Samsung Gear Sport Takes on Fitbit and Apple in One Device

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro hands-on: A souped up Gear Fit with swim tracking

It can also capture once a second to provide more accurate continuous heart-rate readings than earlier Samsung Gear products. Another IFA 2017 debutant from Samsung's wearables division is the Gear IconX 2018 edition: a massive upgrade over the 2016 wireless earbuds that could only muster 1.5 hours of wireless music streaming.

The first thing that strikes about the Gear Sport is its considered size: in a world where fashion watches are growing to achingly huge wrist protrusions, we think Samsung has found the sweet-spot here - a sensible size for all manner or wrists. Depending on the price, this could very well another excellent entry into the Gear Fit line.

Worldwide sales of wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers are expected to grow by 16.7 per cent in 2017, compared to 2016, according to the research outfit Gartner.

Samsung Electronics on Wednesday debuted three new wearables, with one of them being the Gear Sport, a water-resistant, fitness-oriented smartwatch meant for outdoorsy consumers who want to take their fitness and health tracking activities to the next level.

The Gear Fit2 Pro goes up for preorder on August 31 at a cost of $199.99 ($20 more than the regular Gear Fit2), and starts shipping September 15. The Gear Sport will be able to store 500 Spotify songs on the watch. The wearable is rated for underwater use up to 50 meters (165 feet), which is just one of several characteristics making it perfectly suitable for swimmers, the South Korean original equipment manufacturer (OEM) claims, adding that another aspect of the product which should cater to this particular demographic is the latest iteration of Speedo On, a Speedo-developed swimming training app which comes pre-installed on the Gear Sport.

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Offline Spotify support and most of the software perks should roll out onto the Gear S3 though, so unless you swim we're not sure it's worth an upgrade. The blue rubber one I checked out seemed to be of good quality, but there will also be some interesting "hybrid" bands with a rubber base and leather top layer. These kinds of practical features go beyond telling you to just go to the gym, and it's what makes the Gear Sport really stand out. While the company has yet to specifically state this, it's understood that the list of third-party apps compatible with the Gear Sport will be expanded upon in the near future and more details on that front may follow shortly.

App selection has been a sore sport for Samsung watches, which uses the company's Tizen OS, but Samsung insists the situation is improving with more developers producing watchfaces and apps for its watches. The Gear Sport integrates seamlessly with Samsung smartphones, and it can also control IoT devices using the Samsung Connect solution.

While they're not specifically going to track your fitness, Samsung also announced new wireless earbuds under the Gear IconX branding.

Meanwhile the Gear Fit2 Pro will come with a 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED display and a custom, sports-oriented band.

The Gear Sport touts a battery life of up to 4 days and it's available in a choice of blue or black in a 42.9 MM casing. It now features a personal running coach that can shout encouragement and status updates into your ear.


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