Technology

Gear Sport review: The only fitness watch for Samsung die-hards

Valentina Palladino

Despite the recent domination of watchOS Samsung has not abandoned Tizen. The OEM portable operating system continues to power a bunch of devices made exclusively by Samsung, including the $ 249 (originally $ 299) Gear Sport. Introduced last year, the Gear Sport is the successor of the Gear S3 and the smartwatch cousin of the Gear Fit 2 Pro group.

It is easy to forget about Tizen as it is not as well known or as well marketed as Android Wear or watchOS. But since Gear Sport can connect to both Android and iOS devices, users should not exclude Tizen from their smartwatch purchase decisions. Although the Gear Sport is not radically different from the 2016 Gear S3, its updates make it a viable competitor of the best Android Wear devices and the latest Apple Watch.

Drawing

Here is a controversial opinion: the Gear Sport is more attractive than the Apple Watch . From the pure design point of view, the Samsung smartwatch looks more like a traditional watch than an Apple notebook, and Samsung has done a good job of marrying regular timepiece elements and technologies. smart advanced in one device.

The case is circular, but four light corners give it a phantom square shape, with home and back buttons on its right edge. The attractiveness is ultimately subjective, but I give accessories to Samsung to make a smart watch that looks so much like a normal watch with less size and weight than its competitors.

Circling the 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display is a textured bezel that you can rotate to scroll through the options on the screen. Not only did I like to use this option as an alternative to tapping and scrolling with my finger on the screen, but its positioning around the screen makes it easier to use than the D & D side crown. # 39; Apple. I have default to rotating bezel on the touch screen. Although the 360 ​​x 360 color screen is tempting to play with, because it is so lively and daring.

Due to its shape and size, the Gear Sport is larger than the Apple Watch and even the Fitbit Ionic but it's not as spectacular on my little one wrist than other devices. The new Samsung smartwatch is even smaller than its Gear S3 (the lack of LTE support makes it a more compact device), and it could make a solid watch for most wrist sizes. Each model is equipped with a 20 mm sport band that can easily be changed or replaced with quick-release pins on each end of the watch case.

Inside the Gear Sport is a dual-core processor, a series of sensors including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a GPS, a barometer, an ambient light sensor and a heart rate monitor. It has 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage for music. It also has a 300mAh battery that should last about two days on a single charge. The entire watch is waterproof up to 50 meters, which makes it capable of following swimming exercises.

Battery life m pleasantly surprised me: my Gear Sport lasted nearly three full days and two full nights before having to be charged. This time included three recorded workouts and a decent number of notifications arriving at my wrist. I do not put the watch in Do Not Disturb mode while I sleep, so email notifications do not wake me up at 2am.

Gear Gear at $ 250 on its loading dock.


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The case measures 42.9 x 44.6 x 11.6 mm.


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It has two buttons: a home button and a back button.

The rotating bezel around the screen makes scrolling easier.


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There is a heart rate monitor on the bottom.


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There are quick-release pins for 20mm strips.


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This is the first page of the Tizen application drawer.


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Here is the menu of quick access settings.


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S Health follows the activity all day.


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Each recorded workout is saved and saved on the watch for later review.


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Fitness Côtes

The name of the device signals Gear Sport's emphasis on fitness. Six of the 10 predefined widgets on the watch are also health-related: calories burned, not done, floors mounted, heart rate, workout, and quick-access exercise widgets immediately follow the dial when you rotate the textured bezel . There are also some dials that display fitness statistics in small numbers and icons at the time, which makes information about the physical condition readable.

The training widget summarizes the number of minutes you spent doing exercise that day and allows you to start a new workout. The Gear Sport has 17 training profiles from which you can choose: basics like running, walking and cycling, as well as options such as treadmill, elliptical, pilates, rower, etc. Although there are not as many training profiles available as on the Apple Watch or the Garmin Vivoactive 3 the Gear Sport still offers enough to suit Most people.

The rotating bezel allows you to select the workout you want to start. Before that, you can change your target goal, the statistics appearing on the workout screen and the minutes interval to guide you. Some exercises may have more than one workout screen because of the number of stats that the Sport Gear can collect. The run can have up to three screens to show pace, duration, heart rate, speed, distance and cadence. The Gear Sport can only follow so much during other activities, like those on an elliptical trainer, so that they only have one workout screen available. However, you can rearrange the order in which the statistics appear on these screens, even if one or more screens are available.

Follow-up all day

Exercise tracking is simple and effective once you have set your preferences. If you forget to start a workout manually, the Gear Sport can automatically recognize and record certain exercises, like running, after 10 minutes of activity. Aside from smartphone notification or goal alerts, the Gear Sport will not interrupt you during a workout. I loved how time was flashing at the top of the screen every time I raised my wrist while I was exercising. Often, I use my smartwatch to check the time rather than my current drill statistics, so it's worth that Samsung finds a way to include it on the workout screens without it taking a whole section.

Gear Sport's heart rate monitor is accurate, measuring my pulse in the three BPMs of the Polar H10 chest strap at high and low speeds. I am most concerned about recording my heart rate during exercise, but it is possible to take a pulse measurement at any time of the day. The Gear Sport even allows you to label these heart rate measurements with categories such as 'rest', 'after exercise', 'fearful', 'sick' and others, so you can track the Pulse changes according to your state of being.

GPS is just as accurate and fast. It took a few seconds for the GPS to locate me as I began a recorded walk in the neighborhood. A small GPS icon at the top of the Gear Sport screen will blink green when it finds you and stays green when it follows you. After an outdoor workout, a tiny map of your route appears at the end of the workout summary on the watch, and a larger map accompanies the workout notes in the S mobile app. Health.

Samsung makes good use of Gear Sport's display by putting almost all the details of the workout on the watch, ready to be revised at any time after the recording. Some devices force you to access the associated mobile app to view complete statistics, charts, and other data, but Gear Sport includes a log of each recorded workout for that week with the duration, calories and heart rate graphs. -screen. The same summary is displayed immediately after the end of a workout, but it is convenient to be able to review it again in detail at any time.

For the few one-move workouts on Gear Sport (jumping-jacks, crunches, etc.), a small human icon does exercise on the screen of Gear Sport to show you the correct positioning before you start. While the device may have reps for these exercises, the numbers are random. Garmin still holds the crown for the accuracy of counting on his wearables like the Vivosmart 3 but it's a feature that Samsung has been smart to include and I hope it will become more accurate with future Tizen software updates.

S Health Home Page.

Training diary

Heart rate graphs for data captured during a workout.

Confusion sleep log.

Step page and program opening page.

The programs cover all kinds of activities, including endurance training and running.

Demonstrations of each exercise are included.

The Gear Sport also follows sleep, but I would not wear it in bed every night because of its size. It was less invasive than I expected during the few nights I stayed with it, but that does not help that his sleep tracking is not the better. On one night when I slept about eight hours, the Gear Sport measured a little over eight hours the next morning – but things got weird when I looked at the statistics in S Health. . My total sleep time was eight hours and fifteen minutes, depending on the application, but a bar chart of my sleep stages showed data for only five of those hours.

He also listed my "real sleep time" at just under four and a half hours. There are no explanations in the application as to what S Health classifies as "real sleep time" or "still time" (I guess the latter is a deep sleep, but your estimate is as good as mine), page one of the most special pages of the application.

With regard to the gap of three hours in the sleep charts, a representative of Samsung could only take a break during sleep (the one that could be triggered by getting up or going to the bathroom). I did not get up from bed all night, but I move a lot and wake up at the same time. The next night, my sleep numbers and graphs matched and correctly indicated the total number of hours of sleep, so it is possible that the first confused night was just a stroke of luck.

S Health Mobile Application

In general, the S Health mobile application is a confusing amalgam of different aspects of other fitness applications. It borrows pieces from other programs (its customizable square sections on the homepage are almost identical to those of the Fitbit mobile app) in order to constitute a one-stop shop for the exam exercise data, daily activity and training. I can not overcome simple oversights like this: when you tap your daily activity bar chart, the step page displays the total number of steps taken today, the total distance, and the calories burned, but no workout data. Any exercise activity should be examined by tapping the man's circle running in the Objectives section of the home page. I would prefer to have a bar chart showing my activity levels per hour with the data on steps and exercises included on the same page.

S Health also does not integrate with Google Fit or Apple Health – a big disadvantage if you use the Gear Sport on a device that is not manufactured by Samsung. The app connects to other third-party fitness programs like Fitbit, Strava and MyFitnessPal, so you may find that one of your favorite fitness programs is compatible. But for anyone relying on the health ecosystem of Google or Apple, you will not have any luck.

S Health has one thing to do: programs. Although hidden in the application (in the settings menu of the right corner and in the "Manage Items" tab at the bottom of the home page), the Programs page allows you to choose from a variety of exercise routines to follow. Everything from weight loss to endurance training, bodybuilding, and running has a number of branding workout routines that you can add to your profile and complete to your own pace. The clearest list the number of workouts in the program, how long the program lasts (some are just a week, while others are several weeks), and a difficulty level. Many strength-based programs also have downloadable previews of exercises like squats and mountaineers to show you how to complete them properly.

The programs are the Fitbit Coach version of Samsung, but they look more like Microsoft's guided training on the now-defunct Microsoft Band because they're all freely available . With the help of a Samsung smartphone or TV, you can watch the guided parts of the workout while you finish them and see the heart rate in real time without watching Gear Sport every few minutes.

One Reply to “Gear Sport review: The only fitness watch for Samsung die-hards

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