February 25, 2018
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While it might look bulky, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is lightweight. — Picture courtesy of SamsungWhile it might look bulky, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is lightweight. — Picture courtesy of Samsung

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 Pro is an interesting take on fitness tracking. Its larger display gives the tracker the feel of a watch but no, this isn’t a smartwatch.

What it does do is what all fitness trackers handle — tracking your steps as well as other fitness activity. 

But compared to last year’s Gear Fit 2, it’s a lot more water-resistant (5 ATM rating) so you can take it on a swim if you want.

Would you want to? I was fairly sceptical when I saw its size and the thick rubber strap. 

Surprisingly though, once I strapped it on and wore it on 24-hour stretches (sleeping, shower, deciding between sleeping and showering…) it was rather comfortable.

The Fit 2 Pro might look bulky but it is light enough and the material is easy to wear without causing irritation (unlike the Fitbit Alta HR’s band that made me itch).

As to how long it lasts, if you turn on all the options it will last about a day before you need to charge it. 

Fiddle with the settings a bit and you could get it to last about two days — meaning you’d be able to charge it every other day. One way of doing this is turning off GPS and only activating it on runs. If you’re doing laps in the pool, you won’t need GPS. 

Though Samsung says it works with both Android and iOS, I found the iOS app rather limiting. 

iPhone users with be better off with a Fitbit or an actual Apple Watch. But with Android, there’s more to fiddle with and while it works decently enough with other Android phones, it’s the best with (of course) a Samsung.

The Fit 2 Pro is loaded with popular fitness apps such as MapMyRun, UA Record and Endomondo and it even works with Spotify’s offline mode so you can pair it with Bluetooth earphones. 

There’s 4GB of flash storage on the device but only 2GB of it is free for storage so don’t go too crazy stuffing music on the phone. 

I found the display decent — nothing special but I liked that the display was wide enough to display my data in an easy-to-read format.The 1.5-inch curved AMOLED display is easy on the eyes with a decent enough brightness.

What Samsung does better than other Android wearables I’ve tried is give the wearable a lot more character. I liked reading the device’s recommendations to me and it felt a lot more organic — learning to use the device as I wore it, trying out its suggestions.

Things I weren’t a fan of — the device’s proprietary charger. Some people like the wireless nature of it but having already too many devices in my life, adding another proprietary charger? No thanks. 

But at least charging only took less than two hours so you won’t need to leave it on overnight.

If I was an Android user, I’d say this is a far more affordable option to a fancier smartwatch and a very good alternative to other fitness trackers. 

It’s not as stylish as a high-end smartwatch but not as plain or boring as the usual barebones fitness tracker. 

For RM799, it isn’t cheap but not nearly as expensive as a full-on smartwatch. Bonus: it actually looks like a watch and not just a fitness band. 

Not so fun — it doesn’t offer many options strap-wise. Still, for RM800 this might be more bang for your buck than a Fitbit. 

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