My take on the Samsung Galaxy S5 & Gear Fit

8/28/2014




I'm sure you're aware that most bloggers are actually giant nerds. Ok maybe not giant nerds but I believe there's a good helping of nerd going on. I never review gadgets but like most people, I'm obsessed with my phone so when I recently got to play with some new Samsung products, I wanted to share it with you guys. Just to be upfront, I want to let you know that I didn't get paid to review anything, nor have I been gifted with any Samsung products. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business.

I'm a Samsung loyalist and I don't know exactly how it happened but I've managed to amass a Samsung microwave (nacho setting OMG), laptop, tv and Galaxy S4. Why am I not an Apple aficionado? Well if we're just talking about phones, I have a few reasons. For one thing, the SA iStore is super lame and I'm really into apps and games. Yeah, I know you can make a US account but why bother when the Galaxy App and Google Play stores are where it's at? Don't get me started on choosing the programs you want to use or freely transferring files; with Samsung, I wouldn't have to convert a song into a new format for a ringtone or even use any software, I can just plug in my phone, drag and drop a ditty and voilà! My files are all available to use in a variety of ways. When I used an iPhone, I felt like I had to do everything Apple's way which I didn't enjoy. Long story short, the more freedom, the better.   

I tested out the Samsung Galaxy S5 and one of its pals, the Samsung Gear Fit. The S5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, has a 16-megapixel camera and a 16/32GB memory. If you're like me, you'll get a micro SD card to bump that up to over 100 Gigs...phew, that's a lot of selfies. The actual phone is a little larger than previous models but it feels lighter. It's also water and dust resistant which is helped out by a covered USB port. I will say that the USB cover isn't a fake-nailed girl's friend but then again, neither is picking up coins or opening soda.

What makes me excited about the S5? Well for starters, the camera is an upgrade. It handles movement better which makes snapping photos a quicker and clearer affair. The battery life seems amped up and the new tools option is fantastic for multitasking. Ever need to Google something while writing an email? No problem, just open the multi window and you can switch between composing and browsing. Tab addicts will feel right at home with this, I'm looking at you, 10-tabs-open girl!

The S5 has a heart rate monitor on the back of the phone and it also boasts a fingerprint scanner that works like a charm. Save your fingerprint and you'll be able to use it to verify PayPal payments or to simply unlock your phone by swiping your digit over the home key. Secret spy vibes, love it. As far as built-in apps go, the Smart Remote is damn cool. I'd never gotten a remote app that worked in the past so I actually let out a gasp when I pressed the power button and my tv switched on. Who doesn't want to use a phone to control their tv? It's so convenient! Your homescreen will still display the remote buttons so if you're absorbed in Game Of Thrones but it's time to turn the volume down, just give your touchscreen a press.
  
The S Health also got an upgrade. Now, I hate exercise but Samsung has made it kinda fun. When I was at Coachella, my S Health kept me clued in by letting me know that I was walking over 20km a day so I knew that I could indulge in a good amount of pizza with my cousin. Let me just say that even though my cuz is an iPhone nut, she was loving the S Health lowdown. She also remarked that my phone was taking better photos which is exactly what you want when you're watching Lana Del Rey do her thing.

Now Samsung has a new product to help even more with exercise, the Gear Fit. The Gear Fit is a fitness band/smartwatch that that uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone while you're working out. Whether you choose to walk, cycle or run, your fitness data will be synced with S Health. Your heart rate is measured by an LED sensor and to be honest I found that it worked much better when I was exercising than it did when I tested it out initially. The battery lasts up to three or four days which is not too shabby but what other features are we looking at? Well besides the timer, stopwatch, pedometer and excersise options you'd expect, it also functions as an extension of your phone. You can control your phone's music and the Gear Fit will vibrate to alert you of any notifications that you'd like to stay in the loop with. How about the aesthetics? I would say it's more comfortable than it is pretty and I understand that that's only practical. It's sporty-looking so I would take it off if I had an event to go to because it would mess with accessorising. If I owned one of these however, I'd be motivated to work out more.

All in all, for me the S5 is a must and the Gear Fit is a nice-to-have. I hope I helped out anyone considering these products!

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