The New Samsung Gear Fit2
Samsung’s new fitness flagship – Gear Fit2 – will finally hit the stores tomorrow, with a price tag of $179.
Since Samsung last launched a fitness wearable in 2014, a lot of competitors have spread their wings in the sports sector. While Samsung concentrated more on smartwatches than on health and exercise, Fitbit became the champ of the wearable fitness industry, gaining one-quarter of the market revenue on a global scale.
But now the Korean tech giant has thrown down the gauntlet! After a flashy media promotion in New York a week ago, the world officially met the worthy Samsung Gear Fit successor, and it is beating the competitive devices both by features and the price.
The main drawback is the fact that it supports only Android smartphones, and millions of iPhone fans cannot use it, while Fitbit devices are compatible with both platforms.
The popular Fitbit Blaze
Still, at the moment, Samsung’s Gear Fit2 is the least expensive wrist fitness tracker that comes with a large color display and a GPS. Its competitors with those features, like Fitbit Surge or Microsoft Band 2, have much higher prices (over $250), while the popular Fitbit Blaze (without the GPS) costs $200.
Another attention grabber of the new Gear Fit2 is its large 1.5-inch 216 x 432 curved Super AMOLED display, with vertical operating orientation, which is a huge plus compared to other fitness trackers.
Like all current fitness trackers, it comes with a heart rate sensor, as well as a gyro, and the key benefit – the GPS – enables the user to track running, hiking or cycling without a connection to the smartphone. Also, this fitness wearable has impressive 4GB of internal storage and Tizen-based software so that it can play music independently. Samsung is especially proud of this “stand-alone” feature, and has announced that it will release another independent wearable with fitness capabilities later this year – the Gear IconX ear buds. This enhanced headset gear will be able to play music, track user’s heart rate and exercise outdoors, even with the smartphone left at home.
Features that Samsung “borrowed” from Fitbit and integrated into the Gear Fit2 are the leaderboards and challenges for friends and family owning the same gadgets.
Fitbit is living proof that social linking, mutual motivating and score chasing (with social media posting) do wonder in sales and promotion of the brand. Samsung connected the Gear Fit2 to its existing S Health app, integrated into all Samsung phones, trying to leverage its potential. However, Android phone users can participate in challenges even without the tracker, so it is questionable how will this app feature itself encourage new sales of the Gear Fit2.
Still, Samsung and the Gear Fit2 set an overall challenge for the rest of the industry with entirely new “game standards”.
According to IDC, in the first quarter of 2016 Fitbit sold 4.5 million devices, (25% more than last year), while 700,000 purchasers bought Samsung’s wearables during the period (a 5% increase over the 2015 period).
How the sales results of the Gear Fit2, plus IconX later during the year, will impact these numbers, remains to be seen.The race is on and, as always, end-users will decide the winner.