Finally, a smartwatch made by an actual watch company. After forays into the wearable tech industry from the likes of Samsung, Sony, Google, Motorola, and (maybe? eventually?) Apple, the new Ironman ONE GPS+ from Timex -- a 160-year-old watch company -- is set to hit the market this fall.
And based on early reviews, it will set the pace for anyone that follows -- Outside calls it "by far the most impressive" of the smart watches displayed at the Outdoor Retailer show.
So, what is it? In short, it's everything you need for a run -- GPS, music, even text messaging -- without the hassle of having to carry your phone. The ONE GPS+ comes with a year of AT&T data service included, so you can send and receive texts, even if your phone is safely back at home.
There are a lot of great features highlighted in that video, showing what the ONE GPS+ is capable of:
- Always-on, sunlight-readable Qualcomm Mirasol display screen
- Live-tracking (perfect for family and friends during race spectating), as well as SOS and emergency messaging
- Full slate of run information -- pace, speed, distance, etc. -- you've come to expect from Timex watches
- Ability to link with Strava, MapMyRun and RunKeeper
- Music right from the watch (holds 4GB of storage, or about 1000 songs) that plays on Bluetooth headphones or speakers
- Water resistant up to 50m
- Afternoon delight planning with Julie, apparently?
Already The Verge has labeled the ONE GPS+ as "not quite like anything we've seen before." USA Today's Edward C. Baig spent some hands-on -- and on-wrist -- time with the revolutionary product, and came away thinking it was a bit bulky, but noted that "What sets this one apart is that you can use it untethered, without a companion smartphone."
The essential DC Rainmaker posted his hands-on report of "Timex's most advanced running watch to date," and as usual he further established himself as the most thorough product reviewer around.
The ability to simply have your runs immediately on sites like Strava without any additional phone required is great, but the live tracking could be a ground breaker in areas where folks don't want to drag a phone with them. For cyclists having a phone has never been a huge issue, but for many runners taking a phone with them has always been a bit of a pain (while no doubt for others, taking a phone along is completely normal).
Additionally, DC Rainmaker reviews Timex's three other new products:
- Move X20: Timex's version of the "activity tracker" to be worn on the wrist -- "a combination of activity tracker and minimalized smart watch."
- Run X20: a sporty, $100 GPS watch -- "It has a high ‘just works' factor."
- Run x50: a running watch that uses your phone's GPS -- "The x50+ differs from a traditional GPS watch in that the GPS isn't contained within the watch itself but rather dependent on your phone's GPS."
The Timex Ironman ONE GPS+ retails for $399.95 and comes in gray and black (the version with the heart rate monitor is $449.95), a noticeable step-up from the $180 Ironman Run Trainer 2.0. But the technology offered is also a considerable step-up. The ONE GPS+ watches are available for pre-order now, and are set to ship in November.