Warning: Rooting a device has a lot of inherent risks and things can sometimes go wrong and you may wind up with a brick, an unusable device. Keep that in mind when following the instructions below do so at your own risk and I suggest you read through them carefully as one misstep may result in bricking your device. We do not take any responsibility for anything you do with/to your device and you proceed at your own risk.
Earlier this year, before the advent of Android Wear Samsung released it’s second generation of smartwatches. The Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and what many at the time dubbed the ‘pick of the bunch’ the Gear Fit. With many physical characteristics of modern day fitness band, including looking the part, the Gear Fit was clearly aimed at users looking to use the device to track their fitness. But requiring a Samsung Galaxy Phone to work meant that many lost interest in the device, but the folks over at XDA-Developers have come up with a work around to get it working with almost any Android device. We’ve previously looked at this, but the procedure has been refined so that many other functions are now available with the Gear Fit/non-Samsung phone combination, so we thought we’d take another look.
My wife has been looking at getting a fit band type watch and without a decent one suitable for a smaller woman on the horizon I decided to get her a Gear Fit and get it working on her Nexus 4. In the end the process was relatively simple and gives her a lot of usage out of a very decent device. The process I followed was as follows:
- Dust off and boot up your Windows PC (it won’t work with a Chromebook)
- Download and install Kies
- Open Kies, place the Gear Fit in it’s charging cradle and connect it to the PC
- Once connected update the software on the Gear Fit as instructed
- Install Gear Fit Manager onto your phone
- First enter the security settings of your phone and allow it to install third party apps
If you would like to get Gear Fit apps running as well continue with the following instructions:
- Using a root file browser (I use and prefer Root Explorer open up the build.prop file within /system
- Change the following lines within the build.prop
- Save the changes you made to the file (Root Explorer will automatically backup the original file)
- Reboot and you will be able to use apps such as Gear Calendar, Quick settings, Strava, Endomondo etc
ro.product.model=GT-I9505 ro.product.brand=samsung ro.product.name=SM-900S ro.product.device=SM-900S
This by itself works ok for most users but if you are having issues with bluetooth not connecting automatically then follow these steps:
- Open up Tasker
- Go to the Profiles page and tap on the “+” to add a new profile and call it BT Connected
- Select “State” –> Net –> BT Connected –> Search for name of Gear Fit –> Search for address of Gear Fit –> Leave inverted blank and hit the back arrow
- Select “New Entry Task” and name it “BT Reconnect”
- Hit the “+” at the bottom to add a step to the task –> Net –> Bluetooth –> Set = OFF –> hit back arrow
- Select “+” at the bottom menu to add another step to your “BT reconnect” task
- Select Net –> Bluetooth –> Set = ON –> hit back arrow again
- Go back to the profile-page and long-tap on the green arrow and “Move to exit” which will change the green arrow to red
Bluetooth on your device will now automatically reconnect to the Gear Fit as required.
In the end it was a fairly simple process which took all of 10 minutes. At this stage it is confirmed to be working on the following devices (although considering the mix of devices and what is involved I can see it not working on any devices): HTC One M8, HTC One M7, HTC One Max, HTC One X, Huawei Ascend P6, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia SP, Xperia, Xperia Z, Xperia Z1s, Xperia Z2, Moto X, LG G Flex, LG G2, LG Optimus G Pro, Xiaomi MI3 and OnePlus One.
At this stage anything that uses a Samsung account is not working but hopefully it won’t be too long before that has a work around as well. Sure we shouldn’t have to do this to use a Samsung product, but unfortunately it seems that they are attempting to lock everyone into their ecosystem and we must play the cards we are dealt.
While some may not like the Gear Fit smartwatch my wife finds it extremely useful so if you think the Gear Fit and it’s form factor is for you try out this process to use it on any Android smartphone.