Several years ago, I attempted to work through one of those couch-to-5K programs using my iPhone. It was a paid app that tracked my progress and provided me coaching along the way. It was a unique way to try and complete a 5K, which I had never done, along with being more active, which was a goal of mine at the time. The only problem with it was that I always had to have my phone with me. And sometimes, it’s just too much to carry around. Fast forward to today and everywhere you turn there seem to be micro-mobile devices in the form of smartwatches. I myself have an Apple Watch. It contains mirrored version of apps that are available on my iPhone and it also tracks my movements among other things. As wonderful as it is, sometimes it is also just too much. Some people just want to be able to track their workouts without the frills. For that, I give you the Runtopia S1 Smart GPS Sport Watch.
Runtopia S1 Smart GPS Sport Watch is designed to be a personal trainer on your wrist. The watch looks very similar to other sport style watches that you might find at the watch counter in a department store. It’s rugged and provides you with a direct connection to the Runtopia app, which give you audio guidance in real-time. The concept is for the user to be able to focus on their run and not their phone. The watch uses dual-GPS (GPS+GLONASS star positioning) for accurate track running stats that go straight to the watch. Users can leave the phone at home and just run with the watch. The two will sync together once they are reunited.
In addition to the dual-GPS, the Runtopia S1 offers a 24-hour PPG photoelectric heart rate monitor. This is to, again, provide real-time monitoring. The Runtopia app will show various heart rate zones to ensure you have an effective, safe run. The watch has an impressive battery life (25 days on standby time with one full charge) and is semi-weatherproof. The S1 is designed to withstand various weather condition and has 3 ATM water resistance and is compatible with temperatures -10ºC to 50ºC. And, because it’s a smartwatch, the S1 gives you access to a compass, stopwatch, message notifications, call alert, sedentary reminder, alarm clock, step count, and daily calorie monitoring.
- Dimensions: 47mm
- Weight: 55g
- Wrist Size: 160mm — 245mm
- Color: Black
- Watch case material: Zinc Alloy
- Watch strap material: Rubber
- Phone compatibility: Android 4.4 or later, iOS 9.0 or later
- Connected app: Runtopia app
- Audio coaching: Yes
- Display: 128px x 128px
- Connectivity: Bluetooth BLE 5.0 and above
- GPS: GPS+GLONASS
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope,Heart rate sensor
- Battery type: Lithium battery
- Battery life: 25 days standby time, 8 hours using GPS
- Waterproof rating: ATM 3 (30 meters)
- Operating temperature: -10C to 50C (14F-122F)
- Customizable watch faces: Yes
- Touch display: Yes
- Color display: No
- Sport modes: Outdoor running and Indoor running (indoor walking, outdoor walking, cycling will be available in May 2019)
Even though I’ve had the use of a smartwatch several times in the past few years, I was really interested in checking out the Runtopia S1 because of its simplicity. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my Apple Watch, but there is just something elegant about the simple yet functional design of the S1. At first glance, it looks like a sport watch that you can purchase from any department store. It’s very similar to standard digital sports watches in style, but is also unique because of its connection to a smart phone.
One of the things that I like to use smartwatches for is the step counter. This is one area where the Runtopia falls a little short. I say a “little” because it does record steps, but doesn’t show them as a part of your workout progress. Part of the Runtopia app is centered around gaining digital currency that you can exchange for real items through the Runtopia shop. Steps you take throughout the day count towards that currency and helps you to gain more. So, within that part of the app, you can see your step progress. The information is there and it’s recorded, but I wish I could see it as a part of the app’s dashboard and the user’s daily progress.
There is a lot involved with the app and most of it revolves around runs. So, if you are looking for an all-purpose smartwatch, this may not be for you. The S1 does offer messaging notification and it’s pretty responsive, but the watch’s infrastructure isn’t built around it being a communication device. It’s meant to be a workout companion. It does work really nicely as an at-a-glance activity monitor. My step daughter wanted a simple watch to wear when she was a work, school, and doing things around the house. So, I let her wear the S1 to see how she liked it. I turned off the notification option so that the watch was really just giving her time and recording her step activity. On the watch face, you can see the time and steps just above that. She really liked how lightweight the watch is and that it’s easy to wear in any environment. She also really liked that it was not constantly reminding her of messages coming into her phone. So, it’s a really nice option for a smartwatch that doesn’t get in the way of your day, but it’s there when you want a workout buddy.
The Runtopia S1 Smart GPS Sport Watch is a great workout companion. Not only does it provide all the features that one could want from a smartwatch, but it also is just a really nice timepiece. Does it cover all the same bases as an Apple Watch? No, but it’s not supposed to. It is first and foremost a training tool. The fact that messaging and phone alert notifications come to this specific watch are icing on the cake in my opinion. This watch stands on its own and makes it possible for people to workout without the pomp and circumstance that you get with more advanced smartwatches. If you are looking for a strong smartwatch that is designed as a running partner, give the Runtopia S1 a try.
Originally published at macsources.com on April 10, 2019.