What to expect from Samsung’s Unpacked event next week

Galaxy Buds Live

Let’s start with the most straightforward of the bunch: Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live. Samsung is no stranger to true-wireless earbuds, but these are a little different from the company’s earlier attempts. For one, they’re the first Galaxy-branded buds to pack active noise cancelation, which was conspicuously absent from the Galaxy Buds+. They also, uh, look like beans.

These sleek, legume-like earbuds have touch-sensitive bodies so you can easily toggle through tracks, and WinFuture’s Roland Quandt reported earlier this year that they’ll also include a trio of onboard microphones that can be set to listen for your Bixby voice commands. Battery life is estimated to fall between 4.5 and 7.5 hours on a single charge — exactly how long these things will last depends on whether you’re using ANC and whether you’ve set those microphones to constantly listen for voice requests. (Noted leaker Ishan Agarwal has already started digging into the companion app, and it seems like turning those mics off just takes a few taps.)

The Galaxy Buds Live are shaping up to be worthy AirPods competitors, especially when you consider their rumored cost. At $170 with noise cancelation, they’re priced to move compared to Apple’s $250 AirPods Pro.

Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung has been getting a lot of mileage out of its fitness-focused Galaxy Watch Active 2, but it’s time the classic Galaxy Watch got a proper sequel. (Seriously, it’s been nearly two years.) Enter the Galaxy Watch 3, a device that some retailers around the world have already started selling, official announcements be damned.

The Watch 3 will come in two sizes: A 45mm version with a 1.4-inch screen for people who prefer hefty timepieces, and a more petite 41mm model with a 1.2-inch display. (The latter already got the full hands-on treatment on YouTube.)

Both versions will come in several finishes, but all of them will use Samsung’s classic rotating bezel for navigating home screens and menus. Frankly, this is the best thing that could’ve happened to these wearables: These physical controls are among the most clever interface choices Samsung has ever made, and the Galaxy Watch Active series felt less satisfying to use without them.