It’s been more than a year since Samsung last updated its Fit line of activity-tracking bands, and it’s high time for a refresh. After first announcing the new Galaxy Fit in February alongside the new Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Watch Active, the company is finally ready to roll it out in the US. Starting today, you can get the Galaxy Fit for $100. That puts it in direct competition with the Fitbit Inspire HR, which launched earlier this year for the same price.
I’ve barely had the Galaxy Fit for a day, and I’m already impressed. It tracks a comprehensive suite exercises (about 90, according to Samsung), as well as your heart rate, sleep and stress levels. You can use it while swimming (though I haven’t), install widgets to track your nutrition or daily schedule and receive notifications from your phone.
Because I often think of gadget novices like my mom when I test fitness bands like this, I’m always on the lookout for ease of use. I don’t have the time to sit on the phone with my mom, who’s halfway around the world, to teach her how to set her steps goal or create custom quick replies.
Samsung’s interface is so simple it’s almost fool-proof: Just keep swiping sideways from the home screen to scroll through pages that show your daily progress, start a workout, measure your stress, track your sleep and display your notifications. On each page, you can slide up and down to see more. You can also press the button on the left to go back to the home screen and long press it to quickly start a workout.
The Fit also automatically tracks when you’ve started to move, and is supposedly smart enough to recognize when you’re on a treadmill or an elliptical. This way, you won’t have to struggle with swiping through the watch with sweaty hands to start another workout — just hop off one machine and move on to the next, and the Fit is supposed to know. I haven’t tested this out yet, though, so can’t vouch for how well it works.
What I can say is how attractive Samsung’s colorful, responsive Tizen-based interface is, especially compared to Fitbit’s kinda laggy, black-and-white OS. But I gotta say, I do prefer the bigger display on older Fits and the Galaxy Watch Active.
The Fit’s features are wrapped up in a comfortable, no-nonsense band that feels sturdy enough to withstand being knocked around while I’m rummaging through my purse. And aesthetically, it looks a lot more like a Fitbit than the last-generation Fit 2 Pro, which was wider and had a bigger screen.
Samsung is promising up to a week’s battery life with the Fit, which seems like a reasonable estimate given the performance of its previous fitness bands. But since I’ve only had this thing about a day, I can’t verify that claim yet. Still, for just $100 the Galaxy Fit might just appeal to casual users who want a simple, straightforward experience.