The Samsung Gear IconX is finally here. Well, it’s here in Canada, and it’s available in many eastern countries like Australia, France, Germany, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom. Surprisingly, it hasn’t hit the US market yet, but the company says it will soon enough, and you can always have them shipped in.
The obvious question here is, ‘Does the world really need another fitness tracker?‘
In the traditional sense, no. But there’s nothing traditional about the Samsung Gear IconX.
A Fitness Tracker, and Then Some
This nifty little gadget isn’t your typical wearable technology. It doesn’t go on your wrist. It doesn’t attach to the inside of a special garment. The IconX is a pair of wireless earbuds that retrieve all of the usual fitness data – heart rate, steps, distance, and calories burned.
But because they’re earbuds, they eliminate the average athlete’s need to bring along wired earphones to listen to music while working out. The Gear IconX earbuds utilize Bluetooth technology to sync to a user’s smartphone, play music, deliver fitness tacking results to the mobile app and – you guessed it – answer phone calls.
You Hear Them, They Hear You…
The outer coating of the earbuds have touch sensors, so that users can do things like tap the bud to answer an incoming call, and swipe it to change the current song on the playlist or adjust the volume. And they don’t just exude sound, they can hear it too, using voice recognition technology to confirm commands.
But I Hate Carrying a Phone…
The good news for those who prefer not to be encumbered by a mobile device is that you don’t need a smartphone in your pocket to use them. Not only will they continue to track your fitness as you go – the data can be retrieved later whenever you sync up to your mobile device – they actually have 4GB of internal memory space for holding about 1,000 music files.
There’s always to option of syncing to a smartphone to play music, but having the choice to listen to a preinstalled playlist is something that should give the Samsung Gear IconX a significant sales boost. Plus, when listening to internally stored music, the battery lasts about 3x longer.
Are They Actually Comfortable?
As most of you well know, earbuds aren’t always the most comfortable contraptions, especially when worn for any extended period of time. However, these wireless earbuds weigh about as much as a small coin, approximately 6.3 grams each, and the gel-coating ensures no discomfort, even after hours of use.
The earbuds come with small, medium and large eartips and wingtips, which are like flexible little hooks that grab onto the user’s ear cartilage to ensure a secure, stable fit. You can mix and match these variably-sized pieces until you find the perfect fit, so you can run, jump, spin, tumble or pretty much anything else without them ever coming loose.
What’s the Battery Life Like?
Battery Life is the Achilles Heel of the Samsung Gear IconX. The wireless earbuds will only hold a charge for about 1 hour if paired to a smartphone for music, or 3 to 3-½ hours listening to music on the internal storage.
That should be more than enough time to track a single workout, but for those who want to track their movement all day, a traditional wearable like the FitBit Charge HR (~5-day battery life) is best.
And of course, the IconX comes with a convenient storage case that’s used to charge the wireless earbuds.
Samsung Gear IconX Price Tag
The wireless earbuds currently retail for $199 and come in three optional colors, white, black and blue, with a storage case to match. Although the MSRP is $199 for all colors, I’ve seen websites charging and extra $5 to $6 for blue and black.