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Samsung launches swim-tracking Gear Fit2 Pro and upgrades Gear IconX battery life

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Significant updates to Samsung’s fitness band and truly wireless earbuds

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Accompanying the new Gear Sport smartwatch, Samsung is introducing a new fitness band, in the shape of the Gear Fit2 Pro, that shares the same highlight feature of being able to track swimming. In terms of appearance and basic specs, this is no great departure from the Gear Fit2 that the Pro is replacing, but the big deal is that Samsung has upgraded the waterproofing to a depth of 50 meters and it’s also added a continuous heart rate tracker that will keep a constant watchful eye on your life signals. Another IFA 2017 debutant from Samsung’s wearables division is the Gear IconX 2018 edition: a massive upgrade over the 2016 wireless earbuds that could only muster 1.5 hours of wireless music streaming. The new IconX buds can last up to 5 hours streaming, or 7 hours when playing directly from their onboard storage.

Priced at $199 and set for retail availability on September 15th, the Gear Fit2 Pro is quite an appealing little watch replacement for exercise-tracking enthusiasts. Its elongated and curved AMOLED screen has really nice contrast, and Samsung is making the most of it with some truly appealing watch faces that highlight steps, elevation, and calorie consumption measured during the day. 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. But hey, if you just need a metric for identifying the differences in intensity and duration of your exercise each day, it will probably suffice.

The silicone straps of the Fit2 Pro are replaceable, but they’re not meant for rapid exchange to match your mood or running outfit. It’s just a facility to help replace any torn or damaged parts. Samsung is offering its new fitness wristband in a choice of black or black with a red underside. 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. Samsung will open online preorders for the Gear Fit2 Pro tomorrow.

As to the Gear IconX, they look mostly unchanged from their 2016 iteration, which in itself just looked like a pebble-shaped “Bragi Dash by Samsung.” There are new colors this year, with a choice of black, pink, and gray, and the big bump in battery life. Samsung promises up to 5 hours of streaming music from your phone, up to 7 of playing off the onboard storage, and up to 4 hours if using the IconX as a Bluetooth headset. The IconX includes a personal running coach facility, automated activity tracking for when you’re just jogging or hiking, and it can store up to 1,000 songs. Samsung says it will price and release the so-called IconX 2018 in the fall.

Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge