Samsung wants to help you get off your lazy duff and into fighting shape just in time for beach season with its new $180 Gear Fit2 fitness tracker and $200 Gear IconX earbuds.
I recently spent some time with the Fit2 and IconX, and they might actually inspire me to exercise after work for once.
The Gear Fit2, which is the follow-up to 2014’s Gear Fit, features a wider 1.5-inch curved Super AMOLED display that you can read vertically, making it easier to see while on your wrist.
The screen itself is absolutely beautiful. In fact, the colors look so clear and bright that I thought I was looking at a fake display when I put on the Fit2.
Samsung’s Fit2 is also surprisingly comfortable to wear thanks to its new rubberized bands. Speaking of bands, they now come in two sizes, unlike the single-size Gear Fit.
The Fit2 features a built-in heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope and GPS. All of those sensors allow the wearable to automatically detect when you’re doing things like running, biking or using the elliptical. For those exercises, the device tracks you automatically without your ever having to push a button.
If you’re doing exercises like weight lifting, yoga or pilates, though, you’ll have enable tracking yourself.
The Fit2 also tracks daily activities like how many steps you’ve taken, how many floors you’ve climbed, your resting and active heart rates and how many calories you’ve burned. And since the Fit2 is a 24-hour fitness tracker, it will track your sleep activity.
When used in conjunction with Samsung’s S Health app, the Gear Fit2 gives you information about your workout history and whether you’ve been meeting your own fitness goals.
If you’re the type of person who needs a little extra nudging to work out, the S Health app comes with a social aspect that lets your friends send you workout challenges. There’s also a leaderboard to see who among your friends is getting the most exercise.
One of the best features of the Fit2, though, is its ability to act as a standalone music player thanks to its 4GB of onboard storage. That means you can leave your phone at home and still jam out to your favorite tunes at the gym.
Of course, if you’re like me and can’t do anything without your smartphone at your side, the Fit2 can be used to control your favorite streaming music app like Pandora and Google Play Music. In fact, Samsung and Spotify have teamed up to design an app specifically for the Gear Fit2 from which you can listen to your favorite songs, as well as access your playlists.
With so much tech packed into such a small package, you’d expect to the Gear Fit2 to be starved for battery life. But Samsung claims the wearable can get three to four days of usage while using its built-in GPS and five days without.
In addition to the Gear Fit2, Samsung has also debuted its completely wireless Gear IconX earbuds. But unlike most wireless earbuds that still need a wire that runs between both earpieces, the IconX buds function independently of each other.
Here’s how that works: The earbuds sit in your ears and receive Bluetooth signals from your phone. Then, they speak to each other to ensure they’re timed properly and you don’t hear any difference in the music. The idea is to eliminate wires that can get caught in your hair or on equipment while working out. The earbuds are also touch sensitive, so you can swipe your fingers or tap them to do things like raise or lower their volume or skip songs.
For those times when you want to run without your smartphone at your side, the Gear IconX also comes with 4GB of onboard storage, which you can use to store thousands of songs.
The IconX can also track your heart rate and running pace thanks to its built-in heart rate monitor and accelerometer. When you want to know how you’re doing, the IconX will speak your heart rate and pace.
To ensure your safety while out for a run, the IconX features an ambient sound mode that lets you listen to music while also enhancing the sound around you; that way, you can hear things like cars and sirens more easily.
Samsung says the IconX will get up to 3.6 hours of battery life while listening to music and 3.3 hours while listening to music and using its tracking features. Unfortunately, the earbuds will get just 1.5 hours of use when streaming music from your smartphone.
The Gear Fit2 is available for pre-order June 3 and in stores June 10. The IconX earbuds will be available in the third quarter of 2016.