Today at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Samsung Electronics announced a pair of enhanced Gear smartwatches along with a second-generation version of its Gear IconX wireless earbuds.
The new fitness-focused Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro run the Tizen operating system.
They were designed to help consumers “get the most out of their day and help them live a healthy and well-balanced life,” which sounds like an Apple pitch. They support fitness tracking, as well as nutrition, sleep and heart rate monitoring with improved accuracy.
Fit2 Pro also includes built-in GPS, which Gear Sport (seen below) lacks. Both wearables are MIL-STD-810G certified for “military-level durability” and support Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi b/g/n.
The updated IconX earbuds use low-power Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and permit users to summon Bixby with a tap and hold of either earbud, like Apple’s AirPods-Siri integration.
Check out Samsung’s promotional video embedded above.
Gear Sport & Fit2 Pro
The updated smartwatch lineup offers these new capabilities:
- Water resistance and swim tracking—An ideal companion for any swim, from laps to playing in the pool, these devices are 5 ATM certified for water resistance. Now with Speedo’s latest swimming training app, Speedo On, the Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro also allow you to easily track key swim metrics including lap count, lap time, stroke type and more.
- Heart rate monitoring—With improved accuracy, the devices offer advanced real-time heart rate monitoring. They help you continuously monitor your heart activity, whether it’s enjoying a stress-free nap or an invigorating cycling class.
- Premium partnerships: Daily activity can be supplemented with updated Under Armour and Spotify partnerships. Both devices provide access to Under fitness apps including Under Amour Record, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun and Endomondo2 for activity, nutrition, sleep and fitness tracking functions. These apps provide users with a holistic picture of their health and fitness. Spotify’s Offline mode lets you listen to your favorite music online, offline or even without your smartphone so you can enjoy your favorite tunes regardless of location.
- Auto activity detection: Automatic activity detection built into the devices are in tune with your body and can recognize the following categories of activities: Walking, Running, Cycling and performing Dynamic Activities that could include dancing to basketball.
- Personalized motivation: You can customize your own wellness plan with tailored goals and alerts.
In terms of water resistance, both smartwatches have ISO 22810:2010 certification for 5 ATM rating of up to fifty meters, or about 165 feet, “under specific conditions.” According to the fine print, this means that the wearables are safe to wear while walking in the rain or showering, and may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean.
“Gear Sport and Fit2 Pro should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth,” the firm cautions.
In terms of hardware, Gear Sport has a 1.2-inch circular Super AMOLED display with a 360-by-360 pixel resolution, Gorilla Glass 3 protection and Samsung’s Always On feature. There’s also a 1GHz dual-core chip, 768MB RAM, four gigabytes on internal storage, a 300mAh battery, wireless charging and NFC for mobile payments via Samsung Pay.
Fit2 Pro (pictured above), which Samsung calls a fitness band rather than a smartwatch, includes a 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED screen with a 216-by-432 pixel resolution, a 1GHz dual-core chip with 512MB RAM, four gigabytes of storage, a 200mAh battery and more.
It comes in two sizes to fit different wrists and supports changeable standard 20mm straps.
Both wearables are compatible with Galaxy devices running Android 4.3 or later, non-Samsung phones with Android 4.4 or later and Apple’s iPhone 5 and newer models with iOS 9 or later.
Second-generation Gear IconX
Aside from updated ergonomics, Bixby integration, improved battery life via a built-in 82mAh battery and fast charging, the IconX earbuds feature untethered fitness tracking in real-time and without a phone. The standalone Running Coach function, activated by tapping the earbud, provides in-ear audio exercise status updates in a total of nine languages.
The earbuds provide up to four hours of talks time, five hours of music streaming or seven hours of standalone music playback. You rad that right, the accessory comes with four gigabytes on internal storage that allows you to transfer your favorite tracks and listen to them on the go, no smartphone required.
Music streaming from a phone is, of course, supported as well.
The updated Gear IconX comes in Black, Gray and Pink, weighing in at only 55 grams. They are compatible with devices running Android 4.4 and above and ship with the included 340mAh charging case that provides one extra charge on the go.
Gear Sport is available in Black and Blue, while Fit2 Pro is offed in Black and Red.
According to the South Korean company, the Gear Fit2 Pro smartwatch is priced at $200 and will be available for pre-order beginning tomorrow, August 31, at 9am from Amazon and other retailers, with shipments scheduled to arrive around September 15. Gear Sport will be available for purchase during the holiday season, but pricing is yet to be announced.
How do you like Samsung’s new fitness watches?
What about the earbuds? I kinda like the idea of wearing earphones that can track my activity standalone. And with built-in storage, one needs no other device to hit the gym or go on a run.
My guess is that AirPods will gain those functions in the next refresh.