Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: (Almost) the best budget fitness tracker

The Samsung Galaxy Fit e is a cheap and cheerful fitness tracker that walks in the shadow of its more expensive sibling, the Galaxy Fit. At a glance, it’s hard to tell the two apart, but The Fit e tightens its belt by taking the fundamental design of its pricier stablemate and binning a few key features.

The result is an unabashedly simple tracker with a tiny, monochrome, low-res display and a highly appealing price tag. It isn’t flashy, but if you’re after a cheap wearable to track your step count, sleep patterns and heart rate, you won’t find much better.

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: What you need to know

The Galaxy Fit e has a tiny 0.74in, 64 x 128 monochrome PMOLED display and an equally small 70mAh battery to keep the lights on. The fitness tracker connects to your Android or Apple phone via Bluetooth 5 and uses a heart-rate sensor and an accelerometer to log all manners of fitness metrics. One key omission, however, is GPS, so all workout distances are based primarily on your step count rather than tracking your exact position.

In the box, you’ll find the tracker and a clip-on magnetic charger that plugs into a standard USB port. A simple rubber band – available in black, white or yellow – keeps the thing on your wrist.

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: Price and competition

The Galaxy Fit e is a budget fitness tracker. At a mere £35, it has two main rivals: the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 (£35) and the Honor Band 5 (£30). The Honor and Xiaomi trackers offer more by way of on-device features – you can start workouts, set alarms and read messages right from your wrist – and they both have AMOLED displays. Like the Fit e, however, they don’t have built-in GPS, instead relying on a smartphone to provide location data.

Spending a little more brings competitors such as the Fitbit Inspire HR (£90) and the Garmin Vivofit 4 (£70) into range, which offer similar hardware but deliver a broader community of users and a superior software experience.

READ NEXT: Honor Band 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: Design and features

So what can Samsung do to earn our attention? Well for starters, it can design a sleek, durable and lightweight wearable that doesn’t get in the way. For the most part, the Galaxy Fit e ticks all of those boxes: the slim watch face is seamlessly built into a comfortable, secure strap that uses a clasp to stay firmly attached to your wrist.

My only complaint is that, while reassuringly sturdy, the clasp is quite fiddly: the excess strap is tucked away between your wrist and the rest of the band, which makes adjustments difficult. Otherwise, the Fit e is a masterclass in simplistic design, and, at a mere 15g, you really won’t know it’s there.

You can wake the Fit e’s tiny display either with an exaggerated turn of the wrist, or by double-tapping on the bottom portion of the watch face. Bizarrely, I found that I was more likely to wake the Fit e by accident than I was on purpose; the display often burst into life as I rolled over in bed, much to the chagrin of my retinas.

As a bit of a silver lining, these accidental night-time activations proved that on full beam, the Fit e’s display is exceptionally bright for its size – only in direct sunlight is it even remotely difficult to read.

I felt that this unintentional use affected the battery life slightly, which is frustrating as it isn’t particularly impressive to begin with. Switch off the heart-rate sensor and dim the display and you’re looking at seven days of usage. Without doing so, you can expect closer to four days of moderate use (i.e., checking the time frequently and recording a few half-hour workouts per week). 

That’s not bad, but it could definitely be better. The Honor Band 5, for example, chugs along nicely for up to 12 days with a similarly small 100mAh battery. 

To avoid unnecessary battery usage, then, it’s well worth playing with the in-app settings. You can set it so the Fit e dims its display and withholds all notifications at night, and you can also change how you wake the display (choosing from a wrist-lift, a double-tap or both).

This is no touch display, so you will have to give it a whack to cycle through the menu. The look of the home screen can be customised in the Galaxy Wear app. Repeatedly tapping the watch face takes you through your daily step count, calories burned and time slept, as well as your current heart rate and the weather, if you have those functions enabled. As with the home screen, you can adjust the order of these menu items (or add/remove them entirely) in the app. You’ll also receive message/email alerts, both on-screen and via a brief vibration.

Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: App

In order to set up the Galaxy Fit e, you’ll need to install the Galaxy Wear app. From there, you can adjust the many settings mentioned above, as well as set alarms and check the remaining battery (something you can’t do from the tracker itself, weirdly).

If you want to really go crazy with your fitness tracking, however, you’ll need to install the Samsung Health mobile app, which allows you to track activities via GPS and record your food/drink intake, calories burned and weight.

Conveniently, Samsung Health lets you export workouts to most major fitness or social media apps including Strava – something that’s not possible with the Xiaomi or Honor equivalents. If you go in for the social aspect of fitness apps, Samsung’s Together platform also lets you add friends, compete with them in head-to-head challenges and take part in community events (like reaching a total step count over the course of a month).

There’s even a section with meditation programs, sleep-aiding soundtracks and a news feed that pulls through relevant articles from the health and wellbeing sector. This is a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate fitness app, and it’s complemented nicely by the Galaxy Fit e.

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: Performance

When connected to your smartphone, the Galaxy Fit e supplements workouts logged via the Samsung Health app (automatically or manually) with heart rate data. Without a connection, though, it’ll only track steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled. Should you opt to leave it on at night, it’ll also log the quality of your sleep.

In what functionality it offers, I found the Fit e performs well. Compared to my smartphone, it tended to record a higher number of daily steps, which makes sense given its position on my wrist (rather than in my pocket). Heart rate data also matched the intensity of various runs I took the Fit e on. Obviously, this won’t be pinpoint accurate data but for £35, it’s applaudable.

Better still, sleep tracking is excellent. It accurately picks up moments of restlessness and doesn’t require any user input to begin recording, although you can also log your sleep manually if you forget to wear the band at night. Sure, it’s not a unique feature – cheaper trackers from Chinese brands offer the same functionality – but it’s a useful one all the same.

Samsung Galaxy Fit e review: Verdict

In fact, that statement can be applied to the Galaxy Fit e more generally. It offers virtually nothing that the Honor or Xiaomi equivalents don’t, but given that these brands offer unbeatable fitness-tracking technology at an excellent price, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

What’s more, the Galaxy Fit e has a couple of aces up its sleeves: the Samsung name, and an excellent health-tracking app. If you’re not sure about buying a tracker from an unfamiliar brand and don’t want to spend extortionate amounts on a Fitbit or Garmin, this is an excellent choice.

Buy now from Amazon

Original Article Link