Angie Partain is very involved in the Missoula Running Community as both a runner and frequent volunteer despite being a busy mom. You can follow her adventures at @jnapartain. As a RErun Ambassador we asked Angie to try out the new Timex GPS watch and share her thoughts.

If you’re looking for a GPS watch to take your fitness to the next level, the Timex Ironman GPS watch is a great option to consider! With a $100 price tag, it’s one of the most affordable running GPS watches on the market.

The box says it’s “The Simplest GPS Watch Ever”, which piqued my interest–since my Garmin 15 is pretty darned simple–and I love that about it! I was curious–is this Timex really simpler than my Garmin? What can it do that my Garmin can’t? Are there things that my Garmin can do that this Timex can’t? And so, I started playing with it.  

The initial set up was super user friendly, and I was able to set it up and start running within a few minutes. Locking into a satellite took a bit longer than I expected, but once connected it worked well. I found it to be quite comfortable, even worn doubled up next to my Garmin.  I also really love the large display and how thin the face is. My Garmin can only show 2 data fields, and I like that this watch has enough space for 3 fields (distance, pace and overall time).

Syncing my workout wasn’t as simple as the initial setup. This watch, like my Garmin, requires connecting to a PC to sync workouts. At first I just tried to pull the files and import them into my Garmin account, but that didn’t work—go figure—but worth a shot, I guess. I turned to the manual and found that I needed to download the Timex Connect app. Once I had downloaded the app (to my PC), I was able to create an account, review my workouts and begin syncing to my usual fitness site. I also found that when the watch connected to the app, it prompted an update, which in turn sped up the GPS connection time.

Playing around with the features, I found this to not only be a running watch, but multi-sport. I like that you can set your workout for different workout types, like biking, swimming—and multi-sport. So, if you’re into Triathalons, this may interest you. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters and it has a lap function for indoor swimming. I prefer running intervals at Tuesday Track Night, but I found the interval mode to be pretty cool when I’m on my own for workouts. The feedback is somewhat customizable ranging from silent to beep and vibrate. You can also use 2 fingers to tap the face as a lap function, which is rather cool. The indiglo light lights up at each lap cycle or at the tap of any of the 5 buttons. It also has a stopwatch and timer along with multiple programable alarms which can all be running simultaneously in the background while recording a workout. One feature that I found super helpful is the ability to engage the GPS and stay connected as long as needed without it timing out. This also works for pausing workouts, allowing you to pause for a length of time.

This really is a great watch and I find myself wearing it throughout the day—I regularly receive compliments on its looks. I chose the white one, but it also comes in black, plus there’s a rainbow of replacement bands to further customize the look to your liking. It charges with a standard mini USB cable (included), which plugs directly into the back of the face. It holds its charge forever—the manual says up to 12 hours! I struggled a bit with the technological side of this watch. It has some quirks, but with some adjustments, I believe you can avoid these pitfalls. I found the need for regular updates to be a bit cumbersome and so I thought I could simply skip this step for a few days. It turns out the updates are necessary to be able to rely on a guaranteed GPS connection. To avoid this, just plan on connecting the watch to your PC for charging each night and the app should take care of the updates automatically. There were a few times I couldn’t get it to update, even though the watch notified me of a mandatory update.  I found if I rebooted my PC the update would then take.

Overall, compared to this Timex watch, I would say my Garmin seems a bit more reliable and with fewer quirks to work out. But ultimately, they are very comparable—I believe the Timex actually may have more functions than my Garmin 15, which puts it in a sweet spot. If you’re looking for a GPS watch with slightly more than base functions at an affordable price that’ll take you from the trails to the lake, this watch may be just what you’re looking for! Check it out at the Runner’s Edge!