“The $60 Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is great value and provides just the right level of complexity to keep the casual fitness fan engaged and wearing it.”
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Simple to use
- Comprehensive list of activities to track
- Good notification support
- Battery life claims are overblown
- Strap clasp is annoying
- Some tracking inaccuracies
Not everyone cares about high-end activity-tracking features on a lot of smartwatches or expensive fitness bands. Some really won’t worry about blood oxygen levels, ECG measurements, or even built-in GPS. If you want simple daily activity tracking, you want a simple daily-use wearable, and that’s where the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 comes in.
This $60 fitness tracker covers all the basics, and backs it up with a quoted 15 days of battery life, putting it firmly in the wear-and-forget category. I’ve been wearing it for more than a week now, and I did almost forget it on my wrist, which is a good thing. This is what it’s like.
The Galaxy Fit 2’s simplicity starts with the design, but it holds both good and bad surprises. The first surprise is just how bright the 1.1-inch color AMOLED screen is. I could easily leave it on the midlevel setting without sacrificing daylight viewing, meaning it has less of an impact on battery life. The use of a color screen makes the Galaxy Fit 2 far more attractive, and more interesting to look at, than the boring monochrome LCDs found on simple Fitbits.
Choose the red band like my review sample and it makes a seriously sporty statement, and while the band is comfortable once it’s on, the clasp is very annoying. Samsung has made the whole affair more complicated than it needs to be, and it’s quite hard to find, and repeat, exactly the right fit. I often wear the band loosely when the heart rate sensor’s accuracy isn’t so important, then tighten it up when tracking exercise, and the Fit 2’s strap made this usually simple procedure rather infuriating. Otherwise, it’s secure and doesn’t get sweaty.
It’s controlled using the touchscreen and a touch-sensitive button under it. It’s quite easy to miss the button at first, as the thin outline giving you a hint about where to press disappears in many lighting conditions. The operating system is responsive and logically laid out, and you use swipes and taps to navigate through the options. I didn’t experience any problems using it.
The design, the screen’s appeal, and the software make the Galaxy Fit easy to live with once you’ve stopped swearing at the stupid band.
Continuing on the simple theme, the Galaxy Fit has a heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope, but no ability to measure blood oxygen, take an ECG, link up with GPS, or even add elevation data using an altimeter. The altimeter is the only sensor that’s really missed, as ECG and blood oxygen readings are highly specialized. If you want GPS for accurate run tracking, there are plenty of alternatives available.
Instead, the Galaxy Fit 2 watches over your workouts, tracks steps, and monitors your sleep if you wear it overnight. A small selection of workouts to track are preloaded on the Fit, but more can be added in if the basic options aren’t enough. I had to add yoga and stationary biking, for example. The Galaxy Fit 2 can be worn in the pool to track swims, where it counts strokes and measures distance, plus returns swim efficiency SWOLF data after you’ve finished.
Swipe to the left on the screen and you get shown steps, heart rate, distance, and sleep data. There are reminders to get up and move around, and a reminder to wash your hands too. However, this is not automatic like the Apple Watch’s feature, and instead just suggests you should wash your hands after a set interval. The Fit 2 also monitors stress levels, but says the feature is for wellness rather than medical use, and I found it put me on the higher end of the scale far more often than other wearables I’ve used recently, including the Honor Watch ES and the Oppo Watch.
Both Samsung’s Galaxy Wear and Samsung’s Health app are required to sync the Galaxy Fit 2 with your phone, and are compatible with both Android and iOS. I’ve been using them on a Samsung Galaxy Fold. While Health is informative — it provides current and historical data, and you can add further metrics like food intake and data from other health devices — it’s not very attractive, or always logical to navigate.
It’s nowhere near as pretty or intuitive as Google Fit, for example, and isn’t as feature-packed either. It is slightly unusual that it isn’t possible to quickly get an instant heart rate reading, although the last reading taken remains on some of the watch faces. There are masses of workout tracking plans, which means almost whatever your activity of choice is, the Galaxy Fit 2 will have it covered.
In terms of accuracy, I compared the Fit 2 with the Apple Watch Series 6 over a couple of days, and found the heart rate monitor was consistent with the Apple Watch’s results, but the calorie burn and step count was usually under the Apple Watch’s estimate, potentially skewing overall results. Most wearables I’ve compared to the Apple Watch in the past return very similar numbers overall, suggesting the Fit 2’s software may need refining.
Samsung makes some big claims about the battery life of the Galaxy Fit 2, but there are various caveats hidden in the small print. What you need to know is forget reaching 21 days, and don’t count on 15 days either, if you intend to use most of the band’s features.
Sleep tracking is one of the areas you may have to forgo to maximize battery life, and it’s worth doing so. The band is certainly light enough at 21 grams not to be bothersome, and when it works the sleep tracking shows different stages of your sleep, duration, and finally assigns a Sleep Efficiency Score. However, the sleep tracking is inconsistent and repeatedly missed my deep sleep phases entirely, making any data collected worthless.
Notifications will also drain the battery more, but this time the trade-off will be worth it. Despite the small screen size, truncated emails are readable, and WhatsApp messages and Twitter replies even have quick reply options. How many apps send notifications to the band can be managed in the Galaxy Wear app, helping you tailor the number of interruptions. I found the notifications useful, but could sometimes be frustrated by the slowness of the band to respond when I raised my arm to see them.
Samsung says to get close to 21 days battery life you have to make do without the sleep tracking, no heart rate sensor, and no auto workout tracking either. It says to expect about 15 days with average use. I’ve used the heart rate sensor, activity reminders, tracked regular workouts, and some sleep sessions too and it has struggled to get even close to this number. It loses around 10% battery each day without tracking any activities apart from sleep.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 costs $60, or 40 British pounds in the U.K. It’s available now on Amazon and through Samsung’s own online store.
The Galaxy Fit 2 doesn’t pretend to be the ideal partner for your marathon efforts, or that it’ll be there delivering focused data throughout a bid for Olympic glory. Instead, it covers what most casual exercisers will want from swimming to cycling and horse riding to yachting, is honest about its ability, and has the right degree of complexity to keep you honest in your fitness endeavors.
This all-around general nature and affordability don’t forgive the inconsistencies in sleep and exercise tracking though, and the very long battery life is only possible if you decide not to use many of the band’s features. Outside of this, the Galaxy Fit 2 is easy to live with, and its downsides didn’t stop me from wanting to wear it, and that’s essential for a fitness band.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, the fitness band market is huge so there are many great alternatives. While I think the Galaxy Fit 2 is one of the better models available, it does have some strong competition. If a Fitbit appeals more, due to the recognizable brand name and established platform, the Inspire 2 is the closest model to the Galaxy Fit 2, but it will cost you $100, plus Fitbit has a monthly subscription charge to unlock some of its more advanced features. If you want a Fitbit with GPS, we recommend the Fitbit Charge 4.
If you live outside the U.S., or are happy to import, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is excellent value at around 40 British pounds, as is the Honor Band 5 which can be found for even less. If you don’t need specific fitness tracking features like GPS and aren’t a dedicated athlete, why spend more than you have to on a simple fitness band?
If you don’t mind spending more, and want something that looks less like a regular fitness band, there are also a couple of smartwatch-like alternatives. The Amazfit GTR 2 costs $179, looks great, and has plenty of fitness tracking features to use, while the Honor Watch ES costs 89 British pounds, or about $120, and occupies the middle ground between smartwatch and fitness band.
How long will it last?
Fitness bands will last longer than your smartphone or a smartwatch, because we don’t make such hefty demands on the software or hardware. The Galaxy Fit 2’s strong band can be replaced if it should break, and everything is water-resistant to 50 meters, so it’s suitable for use when swimming or in the shower.
Outside of any discontinuation of Galaxy Fit 2 support in Galaxy Wear or Samsung Health app, it will last you way beyond three years. There’s one other thing to think about, and that’s your ongoing use. The Galaxy Fit 2 isn’t really suitable for hardcore fitness enthusiasts, so expect to upgrade if your own fitness goals and tracking need change.
Should you buy it?
Yes, provided you only want to cover the basics in activity tracking, it’s a usable, simple, and attractive fitness band. Want to know more about Samsung products? Check out our review on Samsung Galaxy S21.
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