I am a huge advocate for a fitness tracker. Some people don’t get on with them, or find them pointless, but my argument is, if they get you active then I’m all for it. Today’s review is of the Samsung Gear Sport. I’ve been testing this Samsung Gear Sport for about 6 months now. I like to test all devices for around 6 months on each product, because you cannot get a proper experience I don’t think unless you get a good amount of time in. You get that device confidence, you get to know its finer details and of course, you get to know what you love and hate.
The Samsung Gear Sport caught my eye because it was a waterproof watch, and as a girl who adores swimming, I was over the moon to finally have a multi activity tracker that logged my swimming. Often you only get a swimming specific watch, and whilst they are fantastic, as a triathlete I evidently am all about the multiple sporting activities! I wanted something that still was a ‘fancy’ digital watch, by telling me all my social media notifications, alerting me when someone was calling or the alarm was going off, but mainly one that would be tracking any activity I decided to throw myself into!
- Track multi-sport activities
- Tracks calorie intake
- Timely suggestions when you are stationary for too long
- Swim ready
- GPS tracking
- Features; messages, phone, contacts, Samsung health, weather, music, S voice, settings, reminders, alti/barometer, schedule, alarm, world clock, news, briefing, gallery, find my phone & email.
This particular Samsung watch comes in black or blue with a 1.2inch screen, it doesn’t feel too bulky like some watches and is a relatively small in size compared to other fitness trackers. I went for the blue option as I’m partial to colourful sporting attire! It has a rubber strap that comes in a small and larger size, with slightly ribbed texture, which I assume is to help with any friction from exercising. I have very sensitive skin and it caused slight irritation, mainly because it was quite tight on my wrist – I have quite slim wrists which meant I had to really tighten it or it didn’t always pick up my heart rate. The watch face image is changeable by simply holding the screen and it gives you the option to slide through and find the one you prefer. Some are simply watch faces, others hold more details such as steps and floors climbed for the day. I found this detail fantastic because, I don’t always like to change my watch when I’m not training, so I could simply alter the watch face to work for a casual outfit day! It has an LED touch screen and you have options to link up your phone so you can receive notifications of social interactions. Also just to point out if it is linked up to your phone, you can use the handy button to find your phone – I mean, how many of us put our phones down in the house and can’t remember where?! Guilty! This makes your phone ring so you can find it. If you have a Samsung phone you can also utilise the NFC-based Samsung Pay system and pay via your watch, so for example you want to go out for a run but fancy stopping to meet a friend, or you’re on a cycle and it’s coffee and cake time, you don’t need to take any additional items with you! You can simply pay via your watch – genius!
There are numerous screens you can add to your watch options to make it personal to you. For example, you can add your step counter, floor climb, water intake, food intake, weather for your location, top 4 multi-sport activities for quick access and of course, your heart rate. You can basically add as little as you want and as many as you need to. I don’t have lots on mine because it can get a little frustrating having to scroll through to get to the option you want. Some people had issues on reviews with the heart rate tracker, but I found I got on fine, obviously a heart rate monitor in the form a chest strap will always be more precise, but it does give you a good indication of your heart rate zones. I did love how it automatically picks up your activity, for example I walk to work most says, and normally after around ten minutes a screen will pop up saying, ‘Keep it up!’. Due to my heart rate changing its realising I’m exercising so it starts to track my walk until I stop. Other things it automatically does is pick up activities like when you go cycling, for example yesterday I needed to cycle to and from work. I completely forgot to manual select that I was cycling, but instead after cycling for 10 minutes it picked up that I was on my bike. I’m not saying it begins after 10 minutes, it is always tracking you, but after 10 minutes it can tell if you’re being subconsciously active. Also if you become inactive, so for example you’re at work and sat behind your desk for too long, you’ll get a little vibration suggesting you move! Instead of like a FitBit where it just tells you to walk, Samsung Gear Sport suggests movements like Torso Twists or Squats and does them with you! I loved this, even if my colleagues thought I was odd suddenly squatting on the spot!
Other things the Samsung Gear Sport tracks is your sleep! I get a notification every morning of my sleep efficiency, when I went to bed and when I walk up, I won’t lie this bit slightly freaks me out because how does it know?! However, it is so good to track it because I then alter my bedtime routine to make sure I get a decent night’s sleep. I never sleep well, but this has actually helped get me into a better routine. Alternatively at night might be the best time for you to charge your watch if you aren’t too fussed about your sleep pattern. Whilst on that subject the battery life is pretty much the same as a phone, the more you use it, the quicker it dies essentially. Mine lasts a day and a bit pretty much, which is quite similar to most in my experience.
As I mentioned the Samsung Gear Sport is designed with swimming in mind. You can either use the Samsung built in swim tracker or you can use the specific speedo app that links up to your watch. That is important to note that you can add other compatible apps to your watch via your phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy 8, so it will of course work with it, however don’t fret if you have another branded phone as the Gear will still function. So you can use the Speedo app or track your swimming by the Speedo app, you obviously need the watch in order to use the Speedo app, you’ll be able to get details of your stroke type, lap time and HR & calories burnt. You simply switch on water mode that locks your phone up and means that it is waterproof for your swim. Little water droplets will appear and you won’t be able to access the other option on your phone until you hit the home button and come out of water mode. The watch reminds you to shake your watch after swimming to remove any water that might be trapped.
The GPS was sometimes a little sketchy on some cycles I did, but weirdly after I did an update it’s been pretty much fine ever since. It all links up to Samsung Health app on your phone, which I didn’t use much originally but found I really should of done, because you can track meals (quite like MyFitnesspal) and so forth. It is quite handy to almost condense quite a few other apps into to just using one.
To summarise my review, the best way I can do that is by saying, I’m still using the watch. I have a lot of fitness trackers from over the years and I could have quite easily returned back to one them, but I haven’t. The swimming part overrules everything, but equally so, many of the features are perfect for activities and interactions beyond fitness.