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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Accurate activity tracking
Great battery life
Screen isn’t always responsive to swiping
Difficult to find a comfortable fit
The Samsung Galaxy Fit is ideal for fitness enthusiasts who want accurate activity tracking and some smartwatch functionality.
Smartwatches bring a bounty of functionality to the table—and right to your wrist. But these devices also tend to cast a wider net that includes fitness tracking among many other tools like listening to music or responding to email. If focusing on workouts and general wellness is your priority, you may be interested in scaling back from a full-blown smartwatch to a full-time fitness tracker like the Samsung Galaxy Fit.
This new addition to the Samsung wearable lineup carries over many of the hallmarks of smartwatches offered by the brand, but in a much slimmer profile and a more targeted and accurate focus on fitness.
We tested the Samsung Galaxy Fit on its ability to track workouts and how comfortable it is as a 24/7 accessory.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit is a fitness-oriented device, and the design reflects this. It’s clean, minimal, and straightforward. Not only is this wearable extremely lightweight at only 0.81 ounces, but it’s also quite slim, which gives it a bracelet-like appearance.
There’s only one button to interact with, and it’s located on the left side of the watch and is responsive and straightforward to use. The strap is made of durable rubber and includes plenty of notches for a close fit. While the band is more focused on ruggedness and skews more toward the typical fitness watch aesthetic, the screen gives the device a more refined appearance.
The face is long and narrow and features a crisp, full-color AMOLED 120 x 240 display. This bright display is pleasing to the eye, but the scroll interaction is somewhat awkward given the size of the screen. A very light touch is necessary, and even then, it may take some time to get used to scrolling on such a narrow surface area.
We found the quick-access menu particularly difficult to maneuver. A swipe down from the top of the screen reveals it, but swiping to the right to toggle through all the options often just closed the menu altogether.
While this watch is diminutive in size, it can withstand the wear and tear that comes with biking, swimming, and other activities. The device as a whole is rugged and heavy-duty enough to withstand 50 meters of water as well as a drop or two, according to the MIL-STD-810G durability rating.
Other than the watch itself, the only other equipment is a wireless charging dock. Charging to 100 percent is recommended at setup, and it took us about 40 minutes for the device to charge in full from about 70 percent charged out of the box.
After that, we downloaded the compatible app for the device, called Galaxy Fit. We were able to pair the device in just a few seconds. We also had to download the Samsung Health app in order to access our activity data.
Like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, this device also features a tucked-in strap. The difference is that there’s a little pin with a round head instead of the straight pin that most watch buckles have. This detail makes for an extremely close fit that verges on almost too close.
The combination of such a close fit and little surface area made it a somewhat awkward to put on and take off the device—it was easier to ask for a second pair of hands to help nudge the strap out from underneath the band than wrestle with it alone.
While the fit can be tight, it was generally undetectable for most of the day, including while sleeping. When we did notice it, it was because it felt too snug, which was often the case by the end of day with swelling. Adjusting the fit for a looser feel left gapping in the band.
While the fit can be tight, its generally undetectable for most of the day—including while sleeping.
A little more surface area on the band and additional notches could be helpful for a more middle-of-the-line fit—what felt fine in the morning often felt way too tight by the end of the day.
So while it was mostly comfortable for general wear and during exercise activities, we found that the fit suffered from being either too tight or too loose because the adjustments weren’t incremental enough. It was hard to find a just-right middle ground.
Since fitness tracking is really the name of the game for this device, we had high hopes that it would perform well. We weren’t disappointed by what we found. We were pleased with its ability to automatically track running, swimming, and sleep activities.
On a walk, steps logged were in line with a Garmin watch we use to track activity, and so was running. The running data was particularly impressive to see stacked up against the running-focused Garmin watch. Even without initiating a run workout, mileage, time elapsed, pace, and cadence were all within very close range. The Garmin edged out the Galaxy Fit with heart rate and cadence details throughout the run instead of just an overall summary. But all in all, the accuracy was really quite spot on.
We were pleased with its ability to automatically track running, swimming, and sleep activities.
Samsung says that swimming is automatically detected by the watch and water lock mode will initiate on its own, and we found that to be spot on when we took this watch along for laps in the pool. The results compiled in the Samsung Health app after the workout were also surprisingly detailed. We were able to see the strokes we’d performed and our corresponding pace, our stroke rate, overall distance covered, and something called SWOLF, which is a way to measure stroke efficiency.
One downside we noticed is that the Fit did not capture mileage for cycling workouts. While it did accurately and automatically track the time elapsed, there was little detail beyond that. The only way to track miles, pace, and speed was to launch a cycling workout through the Samsung Health app.
All activity data, including information on sleep quality and patterns, is laid out clearly in the supplementary Samsung Health app, which is particularly useful for viewing a week’s worth of activity data. It’s really the only way to see beyond the most recent activity or two, which is all the watch will show you.
Samsung says this watch is good for up to seven to eight days with regular activity and use, and up to eleven days with minimal use. We found that this watch lasted on the initial charge for a full eight days, which lined up with the manufacturer claims. It’s hard to say how the battery life would stack up to multiple workouts in a day—we typically only did one a day over the course of a week, but our experience with the device supports the strong battery life claims.
When we did have to charge the device again, we found that process to be speedy: it took only two hours to recharge in full.
Unlike other Samsung smartwatches, the Samsung Galaxy Fit is built on a FreeRTOS (real time operation software) platform. This OS relies heavily on the companion smartphone app and the Samsung Health app for a well-rounded experience.
Most of the settings for notifications and even choosing quick, pre-written responses to texts can be set up through the mobile app. You can also choose watch faces to personalize the style of your Galaxy Fit—there’s a specific screen inside the app that details all the design options and allows you to change the look whenever you want.
In addition to controlling the watch settings easily from the mobile app, the Samsung Health app is the other go-to resource. Here you can view all the information captured by the activity tracker, including fitness, sleep, and even stress levels. You can also take this a step further by using the app to monitor calories, weight, and water intake for a full wellness picture.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit retails for $99.99, which makes it a strong competitor in the fitness tracker market. Similarly-priced devices from the Fitbit brand offer an equivalent bundle of all-day activity tracking and general wellness features but lack the vibrant display of the Galaxy Fit.
There are cheaper options out there, too, like the Garmin vívofit 4, which sells for between $60 and $80. But it lacks a heart rate monitor or the smart capabilities of the Fit, like canned text-messaging responses and the ability to send calls straight to voicemail. For the activity tracking and smart device functionality, the Fit is a fair price and maybe even a bargain for some.
The Fitbit Inspire HR is a close competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Fit. Both are priced at just below $100 and have many of the same wellness and activity tracking features. Both are water resistant up to 50 meters, track active and resting heart rate, feature sport profiles, log sleeping activity, and integrate various types of notifications.
But the Galaxy Fit offers wireless charging and a full-color display, while the Fitbit Inspire HR comes with a charging cable and sports a grayscale OLED display. The Fitbit also only has a five-day battery life versus the maximum eleven-day battery life on the Fit. But the FitBit Inspire HR also comes with some tools that the Fit lacks, like a timer and stopwatch and menstrual health tracking.
Not quite sure if a fitness tracker or smartwatch is for you? Check out our round-ups of the best smartwatches, the best smartwatches for women, and the best fitness trackers.
An all-around winner for fitness-minded shoppers.
The Samsung Galaxy Fit is an appealing option for those who want a bit of smartwatch functionality and a heavy emphasis on exercise monitoring—without shelling out too much money. The fit, ironically, may be the largest issue. But if you’re able to find the right size, this may be everything you want in a fitness tracker.