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