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Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: Evolution over revolution

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
40

A competitively priced Fitbit alternative

Pros 
Cheaper than its predecessor
Larger display
Improved battery
Cons 
No GPS
Fiddly interface
Annoying strap clasp
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Samsung’s Galaxy Fit 2 builds on its predecessor, the Galaxy Fit, with a larger screen and improved battery life, and better still, it’s nearly half the price at the time of writing. So what’s not to like?

For the most part, the Galaxy Fit 2 represents a decent, affordable fitness tracker. But there are one or two things that prevent it from being an award winner.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: What do you get for the money?

The price cut is in part made possible by the fact that the Fit 2 has a slightly more basic design, dropping the metal trim found on the original Galaxy Fit. But compared with 2019’s entry-level Fit e, which was similarly priced at launch, this tracker still represents a decent upgrade.

The biggest improvement is that it has a 1.1in colour OLED touchscreen, compared with the relatively small 0.74in monochrome one you’ll find on the Fit e. And, despite having this larger, colour display, it now promises up to 21 days of light use and 15 days of typical use between charges. That’s good progress from the 6 to 8 days you’ll get from its predecessors.

There’s no physical home button as there was on the pricier Galaxy Fit but a touch-sensitive button in the lower portion of the tracker lets you exit any menus that you may have accessed by swiping and tapping.

The Fit 2 is waterproof to 5ATM (50m) meaning you can wear it when you swim or in the shower without any problems. It will also track your pool swimming, giving you a SWOLF (swim golf) score at the end of your session. Sadly, though, the rather irritating clasp found on its predecessors hasn’t been changed. You’ll still have to tuck the end of the band back under the clasp after hooking it in place, which feels both fiddly and a little uncomfortable.

As for features, the Fit 2 doesn’t build on its predecessors in any meaningful way. There’s still no GPS as you find in the Fitbit Charge 4, so you’ll need to have your phone within Bluetooth range if you want to track speed or pace in workouts with any level of accuracy. There’s no altimeter either, so you won’t have any insight into how many flights of stairs you walk up, and no SpO2 sensor for checking your blood-oxygen levels - a feature that’s become all the rage in wearables recently.

Otherwise, the Fit 2 offers most of what you’d expect to find on a fitness tracker. It’ll keep tabs on your steps, heart rate, and sleep and you can also use it to check your stress levels at any given time.

When it comes to smart features, the Fit 2 also has you covered. It’ll show smartphone notifications on your wrist and let you send canned responses to messages, plus there’s the option to control your phone’s music playback, check the weather and set a countdown timer.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: What do we like?

There’s no doubt that Samsung has improved the value of its offering with the Galaxy Fit 2 compared to the previous-gen Galaxy Fit and Fit e. With the fitness tracker available for £40 at the time of writing, you’re no longer paying significantly over the odds compared to wearables from Chinese manufacturers including Honor and Xiaomi.

The improved battery life also brings the Fit 2 more in line with its rivals. Although I found Samsung’s estimates slightly on the generous side, the Fit 2 more or less matches the Honor Band 5 and Xiaomi Band 5 for longevity and it well exceeds its predecessors.

Indeed, I found it lasted around two weeks when using it intensively on some days and much less so on others. If you use it to track workouts every day and have continuous heart rate tracking enabled, you may need to charge it sooner than that, but at any rate, you’ll never have to plug it in as often as the Fit and Fit e.

Despite cutting the price, the Fit 2 doesn’t feel cheap either. Although I’m no fan of the fiddly clasp, the tracker is comfortable once it’s on the wrist and its OLED screen is bright and vivid.

As with its predecessors, the Fit 2 syncs with the Samsung Health app on your phone, which does a decent job of showing your vital stats. It’s here that you’ll find sleep tracking info, for example, which provides impressively in-depth analysis for such a budget wearable. Not only does the app show a sleep efficiency score based on how much of the night you spent asleep but it also shows time spent in deep, light and REM sleep phases.

To help improve your sleep rather than simply monitor it, the app also lets you know how consistent you are with your bedtimes and wake-up times. Meanwhile, using the Trends tab, you can easily check whether you’re spending more or less time asleep over recent weeks and months.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: How can it be improved?

Where the Galaxy Fit 2 falls down to an extent is in terms of accuracy. It isn’t unusual for an optical sensor to give slightly dubious readings during exercise but I found the Galaxy Fit 2 to show inaccurate readings at rest. Indeed, when I glanced at the tracker, it was not uncommon for it to show a pulse of 10 to 20bpm higher than that shown by a Garmin Fenix 6 on my other wrist.

That’s frustrating when such readings likely factor into the aforementioned sleep tracking score but, in spite of this, the Samsung Health app did eventually show what looked like a more accurate resting heart rate by the end of any given day.

During mild to moderate exercise such as hill walking, I found the Galaxy Fit 2 showed largely plausible readings, too, although it’s worth noting the Samsung Health app won’t let you set heart-rate zones manually.

If you’re going to be doing much running or other high-intensity training, this means its indication of a given workout’s intensity may well be some way off unless you have a max heart rate that’s typical for your age. In other words, it may label much of your workout having taken place in higher (or indeed lower) heart-rate zones than was actually the case.

Despite having a larger colour screen than the original Galaxy Fit, I found the tracker rather fiddly to use at times, too. Jumping between widgets is done with a swipe left or right and then swiping your finger up and down lets you view more info on the page. And, to be perfectly honest, it’s rarely the most intuitive process.

More detailed info about your heart rate ranges for the day and your resting heart rate are found at the bottom of a page that also shows step count, current heart rate, sleep duration and distance covered, for instance, which not only feels like it would be easily missed but also feels a bit like information overload. The heart-rate data would benefit from a page all to itself.

Unfortunately, there’s also no way around the fact that you need to install two apps - Samsung Health and Galaxy Wearables - in order to use the fitness tracker on non-Samsung Android devices. The latter handles the trackers’ core settings, while the Samsung Health app manages all the data logged by the tracker in use. That feels somewhat grating when manufacturers like Garmin and Fitbit manage perfectly well with the one app. What’s more, like the Fit 2’s interface, I found the apps can be a little unintuitive at times.

Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review: Should I buy it?

Despite these gripes, the Galaxy Fit 2 doesn’t do a huge amount wrong. On the contrary, the Fit 2 is a solid budget fitness tracker that represents much better value than its predecessors. If you’re already invested in Samsung’s ecosystem, in particular, and want to track your general activity levels and sleep, you really can’t go too far wrong.

Having said that, depending on your budget, there are other options that I might more readily recommend. If you want a cheap fitness tracker to do the basics, something like the Huawei Band 4 Pro will do a better job for the same money thanks to its built-in GPS and an altimeter. Alternatively, if you’re after a slicker experience, both on your wrist and in the accompanying mobile app, Fitbit’s Inspire 2 is well worth considering, even if it does cost a bit more.

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