Once frowned upon as a sign of being disconnected from your surroundings, TWS or truly wireless stereo earbuds have now become the norm for smartphone users. They do bring quite a few benefits, like freedom from the tangle of cables, though they also become prone to getting lost easily. They also open up a lot of opportunities as far as design goes, particularly when it comes to brand collaborations. After all, it’s only too easy to slap colors and logos onto these earbuds’ charging cases. A bit more interesting, however, are designs that embrace less conventional shapes or materials, like these cases for Samsung’s line of Galaxy Buds that come in the form of iconic monster-catching balls from the popular Pokemon franchise.
To be clear, these Poke Balls don’t replace the charging cases that Samsung earbuds use. In Pokemon parlance, the original earbuds case would be the Pokemon that would live inside the ball when not in active use. Instead, the charging cases go inside these balls, which solves both the problems of compatibility. In fact, these Poke Balls are compatible with the entire range of Galaxy earbuds, including the Galaxy Buds Live, Buds Pro, Buds 2, Buds 2 Pro, and the recent Buds FE.
As for the Poke Ball designs, what’s being made available in Europe, particularly in Spain, are the purple Masterball, the blue Greatball, and the Yellow Ultraball. A bit ironically, the classic red and white Poke Ball is not available, which would have been a design that would have immediately identified the spheres as Poke Balls rather than just some random toy. That was actually the first design that was launched, so it might make its way to other countries at some other point in time.
This, after all, isn’t the first time that Samsung and The Pokemon Company collaborated on Pokemon-themed accessories and devices. What makes this particular set of Poke Balls, however, is that it’s a part of a range of eco-friendly accessories that use recycled materials rather than virgin plastic. Whether these make their way to other markets, only time will tell.
As endearing as these designs might be to Pokemon fans, there are a few practical drawbacks that interested buyers must be aware of. First is that the earbuds will no longer be easily pocketable when in the Poke Balls because unlike in the animated show, these don’t shrink to tinier sizes. The second is that the balls themselves don’t have built-in batteries or ways to charge the cases inside, which means you’ll have to take out the charging case if you need to top it off.