The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro might not look that remarkable to many, given it’s essentially the same shape as the Gear Fit 2, one of the popular fitness trackers from 2016.
While the upgrades shown off at IFA 2017 aren’t extensive, they’re important and imbue this activity band with more smarts than ever before, atop an already-attractive design.
However, it is one of the more expensive activity trackers on the market, with Samsung slapping on a large Super AMOLED screen – so is it worth almost four times our best fitness tracker?
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro release date and price
We’re not sure exactly when the Gear Fit 2 Pro will hit the shelves, but we’re expecting it to be available globally around October, and easy to purchase come the Christmas period.
In terms of price, Samsung’s not given us the final cost just yet, but leaked documents had it at $199, which isn’t too bad given the tech shoved in.
Design and screen
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro design is the same as its predecessor, which means a curved screen clipped into a rubber strap.
However, the band is now buckled, rather than using toggles to hold it in place, making it more watch-like and secure on the wrist. This is a far better idea and we’re glad Samsung made the upgrade.
Available in two colors (black and red) the Gear Fit 2 Pro sits nicely on the wrist, much like its predecessor, the curved display not feeling sharp or angular like on the original Microsoft Band, for instance.
In terms of the screen, you just have to look at this device to know that Samsung means business. The curved Super AMOLED screen, which had a 216 x 432 resolution and measures 1.5-inches, is pin sharp, giving it a clarity that’s something like a mid-range smartphone rather than a pixelated monochrome fitness band (we’re looking at you, Fitbit Charge 2).
The screen is also protected by Gorilla Glass 3, to give it more safety when being bashed around enthusiastically.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro fitness
The main upgrade Samsung has brought here is that the Gear Fit 2 Pro has 5ATM waterproofing, meaning it can be smashed around in a swimming pool to properly see what you’re up to when wet.
Samsung has smartly partnered with Speedo to include the Speedo On app. which means it’ll have more accuracy when logging your swims – we couldn’t test this (obviously) but if it works, it’s going to be a big draw for fitness fans.
The inclusion of GPS isn’t novel, but it is thoroughly welcomed on the Gear Fit 2 Pro, as it means your run logs will be more accurate as a result.
There’s automatic exercise recognition on the band as well, so if you just start cycling after 10 minutes the Fit 2 Pro will start logging for you, porting the information to the S Health app on your smartphone.
There’s a heart rate monitor underneath the band too, so you’ll have access to continuous heart rate monitoring on the go, which is especially useful in dynamic workouts where you’ll be able to see how fit you’re getting during tennis or football.
Offline Spotify support
We’ve already heard this is coming to the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, but one of the headline features of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is the the ability to playback songs from Spotify… without a phone connected.
In terms of the phones you can connect, if you’re using an Samsung phone with version 4.3 or above, or any other Android 4.4-enabled phone, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is a go. Also, if you’re an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus or SE user… you can get involved with the new Samsung band too.
The Fit 2 Pro has 4GB of internal storage onboard, so you’ll be able to download loads of songs to take on a run or swim without needing a large device welded to your arm.
Combine that with a dual-core processor, longer battery life, Under Armour / MapMyRun / Endomondo / MyFitnessPal support and the ability to perform smartwatch functions like ordering an Uber, controlling the Nest thermostat or opening your BMW i8, and you’ve got an impressive device on your wrist.
We’ve not heard word of the battery life of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro just yet, but with the 200mAh battery pack in there it should be the same as the Gear Fit 2, which will last a couple of days in standby mode easily and be able to log most exercises with plenty of juice left to get you home and start syncing up.
It’s all going to come down to price and battery life as to whether we love or hate the Gear Fit 2 Pro, as there’s a lot of impressive tech on here.
We’d personally go for the watch every time, as it’s more powerful and does a little bit extra, but if you’re someone who likes wearing a fitness band, this will be a fair bit cheaper and has all the sporting smarts… while taking less space on your wrist.
IFA 2017 is Europe’s biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they’re announced.