When I reviewed the original Samsung Gear IconX back in 2016, I wasn’t too impressed by them because of the okay sound and poor battery life. But thankfully Samsung has been able to fix some of these issues with the Gear IconX (2018).
I’ve been using the Gear IconX (2018) for a few weeks now, and they’re easily a vast improvement over the previous version of the product but still has some flaws.
Design & Hardware
The Gear IconX (2018) still has a great design with a relatively smooth plastic build. To control the earbuds, you use the capacitive touchpad. You use that to navigate through workout menus and control your music.
One tap will play or pause, two taps skip to the next track, triple to go back. Volume control is done by swiping up or down on the touchpad. If you hold down either earbud, you’ll activate your phone’s voice assistant, in my case, I used the earbuds with my Pixel 2 XL and it activated the Google Assistant.
The case for the Gear IconX (2018) has been improved as well, it now charges over USB-C and the earbuds can get up to 7 hours of battery life with additional charges from the case. The case for the Gear IconX (2018) is made of plastic which is fine but I wish it had a more premium feel to it because you’re paying so much for the earbuds in Canada. Even the cheaper, Zolo Liberty+ has a more premium feeling case than the Gear IconX (2018) as does the (more expensive) Bragi Dash Pro.
The earbuds have 4GB of built-in storage so you can store music on them and listen to music on your workouts without needing your phone. The Gear IconX (2018) connects to your device using Bluetooth 4.2.
The other thing is that I did find that one earbud would disconnect from my phone, leaving only one connected. It wasn’t always the same earbuds, sometimes it was the right one, sometimes the left.
In terms of sound quality, the Gear IconX (2018) sound really good, much better than the first Gear IconX, you can also adjust some sound settings in the Samsung Gear app as well other settings for the earbuds.
The earbuds come with multiple ear tips as well as rubber jackets to help them stay in your ears. For the most part, the Gear IconX (2018) stayed in my ears but occasionally they would start to slip out as I would walk with them in my ears.
The companion Samsung Gear app is where you’ll connect and setup your Gear IconX (2018) as well as change any settings like how it sounds etc. Pairing the Gear IconX (2018) to my phone is relatively easy, all you need to do is make sure they’re charged and then just open up the case and take out the earbuds and put them in your ears.
You should then be able to pair your phone to the Gear IconX (2018). The earbuds not only work with Samsung devices but also Android phones and iOS devices.
The Gear app is also where you’ll be able to load music on the earbuds’ internal storage. The app also tells you the battery life of each individual earbud and can also take you to the Samsung Health app which is where you’ll be able to see the health data collected by the Gear IconX (2018).
Overall, the Gear IconX (2018) are a great improvement over the original Gear IconX. They sound better and the battery lasts longer and the charging case even charges USB-C which is a nice bonus.
- Nice design
- Intuitive controls
- Great battery life
- USB-C for the case is a nice touch
- Great sound
- Earbud disconnection issues
- Still, relatively pricey in Canada
- Occasional ear slippage