Samsung made their big IFA announcement, and it was as we expected: wearables, and a good deal of them, too. We have 2 new fitness-centric smartwatches to gawk at, as well as a refreshed pair of Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds.
For starters, there’s the Samsung Gear Sport, the first circular smartwatch aimed at track star hopefuls. It ditches style for something appropriate in a gym. That doesn’t mean it’s ugly, it’s just not showy. You’ll note that the bands are attached with standard 20mm bands which can be customized to your heart’s desire.
Functionality wise, it does its thing with a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED display with 360 x 360 resolution. Surrounding that is a rotary dial bezel, which will combine with side-mounted buttons for your navigational needs. The watch is watertight, which is almost mandatory for these things in 2017. Finally, its underside houses the heart rate sensor which can work under water. No word yet on when this one will be available.
Moving along, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro is a little less new-feeling. It’s familiar in its ergonomics and looks, and even in its functionality, though Samsung does note that it has the same improved water resistance as the Gear Sport. At $199, it probably doesn’t add enough over the original model that would compel you to upgrade, but newcomers are in for a treat. It’ll launch alongside the Galaxy Note 8 on September 15th, with presales going up tomorrow.
Finally, the Samsung Gear IconX earbuds have been updated. They come with a slight reduction in size and weight, though it does have massively improved battery life of 5-7 hours (compared to just about 2 hours on the originals) depending on how you’re using them. That’s still not a comforting figure for those doing more than light listening, but its included charging cradle should make it easy to top off throughout the day. And thanks to Bixby Voice’s arrival, you get more robust voice controls for music and smartphone control. It’ll be released later this fall.