Samsung's refined Gear IconX earbuds now talk to Bixby

Samsung's band now features heart rate monitoring and well as swim tracking (powered by Speedo).

SAMSUNG has launched two new fitness focused smartwatches in a bid to steal Apple's thunder.

The Gear Sport is available in black or blue with exact pricing and availability to be announced soon. The Gear Sport, for example, is a Samsung Gear smartwatch built for the wear and tear of sports.

"Samsung's new Gear devices were created to help consumers get the most out of their day, and help them live a healthy and well-balanced life", the company noted in a press release. It's not meant to replace that watch, but it's a smaller and you might say more fun wearable with an assortment of band options and numerous features that have made Samsung's wearables notable. Samsung has also designed matching watch faces for the straps.

The most exciting partnership, though, is with Speedo. The watch can be safely used/worn during a bath, in the shower, or for swimming in the pool or the ocean (there is salt water protection), but not for scuba diving or water skiing.

Expected to launch over the coming weeks, consumers should be on the lookout for the Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro, and IconX 2018. The catch for us is that the Gear Sport is running the Tizen OS as opposed to Android Wear, but Samsung emphasized that to date there are now thousands of apps and watch faces available for Tizen. It's compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones, and under ideal circumstances, it's promised to last for an impressive four days on a single charge.

The Gear IconX 2018 edition is much the same as the original Gear IconX but with improved battery life. Another nifty feature of the Gear Sport is that it lets you control Powerpoint presentations directly from your wrist (Windows 10 only). I'm still highly dubious about any device that claims to accurately measure calories, and when I challenged Samsung to specify how accurate it thinks its wearables are, the company said it had nothing available to publish. It contains the same 4GB of storage as the Gear Sport, but only 512MB RAM, instead of 768MB. The Gear Sport includes a built-in Global Positioning System, running features, and the ability to track your calories throughout the day.

At the same time, it is still a smartwatch and you get the same expected smartwatch features. The new version of its Gear IconX activity tracking earbuds come with a refined design that promises a more comfortable experience. These will work on your phone or you can even stream them to your TV if you're working out at home.

Landlubbers have plenty to get excited about too, with continuous heart rate monitoring now an option.

  • Joey Payne