One of the three new second-generation Samsung smart watches, the Gear Fit ($200) is a creative and stylish departure from the original Galaxy Gear. It's just as much an activity monitor as it is a smart watch, and it has a markedly new look—slimmer, sleeker, and lighter at .8 ounces than even even the relatively petite Pebble Watch (1.4 ounces).
It’s also, well, pretty. The vivid, slightly curved AMOLED 1.84-inch color display pops against the black watchband. You can change the background color, design, and watch face to suit your mood, or your outfit, and you can buy additional swappable watchbands in orange, red, blue, green, or gray, too. This attention to aesthetics is likely a nod to women (and plenty of men, for that matter) who think of smart watches as bulky and ugly.
That said, the Fit won't do as much as heftier, pricier smart watches; you won't be making calls or taking photos with it. But when connected to a compatible phone, it does notifications: a brief vibration alerts you to incoming e-mails, calls, texts, and updates from a variety of third-party apps. The Fit lets you control media on your Samsung phone. You can also reject incoming phone calls with a swipe on the watch. Most important, though, are its activity-monitor features. The Gear Fit has a built-in heart-rate monitor, pedometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope, with which it tracks several kinds of exercise activities.
When Samsung announced its new Gear smart watches back in February, the company also said they would run not on Android, as did the original Galaxy Gear, but on Tizen, a mobile OS it had a hand in developing. The company told us Tizen will bring "improvements in battery life over the first version and a large app ecosystem, thanks to the open SDK [software development kit] we'll be releasing in March."
We got a preview sample of the Gear Fit into our hands (and on our wrists). We'll lab-test battery life and other features when we purchase one. Meanwhile, here are our impressions.