Watch of the Week: The Timex Ironman R300 GPS Gets Smart and Stays Affordable

Timex Ironman R300 GPS
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Back in 1986, Timex released the first Ironman sport watch, a tough digital timepiece designed for athletes competing in the grueling Ironman series of races. The watch has gone through many different iterations since then, but now it has the brains to match its brawn. Timex has released the Ironman R300 GPS, which combines the watch’s trademark toughness with a deep suite of activity tracking and connected features, all at a bargain bin price point.

“With the R300, we will deliver the best value GPS smartwatch in the market,” said Shawn Cummings, Timex Group’s SVP of Advanced Technology, in a press release.

The first batch of these sporty watches has already sold out, so it looks like the company succeeded with that goal.

Timex Ironman R300 GPS
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When you do get your hands on one, however, you’re in for a treat. The new Ironman is built to compete against other top-tier activity trackers, and offers a long list of features that any athlete will appreciate. There’s continuous optical heart rate monitoring, step, calorie, and distance tracking, and sleep monitoring—all viewable in the Timex Smart App. Today’s smartwatches are also beefing up their training content, and the Ironman doesn’t slouch there, either. If you’re looking for a little guidance, you can download workouts and training plans for running, cycling, and triathlons in the watch’s companion app. The watch also features standalone GPS, so you don’t have to bring your phone along in order to track distance and pace.

“I love the GPS function that lets you stash your phone at home,” says Men’s Journal Senior Editor Sal Vaglica. “That makes it easy to travel light on long trail runs.”

But if you do pair it with your phone (via a Bluetooth connection), you can receive calls, notifications, and texts right on your wrist. That’s nothing particularly groundbreaking; Apple and Samsung have offered these features for years. It’s also not quite as feature-rich as similar watches from Garmin or Polar, but the R300 wins big on price, and its focused tracking metrics should be plenty for most casual athletes.

timex ironman r300 gps
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Even with the high-tech specs, the new Ironman hasn’t lost its legendary toughness. It’s water resistant to 50 meters and has 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode. Switch off the GPS, and you’ll get incredible endurance: up to 25 days of battery. Whether you’re training for a killer adventure race or just need a way to track your miles around the neighborhood, the new Ironman definitely has you covered.

[$120; timex.com]

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