Never mind the the­ory, who wins when the gun goes off?

Australian T3 - - STATE OF THE ART -

It of­fers so much on­screen info, you barely need to re­fer to the app

There’s some­thing fun as well as emo­tion­ally sup­port­ive about the Fit­bit – this, af­ter all, is the de­vice that en­cour­ages you to calm down and take a few deep breaths. On top of the stan­dard on-tracker no­ti­fi­ca­tions for fitness goals reached, Fit­bit emails you weekly stats. We liked get­ting, “112 life­time kilo­me­tres; you just matched the dis­tance of March Of The Pen­guins”. And you get a sky­diver badge af­ter climb­ing 1,000 floors.

The Fit­bit app is ex­cel­lent, with easy set-up via a walk­through video. The charger is the most prac­ti­cal and fuss-free, and the bat­tery should last over four days (Fit­bit claims five). On the down­side, it’s not wa­ter­proof, and there’s no bat­tery in­di­ca­tor or GPS. It does a de­cent job, but it’s out­shone by the other two.

The Garmin’s bat­tery also lasts around four days. It can take a minute to lo­cate GPS, but with the com­pany’s pedi­gree you know it’s re­li­able. The touch­screen works just fine, and im­pres­sively well in sun­light. When you’re work­ing out, HR can be slightly de­layed dur­ing higher in­ten­si­ties, but it does catch up.

The Sam­sung bat­tery only lasts about three days, but it does of­fer wire­less charg­ing – just drop the tracker onto a pre-charged cra­dle – and a power-save mode. At launch it was in­com­pat­i­ble with Ap­ple prod­ucts, but that’s been fixed. We had some mi­nor per­for­mance con­cerns; de­spite hav­ing am­ple bat­tery, it turned it­self off dur­ing a run in cold weather. Like with the Fit­bit, trig­ger­ing the screen to wake up can be awk­ward at times, and re­quires some cu­ri­ous wrist ma­noeu­vres.

Other than this, the Sam­sung is a dream ac­tiv­ity tracker. It of­fers so much info, you barely need to re­fer to the app or have a smart­phone ac­com­pa­ny­ing it. For ex­am­ple, a graph in the 24-hour log shows how much of your day you were in­ac­tive. Cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions are fun, and it’s star­tlingly stylish for a tracker. HR stats are a lit­tle iffy once in­ten­sity is ramped up, but that’s the same with most wrist-based (com­pared to chest-strap) HRs.

The Sam­sung Gear Fit2 recorded the most-ac­cu­rate heart-rate read­ings of the trio, com­pared to a bench­mark GPS sportswatch with chest-strap HR SAM­SUNG GEAR FIT2

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