Gear with Aussie influence
SAMSUNG has made a big splash in Berlin, revealing a new partnership with an iconic Aussie swimwear maker and a trio of wearables.
The new products launched at IFA 2017 include Gear Sport, a fitness-focused smartwatch (yes, you can swim with it); Gear Fit2 Pro, an upgraded GPS sports band with smart features; and Gear IconX, the next generation of the company’s cord free earbuds.
Both the $549 Gear Sport and the $329 Gear Fit2 Pro have upgraded heart-rate tracking on previous models, with Samsung claiming they would be top of the line.
The Gear Fit2 Pro will be out in Australia from September 15, and the Gear Sport in November, with pre-orders available before then.
Samsung also announced a partnership with Speedo to help swimmers track activity with a new platform, Speedo On.
Samsung’s collaboration deal with leading music streaming service Spotify is also big news; it allows music tracks to be played on the devices, on or offline, even without a smartphone.
The new Gear devices assist with a range of activities – from robust fitness tracking to nutrition and sleep monitoring, as well as motivational coaching as a lifestyle companion.
Samsung says that by introducing new smart capabilities, easy-to-use features and by partnering with leading names in tech and fitness, consumers will be able to go beyond fitness and accomplish big things.
As Garry McGregor, the director for IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia, explained: “In 2017, fitness means more than just burning calories in the gym”.
“Thanks to features like water and caffeine intake recording and auto sleep tracking, our new range of wearables are designed to help Australians bring balance to their lives,” Mr McGregor said.
“Through exciting collaborations with iconic fitness brands like Speedo and Under Armour, the Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport set a new benchmark for what Australians can expect from their wearables.”
Samsung says Gear Sport is stylish, yet practical with a minimalistic, circular bezel, Super AMOLED 1.2-inch display and improved user interface, making it easy to view information – including on-the-go.
With Gear Sport, users can work to achieve health and wellness goals, and receive nutrition management alerts and activity recommendations, even when you are offline.
It’s got almost military level-durability, meaning it can handle a wide-range of environments.
Gear Sport comes in blue and black and also includes Gear foundational functions:
■ Control of Samsung IoT-enabled devices through Samsung Connect
■ Act as a remote control, whether for a PowerPoint presentation or Samsung Gear VR headset
■ Pay for stuff with a flick of your wrist via Samsung Pay (NFC Only).
From swimming laps to splashing about in the pool, these devices are 5 ATM certified for water resistance. And with the new swim training app, Speedo On, using the Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro you can track key swim metrics including lap count, lap time and stroke type.
IconX are comfortable fit, cord-free earbuds. And they are the newest connection to Bixby so with a tap and hold of the earbud you can use your voice to control your music or phone – without even having it in your hand.
The updated design comes in black, grey and pink and is even more ergonomic and lightweight than its predecessor.
Fitness heavyweights will be keen to know the Gear IconX automatically tracks your running routines, and also features standalone Running Coach which can be activated by simply tapping the earbud to provide in-ear audio exercise status updates – in real-time and without your phone.
Samsung says that with a fast-charging and improved battery life of up to five hours of streaming and seven hours of standalone music playing, and up to 4GB of internal storage, you can enjoy a seamless and fully standalone music listening experience.
The writer travelled to Berlin as a guest of Samsung
The $329 Gear Fit2 Pro (left) and the $549 Gear Sport (below left).