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Tuesday
Mar212017

Review: Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

If you just want a basic quartz watch which tells the time, date, has alarm functionality and can also track your activity or at least steps, then the new Timex IQ+ Move is a sensible choice. Looking very much like a fashion-focused watch, Timex IQ+ Move has all the features expected of a reliable timepiece.

It has accurate quartz mechanism, it has a perfec date feature that uses the second hand to give you the exact date. Indiglo backlighting, a Timex exclusive, is available for low light conditions and it also has a countdown timer and customizeable alarms.

In terms of design, the face of the Timex IQ+ Move is elegant and minimalist. Second and hour notches are clear and there's good contrast with the background colour and the hands. This design is nothing new, it is a direct copy of what Withings offered with their Activite line of fitness trackers.

I liked the mineral glass protecting the watch. The solid build and the lume on the watch hands which was helpful in checking time in darker situations. I did find the fit and finish to be a bit shoddy. If you pay attention to the paint on the case, it is uneven and looks rushed. That's not something you expect to see in a $260 watch and was a bit dissapointing. Timex makes it possible to remove and replace the leather band which is what I would have done if I owned this watch since I preferred a rubber band to the dull leather one included.

What is the advantage of the Timex IQ+ over other, more complex smartwatches or dedicated fitness trackers? The battery doesn't need to be charged. That's right, you simply change the battery once a year and you're good to go. This removes one of the biggest pain points with smartwatches and even fitness trackers.

The Timex IQ+ Move is also app connected. The app can parse the information that the watch has tracked (fitness and sleep information, mostly). I found connectivity to the app on my iPhone 7 Plus to be unreliable. Even with the Timex IQ+ right next to the iPhone and pressing the crown of the watch, I found the synching to be hit or miss. I get that maybe Bluetooth connectivity is not persistent in order to prolong battery life, but there's little excuse for poor connectivity with an app that serves as the central controls.

I used the Timex IQ+ Move as my main timepiece for the greater part of a week. This includes prolonged use in the gym (the included leather band is not sweatproof even if the watch itself is water resistant for up to 30 metres).

While I liked being able to see my activity progress throughout the day in one glance, I rarely bothered to interact with the app on my phone, I just didn't see the need for it.

Having used a variety of mechanical timepieces, smart watches and fitness trackers, I see the value each of these offers.

The Timex IQ+ Move will appeal to users who like their quartz watches but who also want to take note of their activity during the day. Just don't expect too much from the companion app's ability to synch accurately.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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