New Balance is now launching the RunIQ, an Android Wear smartwatch targeted at fitness buffs.
Introduced at CES 2016, the wearable already had some attention from consumers before it became a ready product at CES 2017, with the appeal mainly hinging on the tagline "made by runners for runners."
RunIQ Specs And Details: What's Under The Circular Hood
New Balance crafted the RunIQ in collaboration with Google, Intel, and Strava, and that combination alone probably gives a good idea about what it can bring to the table.
Packing almost everything that a runner needs, it sports a built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and interval functionality. More than that, it has pace, distance, and course tracking to boot.
Also, it features a water-resistant body, an Intel Atom Z34XX processor, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing it to function like an ordinary smartwatch. In line with that direction is the design, making it fit right in with day-to-day life and not only while exercising.
The RunIQ has three physical buttons too. The first one opens up the RunIQ app, the second serves as the home button, and the third controls music or laps.
Out of the box, it runs on Android Wear 1.5, but it's probably safe to assume that it'll get upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 not long after since Google does have a hand in it.
Battery life is A-OK at 410 mAh, lasting 24 hours with typical use or 5 hours with GPS turned on all the way. Nothing impressive, but hey, it does a good job keeping up with the standard.
Price And Availability: How Much The RunIQ Costs And Where To Buy It
The RunIQ retails for $299, and it's available via Amazon and the official New Balance website. However, at the time of this writing, it's not available via the online retailer, so it would be best to go straight to the manufacturer's page for now.
The Competition: Is RunIQ The Answer To Apple's Watch Nike+?
Based on what the RunIQ has in store, it's arguably the Android rival of the Apple Watch Nike+, and the two are pretty similar to each other, including in terms of pricing too.
To compare, the RunIQ is $70 or $100 more affordable than Apple's wearable, which is set at $369 for the 38mm model or $399 for the 42mm one.
It's also compatible with many more phones too, including the iPhone, while the Apple Watch is limited to the Cupertino brand's handsets. But where the Watch Nike+ lacks in compatibility, it makes up for in fashion options. The RunIQ is only available in one dark color.
However, considering that the Apple Watch's community is restricted to those who own one of the models in its lineup, those who want to meet their fitness goals along with more people are better off with the RunIQ because it fully supports Strava.
With all said and done, will you be picking up New Balance's RunIQ? If so, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.