Friday, June 16, 2017

My first running watch...

A Mom's Review of the Samsung Gear Fit 2

Does anyone else love eBay??? I have bought so many electronics and toys with boxes that have been opened or have been returned to stores, and I have saved so much money buying this way!

This Mother's Day was no different. I really wanted a GPS watch that can give me message notifications. Simple, right? AND, I didn't want to spend more than $75. Should be easy to find in this age of technology. Ha! I researched and looked at reviews. Did I mention I also wanted it to be feminine and pink/purple/teal? It shouldn't be impossible to find! But it almost was. I saw a couple that I liked, but I would have to sacrifice phone notifications. Which I was totally ready to do. I tried one more search, and I found one!

It was the Samsung Gear Fit 2.



Now, this watch is in no way perfect. But for what I want it to do, it works.

Although I love new tech, I am in no way a Techie. If you want to read a technical review, go to cnet or wareable. This review is just of my opinions, which I couldn't find many mommy reviews out there.

The Good
Let me preface by saying that I am not an avid runner. I love running! But right now, I am not getting in more than a couple of miles at a time. I still wanted a GPS, though. While my last pedometer was pretty accurate, I really like seeing where I run. 
I usually run with Nike+ Run Club. But I hate running with my phone. It is really bulky, and it throws off my stride. I have run a few times with the Gear Fit 2, and it is pretty spot on for me. Others have stated it is off by 0.01 to 0.10 miles. But, for a novice runner like myself who is really only running a mile or two, it works well. The GPS was definitely the selling point for me. 

The music player. Who runs well without music??? Certainly not me! I love how I can stack a ton of music on the watch, pair it with a Bluetooth headset and go! (I got a great pair on ebay for $12.) Again, no need to drain my phone's battery during a workout!

The 
style. I really like the look of the watch. It is sporty, yet still feminine. Did I mention it is PINK??? And there are so many watch faces to choose from! I chose a pink one. Imagine that. Mine just has the time and your steps, but you can have so much more information on the face. (Time, date, steps, HR, calories, floors, battery life...you get the idea.) And, yes, I am old school, and still like to wear an actual watch on my wrist!
One review I read said it was too bulky for her, since she has a small wrist. Maybe I am weird, but I've always loved sporty watches. To me, though, the Gear Fit 2 is not bulky or boxy like other watches. It is curved, which makes it fit on my wrist so well. I have a fairly small wrist, this watch goes up until it only has three holes left. Even so, it doesn't feel clunky or bulky. I would wear it to church, as well as all the football functions...but maybe not to a formal event. (Not that I go to any of those!) Nowadays, though, EVERYONE is wearing fit-watches. So, you would really just be fitting in. <3


The notifications. Who else feels like their phone is attached to your hand...and you HATE it? It can't be just me! I feel like I am missing something if I don't have it near me at all times. Checking Facebook, texting friends...Yes, I have an addiction. This is actually one way I am trying to remove the temptation and not neglect my kids. I get alerted when I have a text message, facebook message, what'sapp message, or call. You can choose to get other alerts from any other app on your phone, but these are the ones I wanted. (I really don't care who "likes" my posts. Haha!) It is also a good way for me to screen my calls without getting up. I also get notifications when I am not active enough or when I have reached a goal! This was not a deal breaker for me, but it does make me feel like one of the cool kids without actually having a smart watch (and forking over $$$!) You do have to have your phone in the vicinity (mine reaches across my house!) So, I can't get notifications on my run if I leave my phone at home or in the car. Which is great for unplugging. It is also nifty to have on during church or during a date. I can leave my phone on silent and still see if the nursery or babysitter needs me. 

Water Tracker. I LOVE that I can track my water intake from my watch. I am trying to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Now that I am pregnant, I can tell when I don't, especially when I work out! I can just press a button, and enter how many glasses I've just finished. It is something so simple, but such a great motivation for me to drink more water. You can do the same thing with caffeine, but I hardly drink any...maybe a can at the most. 

The Blah

The battery life. I am not familiar with other smart watches or other similar devices, so I don't know how the battery compares to them. With the Gear Fit 2 I can go a couple of days without charging it if I don't use the GPS or music player. When I go on a run and/or workout, I can get a day. This really isn't terrible considering it only takes about an hour to charge all the way. 

The screen.  The screen is supposed to activate when you turn your wrist to your face. Sometimes, I have to shake my wrist a few times to get it to turn on. This is pretty inconvenient when running, and you can't get the screen to come on. Also, while running, it only displays one thing at a time. You have to manually swipe the screen to see the difference of how far you've run vs how fast you're running vs your heart rate.

The voice coach. Unlike some other running apps (like the Nike app that I prefer), the voice coach for the Gear Fit 2 is monotone and robotic. I like my coaches with a little more personality. Annoying, but not a big deal, really.

The Ugly

The pedometer. If you are looking for a device to measure your steps, and you count the steps while shopping or pushing a stroller, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU! I noticed the other night while pushing the stroller on our family walk that although I had walked a mile, my steps had not changed. (I had started the "Walking" activity, so it recorded that I had gone a mile on the GPS, though.) I also noticed it when I went shopping for a couple of hours pushing a buggy, it didn't record my steps. This is really disappointing to me. My last no-name pedometer watch counted every step, even those where I pushed the buggy or stroller. So, I would think that a Samsung would have mastered that technology, also. BUT, I really don't count steps. I figure as long as I get in three or four workouts a week doing weights and running, I am doing pretty good. But for those mommies who are avid step counters, don't count on this watch to fulfill that requirement with littles. (I don't even know if it counts steps if you are holding your baby!)

Waterproof. It is not. I am afraid of wearing the watch in the shower, and I definitely wouldn't wear it swimming. (You can read more about that in one of the tech reviews listed above...)

Conclusion  

If you are looking for a watch that will count your steps while walking with a stroller, this is not for you! If you want a GPS watch that tells time and holds music, you might want to give it a try. It isn't a smartwatch with tons of apps. It is more a hybrid fitness watch that sends you notifications via Bluetooth. You have to use Samsung Health, which I really don't mind. It does sync with the myfitnessapp, which I think is pretty cool. (Please, add a Nike app soon!) 
For the price, it is fantastic (I got a like new one on eBay for $60, and I think they are on Amazon Marketplace for $90). And I can overlook a lot of its faults because of this. AND it matched all of my qualifications: Under $75 (even with the headphones), has a GPS, PINK! and feminine, holds music, and sends my phone's notifications. 
This watch isn't for everyone. But it is for me!

Do you have a smartwatch or fitness watch you just LOVE???

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