Along side the Gear Sport, Samsung launched another fitness-minded accessory–the sequel to their original wireless earbuds the Gear IconX 2018 edition.
The new earbuds look very much like the old ones and come in pink, black, and gray and come in a matching case.
The case itself is how you charge the earbuds and is also a portable battery pack capable of giving the headphones and extra full charge, but the earbuds are now rated to give a much improved 5 hours of playback over Bluetooth versus the 3 hours from last years model. In addition to that, they now support a fast charging ability that’ll get you an hour of playback with 10 mins of charge time supposedly.
To get started, we simply need to download the Gear Manager app on the phone (iOS isn’t supported, unfortunately, by the way), push the Bluetooth button on the case while the earbuds are inside and then connect to them in the Gear app when they pop up.
Once connected, they work like any other Bluetooth headset and any audio from the device will stream to them if they are selected.
They do also have 3.4GBs of internal storage available for music (about 1000 MP3s) and allow you to transfer any songs to them that are on your phone through the Gear app or from your computer via their desktop app. In case you want to run with them and leave the phone behind (this also supposedly gives you another hour of battery life if not connected to the phone).
The buds themselves are touch sensitive for their controls which are fairly simple.
One tap to play and pause, swiping up and down to turn the volume up or down, tapping twice quickly will go to the next song or answer a call or hang up, tapping three times will go to the previous song, double-tap and hold will go to the next playlist (but only when playing music from the Gear’s storage), and tapping and holding will decline a call or bring up Bixby on your Samsung phone if you have one paired or Google Assistant if you’re using another Android device. If you keep holding it down, it’ll cycle through 4 options starting with the voice command option then workout details, start/finish a workout, and turn on and off ambient sound. These can be removed from the menu or the order rearranged if you want from the Gear manager app.
Also, in the Gear Manager app, you can see the battery level of each earbud and decide which earbud to track for workouts (not too sure why it’d be different results by different earbuds, but maybe?).
You can also tell it which notifications to ping you about. With this on, it essentially quickly interrupts the music and tells you what app gave the notification (i.e. Inbox, Messages, etc.). By default, it won’t read them out to you if you are using the phone (which makes a lot of sense) but you can override that in here if you want, as well.
Next, you can adjust the Exercise options including the built-in running coach that encourages you to stay on pace while running depending on what pace you select and you can turn on audio guidance and determine what info it gives you at what interval during the workout.
If you misplace them, you can tap the find my gear option in the app to have them start beeping and gradually get louder over time to help you find them (this only works if they are connected via Bluetooth still).
They have an ambient sound feature that allows them to let in sound if you want or not (and since they are larger they cover your entire ear canal and do muffle sound quite a bit).
And finally, they support 9 different languages for the voice guide including Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
There you go guys, a walkthrough of all the features of the new Gear IconX 2018 Edition. Let me know what you think of them and this type of a video in the comments below!