Companies seem to be doing their utmost to ensure that people get off their butt and exercise — and ofcourse, that they sell a lot of devices in the process. Well, Samsung has launched two brand new wearables in a bid to cater to the exercise conscious section of the populace. Enter the updated Gear Fit 2 activity tracker and the all new IconX, a pair of wireless — no wait, we already had those before — completely wireless earbuds.
The company announced the devices at a briefing, starting off its pitch with how fitness bands currently comprise more than 50 percent of the wearable — on the wrist that is — device market. Starting of the event with a fact like this looked to be an attempt on Samsung’s part to justify laying so much stress upon Fitness wear along with the much more lucrative smart watch section. Well, now that they are here, let’s take a look at Samsung’s latest offerings, one at a time.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 – The Feature Loaded Watch
First off we have the Gear Fit 2. The company already has several devices in this niche, however, the Fit 2 brings significant improvements to its previous iterations. For one, the display with the new wrist wear has received an upgrade and the 1.5-inch Super AMOLED screen is much more curved, and provides for a more comfortable wearing experience by conforming to your wrist.
With wearables, battery life is a major factor and Samsung wants to make sure that you have no dearth of power when you go out for your morning run. The Gear Fit 2 can sustain almost three to four days of typical usage on a charge and the large display lets you receive and respond to notifications, calls, texts through your wrist.
Coming to the features, you get a built-in heart-rate monitor, auto multi-sport and sleep tracking. And as Samsung puts it, the Fit 2 has removed the need for a start button.
Forget about the start button. The Gear Fit2 automatically recognizes what you’re doing whether you’re running, cycling, working out on the elliptical or a variety of other activities. Select the appropriate activity mode and it begins tracking strength training, yoga, pilates and more.
There is also a Global Positioning System(GPS) built into the Fit 2, so users can track their route even when not tethered to a smartphone. There’s also 4GB of built-in storage designed to store music so that you don’t have to lug a phone around while exercising. Samsung has collaborated with Spotify to offer playlists that are specially built to fit the small screen, however offline caching is not available yet — meaning that you need Internet connectivity to stream music.
While the Gear Fit 2 will hit the stores on the 10th of June, you can pre-order it from Samsung’s official website. The device comes with a price tag of $179 — 20 bucks less than the original Gear Fit — and will ship before the year end.
IconX – Headphones That Are Truly Wireless
Moving on to Samsung’s next big product, the IconX wireless headphones are actually pretty awesome — despite having definite room for improvement. As the name implies, there are no wires at all — not even the teeny weeny ones usually found connecting the left and right buds together — and the headphones come with separate radios and batteries for each earplug. They are quite feature packed too and come with a built-in heart-rate monitoring and distance and speed tracking.
Now, the sound isn’t really something that will compel you to pause what you are doing and listen, but it will do the trick if you are focusing on your workout and just need some music playing in your ears. However, the major issue with the IconX is its battery life.
According to Samsung, the buds can play music for around an hour and a half. So, you can’t really hope to take them with you on trips — well, you can of-course carry them, but they will need to be charged after every one hour or so — or walk around with them plugged into your ears, for the whole day. Which in all probability, is why the company launched them as a workout focused product, rather than one for general use — Which would have been absolutely great — however, we can depend upon Samsung to improve the battery in future iterations.
Oh, and the charging case for the IconX is pretty interesting too. You just place both the buds in the wireless charging case and voila — although we have no data upon how long it takes for a full charge.
The IconX buds will be priced at $199 and will be made available to the consumers in the third quarter of 2016.