“Our two cents on Timex’s recently launched IQ+ fitness tracking watch”
A smartwatch is an amalgamation of two words – smart and watch. I know, it’s common sense, but there’s a method to my madness so bear with me. In order to add ‘smarts’ to a watch, manufacturers normally have to equip it with a processor, some RAM, storage and a battery big enough to keep everything running for at least a day. This resulted in rather bulky timepieces which ditched the traditional look and feel of a watch. Back from the days of the first Pebble, smartwatches have had an image issue which has affected their rise to the top. The solution? A hybrid smartwatch which combines the time-honoured looks with some smart features.
Launched recently, Timex’s IQ+ Move (quick look) hopes to captivate buyers by offering fitness tracking capabilities inside a traditional analogue watch. I have been spending some time with it wrapped around my wrist and here’s my review of the same.
Design: will make you reminisce the good ol’ days
Being a veteran watchmaker, Timex decided to outfit the IQ+ Move in a traditional analogue design which gives the watch a fairly understated look. In fact, if no one told you, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that the watch has some smarts baked in. The IQ+ Move is available in different styles, and I had the silicon strap variant of the watch to test. The smartwatch comes encased in a metallic body, has a fairly thin chassis and has a round watch face which is covered by a curved glass panel. The crown of the watch has been constructed out of metal too and has a satisfying click to it. It can be pulled out to set the time on the watch manually or you can use the provided app to calibrate the watch hands (which you’ll have to to do the first time you set up the watch). The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters and I have been wearing it in the shower without any problems. However, I would recommend caution in getting the leather variant of the watch wet as the strap might not age well.
The watch face is made up of three hands which denote the hour, minutes and the seconds as well as a secondary sub-dial towards the right of the watch which monitors the progress of your daily activity goal. This can either be set to track the number of steps taken or the total distance traveled from within the app. The seconds hand can also be programmed to display the current date instead. The watch comes with an Indigo backlight feature, which brings back the nostalgia of checking the time on an old Casio at night. The watch also makes use of a traditional battery which gives it a stellar battery life of over a year.
Features: a no-frills fitness-tracker
There isn’t a lot that the Timex IQ+ Move does, but it manages to get the basics pretty well. The watch can track the number of steps taken, the distance traveled, the number of calories burnt and can also keep track of a user’s sleep pattern. You can set alarms and timers by using the provided app, but that’s about it. As far as the accuracy of the step and distance tracking is concerned, the Move does a pretty good job at counting steps. I tend to walk a lot and I was constantly hitting the 8,000 step mark on the watch. Distance, however, is a different story. The watch doesn’t ship with its own GPS, and more often than not, overestimates the ground you’ve covered. I took the Move out with me for a run and after jogging for around 3 km (as shown by Google Maps), the app stated that I had travelled approximately 3.8 km, which is a huge margin of error. The watch also comes with a sleep tracking feature, which monitors a user’s movements to see how long they’ve slept at night. This function worked fairly well and the watch correctly logged the total number of hours I had napped on the companion app.
As mentioned earlier, the Timex IQ+ Move is a pretty barebones smartwatch and doesn’t come with advanced fitness tracking features such as a heart rate sensor or even notification support. However, until processors and batteries can get smaller and more efficient at the same time, that’s the compromise you’ll have to make if you want to retain the look of a classic timepiece.
Syncing and Timex Connected App: functional, but bare
The biggest gripe I have with the Timex IQ+ Move Smartwatch is that the syncing process isn’t as simple as it should be. Like most other smartwatches and fitness bands, the IQ+ Move syncs to a companion app (Timex Connected) using Bluetooth. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, in order to sync the IQ+ Move, you’ll have to press the syncing button on the app page, hold the crown for five seconds and then wait for the smartwatch to chime. While this doesn’t seem all that difficult at first, having to do it over and over to check your progress is very frustrating. Moreover, if you fail to hold the crown down for five seconds or leave the app hanging for too long, then you’ll have to repeat the entire process again. There is an auto-sync feature buried deep within the settings menu, but instead of syncing at regular intervals, you’ll be limited to syncing your IQ+ Move just once a day with the feature turned on.
The app on its own is pretty basic. Upon first launch, you’ll be asked to enter your name, height, and weight after which, the app will prompt you to set your daily goals such as the distance you plan on covering in a day. You can then tap on any of the given parameters (distance, steps, calories burnt and sleep) to open a bar graph which will be presented to you by the hour, day, week, month or year. The sleep section dwells a bit deeper and breaks down the quality of sleep you’ve had each night into three different categories – deep, light and awake. However, besides stating numbers for comparison and updating the watch’s firmware, there’s not a lot you can do with the companion app.
Should you buy it?
Retailing for Rs 9,995, the IQ+ Move is a decent fitness tracker which offers some good connected features from one of the most reputed watchmakers in the industry. It looks good, comes with basic fitness tracking capabilities and does well to masquerade as an ordinary watch. While I would have liked to see the watch outfitted with a heart-rate sensor, if you’re looking for a hybrid watch which does the basics, then you won’t be disappointed with the IQ+ Move. At this price, you can also take a look at the Fossil Q Nate hybrid watch.