Gear Fit flexes its muscles

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Gear Fit flexes its muscles

Samsung Gear Fit, a fitness tracker Samsung Electronics unveiled with little preceding publicity, won the top award at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company said yesterday.

The Best Mobile Device award was given to the 1.84-inch wristband on Thursday, Samsung said.

GSMA, the organizer of the tech fair, said the Gear Fit was the “most innovative and impressive” of hundreds of the electronic products, the Korean tech giant said. The MWC ended its four-day run Thursday.

Samsung Gear Fit, introduced Monday along with the Galaxy S5, is the world’s first curved-screen fitness band and has a 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display.

By syncing to a smartphone, the band notifies the user of calls, emails, SMS messages and alarms.

The device also has a heart-rate sensor. So does the Galaxy S5, but the 5.1-inch smartphone took a back seat to the Gear Fit in the popularity vote, with reviewers considering it a gradual evolution of the Galaxy S4, rather than a quantum leap.

Tech media outlet The Verge compared the Gear Fit to Samsung’s first wearable device, the Galaxy Gear, rolled out in September, and two follow-up smartwatches unveiled in Barcelona: the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

It said that while the Galaxy Gear has no clear purpose, “the Fit provokes a drastically different reaction: desire.”

The Fit works only with Samsung smartphones, according to the company, which could be a downside compared to LG Electronics’ LifeBand that syncs with both Android and iOS devices.

The Fit, together with the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Galaxy S5, are expected to be released globally in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Expert Reviews, which collaborates with the MWC, named the Galaxy S5 as the Best Smartphone, Samsung said.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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