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Hands-on with Timex’s new Move x20, Run x20 GPS, and Run x50+ fitness units

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Earlier today I covered Timex’s just announced flagship running watch – the Timex One GPS+, which contains everything from music storage to 3G connectivity and live tracking.

However, that wasn’t the only unit Timex announced today.  They also released three additional units, all of which are less than half the price of the One GPS+ unit.

They range from an activity tracker that counts steps and sleep, to a sub-$100 GPS watch, to a smartwatch that doubles as a running watch and integrates with popular apps like Strava.

Here’s the full rundown all three.  Like the One GPS+, I’ll do full in-depth reviews sometime this fall as the different units reach full public availability.

Timex Run x50+ Overview:

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First up we’ve got the Run x50+.  This unit is a phone dependent smart watch that integrates with running apps on your iOS and Android phones via Bluetooth to display metrics such as pace and distance.  These metrics utilize your phone’s GPS unit to determine the pace, distance and location.  This concept isn’t new, and is very similar to that brought forward by Magellan within the Echo and Echo Fit units.

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In fact, the x50+ leverages the same Wahoo Fitness API platform as Magellan does with the Echo, albeit with some minor device display enumeration differences that may require app vendors to slightly tweak the display formatting in order to properly display information pages on the x50+.

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The x50+ differs from a traditional GPS watch in that the GPS isn’t contained within the watch itself but rather dependent on your phone’s GPS.  This means that in order to use the unit in a distance/pace tracking manner you’ll need to have your phone nearby.  Without a phone it’ll display time and date, but can’t be used for workouts showing distance (though it can for just basic timer functions).

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The phone integration drives through to other areas though as well.  For example it can display notifications from your iOS/Android device, such as those from text messages and calls, but also anything else using the notification center like e-mail, Facebook…or your Uber taxi arriving to pick you up mid-run.

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Like the vast majority of Timex watch products, the unit is fully waterproofed to 50m as well – so there’s no problem with swimming with it.  Though, keep in mind that unless you’re swimming with your phone, it won’t really be of much use there from a swim metric standpoint.  Though it could be used in the timer/interval mode described next.

The x50+ does come with a workout timer and interval timer mode, which can be used without the phone. This data is saved and then uploaded to the Timex app, which can be the further uploaded to 3rd party apps like Strava (of course, without GPS data since it would have been unavailable at time of recording). Additionally, the unit can be set into an airplane mode which enables it to operate without the phone for basic time-based tasks.

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Data from usage with GPS connected via your phone gets sent up to apps like Wahoo Fitness, which in turn can upload the data to numerous sites such as Strava, MapMyRun, RunKeeper, and many more.  These apps also can define how the different display pages show up.  So the number of metrics and how they appear will vary from app to app.

The x50+ will be available in late October for $199US (or $249 with a Bluetooth Smart HR strap).  It comes in two colors – a black/lime and black/red variant.

While the functionality is strong, I think the current planned price might be a bit challenging, due to competitor Magellan Echo having similar features at $129US (starting next week) and with full notification center support by November.  Further, at $149US there’s the Magellan Echo Fit, which has all that plus daily activity tracking – which the x50+ lacks.

Timex Run x20 GPS Overview:

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Next up we have Timex’s updated budget GPS watch, the Run x20 GPS.  This ultimately replaces the Timex Marathon GPS watch, which is their sub-$100 unit.  The sub-$100 GPS marketplace has exploded over the past 1-2 years, with many similar units (or identical as is often the case).

The x20 is updated in that has a greatly simplified menu system and also adds in some clear workout modes – including interval support.

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It also adds in alert functionality, such as pace alerts.

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Further, the display fields are much improved and far easier to read than previous units.

The previous confusing user interface system was one of my (and many others) chief complaints when it came to the older Marathon GPS unit.  However, this new system is far easier to understand and navigate – very much following the simplified flow of something like a Garmin FR10 or FR15.  It’s has a high ‘just works’ factor.

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Just to be clear, unlike the Run x50+ unit, this does indeed include GPS internally.  However, it lacks any of the connected features such as phone integration.  Or for that matter, any data uploading at all (USB or otherwise).  It’s an island unto itself.  So there’s no method to get data off the watch to an online training log (other than manually writing down your totals).

But for many people, that’s perfectly fine.  Though, I do think that from a competitive standpoint, given the more advanced feature set (including intervals and pacing alerts) that Timex could probably make an interesting play against the $129US priced Garmin FR10, by undercutting it and adding basic Bluetooth Smart transfer support to the upcoming Timex app.  While that would have a bill of materials increase (which I suspect would be almost nothing), it would make it extremely appealing in terms of being able to cheaply record runs and upload them to any 3rd party site I’d want to.

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Finally, note that it is not compatible with a heart rate strap.

The Run x20 GPS will be available in late September at a price of $99US.  It comes in four colors: Lime green, charcoal (black), teal, and magenta.

Move x20 Activity Monitor Overview:

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Last but not least we have Timex’s first activity tracker – the Move x20.  This unit is a combination of activity tracker and minimalized smart watch.

To start, on the activity tracker side it’ll track distance, steps and calories:

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You can also begin a workout (such as a run), which will delineate out those activities from regular steps once connected to the app later on:

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Here’s the upcoming app (available on both iOS and Android).  You can see the current step total at this point in the morning (2,189 steps), along with the distance (.95 miles).

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You’ll also notice sleep information as well.  The unit tracks sleep, which is manually toggled on/off on the band itself.  While I normally prefer for units to automatically determine sleep – the enabling/disable of the sleep in this case was much cleaner and more clear than some units.  Meaning, there was little ambiguity that you were in sleep mode versus non-sleep mode.  Beyond sleep time, it’ll also give you a sleep quality number which leverages the accelerometer in the unit itself to determine sleep quality.

The Move x20 contains a few additional phone-connected features that differentiate it from many other activity trackers.  First, it pulls weather from the phone based on the phone’s current GPS location.  This is then relayed and displayed on the unit.

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Second, the unit can be used to find your phone.  So as long as the phone is in range of Bluetooth, it’ll trigger an audible notification/alert on the phone – thus allowing you to play hot and cold with where your phone is under the couch cushions.

Lastly, it also will display caller ID information about the incoming caller as well as incoming text messages.  Both of these functions seem to be on the fringe of becoming mainstream on various activity trackers – such as was planned for the now defunct/recalled FitBit Force.

Now to some, this unit may seem familiar…mostly because it is.  It’s virtually identical to that of the Soleus GO Activity Tracker (at the same price).  This is somewhat common for Timex, who also followed a similar pattern of leveraging an another vendor to supply the hardware for the previous Timex Marathon GPS (which was indistinguishable from certain Soleus running GPS watches, and also the same watch used by New Balance and others).

For Timex, the differentiation may come though in the form of not only the app – but potential site partnerships.  Meaning, Timex has stated they are talking to major app/platform companies (such as those in the realm of MyFitnessPal), which could enable data upload of metrics like calories/steps/etc… – ultimately offering a key advantage in the rather crowded activity tracker landscape.

Finally – the Move x20 will be available in late September in four colors/sizes (Lime, Smaller Black, Smaller Violet, and regular/large black).  The price point is $129US.

With that – thanks for reading!  I’ll be planning in-depth reviews of all products as they become available.  Likely the Move x20 and Run x20 GPS first, since I have the Move x20 already, and then soon the Run x20 and ultimately the Run x50+ and One GPS+.

Update: Clever Training now has all three units (well, four if you count the Timex One GPS+) available for pre-order.  I’ve just recently added all four products into the product comparison database as well.  And here’s all the pre-order links that help support the site.

Timex Ironman Move x20
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS
Timex Ironman Run x50
Timex Ironman One GPS+

As usual, note that Clever Training is typically conservative in their estimations of product arrivals (read: realistic) – mostly because most watch companies are overly optimistic in their product release estimates.  So it sorta balances out.

Feel free to drop any questions below though in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

38 Comments

  1. San

    I still have my old forerunner 610 bought over three years ago (when it came out) and it still works very well and I am still trying to find a use case to change. I have a pebble too and I find it useless

    Reply
    • hollyoak replied

      Same here...I think the FR610 remains the BoB (Best of Breed) running watch at this point. If Garmin hadn't removed its basic navigation features as well as on watch workout editing from the FR620 that one could have taken over.

      Reply
    • Raymond_B replied

      I agree 100% with you guys. I can find no reason to swap out my 610. It works and it works well...

      Reply
    • Mr Nofish replied

      Three year is only old if you drink the year model kool-aid (that seems to have worked out very well for some brands) OR when technology moves forward at breakneck paces.

      Reply
  2. Gingerneil

    I find the lack of connectivity on the x20 astonishing. Surely if someone is buying a watch that can do interval workouts, that person will want to view their data off-watch?? Or am I thinking as a techie minded runner? Anyone with less technical expectations probably won't bother with a gps watch and would just strap their phone to their arm!?

    Reply
    • cj replied

      In terms of the Run x20 (which I think you are referring to), I think there are many casual runners out there who do not really worry about viewing/analysing their data or understand how to interpret it. (I am still struggling to read and understand my data in order to improve my running.) So a x20 makes a lot of sense for this category of runner who either wants to migrate from a smartphone app or just want a simple GPS running watch.
      But, I still think there is a disconnect between the Run x20 and Run x50. Wouldn't it make more sense to merge the two and get more of a complete product?

      Reply
    • Aaron replied

      I think also there is a HUUUGE market here as gifts, right? I imagine a lot of spouses purchasing this, as well as the "I don't know much about my son-in-law but I know he does that running thing".

      Or maybe I'm just projecting. LOL.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'd agree with CJ. While I think many regular readers of this blog are more interested in connected data scenarios, I find there's still an incredible number of people interested in cheaper sub-$100 watches that don't care about the number after the run (in terms of being uploaded). This is even more true in countries outside the US where either cell data plans are more expensive, or other GPS devices are far more expensive.

      Reply
    • OJ replied

      You're pretty right about this. I left my browser screen open on the pink watch and my wife happened to see and said to me: "You wouldn't be happen to be looking for a surprise birthday gift for me? ;)"

      Reply
    • Steve Fletcher replied

      Wish I'd have known before purchasing this pile of crap, whats the point of having all the information if you can't upload it on to your pc.... selling on ebay, anyone want it?

      Reply
  3. Eric Hanneken

    It sounds like the Run x50+ is the running edition of Wahoo's RFLKT, plus a timer. That's interesting, but I bought my GPS watch so I wouldn't have to carry my smartphone with me when I run. The x50+ solves the "I can't see my phone's display easily when it's strapped to my arm" problem, but it exacerbates the bulk issue.

    Reply
  4. JohnO

    Does the x50+ have any of the accelerometers and sensors needed for activity tracking? So they could possibly add the function in future software updates? I think they missed the mark by not having this feature.

    Also, can you start the timer then start an app function? Say if you were doing a swim/bike workout. Could you start the timer go for a swim (without your phone) then go straight to the bike where your phone would be with the app open and start the app on the watch?

    Reply
  5. morey000

    What? They don't have rolling pins in Salt Lake? :) just kidding. Of all the new Timex products- I'd say that the Move X20 might be their best one. Looks like it has a great interface/ iPhone app, and sorta steps above the competition a little. The site doesn't indicate if it's waterproof or what the battery life is. Throw a Mio in there, and you've got it all for the average active person.

    Reply
  6. sedentary

    Well, at least these are somewhat presentable in the looks department, quite unlike the alpha/proof of concept look to the One GPS+

    Reply
  7. firsthuman

    I wonder why the x50+ is only compared to the Magellan Echo and not to the Casio STB-1000 smartwatch. I use the Casio regularly and according to my opinion, it covers all their features plus additional (standard Casio) watch and stopwatch features. Not to mention that you can get it for a fraction of the price of the other two watches (~70$/~80€).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Casio STB-1000 is indeed cool, but it's a bit more limiting in terms of how apps can use it because of the display aspects.

      Reply
    • firsthuman replied

      I see. I also think that the display options are slightly too limited, although totally sufficient for my needs. (It has only 3 fields for data, 2 fields are limited to numbers, one can be text. But you can create a lot of these pages and cycle through them. I use it with the Runmeter App, btw.)
      You can also get notifications (emails, SMS, calls, ...), but you can not read any of these messages, etc.

      Reply
  8. Alex G

    I am super excited about this move. I cannot wait to see a multi sport option. As of now, I am using the Polar V800. Its a cool watch but feel its still missing features. Its like they packaged a $200 watch and inflated the cost to $500. I am an employee of Att and am excited about the partnership with Timex in the Fitness segment. thanks for reviewing the product. AS usual, you come through with great reviews. Continue the great work.

    Reply
  9. Long Run Nick

    First Ray, thanks for all you do. Question re: Move X20 Activity Monitor, is the display always on(like the Vivofit) or must one push a button to check out info. If button push, how long will the display stay on? Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The display did turn off after a few seconds of non-use. Though, I don't know offhand if that's a setting. I have a fully boxed version that I'll poke at in more detail once I get back home this weekend and can do unboxing shots/etc... (my hotel room would currently result in some sketchy unboxing shots).

      Reply
  10. garmin Robby

    I love all these new entries into the market...just going to push garmin to crush everyone...,come on Garmin you make the best stuff crush these guys and provide us stuff that really works!

    Reply
  11. Nick

    I like the idea of a watch that just tells me how far I've run and how fast, that doesn't need to be tethered to a smartphone, and can do a decent job as an everyday watch too. I've been looking at the Garmin FR10 for a while, but it looks like the Run x20 can fill that niche just as well, for $30 less. My only questions now are whether it has the ability to set an alarm, and whether it's in the range of the 5 weeks on standby that the FR10 has. I'll certainly be paying attention over the next couple months.

    Reply
    • Steve Fletcher replied

      DON'T BUY THE X20!!! you'll totally p'ed off in that you can't upload your runs to strava, training peaks as this pile of crap DOES NOT connect to any pc/mac/phone etc... DON'T BUY IT you have been warned

      Reply
    • DC Rainmaker replied

      I stated that pretty clearly in the post, along with why I thought it was a mistake.

      Reply
  12. Anna

    The move x20 looks really cool. I've been looking for an activity tracker for a while. When you review it could you explain a bit more what the advantage over the soleus go is? I saw the soleus go is on sale at Amazon for $86 right now and was wondering if the move x20 is worth the higher price and wait. Thanks for your awesome blog!

    Reply
    • Josh replied

      It is identical. Soleus and Timex must use the same factory.

      Reply
  13. Mr Nofish

    I still can't understand why someone would want a remote for their smartphone, when you can basically have a self-sufficient device for about the same sum and a lot less headaches.

    I do realize though, that only a minority believes a smartphone operated everything isn't such a good idea, unless you can get top of the line smartphones for $10 a piece at every street corner so that you can instantly and thoughtlessly replace your central point of failure, the moment it fails.

    Because it will, and then you'll be locked out of the door, unable to take your car or bike, call anyone or buy anything. And that's when retrogrouches will have their final laugh.

    Reply
  14. Hi All-

    Just as a heads up I've gone ahead and added all four new Timex products (Run x50, Run 20 GPS, Move x20, and One GPS+) into the product comparison tool/database last night, which can be found here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Further, Clever Training has opened pre-orders for all four products as well. The links which support the site can be found at the end of the post here:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Thanks for the support!
    -Ray

    Reply
  15. Manfred

    Timex X 50 - reminds me to smartcapabilities of a Nokia from last decade.
    This product is too late for todays market. It isn't smart.

    Reply
  16. Aaron

    If it's true it's a bummer that the timex run x20 only gives pace alerts at the completion of the mile and not pace alerts while running. Is that accurate or am I missing something? Thx.

    Reply
  17. Do you know if Soleus data cable will work with x20 GPS, as for Timex Marathon GPS?

    Reply
  18. Runman

    May be a dumb question but will the distance still track via GPS if the Run x20 is strapped to a bike handlebar?

    Reply
  19. garrett

    review isn't completely accurate. you have to have the APP open to use find my phone. Kind of silly as if you are working out you'll know where the phone is. It's when you are NOT using it that you need to find it. Timex didn't get this right - it won't find your phone unless the app is running on the phone. Garmin and Samsung got this right. Timex has the best display (except Samsung but that's a closed device - Samsung to Samsung only) - but who cares if the feature doesn't work.

    Reply
    • DC Rainmaker replied

      Umm, it wasn't a review. It was a first hands-on look at the functionality. Not a deep-dive into every single last feature and testing of it.

      Reply
  20. Brooks

    What is the deal with the delays? I've been waiting to hit buy on this and then I noticed today that the pre-order pages says it won't be available til Spring??? It was saying November.

    Reply
  21. Connie

    Hey I do high interval training. Like BodyRockTV. need one of these bands that will track my calories burned in a workout that consists of burpees and skipping and weights.. Which one will do this

    Reply
  22. Sandra

    I'm looking at the Move X20 Activity and, I know, I'm a dinosaur, but will it work without a Smartphone? I have a very old cell phone and have no interest in buying a new one so an activity monitor will tell me how many calories I've burned and how many steps I've taken.

    Reply

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