When I am not training, I usually don’t use a GPS watch. I use my phone if I want to see how long or far I ran (and the stop watch feature if I want to see how fast). My least favorite thing about running with my phone is that it does not fit in my pocket anymore (anything after the iPhone 4 is way too large to put in my pocket without my shorts falling down), BUT I like having my phone in case I get lost or in case of an emergency at home and because I never turn down a chance to take picture of myself (#
A few months back, I read a great review of the Timex Ironman One GPS+ watch and was jealous that I didn’t have one. The features that I loved were the phone-free messaging and the SOS alert. The stars aligned last month and I was given the opportunity to review one of my own 🙂 If you stick with me here (it’s long but I tried to lay it out in an understandable format), you can WIN one for yourself as well!
The box came with a charger and a small booklet of instructions. I charged the watch overnight (it actually only needs about an hour to get a full charge but I got home late from work and was going to bed). The next morning before my run, I turned the watch on and followed the prompts for the setup (create an account online and authenticate and pair the watch to the account via code given on both the site and the watch). It was simple and only took about 10 minutes.
I decided to take the watch for a run without reading the directions and it was super easy to use. Menu –> Tap the running man –> Tap Start. I cannot stress this next fact enough: the GPS was INSTANT. As in, no waiting, no walking around aimlessly and waving your arm around hoping for a satellite (just admit you’ve done it).
The features I noted during my first run:
>>The watch is not small. It’s actually rather large. However, it is light and the size did not bother me.
>>The screen is bright. It actually got brighter in the sun.
So far, so good.
I wanted to really learn how to use the rest of the features of the Timex Ironman One GPS+ (since that is why I wanted the watch in the first place) so I sat down one night and read through the website FAQ section and then the instruction manual (online). I will admit that some were easy but some were a bit time-consuming to learn how to utilize (and set up).
The screen: It’s bright. It’s great. It is mostly easy to use but there is a learning curve. You have to swipe to get through the screens but the first handful of times I attempted it (seems easy right?), I had to try again. You definitely need to apply some pressure with the swipe.
Workout Selection: In the “running man” section, you can choose from an array of workouts from a basic timed (or distance) run to an interval workout or you can use the stopwatch or walk feature. As I stated above, the satellite connection was speedy and I found the pace and distance seemed to be very accurate (I mapped online for comparison after the first two runs). I also tested the interval feature. It allows you to select a warmup duration, a specific interval workout and a cooldown duration. It gives the option to do intervals based on time as well as distance (and in miles or kilometers). It vibrated and beeped when it was time to start and stop each interval and also auto-paused during breaks. Thumbs up.
Sharing: During the setup, you can select from a variety of social media platforms for workout sharing (Facebook, Strava, Run Keeper to name a few). When each workout is finished, you can upload (or delete if you want to forget it happened) and it will send you an email of the workout and the stats and it will also share to the platform you selected. The phone-free connectivity is pretty stellar. From the company re: the technology that makes this possible: This is powered by a Qualcomm processor that provides wireless connectivity.
Music: When I was trying to add music to the watch (you can listen with bluetooth wireless headphones or a bluetooth speaker), I plugged the watch in and nothing happened. I tried the FAQ section of the website and it directed me to the online manual (which was unfortunately a broken link). I was still confused so I googled and found the below YouTube video to be very helpful. If you don’t feel like watching, the device connects tot he computer as an external hard drive. I dragged and dropped music from iTunes and then it was able to sync up. Once that was complete and my headphones were paired (this can be done through the settings –> bluetooth section), it worked very well! FYI: The watch can store up to 4GB of music (approx. 1,000 songs).
Messaging: The messaging feature is great when you receive a message (anyone can send a message to your watch by sending an email to your Timex provided username (for example, mine is email@example.com). Replying to messages, on the other hand, is interesting.
Going clockwise: I sent myself an email and it popped up on the phone within a few seconds. I selected the email and hit the arrow to reply. You are given two options, “select message” for preset replies or “create message” to send your own. You can see in the last tow pictures how it can be time-consuming to type your own. It is done letter by letter.
I do think it is what it is and is currently the best option out there to be able to contact others without your phone (and when typing with one hand).
NOTE: you may notice the screen of the watch is cracked. It happened this morning (Monday 9/14) right before I needed to take a few final pictures for this post. Jennie went into the living room, took the watch off the charger and carried it into the kitchen and dropped it when she was attempting to hand it to me. It cracked and the corner and bottom shattered a bit. I was pretty upset. I question the durability considering it fell less than 24 inches. I have a request in with Timex to hopefully get it fixed (because I really do love it and want to continue to use it)! I will report back after I hear back from them. Moving on.
Contacts: You can add contacts for messaging purposes as well as using the SOS and live tracking features. Live tracking seems cool for a race and the SOS feature seems great if the person is there to receive it). Anyway, you can add contacts online through the portal or on the watch. As I said above, typing on the watch isn’t the easiest so I would suggest doing it online. Note: You have to give permission for live tracking so choose wisely.
In full disclosure, the watch has other features that I didn’t try out including bluetooth connectivity to a heart rate monitor and a foot pod for counting steps and an alarm clock. I also haven’t tried it during any inclement weather (but not to worry, it can get wet).
I’ll conclude by saying that I really like the watch (and hope to get it fixed). I am excited to continue to use it (even when I slow down to a waddle) and to really dive into the functionality and the data when the time comes to train for another race! It retails for $199 (adding HR monitor increases the price). I think that is rather reasonable considering the features and the connectivity options (it comes loaded with 1 year of data through AT&T, after the first year it is $40/yr).
Thanks for reading, I hope the review helps.
Now the reason why you are all here: the giveaway. If you want to try the Timex Ironman ONE GPS+ for yourself, please enter below 🙂 The giveaway is open to residents of the United States only. The giveaway will end at midnight, Thursday, September 17. I will contact the winner by email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond. If I don’t hear back, another participant will be selected.
One Timex Ironman One GPS+ unit
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Timex.