Disclaimer: Telus generously provided me with a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and Gear Fit activity tracker for my personal use (as well as a matching set for one lucky reader) in exchange for sharing my thoughts about the new technology on my blog. No other compensation was provided. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are mine.
Last week, Telus invited me to get together with a few other local social media peeps to learn about Samsung’s newest fitness device; the Gear Fit activity tracker (made specifically to sync with Samsung Galaxy mobile phones).
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I wear a pedometer to track my daily steps, with the goal of accumulating at least 10 000 a day. Some days this is easier than others 🙂 Up to this point, my activity tracking has been fairly low tech. Strap on the watch. Glance at the step count periodically. Get up from my desk and take a walk around the block. Snap a photo of my daily count. Post it on Instagram. Go to bed and do it all over again the next day. I’d heard of people who wore trackers that synced with their computers and phones. People who loved comparing yesterday’s workout with that of the day before. Those who got excited about seeing their running pace increase. Mostly engineers and accountants and scientists, I figured. Numbers geeks. That was before I strapped on the Gear Fit and initialized my new Galaxy S5.
My favourite features?
- low profile, sleek style; it looks and feels like a bracelet and isn’t so raised that it catches on sleeves
- easy to use keypad; just swipe your finger across the surface to change functions (clock, notifications, settings, timer, stopwatch, sleep, pedometer, exercise and heart rate) and up and down to look at details of your workouts (as well as incoming text messages and social media alerts)
- history function; compare today’s workout stats to yesterday’s and the day’s before. Historical data is also available for the pedometer, sleep and heart rate functions.
- customizability; not only can you change the background of your clock to match your outfits (I like the blue wallpaper myself), you can also customize the orientation of the text, which arm you’ll be wearing the tracker on and the font size (great for those of us who need numbers to be a bit on the large side to make them out…)
- heart rate monitor; unlike many heart rate monitors, this one actually picks up my pulse (I’ve customized the ‘on’ button such that a double tap automatically wakes up the heart rate monitor, allowing me to quickly assess my effort while I’m teaching fitness classes)
- media controller; in addition to controlling the music you’re playing on your phone, there’s also a great auto responder feature. Out for a run and get a notification that someones trying to call you? Hit the auto respond button to send a customized message (“Out for a run, call you when I’m done”)
- water resistant; although it’s not made for swimming (sorry tri-athletes), both the Gear Fit AND the Galaxy S5 are water proof for 30 minutes and up to 1 m depth; perfect if you frequently forget to take your watch off before you hop in the shower or bath
I’d love it even more if:
- the activity tracker’s battery life were a bit longer; when I wear it to bed, to track sleep, I need to remember to re-charge it before I leave the house the next morning (the Gear Fit comes with it’s own charger, separate from that of the phone). Otherwise I find myself without a watch by the middle of the afternoon.
- it tracked a few more types of workouts; there are options for tracking walking, running, hiking and cycling, but not step aerobics. Doesn’t everybody do step aerobics 😉
- I could get the phone away from my kids and actually explore all of it’s features; apparently it’s got a fantastic camera and the display is perfect for showing off the spinning Tardis wallpaper my daughter has downloaded…
Guess what? Telus wants to give one of YOU a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and Gear Fit activity tracker of your very own. That’s a prize package worth $950 retail. Generous, I know!
Just leave a blog comment telling me which feature of the activity tracker you’re most excited about and enter the giveaway via the Raffelcopter widget below. Other options for earning additional entries include following Telus and fitknitchick on Twitter and Tweeting about the giveaway to your friends and colleagues (make sure you come back and paste the Tweet URL in the widget for the entry to count : ) ).
Contest is open to Canadian residents only and runs from 12 am Wednesday, April 30th through to 12 am Sunday, May 4th, 2014. The winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to claim their prize. Note that the prize package does NOT include phone service or a SIM card. Both can be purchased via the winner’s local Telus provider.