A fitness smartwatch for runners? Balance’s RunIQ is worth considering

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Android Wearables are reaching far ends of the smart wearable spectrum. Another player to join the club is New Balance, with their new RunIQ fitness smartwatch.

The watch is set to compete with the likes of the premium Apple Nike+, known for its design and its snazzy software. The RunIQ will feature its own version of Android Wear and will feature Intel technology. Like other similar smartwatches, it’ll also feature a heart-rate monitor and a GPS tracker. It’ll be waterproof for up to 50 metres.

The watch also has a battery life of 24 hours, which will be cut short to just five hours in case the GPS and heart monitoring is turned on. Internally, the smartwatch will come with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage for storing some inspiring, motivational songs for those marathon runs. Showing all the data to the viewer will be courtesy of the 1.4-inch AMOLED screen. It is Bluetooth capable, so users can wirelessly listen to Google Play Music on the go.

It’s not just another smartwatch by a sports company. In a report by Wearable, New Balance really takes the cake here when it comes to the software. There are specialized custom Balance-themed faces and a special Strava app, made just for jumping to a marathon or a cycling session. It’s very well optimized for viewing on a small screen and shows data like the number of laps, the heart rate zones as well as the distances that the users have crossed. There’s a special auto-pause mode for tracking the data more accurately – a pretty unique feature that most smartwatches really don’t have. The thought here on this watch is pretty innovative.

One of the most notable features of the smartwatch is how its design feels. It’s extremely understated and the watch comes only in dark colours, so it doesn’t necessarily stand out, but looks very sophisticated nevertheless. It’ll be rolling out from February 1 and will be available for the price of $300. It’s not cheap, but the way this product is made, price and worth will mean two different things.

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