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Samsung Gear Fit 2 review: Samsung nails design, falls short on functionality

Sarah Tew/CNET

Much like the Apple Watch, the Fit 2 also only displays one data point per screen and doesn't allow you to see crucial running information at a glance. If I wanted to see distance, I had to swipe over once and then swipe two more times to see my pace. This was extremely frustrating and became increasingly difficult thanks to my sweaty fingers.

Heart rate is good, except when working out

An optical heart-rate sensor on the back of the Fit 2 measures your heart rate every 10 minutes throughout the day. I found these measurements generally accurate when compared to a Polar chest strap...until I started working out. Heart-rate data is captured at 1-second intervals during workouts. Measurements tended to be off by around 20 to 30 beats per minute, especially during harder runs. At one point, the Fit 2 even recorded my heart rate at 225 bpm (it was actually around 190).

The Fit 2 is able to sync with the popular running and cycling app Strava, but it can't upload heart-rate data, which is disappointing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Battery life is too short

I got about two-and-a-half days of battery with everyday use, and a single 30-minute workout using the GPS. With the GPS disabled, the Fit 2 lasted a little longer than 3 days. These results are better than the Microsoft Band 2 and the Apple Watch, but far worse than similar products from Fitbit and Garmin (like the Fitbit Blaze and Garmin Forerunner 235).

Battery life with an active GPS signal is said to be around 9 hours, which is actually quite good (an hour longer than the Garmin Vivosmart HR+). I didn't get a chance to test it over any continuous 9-hour activities, though.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You can't shower or swim with it

The Fit 2 isn't fully waterproof. It has an IP68 rating, so it will do just fine out in the rain, doing the dishes and during workouts. While you can submerge it in up to 3 feet of water, it's not recommended that you shower with it (due to varying water pressure levels from different shower heads), although it isn't likely to break if you forget to take it off once in awhile.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There are better alternatives

The Fit 2 isn't a bad product. In fact, I prefer it over the Microsoft Band 2. If it wasn't for the shorter battery life, it would be high on my list as a solid fitness and sleep tracker. It just didn't win me over. It's a shame, because the Fit 2 has such an appealing design. At the end of the day, there are better fitness trackers and better GPS running watches out there.

We like the Fitbit Alta and Fitbit Charge HR. Looking for a nice design? It may be a little more expensive, but we also like the Fitbit Blaze. If you want a device with GPS, check out the Garmin Forerunner 235 or Vivoactive HR. If you really love the curved design over anything else, maybe check the Fit 2 out for yourself. But at least you know the limitations.

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