Last Updated on September 10, 2015 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
This review was sponsored by Fitfluential on behalf of Timex. All reviews and opinions posted are my own.
Over the last year or so I’ve shied away from using a GPS during my runs. The reasoning was two fold: one, I was learning to fall back in love with running, and obsessing over pace and distance didn’t bring me any closer to that goal. And two: I wasn’t training for anything in particular anyways. But my running motives, as with many things in life, ebb and flow, and now I find myself with a tunnel vision focus on training for a specific race.
So the timing couldn’t have been better for me to give the new Timex Ironman One GPS+ a try. (The good news? If you stick with me through this review, you get a chance to win one of your own).
Like any running nerd, I am geeked when I acquire new technology that will give me any insight into making me a faster/better/stronger runner. And knowing that the Timex Ironman One GPS+ was on it’s way to me caused me to nearly knock down the UPS man when he delivered it to my front door. And it also caused to me to tear the watch out of it’s package immediately to start testing it.
The Timex Ironman One GPS+ came with a charging port and a small set of instructions. The “getting started” instructions were simple enough, charge the GPS unit and visit www.onegps.timex.com to create an account. Once an account has been created and the GPS unit turned on, I was given two different codes: one generated from the website and one generated ON the GPS unit. Each code had to be entered into the opposite unit (GPS code onto website account, website code onto GPS) to authenticate the unit.
The setup in general was very easy, and before I knew it, GPS and I were ready to run.
Having NOT read the directions, I decided to take the Timex Ironman One GPS+ for a run anyway. I prefer items that are easy to use and intuitive, so there really is no better test than to try and use them without reading the directions.
First things first: the screen on the Timex Ironman One GPS+ is unbelievable. Other GPS units I’ve used in the past had decent screens, but were near impossible to see in direct sunlight. Not this one. The Timex Ironman One GPS+ Always-on, sunlight readable Qualcomm® Mirasol™ touch screen display actually gets BRIGHTER in direct sunlight.
The Timex Ironman One GPS+ uses a combination of standard watch buttons on the outer part of the watch, and a touch screen face. The touch screen uses the finger sliding technology to change from screen to screen. Trying to get the watch started, I pushed the outer button next to the figure of a runner, which brought me right to the activity menu. Easy enough. I watched the “Start” circle spin for just a few seconds before GPS was locked in and ready to go. I hit start, and voila…we were off and running.
Note: every run I have used this watch for has had similar, almost instantaneous GPS connection. It’s about time.
Anyways, the main run screen was broken into four sections: distance, split (or overall time) beats per minute (if a Bluetooth wireless heart rate monitor is being worn) and pace. (Note: you can set your units to metric or standard. )
Once you hit the pause button, you are given a screen that prompts you to either continue or end your run. If you hit stop, the watch will congratulate you on your workout and then ask if you’d like to delete that workout or keep it.
Workouts and intervals are easily programmable directly from the watch. You can even set pace and heart rate alerts.
What’s more, you can sync your GPS with some of the more popular fitness social media sites to directly upload your workouts.
So, from a running standpoint, I like this GPS watch, a lot. It’s straightforward, easy to use, and easy to read. Though I haven’t had a chance to physically run the battery down to zero, according to the website, the Timex Ironman One GPS + will last:
- Up to 7 hours in a workout using GPS
- Up to 4 hours in a workout using GPS and music replay (keep this in mind if you plan to run a marathon AND listen to tunes…it’s not very long)
- Up to 65 hours in standby
- The GPS ONE+ is expected to charge to 80% in 60 minutes and to 100% in 75 minutes. The actual charging time will change depending on ambient temperature, charger current capacity, how low the battery is and whether the watch is performing any other functions.
But now, the selling point of the Ironman One GPS+ isn’t simply the GPS. No, this watch was designed specifically for fitness-minded individuals who seek connectivity, while also enjoying the freedom of pursuing any activity without their phones. Yes, you read that right…WITHOUT YOUR PHONE (brace yourself, I know that’s a foreign concept to most of us who are attached both emotionally and near physically to our phones.)
Timex IRONMAN® ONE GPS+ includes phone-free connectivity powered by a Qualcomm processor with embedded modem to provide wireless connectivity without needing to carry a phone. In other words, you can get emails, on the go.
When you register and connect your GPS on the Timex website, you are given an email address directly associated with your GPS. With that, you can send or receive messages to and from that address. The watch comes with one year of free AT&T data service, but if you want to continue using the messaging feature after (as well as the direct connection to your social media fitness sites), you must pay for the service.
Now, here’s my one “con” with the whole concept: actually sending messages is almost more difficult than the inconvenience of running with your phone. The typing reminds me of the old school cell phones, where you have to poke the number “1” 3 times in a row just to get the letter “C”, etc. Also, if you accidentally hit the wrong button, you had to scroll through to find the delete button. But don’t accidentally hit a different button while trying to hit delete, or you’ll have to delete that too. (Yeah, I did that a few times.)
Fortunately, there are a handful of prewritten messages to save you the stress of trying to type out a message…especially mid run.
There is an “S.O.S” option where you can message an emergency contact with your exact GPS location. While I appreciate the concept, I still think it would be safer and easier to carry your cell phone. But what if that emergency contact isn’t available via email at that moment? In the case of an emergency, 911 is going to be your best, life saving route. This is definitely my inner mama hen voice speaking, but I definitely feel safer with a phone.
That said, there is an option to provide live tracking, so your friends and family can literally keep an eye on your every move…and come find you if need be.
Another fun fact: the Timex Ironman One GPS + has a built-in MP3 component that stores and plays music. Pair it with a set of Bluetooth earbuds and you are ready to roll…wirelessly. This I can get on board with. With its 4 GB memory, ONE GPS+ will hold approximately 1,000 songs. That’s, oh, 50 hours of music give or take. You won’t get bored with your tunes any time soon.
All in all: there are so many more features to this watch, but I’m having a hard enough time summing them all up in this already incredibly long review. (You can learn more at the Timex website). With an MSRP of $199, this GPS watch is definitely more in the affordable price range compared to many of it’s competitors that can top out at $400 or more. The watch performs all of the functions I need in a GPS watch; the data, messaging, and added social media connectivity is all an added bonus.
SO….want to give the One GPS+ a try for yourself?
Timex has generously offered up a second One GPS+ to give to one of my readers. To enter, use the rafflecopter below. Because this is such a kick butt prize, there are lots of options. But you really only need to do one for a chance to win. Contest ends at midnight on 9/17/15. Winner will be announced the next day…maybe two days later, because let’s face it, life is an awesome, busy adventure and sometimes things come up. Contest open to U.S. residents only . GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Timex.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.