New report 'confirms' massive Galaxy Buds+ battery upgrade and a key missing feature
The thoroughly leaked Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra smartphones are not the only exciting devices widely expected to see daylight at a no doubt glamorous February 11 Unpacked event in San Francisco, as Samsung is also pretty much guaranteed to be cooking up an upgrade for the company's first-ever true wireless earbuds.
Reportedly dubbed Galaxy Buds+ instead of Galaxy Buds 2 or Galaxy Buds Pro, these bad boys first showcased their decidedly familiar design in some animations discovered by the folks over at XDA Developers in the APK (Android application package) of the latest version of Samsung's official SmartThings app.
In other words, the looks and marketing name of the second-gen AirPods "killers" were unintentionally and prematurely revealed by their own manufacturers, while FCC documents hinted at a substantial battery life upgrade shortly thereafter. A key feature that the Galaxy Buds+ are tipped to skip made the rumor rounds just last week, and now arguably the most trustworthy source of intel on unannounced Samsung gadgets is chiming in with unofficial "confirmation" of several major details.
No AirPods Pro rival here
Apple's newest (and costliest) true wireless earbuds are not the only ones in the world to rock state-of-the-art Active Noise Cancellation technology, but they're definitely more popular than Sony's convolutedly named WF-1000XM3, which actually preceded the AirPods Pro to stores.
Galaxy Buds+ images revealed by Samsung
While Samsung is apparently Apple's top early challenger in the fast-growing global "hearables" industry, the Galaxy Buds+ are unlikely to go head to head with the high-end AirPods Pro, settling instead for rivaling the "regular" second-gen AirPods courtesy of a significant battery size increase and a snub of the aforementioned ANC feature that should allow Samsung to keep the price point in reasonable territory.
Audiophiles disappointed in hearing about Samsung's decision to omit active noise cancellation functionality this time around as well might find a little comfort in the news that the "overall sound quality" of the original Galaxy Buds will be improved for the Plus model. Of course, we'll have to wait and see hear for ourselves what kind of a real-life progress we're dealing with here. For what it's worth, we weren't too bothered by the sound quality of the first-gen true wireless earbuds when reviewing Samsung's rookie market effort, although there was clearly plenty of room for improvement.
The original Samsung Galaxy Buds along with their trusty charging case
We can't say the same about the battery endurance of the 2019-released Galaxy Buds, which was already pretty great, so naturally, we're excited to see how high the Buds+ will be able to raise that bar. If SamMobile's sources are correct (and they almost always are), the Galaxy Buds+ will come with a battery capacity of 85mAh, up from 58mAh last year. That's an increase of nearly 50 percent, but believe it or not, the actual life between charges could take an even more drastic leap, from six to no less than 12 hours.
Galaxy Buds+ vs the competition
Because there's obviously no way to assess the audio quality of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ just yet, let's focus on putting that alleged 12-hour battery endurance rating into perspective. Incredibly enough, that would be more than double the advertised battery life of both the AirPods Pro and the "normal" 2019-refreshed AirPods. The former model is said to offer only 4.5 hours of uninterrupted listening time, while the latter adds a modest half an hour on top of that.
The Galaxy Buds+ could go head to head with the non-Pro 2019 AirPods
Of course, the booming market is brimming with diversity right now, and one of the most recently unveiled AirPods alternatives is touting a solid eight hours of battery life on a single charge. That's still not as impressive as the purported claim to fame of the upcoming Galaxy Buds+, and the same goes for the 9-hour rating of the Beats Powerbeats Pro. We can't help but wonder therefore if this number is indeed accurate after all.
We certainly hope the Galaxy Buds+ will be able to last more than 12 hours in total when also taking their charging case into consideration. The Galaxy Buds, mind you, can deliver a combined 13 hours of juice, while the AirPods and AirPods Pro are touting "more than 24 hours of listening time."
In other news, the Galaxy Buds+ are expected to come with a grand total of four microphones, up from only two on their predecessors and three on the AirPods Pro, one of which is inward-facing to help with noise cancellation. That sounds pretty awesome on paper for things like call quality, but as with overall audio quality, it's probably wise to not get too excited before these bad boys are actually released, presumably at a slightly higher than $130 price.
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