I've been waiting a long time for this. Wireless Bluetooth earbuds that sit inside your ear, like something out of a Jason Bourne novel, but that don't have any annoying fiddly wires or external battery packs. The Samsung IconX earbuds recharge wirelessly in their carry case, too. Paired with a heart-rate and GPS-tracking fitness watch like the new Gear Fit 2, this earbud and smartwatch combo may mean you're able to easily ditch your smartphone when you're out running or cycling for the first time ever.
Samsung Gear Fit 2
The Gear Fit 2 is the successor to the Gear Fit from 2014, and looks broadly similar while refining the curve of that screen and the integration between wristwatch and strap. We already know how durable the Gear S2 is, so here's hoping the Fit 2 can live up to that standard as well -- it's IP68 certified, so that's a very good start.
The Fit 2 uses a 216x432pixel 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED display, and runs Samsung's lightweight Tizen operating system on a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB RAM, talking with your phone and the S Health partner app through Bluetooth. There's 4GB of onboard storage for up to 1000 MP3s to be stored, or a bunch of Tizen-compatible partner apps.
The fitness tracker's 200mAh battery is half that of the Gear S2, but should give it at least a day of battery life with a fair bit of active tracking. Available in large or small, in black or blue or pink, the Gear Fit 2 also displays notifications as well as tracking passive and active workouts through an accelerometer and gyro, GPS, heart-rate monitor and barometer.
Samsung Gear IconX Earbuds
The Gear IconX is definitely the more innovative and out-of-left-field of the two new Samsung gadgets. Two completely wireless in-ear earbuds, the IconX connect to a phone or other device with Bluetooth 4.1, but what's more interesting is the fact that these headphones have their own accelerometer and heart rate monitor to track your workouts and daily motion, as well as capacitive touch panels on the outside to function as play/pause/skip/rewind controls.
Each splash-resistant earbud weighs just 6.3 grams, while the carry case also functions as a wireless charging dock once plugged into microUSB. They'll be available later this year in white, black and blue, and will last for about 90 minutes when streaming music from a smartphone but will handle 3.5 hours when playing music back from their internal 4GB storage bank. The headphones will block outside noise passively, but can amplify the outside world if you're running at night or in an area with traffic.
Samsung Australia tells us that both the smartwatch and the earbuds will be coming to Australia, but there's no firm time-frame on them just yet: "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." The watch will be out internationally on June 10, and the earbuds will launch -- hopefully worldwide -- in the third quarter of this year. [Samsung]