They may have already leaked ahead of time, but Samsung used its IFA press event today to officially announce three new products: the Gear Fit 2 Pro, Gear Sport and Gear IconX 2018 biometric earphones. This marks Samsung’s biggest health and fitness push to date. It also comes hot on the heels of the widely anticipated launch of Ionic, Fitbit’s first fully fledged smartwatch.
“…We want to help remove the stigma that fit can only mean one thing and that fitness trackers are complex and for only the most intense of workouts,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.
“Our new Samsung Gear wearables help consumers ‘go beyond fitness’ and enjoy an active, balanced and fulfilled life in a smart and seamless way.”
What is common to both Gear Sport and Gear Fit 2 Pro, is that they are water-resistant down to 50 metres (5 ATM). This means you can finally leave your Samsung wearable strapped to your wrist while you take a shower or bath. If you decide to dive headfirst in the pool, the Speedo app will record your stats (stroke type, stroke count, and lap count), and show them in easy-to-read summaries. It will also provide you with “SWOLF”, which is a measure of stroke efficiency.
“Our collaboration with Samsung is the first of its kind and brings the very best of Samsung’s technological innovation together with Speedo’s swim expertise to provide fitness focused swimmers with a completely new level of tracking,” said Rob Hicking, Brand Director at Speedo International.
Both wearables come with GPS and auto-recognition for a number of activities including tennis, basketball and even dancing! You can also design your own wellness plans with customised goals and alerts.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets for 2017
In addition to tracking your activity, Gear Sport and Gear Fit 2 Pro will continuously monitor your ticker throughout the day, letting you know which heart rate zone you are in during exercise. Samsung says the its new wearables benefit from improved accuracy when it comes keeping tabs on your heart rate. Gear Sport will also allow you to stream workout videos to your Samsung TV and even see your heart rate on the big screen as you’re working out.
Customers will benefit from a one year free subscription to Under Amour’s online service. The company has also struck a deal with Spotify that allows people to download songs to be stored on their devices, and played without the need for a smartphone or internet connection.
The South Korean tech giant says, both wearables will work with other Android phones and the iPhone at launch.
Samsung has transitioned further into the smartwatch market with Gear Sport. There was speculation the new device would a new version of Gear S3, but instead we have something different. As its name implies the wearable is very sporty looking and comes across very much like the Gear S2 which came out two years ago. In a sense, this is a device that offers a blend of fitness tracking and smartwatch functionality in one slim package.
Gear Sport features a full colour, always-on, 1.2-inch circular screen with a 320 x 320 resolution and Gorilla Glass 3. The display is not as big as the 1.3-inch Gear S3. It also has a smaller screen resolution.
Along with Gear Fit 2 Pro, Gear Sport is the first to run the Tinzen 3.0 operating system. Under the hood you will find an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, heart rate sensor, ambient light and GPS. In addition to tracking your fitness, the timepiece will support the company’s Samsung Pay service with its NFC hardware.
Compared to the earlier Samsung Gear S3, the Gear Sport will have a smaller battery (300 mAh versus 380 mAh). On a full charge it will run up to 4 days, but only 4 hours with GPS switched on. Charging is wireless.
The Gear Sport will launch around the holidays. Samsung hasn’t yet detailed what it will cost.
Gear Fit 2 Pro
As expected, Gear Fit 2 Pro is a high-end version of the Gear Fit 2 rather than a totally new, third generation device.
The design is pretty much unchanged. The 1.5 inch curved display, 16 million colour, 216 x 432 pixel resolution, Curved Super AMOLED screen shows details of your activity, sleep hours and more.
At 33 grams, Gear Fit 2 Pro weights only only slightly more than its predecessor. It is also slightly bigger (25.0 x 51.3 mm versus to 24.5 x 51.2 mm). There is now a new and improved buckle strap to ensure the tracker stays on your wrist while you’re swimming.
More of the same in terms of other specs. The fitness tracker boasts 0.5 GB RAM and 4.0 GB of internal memory, while under the hood you will find an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor and GPS.
When it comes to battery life, Samsung’s latest fitness tracker will keep going for up to 5 days on a single charge. For more intensive use, expect the 200mAh battery to last less. With GPS switched on, this comes down to 9 hours.
The wearable comes in black and red colors and in large and small sizes. The large version will have a strap that can handle wrists between 158 and 205 mm while the small version is for writs between 125 and 165 mm.
Gear IconX 2018
The IconX 2018 are Samsung’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. The cord-free buds let you listen to music by streaming from your phone or via the 4 GB (per earbud) built-in storage for offline playback. Simply transfer songs from a Samsung smartphone or PC through Bluetooth connectivity.
For fitness buffs, the biometric earbuds automatically track your running routines. They also feature a standalone audio Coach function which will let you know in real-time how you are doing.
Essential reading: Best biometric headphones
One important feature is the ability to tap IconX and use your voice to carry out tasks by activating Bixby, Samsung’s smart artificial intelligence assistant. You can, for example, control your music or your phone, hands-free.
The buds provide battery life of up to five hours of music streaming or seven hours of standalone music playback.
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