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Samsung finally has a serious AirPods contender and it can charge wirelessly

Samsung Galaxy Buds

During the launch of the Galaxy S10, Samsung had also introduced its new Galaxy Buds. Essentially, this is a 3rd generation Gear IconX and after two attempts, Samsung might have just produced the best AirPods challenger to date.

Despite its controversial design, the Apple AirPods is appealing due to its ease of pairing and decent battery life. The Gear IconX was supposed to be Samsung’s challenger in the wireless earbuds segment. Unfortunately, the first gen Gear IconX had sub-par battery life and we even struggled to get 2 hours of Bluetooth streaming. Things got a little bit better with the 2018 IconX which offered better fitting and an improved battery life of up to 5 hours of streaming on a single charge.

Fast forward to 2019, the latest Galaxy Buds with a 58mAh battery is rated to last up to 6 hours of Bluetooth streaming and up to 5 hours of voice calls. The case also comes with its own built-in 252mAh battery and it provides another 7 hours of music streaming. The longer rated usage is quite surprising since the battery capacity is smaller than last year’s IconX. As a comparison, the AirPods can last up to 5 hours per charge and with the case, it can last more than 24 hours.

The case which also supports wireless charging can push 1.7 hours of usage with a short 15-minute charge. The Galaxy Buds can also take advantage of the Galaxy S10’s wireless power share feature where you can recharge your Galaxy Buds on the back of the phone.

Samsung has also made pairing easier as well for a worry-free setup. There’s also built-in Bixby so you can get assistance hands-free. This can include making calls and checking the status of your battery level by voice.

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The Galaxy Buds also comes with an adaptive dual-microphone setup which automatically switches between its inner or outer microphone depending on the ambient noise. If your surrounding is noisy, the Buds will use its inner microphone to isolate the external noise.

If you need to talk while having your Galaxy Buds on, there’s a quick ambient mode which can be enabled by pressing and holding on the buds. The case for the Buds can be charged via USB-C and the sound is tuned by AKG. In the US, the Galaxy Buds are priced at US$129 which is about RM525 and it’s cheaper than Apple’s AirPods which still can’t support wireless charging.

The Malaysian pricing isn’t revealed yet but you can get the Galaxy Buds for free when you pre-order the Galaxy S10 and S10+ with 128GB of storage.

Alexander Wong