Two years after launching its first fitness wearable, Samsung is back with two fitness-focused gadgets that are again designed specifically for Samsung fans.
Samsung announced the devices, the Gear Fit 2 wearable and IconX earbuds, today at an event in New York, but had little new information to share after a series of leaks, including our April story, revealed each gadget in detail. And now Samsung has shared the last bit of information we needed: the release dates — the Fit 2 hits stores June 10 (preorders start June 3) and the IconX sometime in the third quarter — and price — $179 for the Fit 2 and $199 for the earbuds.
Here’s a closer look at the two devices.
Gear Fit 2
Sindy: Coming in two sizes and with a wider curved face than its predecessor, the Gear Fit 2 feels comfortable and non-intrusive on my wrist.
The device can automatically recognize whether you’re running, cycling, or using the elliptical, among other activities. And you can manually adjust up to 10 more activities, such as pilates and strength training. Just like the previous version, it tracks your heart rate and counts your steps. However, the Fit 2 also features a barometer that can measure and account for altitude (for hikes and stairs) as well as on-board GPS.
As for music, the wearable includes 4GB of storage, so you can play MP3s independent of your phone. It also comes with Spotify built-in, but that feature requires your phone to stream songs. By the way, the Fit 2 is compatible with Android 4.4 and above, but won’t work with an iPhone. How unfortunate.
The Fit 2 is purely a fitness band, so much so that I’ll probably feel like a slacker wearing it if I don’t exercise throughout the day. That feeling seems totally intentional; the band looks designed to motivate users to push themselves.
Harrison: It’s kind of impossible to form a coherent opinion of Samsung’s new fitness-focused, Bluetooth-enabled earbuds without taking them on a run — we’ll do that once we get our hands on them for an extended review. Until then, here’s what we know:
- There’s no on/off button on the IconX earbuds; they turn on as soon as you pop them into your ears, and off once you remove them. The pair charges inside a carrying case, which contains a battery and comes with its own charger.
- We ran into numerous syncing issues during our brief time with the buds, but when they worked, they felt futuristic; they don’t require a smartphone or smartwatch to track your run, they update you on your workout “progress,” and they can store and play music.
- But Samsung’s earbuds can’t play songs from services like Spotify (Pebble’s new wearable can), and that may deter streaming fans from buying them. While these also are not all-day earbuds, the battery should survive a two hour-plus workout.
- Overall, these earbuds feel like they will evolve into a great product a few releases down the road. But we’ll find out for sure after we spend more time with them.
Correction 2:21 p.m. PT: Fit 2 preorders start June 3. It arrives in stores on June 10.