New smartphones just don't get me all that excited these days. My LG G2, at more than 2 years old, is still humming along. Sure, the newer phones are a little faster and have a couple of new features like the fingerprint sensor, but nothing worth an upgrade, especially since I have everything personalized to my liking, from app settings to the magnetic car mount.
Then I enabled Android Pay. See, in order to use Android Pay I had to disable the 3rd-party Smart Unlock app and enable the built-in Smart Lock app (confusing, I know). Both apps do the same thing, automatically unlocking your phone in certain situations (trusted places and devices) to avoid the hassle of typing in a password. I consider it a must-have app/feature, especially during driving when the last thing you want to do is fiddle around with a passcode. But the built-in Smart Lock app does not let you add a trusted WiFi network, meaning at home I can't use Smart Lock (the location/GPS trusted place is too unreliable)!
This rekindled my interest in smartwatches. As a trusted Bluetooth device this would allow me to use Smart Lock and also get notifications, something I've been wanting forever. But there just aren't any smartwatches I like enough to replace my old school mechanical watch. One issue is the battery life, having to recharge another device nightly is a PITA. Moreover, I really don't want or need most smartwatch features/apps, like navigation on my wrist or weather on my wrist. The only thing I wanted on my wrist was quick, at-a-glance notifications.
The Samsung Gear Fit to the rescue! The "fit" in Gear Fit would make you think it's just a basic activity tracker like the Fitbit but it's actually more like a mini-smartwatch. It'll track your steps like any basic activity tracker but its real power is notifications (more on that in a minute). And most important, it's fully Bluetooth connected, which means you can add it as a trusted device for use with Smart Lock. Virtually every activity tracker uses a special, low energy Bluetooth connection so Smart Lock won't recognize it as a trusted device.
Unfortunately the Gear Fit only works with Samsung phones. This finally pushed me to upgrade to a Samsung S6 Edge. Frankly, the edge display is useless. Only works when the phone is face down?!? It does look very cool but beyond aesthetics it's completely useless. Marginally faster than the G2 but otherwise it really isn't much of an upgrade, except now I can use the Gear Fit.
I love it. Auto unlocks as long as I'm wearing the Gear Fit, which is almost always. Very good battery life (several days). And notifications! Besides the built-in notifications (phone, text, alarm, etc.) you can select up to 10 apps to monitor. Main one I need is GMail. Great while driving, walking the dog, etc. I used to be glued to my phone because I needed to monitor my emails but now I feel so liberated. You can't reply to notifications like you can with smartphones but again I don't need that ability. I just want to be notified.
So overall I'm really happy with my S6 Edge because now I can use the Gear Fit. Without the Gear Fit the S6 Edge would have been hugely disappointing in terms of "upgrade" over the G2.
Update 1: OK, in fairness the wireless charging is a pretty handy feature but probably not worth the upgrade.
Update 2: Looks like they dropped the price of the Gear Fit to $79, what a deal! I missed the price drop by literally 1 day!!!