Tuesday, March 20, 2018

’Tis the season for new sporty smartwatches, with Fitbit launching the Ionic, Garmin the Vivoactive 3, and Samsung announcing the Gear Sport alongside a more traditional fitness band in the Gear Fit2 Pro.

Given that the Apple Watch Series 2 will also see some upgrades to its fitness tracking capabilities when the watchOS 4 update is rolled out next month, exercise fiends who want a smartwatch that matches up to their active lifestyle are better served than ever before. And if it’s swim tracking in particular you’re after, Samsung’s new devices have the edge.

Both the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch and the Gear Fit2 Pro are waterproof up to 50m and come with the Speedo On platform, which not only tracks standard swimming metrics like lap count, time, stroke type and SWOLF, but also provides tailored training programmes and advice to improve your performance in the water.

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Naturally the capabilities of the new Samsung wearables also extend beyond the pool. Both have built-in GPS, heart rate monitoring and access to a host of fitness apps through Samsung’s partnership with Under Armour. These include MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun.

The Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro will also keep you entertained during your exercise through a link with Spotify that allows you to download playlists and listen to them offline.

The Gear Sport smartwatch is designed to be a more fitness-focused version of the Samsung Gear, but it is still understated enough that it can be worn anywhere, while the Gear Fit2 Pro is more sporty. However, the two colour options on the Fit2 Pro are black and almost entirely black (with some red on the band), and neither is so garish that you’ll feel obliged to take it off when not exercising.

Neither the launch date nor the UK price for the Samsung Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro has been confirmed yet, but you can expect them to hit shelves in the next month or so, giving you plenty of time to put one on your Christmas wish list. As for price, the Gear Sport smartwatch is likely to be around £300, while the Fit2 Pro should come in at around £200.