Okay, I’m going to say what a lot of people are thinking: “smart” watches are pretty dumb. Sure, they may have a pretty face (or not so much) and a bunch of handy features. But like the Master of “Thunderdome” they are dependent on the much larger (and less convenient) Blaster of a smartphone in order to do much of anything useful. That’s not the case with the new Ironman One GPS+ watch from Timex that was announced today. When you head out for a run, you can leave your phone at home.
The big news is that the Ironman One GPS+ comes with a free year of cellular phone service from AT&T. The phone is not capable of making voice calls, but using the mobile data service, it can send and receive email messages. It also has a built-in GPS receiver, so you can even send an emergency message that includes a link to your current location. The GPS feature also lets you share your location with family and friends. Want to listen to music during your workout? The watch is also a stand-alone MP3 player with 4 GB of storage: no phone needed. And Bluetooth connectivity lets it receive data from a heart monitor or other device so that you can get more information about your workout. Oh, and it tracks your speed, distance, pace and all that other stuff that dumber fitness watches do.
The watch has a small color touchscreen display, using Mirasol technology from Qualcomm. This is a reflective display panel that is visible even in direct sunlight. The watch also has an Indiglo light to illuminate the display in low light settings. The watch is slated to ship this fall, and can be pre-ordered now at the Timex site for $399.95.