Verdict If you want a smartwatch, and aren’t fussed about all the fitness features, the Huawei Watch 2 is the best choice right now. For fitness trackers that’s a much more tricky decision. While you might get a decent enough experience from the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 on the basis of tracking the basics, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will give you much better overall value for money. The Fitbit Charge 3, meanwhile, has the smartwatch features we need, in a much more subtle package.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is the company’s most affordable tracker to date. But is it a better device than its predecessor, or one that lacks much substance? We put it to the test and found out. Samsung has launched three versions of the Galaxy Fit 2. There’s the middle spec (single band), and the premium (duo) and pro versions. As you might expect, they all look identical and use the same fitness tracker tech, including Samsung’s proprietary Tizen operating system. It does look a bit dated, and though the interface has been given a facelift, we’re not sure if this is enough to make it better than its competitors. The Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is advertised as being slim.
The Galaxy Fit 2 looks great for a £40 fitness tracker. The wide, curved bezel around its 1.2-inch OLED display is neat to look at and this only improves with the colours you choose. We had it in white and it looked great. There’s a red version as well, but frankly it’s just as nice in white. Related: Best fitness trackers Other than this, the Galaxy Fit 2 is pretty standard in the fitness tracker world. It’s a touchscreen device, with icons for easy navigation, notifications, trackers and there’s even a clock icon for when you’re an Apple fan. This is the bit Samsung should focus on improving, though, as the Huawei Band 2 Pro and Fitbit Flex 2 have always handled this best. You can swipe to change apps, change tracks, back and home screens and settings as you’d expect.
If you’re planning on using the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 while driving, you’ll be well pleased to hear the band features an included cradle you can connect your tracker into to extend its battery life. You can also buy a separate battery that plugs into the device, but the cradle is available in all regions. The band itself has a 500mAh battery inside and delivers 2 days of life. The charging cradle can charge it up in 30 minutes and it’s compatible with both micro USB and USB Type-C charging. We used the same charger for the Samsung Gear Sport and the Fit 2 worked in exactly the same way. The Fit 2 can take charge from a normal smartphone via its USB Type-C port. You can leave the Fit 2 connected to your phone when it’s in the cradle and charge it simultaneously.
For its size and price, the Galaxy Fit 2 can boast many of the best trackers around in the fitness band arena. Its heart rate tracker is one of the best we’ve ever tested, getting the job done on a multitude of activities from running to strength training and even cycling. We love the fact that there’s a dedicated button on the side of the band that you can hold down to immediately start or stop the tracking mode, rather than having to navigate through menus first. It’s great to be able to immediately begin tracking and being able to cancel tracking entirely is another nice touch. Although we did feel that this isn’t as well implemented as some of the other devices on test.
There’s a version of the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 with a full-HD display, but at the time of writing this review I have it with a lower-res AMOLED display. Why this is a big deal is it means that the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite wearable just for its display resolution. It also isn’t a great device for watching videos and playing games on, but for basic smartphone notifications, using GPS and making calls, it’s fine. The larger display on the Galaxy Fit 2 will let you keep your smartphone on you without it looking silly and can also be used to show you more things on the screen at once. On the back of the watch is a heart rate monitor and all of the other sensors, as well as a 3-axis accelerometer, and an LED display that isn’t touch sensitive.
At £89.99/$90 (or AUS$117), the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is the cheapest fitness tracker in our roundup. It delivers on most of its key features with an attractive design and good call and text reception. For anyone hoping to give fitness trackers a try but doesn’t want to invest £100-£150 upfront, this is an easy recommendation. However, we have to point out that while it’s great that the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 is a fraction of the price, it’s a real shame that it falls apart during exercise. Unlike other Fitbit devices, it simply doesn’t have the confidence to display solid fitness tracking when your running or cycling, meaning you’re always chasing after notifications and data. It doesn’t help that the band itself feels flimsy, and on several occasions it fell off our wrist while running.