Samsung Gear Sport and Gear Fit 2 Pro let you ditch your smartphone
Samsung just unveiled two new wearables at IFA 2017, both with a focus on fitness and activity. There's the Gear Sport smartwatch, which you can take in the pool with you, and the Gear Fit 2 Pro fitness tracker, which boasts GPS and offline Spotify support for taking your tunes on the go.
Samsung's range in wearables hasn't always been the easiest line of products to keep track of. Last year it launched the Gear Fit 2 fitness tracker, then followed that up at lFA 2016 by unveiling two variations of the Gear S3 smartwatch. These new products are minor rather than major upgrades over those devices, but they've still got plenty of features to tempt buyers.
The Gear Sport follows the design cues laid down by the Gear S3 last year, though it's a little thinner and smaller, with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display running at a 360 x 360 pixel resolution. The all-round watch face is available in black or blue, with a choice of 23 straps at launch.
Behind the scenes the watch is powered by a dual-core processor and 4 GB of storage, which again matches its predecessors from last year. As usual, Tizen is the OS on board, so you should be able to use this with Android and iOS phones.
The Gear Sport comes with integrated GPS and an improved heart rate tracker, and waterproofing is included for the first time – it can stand up to 50 meters (164 ft) of submersion underwater, and has built-in swim-tracking capabilities too.
The easiest way to think of the Gear Sport is as the Gear S3 with a sporty twist, as indeed the name suggests. You also get a new selection of fitness programs included with the watch software, accompanied by videos you can watch on a phone or big screen.
Offline Spotify syncing is available in both the Gear Sport and the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, the first time any smartwatch or tracker has had this feature (you can sync music to Android Wear smartwatches, but only through Google Play Music).
As for the other features on the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, it also offers built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring, so you've got everything you need to leave your smartphone at home for the morning run. It looks a lot like the Gear Fit 2, with a long, curved 1.5-inch AMOLED display, and a display resolution of 216 x 432 pixels.
Your choice of colors is blue or black with a red interior, and there are small and a large sizes too, so you can pick up one that's right for your wrist. Again, there's 4 GB of internal room, paired with a dual-core processor. The tracker works with both Android and iOS devices, just like the Gear Sport.
The Gear Fit 2 Pro will set you back US$199, with pre-orders open tomorrow and on-sale date of September 15, though we're still waiting on those details for the Gear Sport. As IFA unfolds this week, expect to hear more about Samsung's latest wearables.
Product page: Samsung
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There is a REASON they were made with lugs for attaching replaceable bands.
The polymer bands on these things try to strike a balance between comfort (and hypo-allergenicity), and durability. And durability always seems to lose.
One must wonder whether this is just another excuse for "planned obsolescence".
I bought a relatively inexpensive UP2 band about a year ago, and I must say durability was not its strong suit. Knocking up about just anything broke the band. I found a way to repair it with glue, and that held up... but it broke in other places, and was repaired, 8 more times (!) before I gave up on that.
I finally removed all traces of the original polymer band, and replaced it with a hollow, plastic-coated fabric shoestring, some glue, and a tiny nylon clasp. It stays on more reliably, yet it is easier to take off, it has never broken since, and it doesn't even look very bad.
Surely, if I can do a better job than the manufacturers, for less than $1.00 USD, they aren't trying very hard.
If I'm going to pay more than $100 USD for a "watch", it had better have a replaceable band. Period. These rubber things won't win prizes.