During the IFA trade show, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear Sport. It is a good-looking fitness tracker and a smartwatch rolled into one.
The Gear Sport, unlike the Gear S3, comes with a smaller 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 360x360 pixels resolution which is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. Just like the Gear S3, the Gear Sport also comes with a Full Colour Always-On Display mode.
You can also use the watch to control other Smart Home devices. Compared to the previous Gear S3, the Gear Sport is much lighter, smaller and much slicker. It also supports Samsung's own payments app 'Samsung Pay'.
The Gear Sport runs a Tizen-based Wearable platform. It also features a round dial with a rotating bezel. On board, Sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, gyroscope, and a heart-rate monitor. Gear Sport will also come with Samsung Bixby, which we expect to be part of a future software update.
The new Gear Sport has a 300mAh battery. However, Samsung says that it will deliver up to four days of battery life on moderate usage. The Gear Sport is compatible with all Android smartphones running Android 4.4+ with a minimum RAM of 1.5Gb. It is also compatible with iOS devices running iOS 9 and upwards.
The Gear Sport will offer a one-year subscription to the suite of Under Armour apps. This allows the users to track what fitness activities they're doing. The Gear Sport also comes with GPS. Samsung's new fitness/smart wearable will also allow users to listen to their Spotify playlists offline even when they're away from their phone.
Now the watch 5ATM certified. So it can also help you with your swims, thanks to Samsung's collaboration with Speedo. You can go into the pool without breaking and track your swimming in the process with the Speedo app. There is no LTE connectivity in the Sport.
Even though the Gear Sport cannot track your breathing and oxygen consumption, Samsung is offering a lot of the same features in a much more attractive package. The Gear Sport is a perfect combination of a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. It can function without a smartphone. However, we are a little weary about the 300mAH battery.
Fitbit decided to make a smartwatch some time ago now. Every year Fitbit cranked out simple fitness trackers. Things are starting to change with Fitbit. The Fitbit Iconic is their first ever Smart watch. It plays music, supports mobile payments, displays push notifications. The Fitbit Ionic still feels like a hybrid of the Apple Watch and the minimalist fitness trackers that have become synonymous with Fitbit.
Following the other Fitbit devices, the Ionic has a utilitarian look. It has s small rectangular display with a square watch face. The body is made from aluminum. It comes with a plastic strap, the watch's design is not that elegant.
The device comes with a minimum 4 days of battery life. Ultimately the battery comes down to the user's preferences. The On board sensors include an accelerometer, GPS, Bluetooth, Heartbeat sensor, NFC. NFC helps with mobile payments. Fitbit boasts that its Heartbeat Sensor is a 'Tri-wave Length Sensor'.
The tri-wavelength sensor, which can distinguish between red, green, and infrared wavelengths, allows the device to gather more fine grained information like relative blood oxygen level. Using this information, Fitbit is able to keep track of breathing habits, which could in the future help diagnose conditions like sleep apnea. This is the SpO2 sensor that Fitbit was telling.
The smartwatch is powered by Fitbit OS, Fitbit's own proprietary Operating System. It comes with support for watch faces and third-party apps that will be available in a new Fitbit App Gallery. The company also promised regular updates to their OS. It is also taking a page from Pebble with an open SDK for third-party developers that will launch in September.
The Fitbit Ionic is not meant to be a standalone smartwatch. While you can get all kinds of notifications from your smartphone, there's no LTE connectivity. You also need your phone for the initial setup, syncing data, customizing clock faces, and tweaking your preferences. However, the Fitbit Iconic can be used independently while exercising.
If you do not mind about the bulky design of this watch and if you want to track your intense workouts this device is for you. Fitbit promises 4 days of battery life on a single charge, which is great. The Fitbit Iconic is for people who train like athletes. The Fitbit Iconic comes across as a fitness accessory, with a price tag of $300 USD.
Both the Gear Sport and Fitbit Iconic are great devices. It all comes down to what kind of smartwatch you are looking for. The Gear Sport runs on the Tizen OS which has dramatically improved over the years.The Gear Sport holds its own when it comes to fitness tracking. However, Fitbit is synonymous with Fitness. The Iconic has an advantage over the Sport when it comes to sensors and battery. However, the Fitbit Iconic feels more like a fitness device built for the future of fitness rather than a smartwatch.
Samsung is betting that a lot of Android users are looking for something that looks like a watch and works like a Fitbit. The Fitbit Ionic hopes it can win over people who care more about fitness than style. Who do you think wins? Leave a comment below and let us know.