A new leak revealed what look to be official promotional photos featuring the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Buds sitting atop a Galaxy smartphone. The photo comes courtesy of Winfuture, a German technology blog.
In the photo, we see two white earbuds inside a clamshell-like charging case. The headphones look much like many other true wireless headphones on the market, with what appear to be silicone ear tips nestled inside the case. What’s remarkable about this leaked photo is that the it shows the charging case sitting atop the back of what is believed to be the new Galaxy S10 smartphone. It’s not a stretch to suggest that this implies you will be able to recharge the Galaxy Buds’ charging case wirelessly from the phone itself. Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro lets you boost other wireless-charging devices from its own battery via its “reverse charging” feature, so it seems likely Samsung has decided to add this feature as well. Whether it will charge any Qi-compatible device, or only Samsung devices remains to be seen.
We’ve had reason to believe that the new true wireless Samsung earbuds were coming for some time.
Few things indicate the imminent launch of a new product as conclusively as certification by the Federal Communications Commission, which recently appeared online. So if the recent discovery of a certification for a product made by Samsung, simply known as “SMR170L” is any indication, and this photo is to be believed, we’ll soon see the launch of the new Galaxy Buds. The headphones will serve as the follow-up to the company’s Gear IconX earbuds.
The FCC document sleuthing came to us courtesy of 91mobiles, which points out that the FCC certification matches closely with a previously discovered Bluetooth SIG product listing. In that document, a Samsung Smart Wearable device with a very similar model number (SM-R170), goes by the design name “Galaxy-Buds.” You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to put this one together.
The FCC filing didn’t add much else to the available details on these as-yet unreleased earbuds. Still confirmed is that they will use Bluetooth 5.0, though which Bluetooth codecs they will support is unknown. If we’re lucky, the new buds will use the latest Qualcomm chipset for an improvement in battery life as well as support for aptX technologies.
Reportedly, the Galaxy Buds will pack 8GB of onboard memory for audio storage, which doubles the space on the Gear IconX. Battery life is also improved, though by how much is unclear, as is the capacity of the new charging case. The previous model was only able to resupply the Gear IconX once, which is hardly competitive these days.
If these are Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, we likely won’t be waiting long to see them launch — February 20 is the date set for the company’s next event, where it is widely expected that we will be introduced to the Galaxy S10, a new smartwatch, and possibly a folding smartphone. It would make sense for the company to add true wireless headphones to that product lineup.
Updated on February 7, 2019: Added details around a possible reverse-charge feature for the Galaxy S10.