Samsung Gear Sport Takes on Fitbit and Apple in One Device

Lynne Hanson
August 31, 2017

The new fitness-focused smartwatch arrives a few days after Fitbit finally debuted its long-awaited Ionic device, the latest in a growing acceptance among hardware makers that activity tracking continues to be the prime driver in the wearables space, smartwatches, included. Samsung's band now features heart rate monitoring and well as swim tracking (powered by Speedo).

One of the biggest improvements coming to the Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro is in the form of improved water resistance up to 5ATM (50 meters). The Gear Sport is an evolution of the Gear S3 Frontier, Samsung's outdoor smartwatch I reviewed previous year. The new Samsung Gear Sport pushes further into fitness, adding some features that were overdue. There's no specific price for the Gear Sport yet, but we expect it to be between $200 and $300 ($300 is about £230). With Gear Sport, users can work to achieve health and wellness goals, and receive nutrition management alerts and activity recommendations even when they are offline.

The Gear Sport will be available with a black or blue strap. That's important, as the Gear IconX can automatically track running routines when you start exercising.

On both the Samsung Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro, the Speedo On app enables swimmers to complete time trials and get their SWOLF score (a swim efficiency measure). You just need to make sure you have a compatible Samsung smartphone (Note 8, S8 or S8+) to make the Bixby magic happen, though. Despite looking nearly identical to the original models, they are actually a bit lighter and sport significantly longer battery life that Samsung says should allow for 5 hours of streaming audio via your phone, or 6 hours if you play music loaded directly onto the IconX's 4GB of onboard storage.

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Samsung has fierce competition if Apple is to release a new piece of wrist candy.

First up is the Gear Sport, which features a 1.2-inch circular 360×360 AMOLED display, an Always On function and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. A number of new features have been introduced with this watch such as: An improved caloric counter, support for Samsung SmartThings, the ability to control a Powerpoint presentation with the watch or use the dial as a VR controller. It's smaller than the Gear S3, too, which is nice for anyone that thought Samsung's last smartwatch was a little too bulky.

In addition, the Fit2 Pro's Super Amoled curved 1.5-inch display allows users to view notifications easily and its new more-secure ergonomic band makes it more comfortable to wear.

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