It's not just the media telling you to move your arse - the tech sector is in on the action. Pebble has their new fit-focused watches and Jaybird has its superb water-resistant earbuds. And now Samsung's got its own addition to both categories. All images: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo
Update: We know the Gear Fit 2 and IconX are coming to Australia, but any kind of price and release date are a little way off still. From Samsung's local team: "The Samsung Gear Fit 2 and IconX will be launching in Australia very soon. Pricing and availability will be shared closer to the local launch dates."
Samsung Gear Fit2
Pre-orders open in the US for the Samsung Gear Fit2 today. It comes in the standard chunky black, but if you're up for some pizazz it's also available in blue and a nice fuchsia (Samsung is calling it pink).
The original Gear Fit had a lot of great ideas and a tremendous amount of ambition but faltered under the weight of less-than-stellar software and a super thick form factor that made it unpleasant to wear for extended periods of time. The Gear Fit2 appears to have shaved off some of the size (especially in the bezel area) and packed in a whole mess of cool features that might be more at home in a traditional smartwatch.
Tight fit is key when rocking an HR band.
The Gear Fit2 is also waterproof (critical); it rocks Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and a heartrate monitor; and it comes with 4GB of storage in case you want to leave the phone at home. Sadly all those goodies will come with a price. It will cost $US179 ($248) -- which is a good deal more than either the Fitbit Alta or Charge HR -- and it will only manage three to four days of battery life.
The other significant change to the Gear Fit2 is its focus. The Gear Fit could never quite decide if it was for the average Joe or the fitness fanatic. The Gear Fit2 is purposely going after the fitter set and the software available for it on Android (and Android only) is geared towards people trying to improve run their performance or drop them kilos.
Samsung Gear IconX
The new Gear IconX headphones -- available in the US in the third quarter for $US199 ($275) -- are also after the fit-minded folks.
The earbuds are splash resistant, monitor your heart rate, can store up to 4GB of music in the earbuds and are completely wireless. There's no tether between buds and everything from volume control to listening choices are made with a tab or stroke of the bud of your choice.
I found the controls could be a little unreliable in my 10 minutes of testing -- but I was also trying on a pair of pre-production models.
What did impress me was the audio quality. There was a good amount of bass for such tiny little guys, and higher frequencies never sounded shrill. They also felt comfortable to wear in my admittedly minuscule ear canals.
The Gear IconX will be available in blue, black or white, and will include a handy carrying case that also wirelessly charges the earbuds. That's about as cord-free as you can get -- short of implanting stuff directly into your body and becoming a exercise-obsessed cyborg.
Australian pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.