Sports footwear and apparel giant New Balance announced its first Android Wear watch earlier this year – the RunIQ. Starting today, customers can order one through Amazon, but it ships in 1-2 months.
The company has teamed up with a number of other big tech names to develop the gadget — namely Google for software, Intel for hardware and Strava for run monitoring.
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The rugged but smart looking fitness-focused device has been designed for consumers who live more active lifestyles. With built-in GPS for course tracking, you’ll be happy to know you can leave your phone at home. RunIQ will dish out information on pace and distance, while a heart rate monitor will keep track on your vitals in real time.
Otherwise, the watch has 4GB of onboard flash storage for your music, which you can stream wirelessly via Bluetooth. It can’t make calls, though it will display messages from your Android smartphone.
RunIQ sports a 1.39-inch active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) touchscreen display with a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels and a pixel density of 287 pixels per inch (ppi). Inside you will find an Intel Atom Z34XX CPU, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality
The battery runs up to 24 hours with typical use, and marathon distance running time of about 5 hours with GPS and heart rate monitoring switched on. For many people, that may be too short to seriously consider using the device as a traditional watch. RunIQ is also water resistant with a 5 ATM rating and it can be submerged down to 50 meters.
“This product is our first, but this is a jumping off point for us to do other things for the runners in the digital space,” said Jason Griesenauer, senior manager of New Balance’s digital sport division.
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