JUST A PRETTY FACE

Sam­sung Gear Fit

HWM (Malaysia) - - TELEPORT - by Sid­neyWong

Com­pared to other wear­able de­vices in the mar­ket, the Gear Fit looks quite ap­peal­ing. Its 1.84-inch curved Su­per AMOLED touch dis­play is sim­ply gor­geous thanks to vi­brant, punchy col­ors. The sil­ver chrome frame also adds a cer­tain de­gree of style to the over­all pack­age.

While we ques­tioned the prac­ti­ca­bil­ity of curved dis­plays in smart­phones, it's not the case for the Gear Fit. We liked how the curved dis­play wraps around the wrist for a nat­u­ral feel. It's how a wear­able de­vice should be de­signed and Sam­sung nailed this as­pect.

Like the Sony Smart­Band SWR10, the Gear Fit is made up of a re­mov­able core mod­ule and an in­ter­change­able rub­ber strap. The core mod­ule is cer­ti­fied IP67 wa­ter and dust re­sis­tance, is in line with the GALAXY S5 and Gear 2 de­vices. For com­par­i­son, the SWR10 is IP58 rated, mak­ing it worse against dust, but bet­ter against wa­ter.

The rub­ber strap is pli­able and feels com­fort­able to the skin. With 13 cir­cu­lar holes on one side and two hard pegs on the other, the Gear Fit should be able to fit dif­fer­ent wrist sizes. The process of putting on the Gear Fit is rel­a­tively easy and re­quires lit­tle ef­fort.

The com­bined weight (mod­ule with rub­ber strap) of 27g makes the Gear Fit the sec­ond light­est wear­able de­vice af­ter the SWR10 (20~21g). It rests so com­fort­ably on our wrist that we some­times for­got that we were wear­ing it.

One of the big­gest fric­tion points when us­ing the orig­i­nal GALAXY Gear was the need for a spe­cial charg­ing cra­dle to clamp onto the smartwatch. Un­for­tu­nately, the Gear Fit has the same fate; there is a spe­cial adapter from Sam­sung that you need to at­tach to the charg­ing con­tacts on the un­der­side of the de­vice be­fore you plug in the USB charg­ing ca­ble. Sam­sung should have taken a page out of Sony's book by putting a mi­cro-USB port on the Gear Fit and pro­tect it with a sealed cover. This would have made it eas­ier for users to charge.

Cur­rently, the Gear Fit is com­pat­i­ble with 18 Sam­sung mo­bile de­vices which in­clude the GALAXY S5, S4 and Note 3. To con­nect and sync the Gear Fit, you need to down­load the Gear Fit Man­ager app from Sam­sung Apps.

The Gear Fit Man­ager app

is straight­for­ward and easy to use. Its ba­sic func­tion­al­ity is to per­son­al­ize and cus­tom­ize the looks and fea­tures of the Gear Fit. For ex­am­ple, you have 15 dif­fer­ent clock faces to choose from and can re­ar­range the lay­out or order of apps that will show on the dis­play.

What's im­proved in the Gear Fit is the no­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem; it is slightly more pol­ished in terms of sup­port for third­party apps and func­tion­al­ity. You can now see a pre­view of new mes­sages from Gmail, WeChat and What­sApp on the Gear Fit. To view the full con­tent, you need to tap on the No­ti­fi­ca­tions icon on the de­vice. No­ti­fi­ca­tions from up to 10 apps can be se­lected to be shown on the Gear Fit.

The Gear Fit is pow­ered by a 180MHz ARM Cor­tex M4 pro­ces­sor and 8MB RAM. Un­like the Tizen-pow­ered GALAXY Gear (with soft­ware up­date) and Gear 2 de­vices, the Gear Fit is de­signed to process real-time app re­quests with­out buffer­ing de­lays.

While nav­i­ga­tion was smooth on the Gear Fit, there are few quirks that ought to be men­tioned. The dis­play is hard to read un­der di­rect sun­light even af­ter in­creas­ing its bright­ness to the max­i­mum. This se­verely lim­its the Gear Fit as an out­door ex­er­cise tracker. Get­ting the heart rate sen­sor to work is a frus­trat­ing af­fair too; it took more than three at­tempts to get a read­ing. Even if it does, the read­ings are in­con­sis­tent. The same ap­plies for its pe­dome­ter. The num­ber of steps recorded on the Gear Fit was much higher than the GALAXY S4 unit we tested on. Bat­tery mileage was av­er­age as we were able to squeeze out about three days of us­age.

The Gear Fit brings noth­ing new to the ta­ble as a fit­ness tracker and smartwatch. Its de­sign is com­mend­able, but the over­all propo­si­tion and per­for­mance left us want­ing more. Priced at RM599, it is ad­vis­able to hold your horses to see what the com­pe­ti­tion

has to of­fer later this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.