The Timex Group has announced its entry into the smartwatch market with a fitness-oriented model that has its own mobile network connection.
Smartwatches have relied on links to smartphones for connectivity, but the untethered Ironman One GPS+ allows users to leave their phones at home while enjoying online access on the go.
The model is being marketed at running enthusiasts, but it’s also a music and messaging device. It comes with a year of mobile data connectivity with AT&T in the U.S.
That could sway fitness buffs who want connectivity and the ability to upload workout data to services such as Strava or RunKeeper without the extra weight of a smartphone.
The SmartWatch features include a 1.5-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 288 by 192 pixels that automatically becomes brighter in direct sunlight. There’s also a GPS activity tracker for sports such as jogging, 4 GB of storage for up to 1,000 songs and a built-in messaging app with an SOS function that can send a preset message to predefined contacts in an emergency.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will keep the watch running on standby for 72 hours, run GPS and cellular service for eight hours, or GPS, cellular and the music player for just four hours.
The watch is 50 millimeters wide and 15.7mm thick, weighs 71 grams, and is water-resistant to 50 meters.
Timex is offering the GPS One+ for US$399, or $450 including a Bluetooth heart rate monitor. The watch is set for release in the U.S. market in November.
For both the variants of the Ironman One GPS+, users don’t require a smartphone to upload their workout data from the smartwatch, instead it connects to a number of online services synced to it. With its Find Me mode, users can alert their friends in case of emergencies, and they can be tracked via the smartwatch’s GPS. Timex is also touting the SOS mode for safety.
The Ironman One GPS+ comes with very few built-in apps and the company at present is opening up the ecosystem for developers to make new apps for the smartwatch – a big reason for Timex to have gone the Android Wear way instead. The smartwatch will be available in two colours – Black and Green.
The smartwatch is available for pre-orderÃ‚Â but Timex will only deliver it by this fall.