This is definitely the year of the hearable, with more and more now starting to crop up. While there are Kickstarter campaigns for upcoming smart earbuds like LifeBeam's Vi and the Bragi Dash is already out, Samsung has recently joined the fray with its own activity tracking wireless earbuds, called Gear IconX.
Read this: Samsung Gear IconX hands on
Revealed alongside the new Gear Fit2 fitness tracker, here's a snapshot view of the key details you need to know about the Gear IconX.
Samsung Gear IconX: Design
The Korean tech giant's hearable comes with three different sizes of eartips and wingtips, and can be activated by dropping them in your ears with no wires in sight.
Samsung has also said that the IconX's were designed small to remain discreet when you're exercising at the gym or out and about. As you can see in the photo above, there are removable parts that should make cleaning simple enough.
Upon launch, they will be available in black, white and blue.
Samsung Gear IconX: Features and specs
The IconXs have touch controls similar to those on the Bragi Dash, and work in a similar fashion with taps and swipes used to control certain functions like skipping songs or changing volume.
The earbuds have 4GB of onboard storage to pile on your music (about 1,000 songs in total) and a charging case to keep them powered on the move. Interestingly, if the battery runs out on one of the earbuds you can assign controls to the one with power and carry on listening.
Read this: The best hearables to look out for
As for fitness tracking, the IconX has a built-in accelerometer and heart rate monitor to track your movement, heart rate and distance travelled, which then calculates calories burned.
Just like the Gear Fit2, it's able to sync all of that data to Samsung's S Health app, which can export to a handful of other fitness apps. The earbuds can also connect with Endomondo, MapMyRun, Runkeeper and Strava as a Bluetooth heart rate monitor.
Interestingly, there's a Voice Guide feature that provides instant voice feedback on your workout progress, and sounds a bit like LifeBEAM's Vi hearables. However IconX's guide probably won't be able to provide in-depth, actionable insights which is what Vi promises to do.
Again like the Gear Fit2, the earbuds are only compatible with Android phones running at least Android 4.4 that have 1.5GB or more of RAM, and will work with iOS devices.
Samsung Gear IconX: Battery life
The charging case should be useful since the earbuds will only last about an hour and a half when streaming music from your phone, or a little over three and a half hours when playing music that's stored.
It seems Samsung has sacrificed battery life for a smaller form factor, but it's not too awful if you don't work out for longer than the time allotted. Still, daily charging may be a hassle.
Samsung Gear IconX: Release date and price
Priced at $199, the Gear IconX is now available in select countries. Those countries are as follows: Germany, France, Russia, Canada, the UK, South Korea and Australia.
While it's more affordable in comparison to the Dash, it's still a lot for a pair of earbuds. But if the IconX can deliver on the promised features, they may just be worth it.
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