Microsoft Band vs Samsung Gear Fit: What is the best wearable fitness tech?
Wearable technology designed to track elements of health and wellbeing are beginning to explode in popularity.
Streams of devices are being developed and sold to monitor all manner of variables, some even made to measure the level of jawbone activity during one’s sleep.
Whether it be a smartphone, fitness band or jaw monitor, this new era of technology is set to dominate festive technology shopping, with Samsung predicting that €132.08 million of wearable tech products will be sold over the Christmas period in the UK alone.
The South Korean giant’s Gear Fit will no doubt be among the best-selling fitness gadget in Europe in the coming months, but will likely be joined next year by the Microsoft Band, already on sale in America.
Microsoft could well present the greatest threat to market share in what is a highly lucrative space that is opening up. Samsung forecasts that across the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, around 1.05 million health and fitness devices are predicted to be sold, which amounts to €81.41 million in turnover. Microsoft will have to wait until next to tap into this lucrative seasonal burst in spending.
It is likely that the Gear Fit and Microsoft Band will occupy a very similar price bracket. Having launched in the UK in April, the Gear Fit costs around €230 in Europe (according to Samsung’s German shopping site), while the Microsoft Band is expected to cost between €190 and €250 when it arrives.
Samsung will have an immediate edge, for not only is it first into the European market, it also has the added advantage of being a no brainer purchase for Samsung smartphone owners looking for a fitness band uniform to their phone. However, this is also a limitation for those not owning a Samsung smartphone will have to look elsewhere.
Microsoft, though recently releasing its own smartphones, is some way off challenging the likes of Samsung and Apple, however, the Microsoft Band can work with iOS, Android and Windows Phones, making it a sound choice for those who think they might want to change their smartphone while keeping the same fitness band.
This said, it will believe it can challenge the Gear Fit on quality and usability. Here some snap comparisons between the two:
- Weight: 60g (MS Band) vs. 27g (Gear Fit)
- Screen: 1.4 inch 320 x 106 pixels non-touch (MS Band) vs. 1.85 inch 128 x 432 pixels touchscreen (Gear Fit)
- Colours (at time of writing): Black/Grey (MS Band) vs. Black/Grey, Blue, Red, Orange, Green changeable bands (Gear Fit)
- Battery life: Two days (MS Band) vs. Three days (Gear Fit)
- Both allow the setting of goals, though only the MS Band has a guided workout function
- Both allow the management of incoming calls, texts and email messages
- The MS Band has built in GPS which the Gear Fit lacks
- Both are splash and dust resistant
There are advantages to buying either of these models, with the bulkier Microsoft Band having the plus point of in-built GPS and being compatible with several mobile operating systems.
The Gear Fit, however, is sleeker in design and already available in Europe, an ideal accompaniment to its phones in the lead up to Christmas. With no real insight into when the Microsoft Band will arrive, it is certain to have some catching up to do if consumers lose patience and buy alternatives.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”