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Gwen Stefani Celebrates New Samsung Wearables

Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest sports band, in-ear Bluetooth headphones whose ear buds aren’t connected by a cable, and a marketing campaign to promote collections of related mobile products and services targeted to a specific consumer lifestyles.

The ear buds are said to be the first of their kind from a well-known supplier.

To celebrate, Samsung hosted live musical performances, including a set by Gwen Stefani, on Thursday evening outside its consumer showroom and offices in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking district.

As part of its new marketing campaign, called A Galaxy of Possibility, the company will promote a Move with Galaxy collection consisting of the new Gear Fit2 fitness band, the fitness-oriented Gear Icon X Bluetooth ear buds with built-in fitness-tracking sensors, and the waterproof Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone. Samsung declined to say whether bundled prices will be offered.

Other collections were also announced, and the campaign will roll out soon, the company said.

Campaign specifics weren’t revealed, but the company did disclose pricing and details of the two new Gear products.

Shoneel Kolhatkar, Samsung Electronics senior director of product strategy and planning, with Samsung’s GearFit2 fitness tracker and the Gear IconX Bluetooth earbuds.

Products: The Icon X, due in the third quarter at a targeted $199, features embedded memory to store music. An embedded heart-rate monitor and accelerometer track hear rate, distance, speed and calories consumed. The information is relayed via voice to the user. Icon X also sends the data via Bluetooth to the company’s S Health app on Samsung smartphones. Capacitive-touch controls are on the ear buds.

To ensure the left and right music channels are in sync, copies of each song are stored in each ear bud, said Shoneel Kolhatkar, Samsung Electronics product strategy and planning senior director. Music is transferred to both ear buds when they are placed in their charging case and connected via USB to a computer or phone.

For its part, the Tizen-OS-based Gear Fit2 will be available June 11 at $179 with multiple enhancements over its predecessor, the first-gen Gear Fit. Enhancements include built-in GPS to deliver more accurate step counting and distance tracking, said Kolhatkar. Other enhancements include the ability to display running progress on a map without a phone being nearby. Maps are side loaded from a Samsung phone before a run.

Also new is an integrated Spotify app to stream music from the Cloud via a Bluetooth-connected phone. The Pandora app accesses a full range of Pandora features. The band also uses Bluetooth to control basic functions of other streaming services and phone-stored music.

In other changes, the Fit2 features a narrower bezel to increase the display space of its rectangular 1.5-inch touchscreen without widening the band. For a more comfortable fit, the device features a softer leather band and a display that curves more around the wrist than before.  Notifications are displayed vertically instead of horizontally like before for easier viewing.

It has a Super AMOLED color display, built-in music storage, and an auto tracking feature that makes it unnecessary to activate the band when beginning a run, walk, bike ride or other exercise.

The band also features accelerometer, gyro, heart-rate monitor and barometer. It does not come with speaker and microphone to make calls through a Bluetooth-connected phone.

Other collections: Other product collections planned include:

–Explore with Galaxy, intended for content consumption and sharing and consisting of the Gear VR headset, Galaxy S7 phone, and Level On headphones;

–Create with Galaxy for creating and telling stories via the Gear 360 action camera and a Galaxy phone or Gear VR; and

Go with Galaxy for people frequently on the go. The collection includes the Level U Pro or Level On Pro Bluetooth headphones and the Gear S2 smart watch with Samsung Pay and embedded cellular to make calls without a cellphone nearby.