The consumer technology market offers a variety of fitness trackers and smartwatches in various price-points, however almost all of them and especially the smartwatches are marred by one major problem, i.e. the poor battery backup.
At best, these so called smartwatches can last for a maximum of two and half or three days, while the fitness bands can live up to a week or bit more on a single charge.
This is something Timex wants to change with its hybrid wrist watches. The traditional watchmaker has introduced Timex IQ+ Move, the successor to the Metropolitan + hybrid watch, which was launched in 2016 at Rs. 9,995.
The new analog hybrid wrist watch is also priced at Rs. 9,995, comes in men's and women's sizes and focus on fitness tracking without asking for continues charging sessions.
Here's what I have to say after using the watch for over a week.
Design: A blend of traditional watch making and modern technology
Much like the Metropolitan+, the new IQ+ Move has a conventional watch deign and it's hard to pin point that it also has an activity tracker inside. Comparing it to its predecessor, the 41mm dial on the IQ+ Move is much cleaner and offers a minimal interface. And while it has the dial of a traditional time piece, you can also view stats on the watch dial.
One glance at the watch's sub dial will offer the percentage of goal accomplished during the day. The sub dial offers the flexibility to choose what you want to see; the steps or the distance progress throughout the day.
Timex IQ+ comes in two styles- one variant has a Silver tone case, White dial with Gold tone accents and Brown leather strap, while the other, which I got as the review unit comes with a Gray silicone Strap and a Gray finish Case, Black dial with Blue accents.
You can swap out the strap via a quick-release system if you want a rubberized one to take into water or when out for a run. Both the variants also feature company's signature INDIGLO night-light.
Timex has also taken care of durability and the watches are water resistant by up to 50-metres. Another aspect of the design, which I believe is the highlight feature of Timex hybrid watches is the fact they are powered by a common coin battery, which can last for over a year and can be easily replaced.
One needn't go through the hassles of charging which is a pain in other smartwatches. The watch is fairly light on wrist and feels comfortable to wear.
Overall, I liked the design of the IQ+ Move. It will appeal users who prefer the basic analog design and also needs a touch of modern technology.
Connectivity and application: Easy to set up
Like most of the smartwatches, Timex IQ+ Move can connect to your smartphone with a bundled application. The phone app stores all your data that you can access and analyze at any time.
You need to install the Timex Connected app from App store for iOS devices and Google Play store if you have an Android phone. Select the watch model and add your personal information such as weight, height, sleeping pattern in the app to get started.
To connect your watch, press and hold the crown button for about 5 seconds until you hear a three tone melody and the watch hands move together. The overall process is fairly simple and does not take much time. You can set the activity tracker's sensitivity to low, medium and high. You can also set the distance unit and set goals to keep up the physical activity.
The IQ+ syncs your activity data with the app installed in your phone; however you have to enable the auto sync process from the app's settings and select the time for sync process. You can also do it manually by holding down the dial for three seconds until you hear a triple beep.
Post sync process, the app displays the data such as steps covered, calories burnt and distance covered. The auto sync should be scheduled to the time you hit the bed unless you have to manually sync it before you call it a day.
Performance: Offers important insights without asking for continues battery recharge cycles
Like its predecessor, Timex IQ+ Move is not the smartest watch in its price-bracket; however it ticks some right boxes when it comes down to practicality and fitness tracking.
The watch effectively tracks number of steps, sleep pattern, calories burnt and the number of kilometers/miles you've walked. And it does that without losing on battery power. However, there's no heart rate sensor, GPS or any other advanced sensor.
Moreover, the watch is incapable of displaying notifications on your watch such as missed call alerts, incoming calls, messages, etc., which has become a common feature even in sub Rs. 2,000 fitness bands. Thankfully you can set alarms and countdown timers through the Timex connected app. The watch gently vibrates on your wrist to wake you up for the day.
I liked the simple analog design which does not feel heavy on wrist and also offers the required durability you need in everyday usage. The app is quite easy to use and provides all the required information on your smartphone screen.
Yes, you need to manually sync the watch with the phone app to see your physical activity; however but that's not a very big problem and takes just 5 to 8 seconds of your time.
Timex IQ+ Move is for users who don't want a microcomputer strapped on their wrist to get basic information about their physical activity. The watchmaker has embedded the modern technology into the analog timepiece without ditching the good old features i.e. a simple design with long life power source.
You can wear Timex IQ+ Move in an office meeting and can also sport it during a run to get important insights about your health and daily physical routine.
To simply put, it's an old school watch that might not be as smart as other wearables these days, but effectively does what it's been designed for.