Don’t mess with a good thing.
Though it didn’t get as much fanfare as the Gear S2 and S3 in the last two years, the Gear Fit 2 was quietly one of the best all-around fitness trackers available since it was introduced in mid-2016. It wasn’t nearly as big as the smartwatches out there, yet it did many of the core smartwatch functions while also being a fully-featured fitness wearable.
Now for the end of 2017 Samsung is giving it a face-lift, moving to the new name of Gear Fit 2 Pro and adding a few subtle tweaks that make it even better without taking away any of the features that made the first iteration so great.
Sams solid design, now with a better strap.
When it comes to the core size and shape, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is understandably near-identical to its predecessor. The only two noticeable additions are the option of a red-backed color option and a design overhaul of the included straps. The straps now come together with a more traditional watch-like clasp, which is now extra-secure and fixes what was arguably the only design problem with the original version.
The other hardware change, which you can’t see, is the upgrade to 5 ATM water-resistance and salt water resistance, which will let you take the Fit 2 Pro pretty much anywhere you’d want to swim (up to 50 meters down) and not worry about it. Naturally that also means you’ll never have to worry about the Fit 2 Pro being damaged in the rain. To accompany the upgraded hardware there’s new swim tracking software, which comes from a partnership with Speedo.
Gear Fit 2 Pro specs
|Display||1.5-inch Curved Super AMOLED
216×432 (310 ppi)
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
|Processor||Dual Core 1.0 GHz|
|Operating system||Tizen Wearable OS|
|Strap||Small (125-165 mm wrist)
Large (158-205 mm wrist)
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou
Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, heart rate monitor
|Charger||Pogo pin type|
|Durability||5 ATM water resistance, MIL STD 810G|
|Size||25 x 51.3 mm
34 g (Large), 33 g (Small)
|Compatibility||Samsung Galaxy: Android 4.3+
Other Android: Android 4.4+
iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 5: iOS 9.0+
New partnerships mean you can track into your favorite platform — not just Samsung.
Software-wise, things are pretty much unchanged from the Gear Fit 2 — but that isn’t an issue. It still handles the basics of what most smartwatches can do in terms of notifications, timers, etc. — but is clearly mostly focused on fitness tracking. There’s deep integration with Samsung Health, of course, but Samsung is also opening things up to partner apps from Under Armour to get top-level integration. That means you can synchronize and feed data into MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal and UA Record just as you would with Samsung Health. That’s a big deal for someone who may be getting the Fit 2 Pro as their first Samsung wearable with a previously built-up activity database in another app.
When it comes to activity tracking Samsung has tweaked the software slightly to enable continuous all-day heart rate monitoring, as well as improve its workout detection so that it can start up dynamic workouts with full heart rate tracking without any user intervention. Standalone GPS for outdoor run tracking is of course still here as well.
Even though Samsung didn’t change much with the Gear Fit 2 Pro, that doesn’t reduce just how great of a fitness tracker it is. It’s thin, light, unassuming and smartly designed, but now with a much improved band that will keep it on your wrist in any type of activity. The addition of new water resistance levels and proper swim tracking opens up a new segment of the fitness market, as does the deep integration with the Under Armour suite of apps — you no longer have to get your data tied into the Samsung ecosystem if you don’t want. And it still offers some basic smart-watch like features, making it a good option for people who want a fitness tracker that can do a little more.
Unlike the Gear Sport watch, the Gear Fit 2 Pro has pricing and release information available right away. Pre-orders start on August 31, and it’ll hit retail channels just a couple weeks later on September 15. The price is also attractive for this kind of middle-ground convergent device: just $199, putting it $100 lower than the Gear S3 smartwatch and also $70 less than Apple’s lowest-end Watch.