Samsung's expands its Gear line with new wearable, earable
Samsung has taken the wraps off two new devices in its Gear line of wearables — the long rumored Gear Fit 2, a successor to 2014's Gear Fit, and the Gear Icon X, a pair of truly wireless earbuds with a health-tracking focus.
The Gear Fit 2 builds on Samsung's earlier fitness wearable with a wider screen, slimmer bezels and software closer to that of Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch. It's a sports band aimed at fitness enthusiasts with standalone GPS capabilities, activity tracking and sleep monitoring features.
Gear Fit gets smaller, smarter and more ergonomic.
Samsung has widened the display compared to the original Gear Fit, meaning everything can now fit into portrait view, while upping the resolution of the SuperAMOLED display to a roomier 216x432 pixels. It's also a good deal more ergonomic and compact than the first dedicated fitness wearable from Samsung, with a comfortable rubber strap in black, blue and pink color options.
The Gear Fit 2's software takes cues from the Gear S2, bringing notification mirroring support, and the ability to arrange fitness-related cards in a deck, just like you can on Samsung's mainstream smartwatch. Samsung's also building out the Fit 2's software capabilities considerably, with real-time feedback on workouts, and the ability to set workout goals and achievements, such as reducing your mile time or increasing your daily calorie burn.
And thanks to an update to Samsung's S Health platform rolling out soon, it'll be possible to compete against other users in a global leaderboard. What's more, the update introduces third-party app support to Samsung's fitness platform, with popular services like Strava, Runkeeper being supported out of the box.
Also new is the Gear Fit 2's Spotify integration, with a dedicated app on the watch, and specially curated playlists by athletes, for athletes.
Truly wireless earbuds — with built-in music storage.
Launching alongside the Gear Fit 2, the Gear Icon X is a new pair of truly wireless earbuds from the Korean firm. That's true in the most literal sense — there are no wires connecting the two buds together, instead everything is handled wirelessly. The Gear Icon X can work with your phone just like any other Bluetooth audio system, but there's also a fitness angle: The earbuds can help you track distance, speed and heart rate data, syncing all that data back to S Health. Guided workouts are also supported, with verbal encouragement piped directly into your skull.
The Icon X features built-in speakers for answering calls, and tap-based controls for playing, pausing and switching between tracks. There's also 4GB of built-in storage for music (doubled up in each earbud, so as to not have to sync between ears on the go).
The earbuds charge in a specially designed pill-shaped dock, which also doubles as a standalone battery, giving you up to two additional charges through charging contacts in the buds. That's a feature you may well need, as quoted battery life comes in at 3.6 hours when streaming from a phone, and just 1.5 hours in standalone mode.
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 will launch in the U.S. on June 10 for $179, while the Gear Icon X will follow later in Q3 for $199. Like the Gear S2, the devices will work with all Android phones running version 4.4 and up of the OS, though no iOS support has yet been announced.