Forget fitness bands: Samsung’s new earphones track steps, heart rate


Step aside smart bands—Samsung is here to replace all of you, smartly. Gone will be the days when you need to strap on your smart band and head for the jogging track. Smart bands are presently being used by fitness freaks around the world. Each of these bands can track steps and monitor heart rates, apart from a few other features. However, things are about to change as integrated circuits are getting smaller and even smarter. Samsung will be launching a new pair of smart earphones that have sensors which can track your steps as well as monitor your heart rate.

Samsung has announced a second fitness wearable and will price it at around $199 (Approx Rs 13,000). These are a pair of earbuds and will be named as Gear IconX.

The IconX weigh in at 6.3g each. The earphones will inform you about various updates such as how far you have run, how fast you are running and your present heart rate. The earbuds provide data such as heart rate, distance, speed, duration and calories burned through the Voice Guide, even without a smartphone. A heart rate sensor has been built into the earphones and a voice coach feature is meant to help runners trim their lap times and intensity zones accordingly. Additionally, if you’re training in areas where you need to be more aware of your surroundings, Gear IconX supports ambient sound mode for your safety.

The Samsung Gear IconX features 4GB of internal storage space and connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth. While only one earbud connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, the other earbud connects to the first earbud wirelessly.

The earbuds have a capacitive controller and you would need to learn how to use the gestures to control the device using taps and swipes. Play or pause music, adjust volume or switch tracks by simply tapping or swiping the Gear IconX earbuds. To activate the device, simply place the Gear IconX in your ears. With a tap and hold of the touchpad located on the earbud, you can launch activity tracking and receive real-time status updates. The onboard battery is barely sufficient to last around 3 – 4 hours, which depends on usage. If you use it for music as well as workouts, you can expect the charge to give you around 1 – 1.5 hours only. The IconX comes along with a carry case, which also doubles as a battery pack, which recharges the buds up to two times on its full charge.

The new earbuds seems to be a better alternative to wearing a fitness band as a single wireless device solves the purpose of both—fitness and music, while working out.

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