For the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been using testing a Samsung Galaxy Fit against the Fitbit Charge 3 I normally wear. Yes, with one on each wrist.
As you may recall, I got the Galaxy Fit for free as part of my Galaxy Note 10+ purchase, and it arrived the same day as that handset, on September 5. So I moved it to my left wrist and reconfigured the Fitbit to know that it’d be on my right wrist. And then off I went.
The fit is a bit tight as I have large wrists and hands, and the latching mechanism was, at first unfamiliar, and is different from that used by Fitbit. (It’s kind of the reverse, if that makes sense, but whatever. You get used to it.) It looks like there are replacement straps available on Amazon, so I may research getting a larger one, if possible, should I choose to keep using it.
From a size perspective, the Fit is closer to the Fitbit Inspire than my larger Fitbit Charge, but it’s also thicker, top to bottom (taller?), than the Fitbit devices. But not annoyingly so.
What really sets it apart, day-to-day, is the display. Unlike with Fitbit, which has stuck to monochrome displays on its fitness wearables, the Fit provides a bright color display that I have come to prefer. Samsung also provides numerous faces, in different color combinations, which is nice, via its Samsung Wear app. But I’d like to have the choice to choose the colors used by each; you have to just go with whatever’s provided.
I measure two things with Fitbit, and I duplicated this with the Fit: Walking/steps and workouts. This has evolved over time, but since returning from the home swap, I’ve moved into an every other day routine in which I workout at the gym for 45 minutes on the first day and walk (quickly, almost a stalk) for 45 minutes on the second. (I’ve always intended to step it up, so to speak, so that I exercise more than this, but … real life, whatever.) My workouts consist of three different routines, 2/3 upper body and 1/3 lower, with the lower body exercises being different each day.
In any event, Fit works similarly to Fitbit and it provides similar results: It automatically tracks the walks—meaning I don’t have to prompt it before or after—and I manually start and stop an exercise on the device when I work out. (Yes, I must look like a real champ at the gym, since I’ve got two wrist wearables going and I keep checking my phone to see what weights I need on each machine.) I continually monitor my heart rate during both types of exercises, on both devices; the Fit reads close to, but perhaps a bit under, what I see on the Fitbit.
I stopped using Fitbit to measure my sleep because it was so far off every night. But the Galaxy Fit seems to more accurately measure sleep, which I really appreciate. It reports that I’ve slept an average of 7 hours and 23 minutes each night since I started using the device, which has to be about two hours more (yes, really) than Fitbit would report, and is accurate. My average bedtime is 11:30 pm and my average waking time is 7:00 am.
On-device controls are logical, and it provides a nice, pushable button on the side, whereas the Fitbit uses a haptic-like pseudo-button that I find harder to press
Aside from the slightly small strap, my biggest issue with the Fit is that it requires me to use the Samsung Health app on the phone. This will work on other phones, of course, but I do have years of data in Fitbit and wish there was some way to merge it all. I figured Google Fit might do the trick, but it appears that neither the Samsung Health nor Fitbit apps are compatible/sync up.
To be fair, Samsung Health is a decent app, and it supplies nice, graphical overviews of whatever you’re measuring, from steps to active time to exercises to sleep. You can use the app to track heart rate (my average is 70, which is apparently average, and ranges from the low 60s to 75 or so when not exercising), food/calories, weight, water consumption, and more. (I’ve not used most of that.) There’s a goofy little “Stress” test you can take. I have no idea what it measures, but it always tells me I’m not stressed. I should try this while I’m using Twitter.
One downside: It displays rotating ads at the top. For some reason.
Battery life is great, but it’s not as good as Fitbit: Where I routinely get 5-6 days of battery life with Fitbit, I’m seeing 1-1.5 days less with the Galaxy Fit. I’ve observed that charge times are also slower, so I measured it this morning: After one hour of charging, the Fitbit Charge 3 gained 68 percent of its charge; the Galaxy Charge hit just 47 percent. It uses a proprietary USB-based charger similar to that of the Fitbit, but the Samsung version is easier to connect. (Reminder: Apple Watch lasts for one day or less.)
Overall, I really like the Samsung Galaxy Fit, and thanks to its color display and more accurate sleep tracking, I may just switch to it and abandon Fitbit for good. First, I need to research those straps…