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No Phone Needed: GPS Watch Sends Texts

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Finally, you can completely ditch your phone when you train and still send and receive messages and listen to music. That’s the claim from Timex about the Ironman One GPS+ that will hit the market this fall.

The Timex Ironman One GPS+ is a smartwatch that has us drooling. Built in collaboration with AT&T and Qualcomm, this watch carries up to 4GB of music, sends and receives texts and has all the functions of many other GPS watches.

The ability of the wearer to send and receive messages from the watch directly through cell phone networks sets it apart from anything else on the market.

The fact that it also carries 4GB of music, is Bluetooth compatible and has several important training features could make this the watch to beat in 2015.

To use the messaging features, the Ironman One GPS+ requires a subscription through partner AT&T, which is included for one year in the purchase price. While data pricing has not yet been finalized, Timex notes it expects subsequent years to cost around $40/year for unlimited messages.

Those wishing to send messages to the watch are able to do so through a unique external email address. The wearer can respond with the watch’s instant messaging application. As such, email exchanges become “more like instant messaging than traditional long-form emails,” a Timex representative explained.

It can also send an SOS emergency message with embedded GPS data and enable live-tracking so others can find your location on their smartphone maps.

Beyond the ability to send and receive messages, the Timex Ironman One GPS+ offers many of the features found on GPS training watches — speed, distance, pace, and split times. It is compatible with fitness-tracking sites Strava, MapMyRun and Runkeeper.

We suspect using the small screen to message may be a little cumbersome, but the tradeoff for such a handy device will likely be worth the few extra seconds to send off a text.

It is compatible with Bluetooth heart-rate monitors (one can be added to the watch for $50) and it is water resistant to 50 meters.

Pairing Bluetooth headphones gives access to 4GB of music storage (about 950 songs), so it should keep runners entertained for a good long while.

At nearly $400, we’ll want to test the functionality of this phone/watch before making a verdict, but if all works as promised, we can’t wait to ditch the phone at home and still have a communication device on the run.

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