Choosing Between The Samsung Gear Fit 2 And The Polar M600
Although smartwatch sales haven’t quite taken off the way their manufacturers hoped they would, there’s been enough interest in these devices to keep the marketplace evolving. The latest and greatest devices being introduced this year are blurring the lines between dedicated fitness trackers and more capable general-purpose smartwatches. Here’s an examination of how two of these gadgets – Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 and Polar’s M600 – stack up against each other.
The Polar M600 is a serious fitness tracker and a serious smartwatch. It features all of Polar’s legendary accuracy and flexibility in tracking your activity and recording your workouts. But the Samsung Gear Fit 2 scores surprisingly well in this arena, too, producing heart rate logs and other metrics that are just as accurate as those offered by pricier fitness trackers. Its records are organized through a smartwatch implementation of Samsung’s S Health app, which you may already know from your Samsung phone.
Here is where the differences start to become more apparent. The M600 runs a full version of Android Wear, giving it serious flexibility and customization options. The smaller Gear Fit 2 features a leaner operating system – Samsung’s proprietary Tizen – with limited flexibility. Basically, the Gear Fit 2 is a wrist display for the same features that are included in Samsung phones; the M600 is a legitimate smartwatch that’s capable of functioning independently.
Both of these smartwatches feature tough synthetic materials and (most importantly) durable Gorilla Glass screens. They’re both rated IP68 for water resistance, which means they’ll easily stand up to the sweatiest (or rainiest) workout sessions.
The Polar M600 has been described over and over again as “chunky.” That’s the charitable reviewer’s way of saying it’s frigging huge. You might not mind hauling around that extra width when you’re interacting with the Android Wear system, though. The smaller Gear Fit 2 doesn’t exactly disappear on your wrist, and its narrow AMOLED screen can be frustratingly small when you’re adjusting settings. It’s small, but there are even less obtrusive fitness trackers out there if this is a priority for you.
This is one arena where the Samsung offering beats the Polar smartwatch hollow. The suggested retail price for the Gear Fit 2 is just $180, and it’s already been spotted on sale for less. The Polar M600 is entering the market with at an eye-bulging $330 price point, and it’s going to take that number quite a while to come down.
Though it’s powered by Android software, the M600 is fully compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The Gear Fit 2 is Android-only, and it works best (as you might expect) with Samsung phones.
* You’re already using a Samsung phone.
* You’re already comfortable with the Samsung S Health app.
* You want a decent fitness tracker at an affordable price.
Buy The Polar M600 If …
* You want a more customizable smartwatch.
* You’re a die-hard iOS supporter.
* You’re already an enthusiastic Polar supporter.
The Polar M600 is a pricey proposition, but its greater flexibility is likely to give it a longer useful life and let you do a lot more. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is terrifically affordable, but it’s sharply limited in what it can do and what it lets you customize.