Why we’re not impressed with Samsung’s latest wearable effort

Why we’re not impressed with Samsung’s latest wearable effort

By Rachel Feltman @rachelfeltman 10 hours ago

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Today at the Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled three new wearables to replace their previous flop: The Galaxy Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit. The first two are smartwatches like the original (widely-panned) Galaxy Gear. The third marks the company’s first foray into fitness tracking.

With so many companies jumping on the fitness tracker bandwagon, it would take a lot for Samsung’s new product to make a splash. Unfortunately, we weren’t impressed, and here’s why:

1. The display makes no sense

On first glance, the Gear Fit has an awesome look. A sleek display nearly flush with the wrist is just what we want—as evidenced by the most pervasive speculation on the iWatch design. But that concept features a rotating display. When you realize that the Gear Fit stays horizontal, the design becomes problematic. To read it, you’re going to be craning your neck or contorting your wrist.

2. The band swapping is blah

Much was made today of the Gear 2 and Gear Fit’s ability to swap out new bands. This, the company says, will allow you to take the wearables from weight lifting to wine drinking. But all those straps are still rubber, and the nesting of the computer inside them looked a little flimsy during today’s presentation. Even if they’re super secure, having swappable straps just isn’t all that impressive. Call us when the device is beautiful enough that no one will care if they can switch from neon orange to black.

3. The heart monitor is the best part, and Samsung made it redundant

The most promising aspect of the Gear Fit—a heart monitor, which until now onlymuch bulkier fitness trackers have boasted—is no longer unique. The Galaxy S5 smartphone will have a built-in heart monitor. So if you’re planning on upgrading to Samsung’s newest phone anyway, you might as well hold out for a more impressive fitness wearable.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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