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Samsung to challenge Apple with fitness products


Samsung’s new fitness wearables are a direct challenge to Apple and other smartwatches, according to industry experts.

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The Korean company used its press event at IFA to unveil the Gear Sport smartwatch and Gear Fit 2 Pro sports band, as well as new IconX wireless ear buds.

The devices were notable for a range of new “wellness manager” features, and industry analyst Ben Wood of CCS Insight believes Samsung wants to rival Apple on this front.

Wood said the positive reception to the Apple Watch following its shift toward health and fitness is likely to have encouraged Samsung.

Samsung now appears to have followed Apple’s lead in its own Gear line.

The new devices include a series of detailed tracking tools, including automatic activity detection on the Sport and Fit 2 Pro, which can recognise when a wearer begins walking, running or cycling.

The Fit 2 Pro also contains tracking tools for nutritional and water intake throughout the day.

Samsung has also pushed the various strap designs for the Gear Sport to a greater extent than previous smartwatch launches.

One area where Samsung does appear to have an advantage is its wireless ear buds.

The new IconX 2018 earbuds have 4GB of storage for music and enable exercisers to leave their phone at home when running.

In contrast, Apple’s AirPods, though also wireless, require a connection with an iPhone in order to function.

One key comparisons that cannot yet be made, however, is on price.

Apple Watch devices start at STG269 ($A438), but Samsung is yet to confirm how much its new range will cost or when they will launch in the UK.

Any response in the market from Apple may not take long to materialise either, with the company now confirmed to be hosting a live event on September 12, when a new Apple Watch is rumoured to be among the announcements.

– PA

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