Review of Samsung Gear Fit stupidband: ‘The pinnacle of fitness failure’

“On Friday I unboxed and got all set Samsung’s Gear Fit activity tracker. This is the company’s first direct attempt at competing with activity monitors from the likes of traditional players like Nike and FitBit, as well as newer entrants such as Garmin and Polar,” DC Rainmaker writes.

“With everything all setup I was ready to tackle the world. So I slipped on the device and went about my business. Which in this case, was mostly just odds and ends around the house. It was about 30-45 minutes later that I wondered why I still hadn’t seen any steps recorded. So, I walked circles around the couch a bunch, thinking perhaps it needed a bit more walking. But alas, nothing,” DC Rainmaker writes. “That’s when I realized that you actually have to turn on the pedometer function on the unit in order to track steps. Yes, seriously. I can’t make this stuff up… While I can see some minor edge cases that you might want to turn it off (such as automatically if in cycling mode), no other activity tracker on the market does that. And honestly, for good reason: It’s stupid. It’s far too easy to forget to turn it back on, and thus, you’d have no daily activity tracking.”

“Your experience will actually vary depending on if you have an older device or not. If you have Samsung Galaxy S3 for example, you get Fitness with Gear. That app is super-clunky and often pulls up with malformed pages,” DC Rainmaker writes. “And as I found out, despite linking a Samsung account – that data actually goes nowhere. For example, when I then added the S5 to the mix, the data didn’t show up in S Health there in my history. And, you actually can’t get the Fitness with Gear app on the S4/S5. So effectively, Samsung built a cloud-based service that lacks the cloud. We’ll just call that a rock.

“If I break out the S5 however, and use S Health, then things get a bit better. Your heart rate data and exercises will transfer to the S Health App. However, your pedometer data (that’s the step data) and sleep data from the Gear Fit won’t. Instead, you’ll just get a big fat zero there,” DC Rainmaker writes. “It’s only when you start the pedometer using that ‘Start’ button on the phone that it starts counting steps…from the phone, not from the Gear Fit. Here, let me re-word the ludicrous nature of this again: The Gear Fit device can’t actually transmit step data to Samsung’s premier fitness app on their premier phone… The only way to get step data to show on the phone is to simply press the ‘start’ button on the phone and track steps there. Thus defeating the entire point of purchasing the Gear Fit.”

DC Rainmaker writes, “I’m honestly dumbfounded. It’s as if nobody on the entire Samsung team ever stood back, looked at any of the fitness trackers on the market (even the worst of the worst) and copied anything that users actually use or value in an integrated activity tracker device. Never mind more 2010-ish features like social connectivity, competitions, or the like. This is a product I wanted to love, but ultimately, it just ended up being a huge disappointment. ”

Tons more fun in the full, comprehensive review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Samsung is clueless without Apple to copy, but they could’ve at least tried to copy Nike’s FuelBand.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Christopher Pallotta” and “stevenlufc” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Clueless companies race to debut stupidwatches before Apple defines the smartwatch – January 3, 2014
Jim Cramer: ‘The curtain has closed’ on Samsung’s stupidwatch – October 3, 2013
The Verge reviews Samsung’s Galaxy Gear stupidwatch: Orwellian, unintuitive, oversized, and overpriced – October 2, 2013
Jean-Louis Gassée: I hope Tim Cook had fun goading Samsung to make their Galaxy stupidwatch – September 9, 2013
Stupidwatch: Why Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is a flop – September 5, 2013
Samsung Galaxy Gear watch looks rushed, misses the mark – September 4, 2013
The Galaxy Gear stupidwatch: Without Apple to copy, Samsung is clueless – September 4, 2013
Samsung announces ‘Galaxy Gear’ watch accessory for Galaxy Android devices – September 4, 2013

21 Comments

  1. And that’s why I loathe Google even more.
    Had this United States company with some bright engineers (and horribly intrusive business plan) not stabbed its partner Apple in the back and given Samsung and every other OEM out there a software solution, imagine how further backwards these knock-off outfits would be with their devices.

    If people here want to give their money to a foreign company, fine if it’s a better solution I suppose . . . it’s just very clear to me that Samsung’s culture allows only for reverse engineering and little else.

  2. Samsung’s Fit gear and Watch are a total joke. Without Apple to copy they can only put out there usual crap that most people will not want to use more than once to realize how crappy there crap is. Judging by this review you might as well skip that crappy experience all together and wait to see if Apple brings something out that is actually usable. More than likely after that happens Samsung’s next gear will totally change along with the rest of the market as the copy maker goes into gear again.

  3. I’m just wondering why the reviewer wanted to love the device. He wanted more reasons to admire the manufacturer? What is it in these reviewers that makes them want to love the stuff they review?

    1. Partly they want to rush to praise the next big thing, and have pride of first adoption. Partly they want, as writers, to infuse emotion into their journalism, to make it expressive enough to gain the notice of the literary and to gain the following of the the easily swayed majority. And partly they want to stick it to Apple, because everyone resents the 800 pound gorilla. Sticking it to Apple sells.

    2. Given I actually paid for the device, I generally prefer it when devices don’t suck. I’m not sure I know anybody (reviewer or otherwise) that says “Gee, I hope this device sucks” when they first get/buy it. That seems pretty backwards and probably represents someone that shouldn’t be using said technology.

      As for the Fit specifically, if you look at the fitness tracker market, there’s nothing at all like it hardware-wise. Sorta like when the Motoactv came onto the scene for the GPS watch market. Thus, as a proponent for seeing change in the industry that benefits consumers, one likes to see large leaps forward in technology (in this case, display tech). If a product can successfully do that, then it pushes all other companies to make that advancement as well. And that’s a good thing for consumers.

  4. This article is NOT correct, the data DOES transfer to the S5 S-Health app, if you paired the Gear to your S-Health app, run the S-Health app, click on PEDOMETER and then click on the hamburger menu en select PHONE DATA TO VIEW, then select the Gear Fit and all the data is there. Yes, I agree the menu option is obscure but because S-Health allows you to sync with multiple devices, they default to the phone’s pedometer which is not accurate. And yes, S-Health should auto default to the last paired device or give you a nicer way to select the device, but it does work.

    1. this is exactly the difference between something rushed to market to beat a competitor, based on rumor, and built by clueless copiers, as opposed to a finely crafted piece of equipment, fully fleshed out with a user interface that flows as if a part of your thoughts. in other words, this item was obviously shameslung, as opposed to Apple, and even if they looked the same, you would be lost inside it as if it were a labrynth (which even this tech journalyst was. now try giving your explanation to your grandmother and she would die of old age before getting her excercise).

      1. As someone who spent years hitting the ‘restart’ button on a Mac 660AV, to say that Apple produces ” finely crafted piece of equipment, fully fleshed out with a user interface that flows as if a part of your thoughts” is ludicrous.

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