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New Balance RunIQ Smartwatch Review

Quick Take

New Balance’s runner-oriented fitness tracker—the RunIQ—is an Android-based smartwatch specifically designed for runners as evidenced by built-in essentials such as GPS, interval tracking, and pace measurements. While there isn’t anything shockingly new here, the smartwatch does have a good range of features for anyone who loves to run, jog or hike. Although the smartwatch debuted at just under $300, you can now get it online for just $99.95. Learn more about the New Balance RunIQ smartwatch below.

Pros

Waterproof up to 5 ATM (50 metres)
Reduced Price from debut
Strava intergration

Cons

Inconsistent heart-rate readings in intense sessions
Battery life takes hit with GPS/ HR tracking
Slow loading screens

What To Know About the RunIQ Smartwatch

Created in collaboration with Android, Strava, and Intel, the RunIQ smartwatch aims to provide runners with a fully-integrated workout experience. These collaborations allow for more data sharing with other users, Google Now integration, and a much more customized workout. Track your course, pace and distance without a phone (with the built-in GPS), and monitor your time and intervals with the dedicated lap button. Other highlights for runners include heart-rate monitoring in real time and the ability to track a marathon. So, what else does the New Balance RunIQ smartwatch have to offer?

Other RunIQ Key Features and Specs:

  • Built-in GPS
  • Lap button
  • Real-time heart-rate monitoring
  • Interval tracking
  • Long battery life
  • Data syncing
  • Music via Google Play and a 4 GB music player
  • Smart notifications
  • Strava partnership

 

Design

The RunIQ looks like a typical smartwatch, with a round 1.39-inch AMOLED display that shows time and stats. That said it doesn’t look ‘over sporty’; its matte black casing and simple screen design can take you from the gym to the boardroom. Although it is relatively bulky. The face colors can be changed, as can the rubberized bands. As it’s waterproof up to 5 ATM, you can sweat, shower, and swim with it (but it won’t give you in-pool tracking stats).

Sensors & Components

The RunIQ features:

  •  Optical heart-rate monitor
  • GPS
  • 4 GB of memory

Functionality

One of the standout features of the RunIQ is the built-in GPS. It can help hikers and runners track pace, distance, and courses without having to carry their phone along with them. This means you can find new areas to run and get real-time feedback on how you’re doing without a phone. As the watch was built for runners, there is also an interval feature which allows you to monitor interval pacing and speed, so you can fine-tune your efforts as you go. If you’re runner, you may have already used Strava. The RunIQ syncs with Strava, allowing you to seamlessly share your workouts with the global community of Strava athletes. This is an appealing feature as it opens up a huge support network and access to unexplored areas.

 

You won’t need to worry about your watch running out of power on longer routines. When using GPS and heart-rate monitoring, you can get about 5 hours out of it. With these features off, you get about 24 hours, which isn’t as impressive as other models such as the Polar GPS running watch but it is good enough. You can also tune into your favorite workout playlists as you run. The RunIQ’s  built-in music player can be used with Bluetooth headphones. You can sync, store and listen to Google play playlists via your own Bluetooth headphones.

 

Verdict

Overall, the RunIQ is OK for a smartwatch and OK for a sports watch. Some people—such as those who love Strava—may love the selection of features it provides. It could be a best-of-both-worlds watch for those folks. Although it’s a watch that dips into both arenas (sport watch and smartwatch), the final product isn’t executed that well. We wouldn’t pay the full original retail price for the watch ($299.99). Frankly, there are just better, more up-to-date watches out there for this price. But for the $99.95 Amazon price, this watch is definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 70%

Specifications

Product Type

Smartwatches

Brand/Model Series

New Balance RunIQ Smartwatch

Overall Rating

70 %

Operating System

Android

Phone Control

Yes

Type Of Display

AMOLED screen

Screen Size

1.39"

Screen Resolution

400 x 400 resolution & 287 ppi

Accelerometer

Yes

Sleep Tracking

No

Steps Tracking

Yes

Calories Tracking

Yes

Downloadable Apps

Yes

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Heart Rate Monitor

Yes

Water Resistance Rating

Waterproof up to 5 ATM (50 metres)

Max Battery Life

24 hrs

What is included in the box?

Smartwatch, Charger with USB cable, 1 Interchangeable band

Warranty

No

GPS

Yes

On-board music storage

Yes

NFC Touchless Payment

No

View Full Specifications
 
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