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Samsung Galaxy Fit review

Samsung's fitness tracker slims down on price and design, but not on features
Samsung Galaxy Fit
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The Samsung Galaxy Fit is a fitness tracker that proves how much impact Xiaomi has had on this space.

Now there are fitness trackers out there that can do a lot for little money, Samsung has finally decided to react with the Galaxy Fit and the cheaper Galaxy Fit e - fitness trackers for those who still don't want a smartwatch, but do want to track their health and fitness, while getting a few smart features.

The Fit isn't really the natural successor to the Gear Fit2 Pro, the last fitness tracker Samsung launched back in 2017. The Fit does include some of the Fit2 Pro's features, but packs it all into a slimmer design and slaps on a significantly cheaper price tag.

A sub-$100 price means it's still not as a cheap as a Xiaomi Mi Band 4, but it does mean it's competing in the same pricing realms as the Fitbit Inspire and the Inspire HR.

We've been putting the Galaxy Fit to the test to see what it's made of, and to see whether this affordable fitness tracker delivers the goods. Here's our full verdict.

Samsung Galaxy Fit: Design

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

If you're after a fitness tracker that's slim and unashamedly sporty, then the Fit well and truly fits that profile.

It measures in at 11.2mm thick, making it slimmer than the Fitbit Inspire HR (12.7mm) and more like the Mi Band 4 in size.

You've got your pick of black, white or yellow soft silicone band options that hold the Fit's polycarbonate core in place. Those bands are removable too, which means you're not just stuck with one colour either. There's also just a solitary physical button that can be tapped to take you back to the main watch screen and can be held down to launch a quick-start workout.

Samsung Galaxy Fit
Samsung Galaxy Fit

While it will undeniably stand out peeking out from underneath a nice shirt sleeve, there's barely anything to it weight-wise and we've found it really comfortable all day and night. We've worn it in the gym, swimming and in bed, and we're happy to report it simply does not budge or become a nuisance to wear.

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

New Samsung fitness trackers: Galaxy Fit e (top) and Galaxy Fit (bottom)

That secure fit definitely has something to do with the slightly awkward way the band's clasp has been designed. Pinning the button clasp into one of the available holes in the band and then tucking the strap underneath itself is tricky the first time you do it. It certainly ensures the Fit stays in place and makes sure the onboard heart rate sensor is flush enough with the skin for reliable readings, but it can be a bit of a nuisance to take off when you need to.

If there's one thing Samsung knows, it's screens (the non-folding type, at least) and it's no different with the Fit. The 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen is bright, vibrant and boasts rich, deep blacks. You can adjust the brightness by swiping down on the main watch screen, but even at its lowest brightness setting it offers good visibility.

The last thing to really talk about here is waterproofing. The Fit has been given the same 5ATM waterproof rating as Samsung's smartwatches, so that does mean you can wear it in the shower and take it for a swim up to 50 metres depth.

Samsung Galaxy Fit: Fitness tracking

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

As we said, this isn't really a replacement for the Gear Fit2 Pro, which could mean a proper successor may still be on the way. However, you do get a decent amount of features here that should satisfy most.

Read this: Best smartwatches to buy now

On the sensor front, you get an accelerometer and gyroscope alongside the optical heart rate monitor. There's no built-in GPS or a connected GPS option (using your phone's GPS) to track outdoor activities, so you're relying on the motion sensors to track activities like runs and walks. There's also annoyingly no altimeter here, which means elevation (like climbing stairs) isn't recorded either.

As a fitness tracker it does a very good job. We've been wearing it alongside a Garmin watch and found daily step counts mostly similar. From the device, a single swipe from the main screen will let you review current step count along with additional metrics like calories burned and current and resting heart rate. We did find that calorie burned data was usually significantly lower than what the Garmin recorded, however.

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

Step tracking compared: Galaxy Fit (left) and Garmin Forerunner 945 (right)

You'll also get inactivity reminders when you've not been moving about, though it lacks the suggested exercises feature when you're caught being idle - one of our favourite features on the Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch. It's not a dealbreaker, but it would have been nice to see if Samsung could squeeze it in.

The Fit will also automatically track sleep and let you view your most recent logged sleep data on the device. But you'll need to get into the Samsung Health app to get a better sense of how you slept and see insights such as sleep efficiency, actual sleep time and REM.

If you miss your bedtime and wake-time targets, you'll know that too. Up against the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Withings Sleep, data was never identical, but it was reliable enough for core metrics like sleep/wake times.

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

Sleep tracking compared: Galaxy Fit (left) and Garmin Forerunner 945 (right)

Samsung's stress tracking and guided breathing features also makes the cut here too tapping into your heart rate data to check in on your mindful state and offer a way to de-stress.

Ultimately, Samsung manages to cram in a lot here and most of it works well. When you take the fitness tracking experience into the Samsung Health companion app (which you have to download alongside the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app), things are not quite as intuitive as Fitbit's or Withings' apps. Some of the data you'd expect to be able to glance at from the main screen requires a bit more discovery. So there's definitely room for improvement in the software department.

Samsung Galaxy Fit: Sports tracking

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

Beyond step counts, logging sleep and checking in on your stress, Samsung fits in some sports tracking features. However, we wouldn't say we were blown away by its efforts to replace a sports watch.

From the device you can track multiple activities. That's running, walking, cycling, swimming and 'Other Workout'. As we've mentioned, there's no GPS here so you're relying on wrist based movement and Samsung's algorithms to make sure the data is on the money. When it's time to track, it's simply a case of swiping to the right screen, selecting your activity and then you're ready to go.

Our one small gripe in this process is that it immediately pushes you into tracking mode after a short 3-second countdown, with no way to pause. So if you realise you need to re-tie a lace on your running shoe or need to adjust your headphones, you're going to eat into that tracking time. On a few occasions we had to do a restart.

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

In terms of accuracy, we tested it in running and swimming against a Garmin sports watch. It was no real surprise to see the Fit come up short on tracking distance compared to a device with GPS. On most runs it would be 500-600m out from what the Garmin tracked. However, the real-time data was easy to view on the Samsung Fit with three data points offering up plenty of useful metrics.

If you're banking on having useful heart rate insights for your workouts, the Fit isn't the most impressive in offering that reliable hit of data. For on the spot readings and resting heart rate, it'll serve you well, but it doesn't feel like the best equipped for anything more intense based on our experience.

In the pool, it actually performed better from an accuracy point of view, serving up data more on par with what our Garmin watch recorded. Using it in the pool in general is fine and its slim design means it's nice and unobtrusive. When it comes to ending a swim tracking session turning off the water lock can be a bit fiddly.

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

Automatic run tracking: Galaxy Fit (left) and Garmin Forerunner 945 (right)

Alternatively you can not touch anything and let Samsung's automatic activity tracking do its work. It'll recognise when you've started to run on or gone off on a big walk. It works well for walking but for running, sometimes more than a mile off the distance recorded by a GPS-packing watch. More worrying is that on a couple of occasions, sitting in a car was recognised as a cycling session. Thankfully you do have the option to delete those rogue tracking sessions.

When it comes to reviewing data, you get a decent snapshot on the device itself and you'll also be able to review your most recent logged activity. When it's time to go into the Samsung Health app though, it's a bit messy. One you've selected the Exercise widget on the Home screen in the Health app, you then have to go the individual exercises to see you recorded sessions.

Swims, runs, walks etc are not all compiled in one space. Why all of your activities are not displayed in one place we do not know. It's a software quirk Samsung definitely needs to look at.

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Samsung Galaxy Fit: Smartwatch features

Samsung Galaxy Fit review

While the Fit might be a fitness tracker first and foremost, it doesn't scrimp on smartwatch features either. But before we get into those features, we need to talk about the fact you have to download four (yes, four) apps to your compatible Android phone or iPhone to get the best out of the Galaxy Fit. That's frankly ridiculous, and Samsung surely needs to work harder to get everything into one or maybe two apps max.

From the Fit itself you can view your notifications and view weather forecasts powered by the Weather Channel. You can also change watch faces and there's a decent range to choose from, but you'll need to do that from the Galaxy Wearable phone app. There's no music features, payment support or Bixby, although we are not too fussed Samsung's smart assistant didn't make the cut.

Notifications will pop up on the screen as soon as they come through on your phone and you can swipe on the screen to scroll through the message. If you also swipe right on the watch screen you can find your notifications stream. You'll get a snippet of a notification, which in most cases is enough and a prompt to go to your phone to read it in full. Some notifications will support quick responses too. For WhatsApp messages for example, you get a decent range of default quick responses.

If you head to the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone, you'll be able to add more quick responses along with accessing other features like settings alarms, adjusting notifications settings and playing around with widgets. There's also 'Do not disturb' and 'Good night' modes, which do come in handy as the Fit does like to illuminate a lot during the night if you move around.

Samsung Galaxy Fit: Battery life

Packed into that slimline body is a 120mAh capacity battery that Samsung claims should get you up to seven days battery life. Based on our experience that seems about right, but it depends on how you use the Fit.

With the screen brightness up pretty high, notifications switched on, all-day heart rate tracking activated and tracking three or four 1 hour-long workouts, the Fit was able to go the distance. In fact we were pretty impressed with its stamina despite so many potentially power sapping features on board. If you turned some of those features off, you might go longer, but if you're after a fitness tracker that can last a week, the Fit seems to do the job.

When it comes to charging, there's a small docking cradle that the Fit clips into. It hasn't budged from that cradle in our time with it. It will take a couple of hours to go from 0-100% when it needs fully charging, which was pretty much what we expected.


Samsung Galaxy Fit
By Samsung
As a fitness tracker, the Samsung Galaxy Fit is a solid little device at a great price. We appreciated the slimline design, the typically excellent Samsung screen tech and core tracking features. It also manages to cram in smartwatch features that perform well despite the small display. More advanced sports tracking perform less well with some crucial sensors missing. If you don't like the look of the Fitbit Inspire or the cheaper Mi Band 4, and you can handle some software quirks, the Galaxy Fit is decent fitness tracker worth looking at.

Hit
  • Lightweight, comfortable design
  • Great display
  • Solid fitness tracker features
  • Decent battery life
Miss
  • Slightly annoying strap design
  • No GPS/Connected GPS
  • No altimeter
  • Temperamental automatic activity tracking


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