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First impressions: Gear 2 and Gear Fit hold key to Samsung’s wearable success

Gear Fit at the launch event.

Samsung today launched the Galaxy S5 along with the Gear range of fitness devices in India. The list includes the Gear 2 Smartwatch, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit smartband.

The Gear 2 smartwatch is priced at Rs 21,900 while the Gear Fit and Gear 2 Neo are priced at Rs 15,900. We got a chance to see how the Gear 2 and the Gear Fit band work and here’s our quick take on the devices.

Design

The Gear Fit is quite light at 27 gms. It has a curved Super AMOLED display of 1.84-inches with a 432×128 pixel resolution. The Gear Fit feels rather light on your hands, although the plastic strap does feel a little tacky. The only problem I experienced with the Gear Fit was that it didn’t fit on my hands. If you have tiny wrists, its unlikely to look great on your hand and does feel a little too big.

The Gear 2 is quite similar in design to its predecessor, but less chunky. It has a 1.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320×320 pixel resolution and a changeable strap as well. The fact that Samsung has moved the camera on to the watch itself instead of the strap, makes the whole thing look neat. It feels a little bit more sturdy than the Gear Fit.

Gear 2 smartwatch is seen this photo. TechTrainIndia

Processor, Memory and other specs

Samsung hasn’t specified the processor or storage for the Gear Fit. The Gear 2 has 4 GB storage and 512 MB RAM and a 1 GHz dual-core processor. Both devices support Bluetooth 4.0 and are water and dust-resistant. What this means is that if you drop them in a bucket or spill water on them, they should be fine. They won’t be fine though if you decide to swim with them.

Features

The Gear 2 allows users to make calls, receive notifications from Linkedin, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail and pretty much every app on your tethered phone. You can also sync your contact list with the device. In addition to this it has a heart-rate sensor, a step or walking counter, and other options to keep a track of your health.

Samsung is also offering a host of wallpapers and clockfaces with the Gear 2. To listen to music on the headset you need a Bluetooth enabled headset, otherwise you can play on the device itself but it is not very loud.

The Gear Fit allows users to receive alerts, notifications but you can’t make calls from the device. It is a device geared towards fitness and thus in the settings you can choose for the device to reflect the amount you’ve walked, or your current heart rate etc on the homescreen itself. It also has a heart-rate sensor embedded on the back. For the devices to measure your heart rate you need to wear them and hold still. It’s a useful device to keep if you’re a regular jogger, who might be worried about over-exerting yourself or not pushing yourself hard enough. Even so the main applications of the Gear Fit are only enabled through the companion app on the S5.

OS
The Gear 2 runs Samsung’s Tizen OS, and while the Fit’s OS is also Samsung-developed, it’s known as RTOS or Real-time Operating System. The devices are compatible with some 20 Samsung devices, as the company is hoping that those who buy its phones will also turn to its fitness tracker and smartwatches. As far as interface goes Samsung has managed to keep it quite clutter free on Gear 2 and Gear Fit, which is noteworthy. A little bit of swiping would ensure that you are soon familiar with how they work, which is exactly what is needed. It’s not changed all that much from the original Gear.

Pricing
The Gear 2 is priced at Rs 21,900 and the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit will cost Rs 15,900 a piece. For fitness freaks or those love smartwatches both are great options. But the fact that both devices will work with Samsung devices only is a big restriction and many are unlikely to consider it if they don’t already own a Samsung phone. At this stage, Samsung’s phones are more likely to draw buyers to their wearables, rather than the other way around. When looking at it from that point of view, the price does seem a bit on the higher side.

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