Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: Samsung's cheapest tracker put to the test

Samsung's latest activity band hits most of the right spots
Samsung Galaxy Fit 2
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The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, the latest fitness tracker from the Korean tech giant, is the natural successor to the Galaxy Fit, which launched alongside the cheaper Fit e last year.

The latest Fit band sees the price drop from just under $100 for the original Fit, to now sits below $50.

That means Samsung's fitness tracker sits much closer to feature-packed budget trackers like the Amazfit Band 5 and the Xiaomi Mi Band 5.

While the price has dropped, the feature set hasn't. You're still getting something that offers a mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features wrapped up in a slim band with the promise of long battery life.

It's good to see Samsung react to the competition and make the move to offer more for less. The Galaxy Fit 2 has all the makings of a great cheap fitness tracker.

Does it deliver? We've been living with the new Fit to see what it's made of. Here's our verdict.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2: Design and screen

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review

Samsung has largely stuck to the same formula with the Fit 2, though we think it's taken a bit more inspiration from the Fit e ‚Äď and that's a good move.

You're getting a slim silicone band available in a black or scarlet with the tracker and AMOLED screen front and center.

Samsung has ditched the metallic-look case and the physical button from the last Fit, so the screen sits much tighter next to the band. We think it creates a nicer, cleaner look and gives it a profile that makes it almost as slender as the Fitbit Inspire 2.

The silicone has a really nice soft touch feel to it, though Samsung retains the odd clasp mechanism from the last Fit where you tuck the strap into the inside of the band. It's initially a bit fiddly to get it on, but crucially it hasn't budged in our time with it.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 and Samsung Galaxy Fit

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (top) and Samsung Galaxy Fit (bottom)

Samsung has grown the screen from 0.95in to a larger 1.1-inch one. It's still an AMOLED screen ‚Äď now with a 126 x 294 resolution ‚Äď and it's a lovely, bright, vibrant display to view your activity stats.

Samsung makes some of the best smartwatch displays and this is one of the nicest you'll find on a fitness tracker too.

When you realise what Samsung offered up in the screen department around this price point with the Fit e, the Fit 2 offers a massive step up for slightly more money. It's also more in line with what the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and Amazfit Band 5 offer on the screen front.

Fitbit Inspire 2 v Samsung Galaxy Fit2

Fitbit Inspire 2 (left) and Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (right)

In terms of water resistance, you're getting a fitness tracker that is fit to work in water up to 50 meters. It's suitable for swimming and you can shower with it.

That being said, wearing it in the shower does have a habit of accidentally sparking the screen into life and switching on tracking modes.

Ultimately though, this is a light, comfortable band to wear during the day and night. It's got a great display, a high quality band and is a nice tracker to have on your wrist.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2: Fitness tracking

Samsung Galaxy Fit2 heart rate

For fitness tracking, you have an accelerometer and a gyroscope sensor to track movement like steps, and which are also used for the onboard sports modes.

Like most trackers, that accelerometer is used for enabling automatic sleep monitoring too. You also have an optical heart rate monitor that's used for continuous monitoring and real-time tracking during exercise.

What you don't get is any form of GPS support. So nothing built in or even the connected kind that leans on your phone's GPS signal.

There's no SpO2 sensor, which we don't think is a huge deal. What is more disappointing is the lack of an altimeter to track elevation like stairs climbed.

From the band, you can see step counts, current heart rate, most recent sleep logged, distance covered and your resting heart rate data. There's also the ability to take on the spot stress measurements.

So while there's isn't anything particularly groundbreaking here, it's the type of stuff we'd expect to see on a fitness tracker.

Away from the tracker, you'll need to download the Samsung Health phone app to dig deeper into your data. It's here where you can do things like manually log weight, water, blood pressure and blood oxygen (from a third party accessory).

From an accuracy point of view, we pitted this against a Polar fitness tracker to see how steps, heart rate and sleep stacked up. We also compared those resting heart rate readings to a chest strap monitor.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 v polar

Step tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left) and Polar Vantage V2 fitness tracking (right)

What we found for step counts in general was that the Fit 2 tended to post higher step counts, usually as much as 1,000 steps. We never expect the trackers to match identically, but to at least be in the same ballpark. That meant there was generally a big difference in the distance covered.

As far as keeping you motivated to keep moving is concerned, you'll get some idle alerts, but that's really about it. You miss out the useful suggested exercises you get on Samsung's smartwatches.

When it's time for bed, we found it was little more consistent with Polar's sleep tracking, particularly with detecting sleep duration and sleep breakdown.

On some days though, it recorded 0 minutes of REM sleep, which is data tied to heart rate. So there may have been some issues with the heart rate monitor on those occasions.

Away from sleep duration and breakdown, you can see sleep efficiency, whether you're hitting sleep consistency targets, and average sleep, bedtime and wake up times.

Sleep tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 and Polar Vantage V2

Sleep tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left and centre) and Polar Vantage V2 (right)

If you're interested in keeping tabs on your heart rate, you can view real-time readings and your heart rate range for the day. What we found is that those daily average resting heart rate readings and max readings for the day seemed pretty high for us, usually as much as 5-10bpm higher than a Garmin watch we've found reliable for daily insights and a chest strap monitor. Live readings could be as much as 100BPM when our actual heart rate sat below 60BPM. That's while wearing the band on its tightest fit option.

So while the execution of the fitness tracking features are done well, ultimately the accuracy just wasn't there. It performed best for sleep, though step counts and resting heart rate data just didn't seem quite right for us either.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2: Sports tracking

Samsung Galaxy Fit2

The Fit 2 does perform like a slim sports watch, though the lack of any form of GPS support means you're relying on motion sensors to accurately track outdoor activities.

There are dedicated modes for running, cycling, pool swimming and a general outdoor workout mode. There's also automatic workout tracking for five activities.

For running, we took it out on several runs against a dedicated GPS running watch and unsurprisingly found they didn't match up. It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, but it would always under-report distance. Metrics like pace and cadence weren't hugely off, but clearly that lack of GPS shows.

Run tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left and centre) and Garmin Forerunner 745 (right)

Run tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left and centre) and Garmin Forerunner 745 (right)

Moving to the pool and initially all seemed to be okay with the Fit 2. It appeared to be tracking swims in line with the Polar Vantage V2 and Form Swim Goggles.

When we finished our session though, it had only recorded 11 minutes of a 40-minute swim. We're not sure why it stopped tracking and wonder whether the water locking mode somehow disabled.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 swim metrics

Swim tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left) and Polar Vantage V2 (right)

If you want that hit of heart rate data during exercise, we've found that wasn't great, even without putting it to the high intensity test.

On a very steady, slow run for example, the average bpm and max bpm was more than 10BPM off what was recorded on a chest strap monitor. For a more intense running session, that max heart rate crept up to 5-6BPM above a chest strap monitor. That's enough to put you into another heart rate zone.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 heart rate

Heart rate tracking compared: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 (left and centre) and heart rate monitor chest strap

We also used the Other Workout mode to track some indoor running sessions and even then it posted higher average bpm readings and a maximum reading that was noticeably lower than a chest strap.

So unfortunately, it doesn't quite cut it for us in the sports tracking department.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2: Smartwatch features

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 music

Like most fitness trackers these days, Samsung also tries to squeeze in some smartwatch features. The size of the Fit 2 is always going to make some things work better than others. Overall, the smartwatch features that do make the cut, do a good job.

With notifications, you can swipe right from the main watch screen and see a maximum of four notifications. They're displayed as app icons, which you can tap to expand.

You can scroll through entire tweets, though emails will just give you the subject line. You have the ability to respond to notifications for quick replies that can also be customised.

Music controls can be found when you swipe down from that watch face to get to the settings. You'll see current song playing and can skip back or forwards and control volume.

You can also add the music controls as a widget if you don't want to dig through the settings to find them. What is slightly annoying is that it doesn't appear you can access those music controls during a workout.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 notifications

There are 12 of those widgets in total and they include things like weather forecasts, access to your calendar, setting up alarms and a hand wash timer, which is welcomed given the current situation.

Things you won't get here that you'll find on Samsung smartwatches include payments, apps and a music player. Though that's not massively surprising given the size and price of this tracker.

Samsung Galaxy Fit2 reminders

If you like your watch faces, Samsung offers a nice collection of options, whether you want to glance at your step counts or you actually want something that just focuses on showing off the time.

It might not be awash with smartwatch features, but what does make the cut worked for us. Notifications don't feel horribly cramped and watch face support is solid too. The inability to control music during exercise was disappointing though.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2: Battery life

The first Galaxy Fit packed a 120mAh battery, which promised seven days of battery life. The Fit 2 promises to go further than that. It's moved to a bigger 159mAh battery that Samsung says is capable of delivering up to 15 days in typical use and 21 days in low usage.

How Samsung classifies typical usage in very fine print on its website is when you're not wearing it to track sleep. That low usage battery is based on also turning off heart rate tracking and automatic exercise tracking.

We'd imagine most people will want to track sleep and probably monitor heart rate continuously. That's how we used it along with turning on notifications, tracking workouts and having the screen at mid brightness level. What we found is that you're still going to get that seven days, with room to go further if you're not tracking exercise every day or continuously monitoring heart rate.

In general it doesn't drain battery in any really undesirable way and it's pretty much matching what we've seen from other budget trackers at this price point.



Samsung Galaxy Fit 2
By Samsung
We applaud Samsung for taking the original Galaxy Fit, streamlining the look and bringing the price point down to make it much better value for money. As a fitness tracker though it let us down a little on the step and heart rate tracking. There were accuracy issues with sports tracking too. We like the design, the smartwatch features work well and there is a good fitness tracker here. It's just when it tries to go beyond that it comes unstuck. It's a good budget tracker and a good alternative to Xiaomi and Amazfit's Bands if you want something that feels and looks nicer to wear.

Hit
  • Comfortable design, great screen
  • Strong battery life
  • Decent sleep stats
Miss
  • High step counts
  • Heart rate not fantastic across the board
  • Missing altimeter