Samsung’s recently launched Gear Fit was designed to only work with compatible Samsung handsets. However, it has been massaged into working with some other handsets as well, including the flagship competitor HTC One (M8) and last year’s Nexus 5.
The Gear Fit is an interesting device for the sports oriented consumer, and is causing some head turning, however the price tag and limited compatibility might be making people cautious. There are also some fairly well discussed issues, such as questionable battery life, and (until a recent firmware fix) the odd orientation when trying to read the time.
However the folks over at Android Community have recently found that the Gear Fit, like the Galaxy Gear before it, is able to work with some other devices, albeit to a limited extent. The trick is to download and install two Gear-specific APKs which you can find below.
The process to make the Gear Fit work on other manufacturer’s devices is quite straight-forward. Simply side-load the Gear Manager and Gear Fitness APKs on the smartphone and you should be good to go. Pairing the Gear Fit to your device is done through Bluetooth and setting up the Gear Fit’s features is practically the same as any other Samsung device, like turning on Notifications for various apps.
Most of the features work through this process including the ability to change the Gear Fit’s background and the Find My Phone utility, but, of course, there are some that don’t. For example, any features or apps that require you to sign up for a Samsung account, particularly S Health features, unfortunately don’t work. Another is the location-based functions are also absent since they make use of Samsung’s proprietary API. Lastly the ability to reply to some notifications directly from the Gear Fit without having to get out your phone are also unable to work with non-Samsung devices.
The below video show you how to use Samsung’s Gear Fit with other Android Devices:
For now, the list of devices known to work with the Gear Fit via this process is quite small. It has only been tested on the Nexus 5, the HTC One M7, and the HTC One M8 whilst there are rumours and whispers that this process can also be supported by Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. Theoretically however, any device running Android 4.3 or higher could also support it, but features and the ability to support them may vary from device to device.
Whilst this process doesn’t really resolve the device’s other flaws, this does however open up the Gear Fit to more possibilities and takes away the biggest obstacle in making the Gear Fit a success. We certainly hope Samsung will actually officially support other devices beyond its Galaxy line in future but that certainly could be in doubt.
Are you considering buying the Gear Fit or have you been waiting to see if the device could be used on your non Samsung device? we Would like to hear your thoughts below.