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The Soleus Fit 1.0 GPS running watch offers a simple, cheaper and no-nonsense alternative to any Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Motorola

Posted Dec 08 2012 12:00am
Posted in: Featured , Kit Reviews

The Soleus Fit 1.0 GPS running watch offers a simple, cheaper and no-nonsense alternative to any Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Motorola, Nike or other GPS running watch that you can think of.

Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 In the Box

This is a watch that you can simply charge, click and run, safe in the knowledge that your essential statistics such as pace, speed, distance, calories and time are being accurately recorded using the same GPS technology as all the big watch manufacturers, without any of the steep learning curve that is usually part of the package with any GPS running watch

In The Box

You only need to worry about two things when it comes to the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0, the USB charger and the watch itself. There is also a handy user guide but I am so confident in the simplicity of this watch that I am willing to bet that you will never need to open it once!

Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Kit Battery and Charging

When my watch arrived it was fully charged and ready to go. Because the watch face is text only with no touch screen or colour graphics the drain on the battery is almost exclusively from the GPS sensor. As a result the battery life on this watch is quite frankly incredible. After a week of running (about four runs) I still had over 6 hours of battery left and a quick charge of two hours boosted the battery back up to close to full capacity.

Running with the Watch

The Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 takes just two clicks before you can start running. The first click tells the watch that you would like to start training and after selecting GPS mode (vs indoor mode) the watch will begin searching for a GPS signal. After less than 20 seconds on each of my four runs, the watch found a signal. Based on my own experience this is about the same as the Garmin Forerunner but much much faster than either a Polar or the Motorola Motoactv who have taken upwards of 5 minutes on several occasions when I have used them.

Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Searching GPS After the watch has found s signal you simply press the start button and begin running. In running mode the distance and time is displayed in the middle and bottom of the face in smallish font. You can cycle through distance, pace, speed and calories using the bottom right button and this is displayed after a short pause in larger font in the top third of the watch face.

Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Distance The Soleus 1.0 watch also computes the amount of calories that you have burned when out running. Although this is a simple calculation based on your weight, age and gender, this should be more than accurate for those casual jogs. If you decide that you would like to run a marathon at some point and will need to keep track of calories more accurately then you should look at a watch that records your heart rate instead.

When out running you will notice that the current pace stat is a little slow to respond to changes in your pace. This is due to a slight averaging of your most recent pace from the past 10 seconds or so. This has been engineered into the model in order to remove some of the jerky-ness that can be associated with current pace statistics. This is something that it took Nike and Garmin a little longer to work out but this is now a standard feature on most GPS watches and otherwise any current pace feature is rendered pretty useless without it.

The auto lap feature is something that I wouldn’t have expected in a watch as simple as this but it really does give you added value for money. The watch is automatically setup to lap every one mile but you can easily change this to increments between 1 mile and 5 miles, as well as switching the units to KM. You can also set the unit so that it merely beeps when you pass your chosen marker.

At the end of your run, pressing and holding down the save button commits your run to the units 100 lap memory. You can quickly go back and examine your past runs and laps but there is no way to remove these from the watch and older runs are simply overwritten once you reach memory capacity after a few runs.

Cycling with the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0

The Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 can also be used for Cycling but in reality all this does is switch your pace field to speed (mph or kph). Arguably this is all that 90% of casual cyclists will need for their training purposes as you can still record distance, time and calories. The fact that this watch has such a hugh battery life means that you can grab it for those impromptu rides without having to worry about connecting it up to bike sensors or without it dying on you half way through your route.

Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Summary

All in all this is a great watch for anyone that wishes to record their essential running stats, accurately and with no hassle. The watch picks up a GPS signal in virtually no time and is easy to read when out training due to large font sizes and a powerful back light. The battery life lasts an astonishingly long time and charge time takes merely two hours, meaning that this is a watch that will last as long as your training sessions! Priced at under $100 there simply is no better value GPS running watch available on the market.

For more information see the Soleus website

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