Samsung has been making a serious push into the wearable space. Not only is the company releasing smartwatch after smartwatch, but it’s also making an effort to infringe on Fitbit’s territory with the Gear Fit 2. But does it succeed? The original Gear Fit wasn’t exactly lauded upon release, even if it was a decent device. Now, however, there’s a new kid on the block — the Gear Fit 2. Here’s how the two compare in terms of hardware and software.
Related: Samsung Gear Fit 2 review
|Resolution||128 x 432 pixels||216 x 432 pixels|
|Processor||180MHz ARM Cortex M4||1GHz Exynos 3250|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor||Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometer|
|Colors||Black||Black, blue, pink|
|DT Review||2.5 Stars||Hands-on|
Processing power and screen resolution
Before we talk about anything else, let’s make something very clear — the Gear Fit 2 is a better choice. The question isn’t whether or not it’s a better device, but rather how much more powerful it is. Because it’s been two years since the original Gear Fit was released, the technology involved has improved in almost every way.
Let’s start with the processor, which is much faster in the Gear Fit 2. In the original Gear Fit, Samsung used a less powerful processor, one designed to simply track fitness and nothing more. So why use a processor that’s more than five times better in the Gear Fit 2? The answer lies in Samsung’s desire to outfit the Gear Fit 2 with more smartwatch features, including access to every notification from your Android phone and the ability to reply to texts and calls with canned messages or emojis. The watch also supports apps, though the selection is currently limited to a few Samsung apps. In the future, Samsung could open the Fit 2 up to third-party developers, which would likely require more processing power to operate — hence the stronger chip. The Fit 2 also boasts updated Bluetooth components, which should help boost battery life and ensure better connectivity.
The screen on the Fit 2 is actually smaller than the original Fit’s screen when measured diagonally, but it’s double the width and sharper, thanks to newer display technology.
Winner: Gear Fit 2
Design and water resistance
Sure, this one’s pretty subjective, but we think the design on the new device is much better — that’s not to say that the design of the original device wasn’t good, but the Gear Fit 2 simply looks sleeker and smoother. The screen doesn’t protrude from the device the same way it did on the original — instead it flows with the silicon band, and looks more like a fashionable. The Gear Fit 2 could fit with most outfits rather than simply with casual or sporty attire.
While the original only came in black, the new Fit 2 comes in a sleek black, a deep blue, or pink — sure, more color options might be nice, but this should be enough to match most styles. When in doubt, after all, black goes with everything. Samsung also told Digital Trends it is considering adding more band options like it has for its Gear S2 smartwatches.
The display on the Fit 2 is also double the width of the one on the original device, which makes it much easier to see your fitness information at a quick glance. The screen is very high quality and relatively easy to read in full sunlight.
While the Gear Fit 2 has an IP68 rating, you probably don’t want to hit the pool with it — it’s not made to track swimming, and the IP68 rating is more for accidental submersion. In other words, if you happen to drop it in the bath, you’ll be fine. If it rains while you’re wearing it, it will also be fine.
The original Gear Fit had a slightly lower IP67 rating, which was also more for accidental spills than full submersion. However, the new Fit 2 does have a better water resistance rating.
Winner: Gear Fit 2
The battery capacity on the Gear Fit 2 is clearly similar to the original Gear Fit, though it seems as though the newer device offers much better battery life. The original Gear Fit needed to be charged every night, but the Gear Fit 2 can last for up to three days on a single charge. If you use Spotify to stream music or workout more than your average Joe, the Fit 2 may not last you as long, however. Still, the Fit 2 has much better battery life than the original.
Three-day battery life is not bad for a device such as this, after all, there are plenty of wearables that need to be charged daily. The Gear Fit 2 bucks that trend, and we’re glad. No, it doesn’t offer the month-long capacity of some display-less trackers on the market, but it can certainly hold its own.
Winner: Gear Fit 2
Fitness Tracking and notifications
Fitness tracking is the main focus for both Gear Fit models, but the Gear Fit 2 can also receive any notifications from your Android phone. You can even send canned messages or emojis in response to texts. Since the Fit 2 runs Tizen OS, you can download a few apps on the device, as well, including Spotify to stream music to your Bluetooth headphones.
The original Gear Fit didn’t offer much more than standard fitness tracking including steps, heart rate, and calorie burn. While the original Gear Fit offered an accelerometer, gyroscope, and heart rate monitor, the newer Gear Fit 2 takes things a step further by adding a barometer for tracking elevation and how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed. It also has automatic workout detection for select activities, so you never have to tell your band that you’re exercising — it’ll just start tracking.
The new Gear Fit 2 is a top-of-the-line fitness band that even beats Fitbit at its own game, so it’s no wonder it’s ahead of its two-year-old predecessor.
Winner: Gear Fit 2
The Gear Fit and Gear Fit 2 are both great devices, however the Gear Fit 2 is clearly better. So much so that if you actively use the original Gear Fit, you may want to buy the Gear Fit 2. Anyone who’s got a Fitbit or is considering any kind of fitness tracker, should really consider the Gear Fit 2. It’s the best fitness-focused wearable you can buy, and it even has a few smatwatch-like features.
At this point, the original Gear Fit is showing its age. The new model is faster, stronger, smarter, and better looking. For $180, you can’t find a better fitness tracker.