, pause/play and change the track from the watch which is convenient when you are working out. It has been pouring down rain here all day and I am glad that the fit is IP67 water resistant or I would have a dead device. So far my impressions are that this is a great device, its light weight, comfortable and most importantly functional. I will add more pictures soon.
Brightness and different situations:
The display can be adjusted from brightnesses of 1 to 6 but since there is not light sensor this must be done manually through the settings either via the app or on the device itself. I will take a picture of it underwater for you to see, but outdoors the 5-6 brightness should be plenty depending on how bright it is outside. I usually leave it at the 3-4 setting and I'm able to read the display just fine. When I'm inside for a while I usually turn it to the 1-3 range depending on the lighting. I only adjust it if I really need to, usually a standard of 3-4 brightness will be sufficient for most people's daily activities.
Also the charging cradle if you call it that snaps on and off with less effort that plugging in a micro usb. As mentioned in the earlier posts I charged it last night 4/7 so I could do an accurate test from a full battery.
Pictures Part 2:
Device display at setting 1 (my desk isn't the brightest place in the world at night, ignore the glare from my lamp):
Battery life after 1 day of use starting from 0700. I had my gmail, sms, calls, and google now notifications being pushed to the device and I used the pedometer for a hour or so to try it out today. Keep in mind with every notification the display turns on. I have it set up so it this way but you can change this to only turn on for only high priority notifications and it also vibrates to alert you for each notification. The battery seems impressive so far as you can see from the picture below. I would classify toda's use as light to moderate because of the numerous notifications that I received and checking my heart rate, coupled with the pedometer. I will be going for a hike, walk, or bike ride tomorrow to test out a longer use of the fitness functionality vs its impact on the battery.
Underwater Display images: (yes that is a blendtec and no I'm not going to blend it like "will it blend") It was a clear container that was easy to get a image of the fit rather than in my sink. The slight blue in the second image was due to my Note 3's camera. The first image is a better depiction of what it looks like. As you can see there is almost no visible distortion which is nice for those of you who choose to use it in the water.
Pictures Part 3
After a second day of use here are some updates. The S Health App will not sync my workouts or pedometer from the fit which is a little annoying. This could be because I am running the leaked S5 apps and there could be an update that I don't have. This should be fixed when the device officially launches this friday. The battery has gone down a bit more it lost about 8-10% while I was sleeping but I did leave it connected via bluetooth to my phone. I also used it to count my steps for my walking between classes to see how far I walk out of curiosity. I also went on a 1-2 mile "hike" on some trails. The battery is at about 65% currently which still is not bad after 2 full days of use. I will keep the updates coming for the battery until it actually dies.
Side note: I have heard that Samsung also added in a sleep monitor option in the update for the gear fit. I hope it shows up soon because I can't find a way to update the device. There is no option in my app as you will see from my pictures down below. I also forgot to charge my phone last night so its almost dead anyway. Kies 3 does not find the device when I briefly plugged it in via usb to my pc. The battery stayed at the same % for those of you who were wondering any charging by checking for software updates was negligible. Below I have provided screen shots of the various menus on the fit and what some controls look like. If you have any requests feel free to let me know and I will post more pictures.
The glare is in the pictures is from my camera, and my oily fingers becuase I didn't wipe it off. until I realized the photos look a little bad. Thats a day of use and dirt...
Pictures Part 4:
Here is a screenshot of where the "software update" icon should be. As you can see there is no option to update it in the S5 APK.
The app was offically released via the Samsung App Store. I downloaded it and updated my fit to the new software. Here is a breakdown of the 'new' added features that I have noticed since the pre-official launch software:
New clock faces for landscape and portrait
Portrait mode (you have to manually rotate it via the settings menu)
Customize icon location on device (left or right of the home screen clock)
It is now day 3 and the fit is still clinging to life. The majority of battery life dissipates during the idle time at night. I am currently at 38% battery life after 3 days of moderate use. I have kept my rightness at the 2-3 range unless I am indoors in which case I usually change it to 1 to save power when I don't need it. I keep the pedometer running all day, and the bluetooth on with weather updates on the home screen every 3 hours. I also had to leave it on during its update which took about 3-5 minutes of the display being constantly on. I am going to try to use the sleep mode tonight to see how well it works (and so you can see how little that I sleep...). I enjoy using the portrait mode, it feels more natural even with the narrow display, but it depends on what I am doing. Anyway here are some more pictures
Pictures Part 6:
Reading emails/notifications in landscape and portrait modes
I managed to get another solid day of use out of the fit. It popped up with a battery alert around 1600 yesterday when it was at about 15% battery. The fit managed to last until just a couple of minutes ago. I'm happy with the battery life being just over 4 days for what I use it for (everyones battery life many very based on use). I am also posting picture of the sleep tracker so you can see what it looks like. I enjoy using the portrait mode more than the landscape, it is a little weird to look at because its so narrow, but you get used to it.
Before it died
I know its been a while since I updated the OP. I have been very busy with finals (engineering is always fun) and I'm moving in a few days. I have now been using the fit for over a month and I'm still happy with it. My battery has averaged about 5 days per charge with the longest at 7 days and shortest being 3 days. I have noticed a small update to the app at least twice which is good that Samsung is updating it.
The s health app doesn't sync well with the fit which is disappointing. The hiking mode only measures your workout by altitude rather than how other app account for that and distance and factor in how many calories you burn. (Even though no device is truly accurate)
Other than those two complaints I use the fit daily as a watch and if I got on a hike or walk with my wife. I hope that Samsung will release the other bands for it soon. I have had no issues with the band coming off as some other people had stated. If you have this problem there is a simple fix. Take a small black hair rubber band (this kind woman use in their hair) which can be purchased for 2$ for a couple hundred of them and put it on your fits band. This week prevent it from falling off even if it does come undone. I will post a picture of you want. I never use it but it seemed like a good idea to address the issue.
Lastly if anyone has questions I will be happy to answer them the nest that I can. I will begin posting more regularly again one I get settled into my new place in the coming week or two. I still go to school full time in the summer (I want to graduate faster since I'm already old for a Jr) so with that in mind thank you to everyone who found this helpful and thanks me.
P.s. My thoughts are still scattered due to everything going on so I will look over this post when I get home to make sure it makes sense.