What It Is: Some of the earlier iterations of GPS running watches — a category that really is barely a decade old — were groundbreaking but, in hindsight, unusable. They were so heavy, uncomfortable, and expensive, they weren’t really for anyone. Furthermore, they never seemed to find the satellite link when you wanted it. The GPS running watch has come a long, long way — in size, price, and functionality. The Timex Ironman One GPS+ is the perfect example, a top-of-the-line GPS fitness watch with all the bells and whistles from one of the biggest names in watches.
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Why We Like It: First of all, it’s easy to use: Press the run button, wait for the GPS signal (in our runs in Central Park, this never took more than 30 seconds), and hit Go. With its initial settings, which we barely felt the need to tweak, the watch buzzes once every mile, giving you a quick glimpse of your average pace for the last mile and overall run. The watch also offers features we only used once: heart rate monitoring by means of a standard chest strap, email messaging for the tech nuts, and a handy tracking ability (if it’s powered on, you’ll never lose it).
Once your run is over, you hit Stop and Save, and it will flash an animation and feedback across the screen. Pretty much no matter what you do, you get a “Great Workout” (even if you stop a 30 second spring sprint). But it also tracks and congratulates you when you run your fastest mile, longest run, and highest elevation gain. The best part comes after the run: Timex saves your runs by uploading them over an AT&T cell service (free for one year). This means you only have to plug the watch into the computer once to connect it to your Strava or Runkeeper account. After this, all runs are set to save straight to your service, and you only need to connect it to a power source to charge it (we found you can get at least five 7-mile runs if you power it off afterwards).
Nitpick: This watch is still relatively big, at least if you compare it to Timex’s ubiquitous Ironman watches, a favorite for digital minimalists. Because of this, it isn’t something that you would choose to wear every day like, perhaps, the stylish Apple Watch (which gets GPS abilities by tethering to a nearby phone). But as a run accessory, you won’t want to go without. It checks all the boxes.