The next big thing is already here and it's not the Samsung Galaxy S5. It's the Samsung Gear Fit. Samsung's third wearable is not only more innovative and interesting than the company's flagship smartphone, it also trumps Samsung's two new smartwatches because it is simple, slender and smart.
The Gear Fit features a 1.84-inch curved Super AMOLED with a resolution of 432 x 128 pixels, which is almost no wider or thicker than the thin band that encircles your wrist. It can track your every movement via several sensors, including a pedometer, an exercise monitor, heart rate monitor, stopwatch and timer. Samsung also included an accelerometer and gyroscope to keep track of your movements.
In addition to the basic fitness sensors, the Gear Fit features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and can receive notifications for texts, emails, apps and calls. The Gear Fit is IP67 dust and water resistant, too, so going for a run with Fit, even when it's snowing or raining, is still an option. Although it comes with just a 210 mAh battery, Samsung says the Gear Fit can last up to five days on a single charge if you don't use it too much. Even if you max out the Fit's potential, Samsung claims that the battery will last 3 to 4 days.
The entire device weighs just 27 grams and is very small in comparison with the bulky smartwatches from Samsung, Pebble and other manufacturers. The Gear Fit measures just 23.4 x 57.4 x 11.95-millimeters. The wristband for the device is also replaceable and comes in black, gray and orange. But these standard wearable specifications aren't what makes the Gear Fit an interesting piece of hardware - it's the idea behind it that matters.
Smartwatches are huge and bulky in comparison with the Gear Fit. Most people do not even wear the most slender of wristwatches any more, let alone a giant, cumbersome smartwatch. The ideal wearable is something small, sleek and elegant; something that doesn't seem too obvious. Although many of the fitness wearables have matched that description, their functionality has been severely limited. Most fitness bands can only keep track of your workout data and monitor your vital signs - they can't send you notifications or serve as true companions to your smartphone the way most smartwatches can.
Now, Samsung has combined the slim profile of the fitness band with the functionality of a smartwatch in the Gear Fit. The Gear Fit might just be the wearable we have all been waiting for. It looks stylish and modern, but better yet, it's smart. The Gear Fit can pair with several different Galaxy smartphones via Bluetooth and an accompanying app. The Gear Fit will alert you when you receive any type of notification and it will track your fitness data when you are working out. Then, later when you have more time, you can check out everything that has happened since you've been on the go.
The only real downside of the Gear Fit is that it isn't compatible with all of Samsung's devices and it isn't compatible with other Android, iOS or Windows-based smartphones. That severely limits the reach of Gear Fit and Samsung should seriously consider changing that policy if it wants to make money with the Gear Fit. Either way, Samsung has given its competitors a great idea: Make a smartwatch that looks like a sleek fitness band and you might just strike gold.