Timex Ironman One GPS+ fitness smartwatch lets you leave your smartphone at home
By Chris Wood
August 6, 2014
Timex has unveiled the latest timepiece in its long-running Ironman range in the form of a standalone, 3G-packing smartwatch. The device features the same Mirasol display technology we saw on the Qualcomm Toq, and provides some useful, fitness-focused functionality without the need to be paired with a smartphone.
As you might expect from a timepiece in the Ironman range, the One GPS+ is capable of tracking speed, distance and pace in real time, and is water resistant up to 50 meters (164 ft).
Unlike the Android Wear-toting Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, the Timex device doesn’t need to pair with a smartphone, but focuses on standalone functionality. Thanks to Timex’s partnership with AT&T;, the device will feature 3G connectivity, giving it the ability to receive messages via email, communicate user location to friends and family, and upload fitness stats to the user’s chosen platform.
The device packs a “Find Me” safety feature, wherein the user can send an emergency alert containing their exact location – a great addition for hikers or climbers. There’s also 4 GB storage on board, allowing users to locally store music that can then be played via a bluetooth headset. Unfortunately, the GPS and 3G functionality does come at a price, with battery life dropping from 72 hours to just eight when the features are switched on.
Aside from its standalone credentials, the One GPS+ is similar in both design and technology to the Qualcomm Toq, offering the same 1.5-inch always-on Mirasol display and an unspecified chipset. In addition to its touchscreen display, the wearable also features four physical buttons around its edges.
Though the One GPS+ does have a lot going for it in terms of standalone use, it falls short when it comes to software. While the company plans to open up the platform to developers, it’s unlikely to have anything close to the level of app support at launch as competing platforms, most notably Android Wear.
The Timex Ironman One GPS+ is available for pre-order now, and is expected to ship in the Fall (Northern Hemisphere). The wearable is available in black and green, and will retail for US$400.
The price includes a year of free 3G connectivity, but is otherwise a little steep for a smartwatch, with competing Android Wear devices retailing for as little as $200. That said, given the Ironman’s focused target audience, it’s more than likely to win fans among fitness buffs.