Chalk up another product unveiling at next week's Samsung Unpacked event that won't be much of a surprise. Leaks have already tipped us off to what to expect from the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip phones. And now we know more about the earbuds Samsung plans to unveil next week, too.
Those would be the Galaxy Buds Plus, and their existence has already been revealed thanks to a leaked advertisement promising a free pair of the wireless earbuds to anyone who pre-ordered the Galaxy S20. A pair of now leaks not only confirms that the Galaxy Buds Plus exist, but also spell out what's changing from the Galaxy Buds that debuted last year.
First, there's the confirmation of the Galaxy Buds Plus arrival — that comes courtesy of Apple's App Store where the Galaxy Buds Plus companion app has suddenly appeared. Promising a "next level of listening," the iOS app for the Galaxy Buds Plus app will let you adjust audio settings, check the battery status and find your wireless earbuds. The app works with the iPhone 7 and later, so we can assume the Galaxy Buds Plus will too.
We don't have to assume too much else about the new earbuds, as leaker Evan Blass tweeted out a spec sheet that compares the new earbuds to their predecessors. In the process, the Galaxy Buds Plus specs confirm a lot of prior rumors we've heard about the audio accessory — namely, that they'll boast longer battery life and improved call quality over the original Galaxy Buds.
The Galaxy Buds Plus will cost $149, a $20 increase over the standard Galaxy Buds. Here's a closer look at what's new with the Galaxy Buds Plus and what that extra $20 gets you, courtesy of Blass's specs leak.
Longer battery, shorter charge time: Though the Galaxy Buds Plus are the same size as the original Buds, the new models gets a bigger battery — 85 mAh verus 58 mAh in last year's earbuds. That should add 5 hours of play time to the earbuds alone, the spec sheet says; combine the Galaxy Buds Plus with their charging case, and you can count on a 9-hour increase in battery life. Talk time increases by 2.5 hours to 7.5 hours with just the Galaxy Buds Plus; add in the case and you should get 15 hours, a boost of 4 hours over the Galaxy Buds.
The bigger battery also seems to add a little extra weight. The new Galaxy Buds weigh 6.3 grams versus 5.6 grams for the original Galaxy Buds. That's a fraction of an ounce difference.
Charging times should be faster, too, with the spec sheet promising 60 minutes of play after 3 minutes of charging. The older Buds needed 15 minutes to give you 100 hours.
Audio improvements: Call quality was one of our few complaints with the Galaxy Buds, so the Plus model adds a second outer microphone along with one inner microphone. The original model had just one outer and one inner mic. The speaker now includes a woofer and tweeter for 2-way dynamic audio — an improvement over the Galaxy Buds Plus' predecessor.
Dedicated Spotify controls: A new button joins the Play, Pause, Skip and Volume options on the original Galaxy Buds. The Plus version features Spotify controls as part of the earbuds' touchpad.
Support for multiple devices: As the arrival of the iOS app would confirm, you'll be able to control the Galaxy Buds Plus from an iPhone in addition to the Android app that existed for the Galaxy Buds. You'll also be able to connect the new Plus model to multiple devices, according to the spec sheet.
New colors: Black and white return as options for the Galaxy Buds Plus, but the original's yellow and silver colors are getting replaced by new red and blue choices.
There's no word in the spec sheet about active-noise cancellation, a feature that Apple introduced with its AirPods Pro last year. That would be in line with rumors that suggest the feature won't appear in the Galaxy Buds Plus.
We're expecting the Galaxy Buds Plus to join the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip as part of the Feb. 11 Unpacked event. Other rumors suggest a free pair of Galaxy Buds Plus will be included when you pre-order Samsung's new S20 flagship, which is consistent with what the company has done with past phone launches.