Samsung Gear IconX Review
Hello/Greetings to All , So today i m here for Samsung Gear IconX Review.
Samsung was one of the first companies to join true wireless earbuds with the Gear IconX in 2016. The term “truly wireless” is used to describe the new Bluetooth headphones that don’t use a single wire to connect, like Apple’s AirPods. An updated version of Samsung Gear IconX 2018 has recently been released.
For the past couple of years, not only Apple has been actively promoting the idea of abandoning the 3.5mm headphone jack and switching to Bluetooth headphones. On the one hand, phone makers are phasing out this retiring jack. So Samsung is back this year with the new Gear IconX 2018, bringing some nice changes to its popular product.
Size and comfort
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 comes with three sizes of silicone ear pads – S / M / L, that’s enough to find the right one for yourself. They are tightly inserted into the ear, which will not slip out during training.
On the other hand, they are not as comfortable as the Apple AirPods. The updated Gear IconX 2018 is great for an hour workout, with longer use, you may feel pain and discomfort.
A built-in universal remote control is included in each earbud, which gives more options for advanced settings. Each control button is configured so that if you accidentally touch the earphone, another track will not turn on, the sound will not turn off, and unwanted actions will not occur.
What’s in the box for the Samsung Gear IconX (2018)
The box with the headphones contains a charging case with a built-in battery (its capacity is enough to fully charge both headphones), a standard USB cable with a USB-C plug, two USB adapters with USB-C and microUSB connectors (why I didn’t understand right away) and three sets of rubber ear cushions and earhooks. The ear cushions are of the same size, of course, round and interchangeable, but the letters R or L are written on the temples, and they fit only one earphone – left or right.
While there is a separate smartphone app for the Gear IconX, there are four LEDs on the case to indicate different charging and connection states. The instructions contain a summary table that deciphers all this color music. In 2017, it would be logical to reduce the entire user interface to an application. But since IconX can be used as a standalone player with 4 gigabytes of internal memory, perhaps such an alternative signaling system makes sense. In general, it would be time to get used to total miniaturization, but all these numerous contacts, sensors, microphones and LEDs do not stop surprising me in such small devices.
What the Gear IconX headphones look like live
The first thing that catches your eye is the ergonomic shape of the earbuds. Taking into account the touch panel for control and a great desire not to lose them during use, they need to be inserted into the ear only in a strictly defined way. We are all accustomed to interchangeable ear pads (although they are being replaced by Comply foam earbuds , which are even more interesting), but I must confess that this was the first time I encountered individual replaceable ear pads . Usually they, if any, are combined with amuchures.
What the IconX earphone consists of
As I said, the IconX earbud is a pretty high-tech device. Generally, Samsung has not in vain brought IconX into a separate trademark . This includes various cutting-edge pieces (such a project X, with an unambiguous desire to give it the status of a style and technology icon).
Each earphone contains 4 GB of internal memory, an 82 mAh battery, two microphones (the second is used to filter noise during a call and is needed in order to transmit background sounds to the earphone – as, for example, Here One does ) , a tactile sensor (it detects whether the headset is currently worn or not) and a touch panel for controlling volume, calls and switching tracks.
How to connect IconX to your phone
If you have a Samsung smartphone, and not the cheapest one, and bought this year, there should be no difficulties. It is enough to insert the headphones into the case, charge them and connect to … the smartphone with a cable. For this, one of the adapters is used, which turns the USB plug into microUSB or USB-C. After that (I had a Galaxy A50 at my disposal), the Samsung Gear application is launched , which will allow you to connect, configure and manage IconX.
If the application does not start (or you do not have a Samsung smartphone), then you should start by installing this application and immediately install the Gear IconX 2018 plug-into him. In general, such an abundance of installations has always annoyed Samsung smart accessories (why not make one universal application), but it should be said that this year the degree of hell has dropped noticeably. You see, after a couple of years of such trial and error, everything will start to work perfectly.
There is also a third, old-school way of pairing IconX with a smartphone. You need to put the headphones in the case and click on the button with the Bluetooth icon to the right of the charging socket. The LED will blink and the headphones will go into the old pairing mode familiar to everyone. After that, the headphones appeared in the list of devices under the name Gear IconX (9D52). In this mode, they can act as a regular wireless headset, but for other smart functions and using them in player mode, you will have to install an application.
If you have a Samsung smartphone, everything is fine (for this reason, by the way, such an accessory can be given to the owner of a Samsung smartphone – it will be a good gift), if not, some functions will be unavailable.
On the one hand, this is unfair to buyers of smartphones from other manufacturers, on the other hand, Samsung is hardly able to check the functionality of all functions with all possible models in the world. In general, the ideology here is simple (nothing personal): if you want trouble-free work, buy a Samsung smartphone. Given its market share, the company can hardly be blamed for that.
What can the IconX app do?
The application has two tabs – Information (opens by default at startup) and Settings. In the first tab, you can adjust the volume, switch the earbud, which becomes the “leader” during the workout (its sensor monitors and counts movements), copy music to the earbuds memory. You can also launch the Samsung Health app from this tab to track workout results (the first time you press, of course, you will be prompted to install it).
And switch the source of music playback – headphone player or smartphone.
In the settings You can select applications from which notifications will be sounded.
And determine which tips of the virtual coach will strain you to motivate you to go in for sports.
The headphone search function will not be superfluous – when it is activated, both headphones begin to beep, gradually increasing the volume.
If one of them is lost, you can turn off the squeak of the second by pressing a button. By the way, if the headphones are on, then the smart application will refuse to turn on this squeak, motivating its behavior with the phrase “apparently, the headphones are on now.” Even in the settings, you can control sound commands and control some functions without reaching for your smartphone.
If you click on the touch panel and hold your finger there, then one by one (the order of actions can be changed), the sections of the menu from the list in the third screenshot are spoken. Thus, you can launch the Android voice assistant (for example, while driving) or enable / disable external sound (for example, a runner runs up to a pedestrian crossing and wants to hear the noise of cars for a while).
How to rip music to IconX?
There are three (more precisely, two, just with different transport) ways to copy music to the headphone memory. Install the Gear IconX Manager app (available for Windows and Android). By the way, the distributions of both versions are in the headphone memory – if you insert them into the case and connect to the computer, they are in the TOOLS folders. You can copy from the smartphone memory via Bluetooth or cable connection (for this you will need one of the included adapters again). The fastest, of course, is by cable. And where to get music from – from a smartphone or a computer, it rather depends on where you store it.
How to control IconX with gestures?
To control gestures, there is a whole signal system (it’s not for nothing that we installed touch panels on both headphones). A distinction is made between touch, double touch, triple touch, and touch and hold with double touch and hold. Also, simply swiping your finger from top to bottom or bottom to top will decrease or increase the volume, respectively. It all works fairly well, but there are mistakes too. I would say that my error rate was in the range of 20-30% with a completely careless touch style.
What functions are not available on smartphones from other manufacturers
Probably no one will answer this question exactly, even the developers of IconX. I have used headphones with several smartphones. For example, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro did not allow copying music via a USB adapter. The difference is not fundamental, but I would say that the user of “non-native” Samsung smartphones should be prepared for surprises or to overcome possible technical difficulties. Although, if you use headphones only as a player and a wireless headset for a smartphone, then you can survive the absence of any additional smart functions like a fitness tracker or headphone search.
Are IconX earbuds falling out of your ears?
Every time I come across miniature headphones, I ask myself this question. But it is worth saying that modern gadgets already fit perfectly in the ears and do not fall out. In the case of IconX, we are talking about a gadget that is also designed for running, so here the developers were reinsured. Hence the clever ear tips and the ergonomic earpiece shape.
The main thing is to try all the ear pads and attachments before using and choose the best one – so that it is comfortable to wear and the headphones themselves do not fall out. In general, I myself have never encountered such cases of loss during my use. I believe that something extraordinary must happen for the earphone to actually fall out of the ear.
Which IconX earbuds store music?
In fact, the music is stored in both headphones at once. Because each, in fact, is an independent device, synchronized with another of the same device. When you understand this, the next question arises – are there cases of desynchronization? I also did not find myself in such a situation, although I will not argue that its occurrence is impossible.
How long does IconX last?
A question that can never be answered exactly, because everything is very individual. The manufacturer promises up to 7 hours of work in the player mode, up to 5 – when playing music in conjunction with smartphones and up to 4 hours – in the talk mode. From experience I will say that this indicator depends very much on the loudness level and all manufacturers use the average hospital loudness level in their calculations.
I listen to music at maximum volume (firstly, in extreme modes it is best to check autonomy, and secondly, I like it this way), my time was about one and a half times less. And do not forget that the battery of the case itself provides a full charge of the batteries even in the field. A full charge takes about 2 hours.
How is the 2018 IconX different from the 2016 model?
There are few external differences – the shape of the case has changed, from oblong to more compact. Instead of the color options black, blue and white, black and pink are now. The headphones became heavier – instead of 6.3 grams, each began to weigh 8 (although it is unrealistic to assess this with human senses). The entire case has changed from 52 to 54.5 grams.
Now about the good and the pleasant – all the extra weight went into the increased capacity of the batteries: they got 82 mAh instead of 47 each. The case’s battery capacity has increased from 315 to 340 mAh. The supported Bluetooth version has been updated from 4.1 to 4.2.
Requirements for smartphones have remained the same: to work, you need an Android version of at least 4.4 with a minimum of 1.5 GB of RAM.
Issue price and competitors
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is now 160$. Frankly speaking, it’s hard for them to name direct competitors. It is clear that in the image they have to compete with Apple AirPods , which are interesting, but also not without drawbacks and now cost a thousand more. Comparing these two models “point-blank” is silly – too different audiences who have chosen different religions of the ecosystem. There is also an interesting model Here One at the price of 160$ with its own application and the idea of background sound, but IconX also has such an opportunity, albeit without an extended system of equalizers, preset profiles of the subway, airport and so on. Plus IconX is also a fitness device and a 4GB player. Therefore, comparing them to any sports wireless headsets is wrong.
In the dry residue
IconX 2018 is an interesting uber-fitness gadget worthy of its innovations to be involved in “projects X” (as they usually call secret laboratories for new research inside the technology companies).
These are three devices in one at once – a miniature wireless headset, a player with 4 GB of memory (in practice, of course, a little less because of the memory section with computer software) and a fitness tracker. This gadget is well worth its 160$, but it is best suited for owners of Samsung smartphones (which, in fact, was what the manufacturer wanted). Owners of other smartphones will have to work hard for everything to work as it should, and some of the smart functions may still be unavailable in their smartphones. These headphones do not fall out of the ears, the operating time is enough for several hours (there is no need to dream of a full day). The case allows you to double this time, but to charge you will have to remove the headphones and put them in the case for a couple of hours. At the same time, it is worth noting Samsung’s noticeable progress in developing applications for smart accessories – body movements (especially for owners of smartphones of that brand) need to be done much less than a year or two ago.
This is very pleasant and comfortable – in fact, you can connect IconX to a smartphone from one application without having to go into the Bluetooth settings of the smartphone. If in the next version of IconX they add more waterproofness for swimming in the pool, I will definitely buy it myself. Because it will be the world’s first waterproof stereo headset with a built-in player. And by the way, swimming also fits perfectly into the ideology of this model, since it is one of the varieties of fitness training. So I won’t be surprised
Samsung Gear IconX 2018
IconX is a pretty high-tech device
These are three devices in one at once – a miniature wireless headset, a player with 4 GB of memory and a fitness tracker. The gadget is well worth the money, but it is best suited for the owners of Samsung smartphones (which, in fact, was what the manufacturer wanted).
4 reasons to buy Samsung Gear IconX 2018 headphones
- You have a Samsung smartphone and want to taste modern technology.
- Are you looking for an interesting and modern gift for the owner of a Samsung smartphone.
- You are attracted by the idea of a Bluetooth headset with a built-in player.
- You Really Use Samsung Fitness Apps in Your Life.
3 reasons not to buy the Samsung Gear IconX 2018 headphones
- You don’t have a Samsung smartphone and aren’t ready to face technical challenges.
- You need long battery life of wireless headphones.
- You are not ready to be a technology pioneer and pay for it.
The Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is a good choice for wireless headphones. They deliver reasonable sound quality, and a 5-hour battery life ensures you won’t be left without an inspiring soundtrack during your workouts.
However, the design and tight fit of the IconX 2018 creates discomfort for a short time of use. This, coupled with a poor charging case and a relatively high price tag, makes IconX a product I wouldn’t recommend from the heart.
If you have a Galaxy smartphone, some other Samsung products, and are looking for some really good wireless earbuds, then the Gear IconX 2018 is probably the right fit. But, if you live outside the Samsung ecosystem, we suggest looking at more affordable options, including AirPods.