Getting Fit: Gear Fit grabs attention at Samsung press event

It's human nature -- at some point, almost every generation is accused of being selfish, or self-absorbed, or spoiled by the previous generation. Sometimes, it's true. Sometimes, it's simply sour grapes.

If today's younger tech users are ever accused of being self-absorbed, it will be because of products such as the Galaxy Gear Fit, whose owners can glance at messages, listen to music, spot missed calls and check out their heart rates on a moment's notice, all without missing a beat during their run or step class.

In fact, at times during the Samsung press event today, it seemed as though the much-anticipated upgrade to the company's popular phone, the Samsung Galaxy S5, was almost secondary -- at least as far as the attending press was concerned.

And one could hardly blame them. The Gear Fit is a lovely piece of equipment -- with a slim, curved display that fits nicely along the wrist (even slender wrists such as mine, distinguishing it from the first Galaxy Gear, which was awkward to say the least). Don't like the color of your wrist band? You can pop the device out of that wrist band and into another.

The curved display is impressive in other ways: It's a bright, clear 1.85-in. 432 x 128 Super AMOLED screen that I had no trouble seeing, even when looking at it over somebody's shoulder. It swiped quickly and easily from clock to missed calls to recent messages to heart rate -- and when I had a chance to try it out, I found myself immediately understanding how to use it without any kind of learning curve, something that I haven't found with some aspects of Samsung's recent UIs.


The Gear Fit interfaces with the Galaxy S5 neatly -- for example, we were able to tweak the background and style of the clock by choosing them from Galaxy S5 and watching the changes instantly reflected on the face of the Gear Fit.

Oh, yes -- and then there's the Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 does have some fairly snazzy features -- the new phone has a 5.1-in. display that runs at 1920 x 1080 resolution and includes a bunch of features dedicated to making it visible no matter what kind of lighting environment it's in. It offers 16GB or 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot and 2GB of RAM.

It is resistant to dust and water, so that you don't have to worry about taking it out in the rain (in the presentation, of course, this was illustrated by a fit-looking young man who was biking in a downpour).

There is a fingerprint scanner and other additional security features; a 2,800mAh battery with optimized power management, including an ultra power saving mode that will shut down all essential services to enable you to keep your phone alive even when your battery is down to its last gasp.

There is a 16-megapixel camera with HDR, quick auto focus, and a lot of software enhancements. There is a comfortable exterior with a choice of four colors and rows of tiny holes to distinguish it from its competition.

And guess what? It's got its own heart-rate sensor -- in case you're not cool enough (or well-off enough) to have also bought the Gear Fit.

Speaking of cost -- Samsung hasn't announced the prices of either the Galaxy S5, the Gear Fit or a somewhat upgraded Gear 2 yet. All three will be shipping April 11th, at which point we can get a far better idea of these new devices than a brief hands-on experience says.

But I've got to say -- if I were one of those healthy, athletic, tech-savvy, well-off people that seem to populate the world of Samsung's marketing videos, it would be hard to resist something as nifty as the Gear Fit.

The Gear Fit has a 1.84-inch, curved, 432 by 128 pixel display. Both the Gear 2 and Gear Fit include heart rate monitors and S Health, an application suite for fitness tracking. Follow reporter Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

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