Mar 01 AT 3:49 PM Sean Riley 10 Comments

Samsung Gear Fit named “Best Mobile Device” of Mobile World Congress

04 Gear_Fit_Group

After the lackluster performance of the original Galaxy Gear, Samsung has to be thrilled with the response that their Tizen-powered wearables are getting. Most of the praise, however, is lavished on the Gear Fit rather than the more traditional looking smartwatches in their lineup. The GSMA (the organization responsible for Mobile World Congress) came away so impressed that they named the Gear Fit the “Best Mobile Device” of MWC this year.

I’ll withhold judgment until I have a chance to use the Gear Fit myself. But based on the first hand impressions that I have read thus far, I think Samsung has made the right moves with the Gear Fit to hit with a broader audience than true smartwatches. The Gear Fit is exactly the kind of blending of the smartwatch and fitness band that I anticipated in the what’s next in wearable tech piece last month (although I’m not entirely sure whether it is a dumbed down smartwatch or just smarter than the average fitness band).

Regardless of where in the smartwatch/fitness band Venn diagram the Gear Fit falls, the further blending of the two is welcome. I have found myself slightly shifting on my feeling that retrofitting that functionality into a smartwatch should be a relatively simple matter, as Qualcomm recently enabled activity tracking on the Toq and it cut the battery life of the device by more than half. Granted the feature is still in beta, but going from a consistent 7 days to less than 3 on a charge doesn’t fill me with confidence that they’ll get the battery life back. Samsung doesn’t have that battery life to give with their more robustly featured smartwatches; even the new Tizen powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo only offer 2-3 days out of the gate.

Speaking of those other smartwatches, Samsung has dealt itself an interesting hand in announcing these three wearables all at once. The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are the more impressive devices in terms of capabilities, so it’s entirely possible that is where the marketing dollars will go. There is also a risk that consumers will be leery of Samsung’s dedication to their wearables since seeing the Galaxy Gear swept under the rug after just 6 months (and in truth, only about a month or two of full functionality). While the Galaxy Gear clearly was never a huge seller it is a safe bet that those who bought in were the real Samsung faithful, and they have just come away pretty badly burned.

When we polled all of you on your favorite announcements from MWC, the entire Samsung wearable lineup only managed a 4th place finish–barely edging out the Nokia X line and the Huawei MediaPad X1. That poll lumped the three devices together. I’d be interested to hear whether your feelings on the three devices differ greatly. Is the lesser functionality of the Gear Fit a turn off from the device, or does that seem like a simpler tool to integrate into your routine?

Source: Samsung

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Steve

    I wonder why they have moved from Android? Does it make the watch have more features? Or is Samsung trying to cut cost using their own os. I bet that Android didn’t hold the watch back at all, and I am dissapointed with the decision to change os’ s because they should have made an Android watch, with the million choices of apps

    • Hathalud

      I suspect that they mostly switched to Tizen to reduce the amount of user modification. I recently bought one of the original Galaxy Gears and love it, but only after installing a custom rom and being able to install other Android apps onto it. Considering how Samsung has Knox in their latest phone offerings to reduce or truly monitor this kind of end-user modification, it’s a logical conclusion that Tizen is there to do just that since the Tizen system is still hardly known to the modded community.

  • redraider133

    This caught my eye. Will be interested to see more once it makes its way into more hands.

  • surethom

    I love the fit BUT it will only link to other Samsung devices so will miss out on thousands of sales including myself.

    Make it available to all Android phones & I will give u my pounds sterling.

    • 999

  • yo momma

    I would bet that within a month Android will be side loaded on the gear 2 and will be badass… Will be buying for sure.

  • Dana T

    Samsung Gear Fit has a great design and really cool features, like real-time coaching. I think it´s not only better than Qualcomm Toq and other fitness bands, but also better than most smartwatches:
    http://versus.com/en/samsung-gear-fit-vs-qualcomm-toq
    Looking forward to testing it :)

  • donger

    Looks great.

  • Dpromano76

    This is nice, and just like the watch before it I will also get it.The cost of this is mere pocket change for what it does compared to my $10k Forsey that does nothing! Lol

  • TheDude

    The fitness band craze is really getting hard to follow. I have been searching for a forum that covers multiple bands and recently found Fitness Band Forum which shows some promise (http://www.fitnessbandforum.com), but its really new. Is anyone aware of any other communities for sharing information and chatting about fitness bands besides comments in blogs or news articles?