Samsung’s new Gear Icon X 2018 earbuds may sort the original’s biggest problem

Samsung has taken IFA 2017 as an opportunity to upgrade its Icon X fitness earbuds with a few small but exciting upgrades including much improved battery life and support for voice assistants like Bixby and Siri.

The new Samsung Gear Icon X 2018 have a similar design to the existing earbuds, with a slim fit that sits in your ear with the help of included wings and tips.

There are touch-sensitive controls on the earbuds that allow you to skip tracks, control volume and speak to your phone by tapping on the earbud itself so you don’t need to get your phone out of your pocket.

The earbuds come in three colors, with a choice of black, grey or pink.

Much better battery

Samsung claims the battery life on the earbuds is much improved from the first attempt. We found the original earbuds to offer awful battery when playing back music, with them lasting just around 90 minutes, while these new earbuds will apparently last for up to five hours.

If you’re talking on the phone that’s going to be closer to four hours according to Samsung. But there’s new quick charge technology in the charging case that should give you an hour's battery in the earbuds from only 10 minutes inside the case.

Samsung has also built-in support for your preferred voice assistant, so if you’re using the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus or Note 8 you’ll be able to use Bixby, or if not you can either use Siri or Google Assistant on another device.

Fitness-wise the Icon X 2018 comes with auto activity tracking and a personal running coach feature, but this is largely the same as we’ve seen before from Samsung.

Release date and pricing details for the Icon X 2018 are currently unavailable, but we’ll be sure to update here when we hear more about those details. You can also read our full hands on review of the Icon X 2018 right now.

  • IFA 2017 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced. 
James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.