The fitness company has partnered with Intel, Google, and Strava to bring its very first Android Wear watch to the market, fully equipped with all the fitness capabilities you’d expect.
Called the RunIQ, New Balance’s first ever Android Wear wearable is a good balance (no pun intended) between a fitness tracker and your regular Android Wear watch. In terms of design, you have a circular 1.39-inch AMOLED screen with a traditional watch look. If you’re not a fan of Fitbit’s usual design language, this might be of more interest for you.
Inside we have 4GB of internal storage coupled with 512MB of RAM – nothing new here. As it is for the health-conscious among us, it does have an optical heart rate sensor as well as GPS capabilities for hiking and mapping your run. And for the aquatically-inclined, you’d be glad to hear that the watch is waterproof up to 5 ATM. Although it’s not clear yet which version of Android Wear the RunIQ runs on, given its scheduled release date of February 1st, I doubt it’ll ship with Android Wear 2.0.
And for the aquatically-inclined, you’d be glad to hear that the watch is waterproof up to 5 ATM.
New Balance claims that with GPS on, the watch will give you around five hours of use, but without it, it’ll be up to 24 hours. That’s still not really good enough considering you’d be replacing your traditional watch with the RunIQ. When there are smartwatches that last up to three days or more, RunIQ’s battery life might be a serious drawback for some.
The company is, however, betting heavily on athletes: New Balance teamed up with Jabra for the ParcelQ sports earbuds, which will be sold as a companion item to the RunIQ. As you might have guessed, the ParcelQ earbuds are Bluetooth headphones that have what’s called a “Sports Button” for receiving direct exercise feedback from your watch.
RunIQ pre-orders start on January 4th for $299.99, and its companion earbuds will set you back $109.99. They are both scheduled to ship on February 1st.
Are you interested in New Balance’s fitness watch? What features do you look for in a smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below!