Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)
New Balance and Intel have teamed up to release one of the first new Android Wear watches of the year.
The RunIQ fitness watch is a runner’s companion that features built-in support for Strava, as well as New Balance’s own running app.
Since it has every necessary sensor you’d need to track a workout, it’s also competing with the most equipped smartwatches on the market, including the Apple Watch Series 2, the LG Watch Sport, and even the Garmin Fenix 3 HR.
Stuffed with a GPS, optical heart-rate monitor, and more, the $299 RunIQ wants to be the smartwatch that runners choose to wear both on the trail and at the office.
But just because it was developed by one of the biggest athletic apparel companies in the country doesn’t mean it’s the most valuable tool a runner could have.
Look and feel
What Nike did with its model of the Apple Watch Series 2, New Balance did with the RunIQ Android Wear fitness watch.
It’s an all-black mammoth of a tracker with a 1.39-inch, 400×400-pixel, AMOLED display embedded in a thick, matte black case. On the crown are three physical buttons, up- and down-select buttons, and a larger, middle home button that’s branded with a tiny New Balance logo.
The top button opens the default running app, which is Strava on this device; the middle button acts like most similar buttons do on Android Wear by bringing up the app drawer; and the bottom button acts as a one-touch lap counter while you’re recording a run.
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