Fitness tracking has become an important part of many people’s lives, and for good reason. Simply by wearing a device on your wrist, you can tweak your activity and eating habits, which may ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle. And while Fitbit has arguably dominated the fitness tracking industry for the past few years, it doesn’t mean that Samsung can’t compete within the space, especially having released the Gear Fit 2. So which company should you side with? Fitbit’s flagship device, the Fitbit Blaze, is a full-on smartwatch, but the Gear Fit 2 has some pretty smart features of its own. Check out our comparison of the two fitness trackers below.
The design of these two devices is quite different, and could be the deciding factor for you. While the Fitbit Blaze looks more akin to a smartwatch, the Gear Fit 2 takes a more traditional fitness tracker route, and thus looks more like a band than a watch.
As far as smartwatches go, the Blaze isn’t actually all that good-looking. Sure, that’s an opinion, but you would be hard-pressed to call the device “sleek” or “stylish.” Perhaps it appeals more to those with a modern sensibility, but the Gear Fit 2, in general, seems to be the sleeker and more stylish device.
The Gear Fit 2 is also smaller and lighter, coming in at 1.06 ounces compared to the 1.55-ounce design of the Blaze. Of course, both trackers are relatively light, and it makes sense that the Blaze would be heavier considering its form.
Another interesting thing to consider is the fact that the Fitbit Blaze doesn’t have a microUSB port like the Gear Fit 2. Instead, you have to take the main body of the Blaze out and put it in a proprietary charging cradle. It’s a little extra work than seems necessary, but perhaps it’s not that big of a deal when you consider the fact that the device lasts five days on a single charge.
The color options of the two devices are pretty different, too. If you’re into pink wearables, the Blaze isn’t going to cut it. The Gear Fit 2 comes in blue, black, or pink, while the Blaze comes in black-gunmetal, black-silver, blue-silver, and plum-silver. There’s an extra option on the Blaze, which might be nice for those picky about color.
In terms of hard specs, it’s a little difficult to compare the two devices, largely because Fitbit hasn’t told anyone what a lot of the Blaze’s specs are. The Gear Fit 2 offers 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM, with a 1Gz Exynos 3250 processor.
One thing we can compare is the version of Bluetooth the devices use to connect to phones and other devices. While the Samsung Gear Fit 2 offers the latest consumer-ready version of Bluetooth, Bluetooth 4.2, the Blaze instead goes for Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth 4.2 is a little more power efficient and a little faster, but it probably won’t affect the overall performance of the devices all that much.
It’s also important to factor in how well the device handles water and dust, especially for a fitness tracker. The Gear Fit 2 offers an IP68 rating, so while it should be fine in the rain, Samsung doesn’t recommend taking it swimming. In other words, don’t purposefully get the device wet — take it off when showering or swimming. The Blaze is in a similar situation. Fitbit has once again declined to provide an official rating, though it says that the Blaze is “splash proof” and should not be worn in the shower or while swimming.
In other words, if you’re looking for a device that can track your swimming, you’re going to want to look elsewhere — neither of these trackers fit the bill.
Battery life is also important, especially for those hoping to take their device on camping trips and similar adventures. The Gear Fit 2 has a 200mAh battery, which Samsung says will last between three and four days. We don’t know exactly how big the battery is on the Blaze, but Fitbit says it will last five days, which is better than the battery in the Gear Fit 2.
Considering Samsung offers a better version of Bluetooth and is straightforward with the specs under the hood, we’re giving this one to the Gear Fit 2.
Forget specs, you’re buying a fitness tracker for its fitness tracking. Let’s start with the sensors on each of the devices. The Gear Fit 2 has an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, and heart rate monitor. The Fitbit Blaze, on the other hand, does away with the barometer and gyroscope. Instead, it offers an ambient light sensor and altimeter.
The good news is that both devices offer perhaps the most important sensors on a fitness tracker — the accelerometer and heart rate monitor. The accelerometer basically tracks motion, so your device can track metrics such as steps and whether or not you’re walking or running. And, obviously, the heart rate sensor can measure your heart rate throughout the day.
Both the devices are also able to measure altitude — the Gear Fit 2 does that through the barometer, while the Blaze uses an altimeter. Both of these use atmospheric pressure to detect altitude and are basically going to work the same way on both trackers.
Perhaps more important, however, are the differences between the devices. The Gear Fit 2 has a gyroscope, which helps track the device’s orientation. This can be helpful for tracking certain exercises. While it would be helpful in charting your swimming progress, Samsung doesn’t recommend using the device in water.
Given the Blaze functions more akin to a smartwatch, it has an ambient light sensor. That’s not going to help much when it comes to tracking your fitness, but it will make the screen easier to see in different lighting situations.
Considering the Gear Fit 2 offers a gyroscope and the Blaze doesn’t, this one’s going to the Gear Fit 2.
If you’re going to be wearing this device throughout the day, you’re probably going to want it to do more than just track your movement. The Gear Fit 2 offers a number of great features, including the ability to show notifications from your Android device, and control your music, which you can even store on the device itself. It even has a Spotify app, so you can stream music directly from the service, provided you have a Spotify account.
While the Gear Fit 2 can show all kinds of notifications, the Blaze is limited to texts and calls from first-party apps. Beyond that, it doesn’t really offer too many smart features. In fact, you can’t even store music on the device — only control music playing from your phone.
None of the other specs really matter if your tracker isn’t compatible with your other devices. The Gear Fit 2 can connect to phones running Android 4.4 and above, however it does not have iOS support. The Blaze, on the other hand, supports Android, Windows Mobile, and iOS, so it will likely appeal to a wider range of users than the Gear Fit 2.
Clearly, the Blaze wins this one.
Both of these devices offer their own perks, and if they were combined into one “Gear Fit Blaze,” we would have a stellar fitness tracker on our hands. Or, err, wrists. As it so happens, they’re not combined, meaning there are a few choices to make.
Both of these trackers offer smart features that allow them to be used whether you’re working out or simply out and about, but if you’re looking for more of an every-day device, then perhaps the Blaze is a better option considering the fact that it looks more like a standard watch. The Gear Fit 2 is a little more sleek and stylish, though, and may blend in to the background a little better. Ironically enough, while the Blaze is Fitbit’s play into the smartwatch world, the Gear Fit 2 is better at being a smartwatch, especially since it showcases your notifications and allows you to stream music from Spotify.
Neither of these devices is right for swimmers, but they’ll suit most users who are looking solely for a fitness tracker. The Samsung Gear Fit 2, however, should be able track a little more thanks to its gyroscope and better specs. Because of that, the Gear Fit 2 is simply a better device. Unless, of course, you’re an iPhone or Windows Mobile user, in which case you really don’t have a choice.