Running independently from a mobile phone, Timex smartwatches are wearables designed with the serious athlete in mind.
Timex is arguably one of the most recognised names in watches. Formerly known as the Timex Corporation, Timex Group USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Timex Group B.V. of the Netherlands. The company dates back over a hundred years, and has a strong reputation for producing durable timepieces. Their entry into wearable tech has proven to be just as reliable as the world has come to expect.
The Waterbury Clock Company was founded in 1854, using brass wheels and gears to make high quality clocks. In 1877 the Waterbury Watch Company was born, and by 1888 had become the largest producer of watches in the world. Poor sales techniques and complicated designs eventually led to bankruptcy of Waterbury Watch Company in 1912. The plant was purchased by another watch manufacturer who began to produce Ingersoll Watches in 1914.
In 1969 the company changed its name to the Timex Corporation and became known for its durable watches that could ‘take a beating and keep on ticking’. In the 1980’s they introduced the Ironman Triathlon, a collection of watches designed for specific sports based on its needs. The Timex Ironman Triathlon was a huge success and became the best selling sports watch worldwide for the next ten years. Timex has brought Ironman back, in the form of a collection of smartwatches designed for the serious athlete.
Timex Ironman One GPS+
Timex is not calling the Ironman a smartwatch, and rightly so. Yes it has very smart features, but it is not nearly as smart or advanced as Android Wear or the about-to-be-released Apple Watch. Instead, they call it a sports fitness device, which is an accurate description of what the watch is capable of.
The screen has a Mirasol display, which is easier to read in direct sunlight and a desirable feature for the outdoor athlete. It’s a touch screen, but there are also two buttons on each side that scroll through the screens if you don’t like having to slide on such a small surface.
Important to note about the Ironman One GPS+ is that it runs independently, not even with a SIM card. The watch does not sync with a smartphone, but rather uses AT&T’s wireless network. This means Australians will first need to check if the AT&T wireless network is available in their region before purchase. For those in the United States and Canada, purchase of the watch includes a year of free data service from AT&T.
This ability to participate in your sport and stay connected without having to carry your phone is one of the main selling points of the Timex sports watch.
Features of the Ironman One GPS+ from Timex
Without a doubt, the Ironman One GPS+ is meant for an athlete. It has a durable rugged design with a large touch screen. The screen never powers down, and reacts in direct sunlight by getting brighter so that the wearer can see it clearly. It also uses the Timex branded Indiglo night light, which lets you see the watch face in the dark.
The watch is Bluetooth enabled so that you can connect with other wireless devices like headphones, foot pods and heart monitors, but not with a smartphone. It does have 4GB of storage, which lets you keep a multitude of music on your wrist to listen to as you work-out.
You can still receive and send text messages using a unique email address that was assigned to the watch. It is more like instant messaging on Facebook then SMS messaging, and you will have to use a tiny pop-up keyboard to write them, but there are also pre-programmed messages that you can use. There is no phone service with the Ironman smartwatch, but you are able to send an SOS to your contacts from the touch screen.
The Ironman One GPS+ as a fitness tracker
As a sports fitness wearable, the Ironman One GPS+ tracks your speed, pace and distance. It can then pair with a number of popular fitness apps like MapMyFitness. A heart rate monitor can be connected and read using Bluetooth, with one offered for sale through Timex. Water resistant up to 50 metres, the Ironman smartwatch is ideal for tracking your movements in the pool as well.
Battery life for the Ironman One GPS+
One of the main drawbacks for the Timex smartwatch is its short battery life. The average person will get about eight hours off of a full charge, but that can drop to four if you play a lot of music as you get into shape. Charging involves a small clip that is attached to battery terminals on the back side of the watch.
The Ironman One GPS+ is still not listed for sale on the Timex Australia website. This is likely due to the necessity for connectivity with the AT&T wireless network. There are however a number of high tech sports watches available in the country that track sports performance and heart rate.
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