The Android and iOS ecosystems are full of a sea of apps that revolve around the physical tracking features. The most important are Runtastic, MyFitnessPal, Swortkit, Runkeeper, and others. Almost all of them are paid, even if some of them already have the basic version. This is the time to try the best fitness tracking app… for free!
Apple has an excellent health app and integrates seamlessly with the Apple Watch series. Not only that, the company is doubling its efforts with new products coming. For the Android world, there are mainly two choices: the newly redesigned Google Fit or Samsung Health app, if you want to stay in the Samsung ecosystem. Both apps offer different health monitoring features and at the same time differ in many aspects. In this post, we will compare both Google Fit and Samsung Health on the various features.
The size of the Google Fit app varies by device, but it takes up about 20 MB of space on my Pixel XL. The Samsung Health app takes up 72 MB of space, 3.5 times bigger than Google Fit.
Both Google Fit and Samsung Health have been restyled with the recent redesign. Samsung and Google seem to have followed the same philosophy. Both apps have the menu bar at the bottom and a lot of white background on the main page.
The Google approach is simple though. The homepage shows the profile photo with today’s data below. Includes the number of steps, calories, and kilometers for the current day.
You can also see the heart rate (if your device supports it), the weight table and add an activity using the ‘+’ icon in the lower right corner. One area where Fit can improve is the use of space. Many areas are only wasted by the profile image with profile data.
Samsung shows a large motivational banner with featured articles. The step data with the current week’s trends are shown below. You can access all your health data such as weight, heart rate, water intake, step count, sleep habits and stress level on the homepage itself.
The app now follows Samsung’s One UI guidelines with rounded corners. I like Samsung’s approach as the main content is presented in an orderly fashion directly on the home screen without unnecessary smudging.
The Discover tab allows you to read the most popular health articles in your national language.
Multi-platform and portable support
Google Fit is available on all Android smartphones. Whichever model you choose, the app’s data will follow you. Log in with your Google account and sync your data.
Samsung Health was limited to Samsung devices only, but the company made some of its services available to the masses. However, a Samsung account is required to access the data.
About wearable devices, Google Fit is available on all Wear OS devices. With a recent redesign of the platform, Fit data is just a click away on all Android watches.
As expected, Samsung Health is accessible on all Galaxy / Gear smartwatches. The latest data suggest that the ecosystem Samsung is far ahead compared to Google’s Wear operating system.
Fitness tracking features
By default, Google keeps track of your every move in the background. The recent makeover brings something called Hearts points, which motivates you to do the activity at a faster pace.
On the homepage, you can see your movements, steps, calories burned, heart points and kilometers. Tap on any item and access the respective data in detail.
For example, the image below shows that Google has automatically tracked my bike ride done yesterday morning and last night with accurate data on times and routes with the integration of Google Maps. As usual, you can view weekly and monthly chart data from the previous menu.
In addition to this, you can also manually add blood pressure, weight and any activity including any type of sport, walking, hiking, scuba diving, etc. Touch the ‘+’ option and choose the appropriate menu.
The app also allows you to monitor your training. You can choose between different options and start the timer.
The image below shows walking activity with map data and will mutually add data related to calories and kilometers to the diary.
Samsung has added a feature-rich app. By default, the app keeps track of workout data, active time, sleep data, and more. You can manually check your heart rate and stress level, and also add weight and water intake every day.
Touch any widget and it will present you a detailed analysis of the activity using graphics. For example, you can set what time to go to sleep and the alarm time in the suspend menu and let the app inform you about sleep time and waking time.
The Together tab allows you to challenge your friends in any activity. Similar to the heart of Google Fit, Samsung Heath rewards you with several badges.
Precision is the main aspect of any fitness monitoring app. And I’m happy to report that both apps worked as expected in my limited two weeks of use. There are a couple of comments I have to make though.
The Fit app often ended my cycling activity as soon as I stopped for a minute or two to recharge my energy (sipping a sports drink). The app has counted the monitoring activity twice instead of once. The accuracy of the maps has been accurate.
Samsung’s health app swapped the bus ride for the walk and counted the total distance traveled. With Sleeping data, when I woke up and turned on the phone for just one minute, the app stopped the sleep timer because it thought I had woken up
In short, both apps have difficulty detecting activities properly and are at the mercy of sensors to record data. So you’ll get almost accurate but inaccurate data.
Which one should you use?
Honestly, if you live in the Samsung ecosystem, look no further and stick to the default option. The app is full of myriad health monitoring options, and surprisingly most of them worked accurately in my tests. The app is also available for all Android smartphones.