Soleus GPS 1.0 Watch Review
In a world where GPS watches can cost as much as a new laptop computer, it’s nice to know there’s an option under $100. Specialty watch manufacturer Soleus introduced just such a device late last year and it can be found for as little as $89 at Road Runner Sports.
Don’t expect the Soleus GPS 1.0 to deliver all the features of a more expensive watch. If what you want is a heart rate monitor and fancy training software, you need to look elsewhere. If you want a simple and straightforward GPS watch that accurately displays and captures metrics like distance, pace, speed and calories burned, along with multiple time zones and alarms, the Soleus GPS 1.0 is just the ticket.
In our workouts, the Soleus performed well. Getting a satellite link at 6:00 am always seems to take too long, but the Soleus took no longer to link than other watches in our test. Once the link was established, hit Mode to enter the Run screen and then Start to begin the workout. The Run screen can be customized to show a combination of chronometer, distance and either calories, pace, speed or clock. The Soleus captured and displayed metrics accurately and in real time. Once the workout was complete, the center right Stop button ends the workout. Press and hold that same button to Save. Saved workouts can be viewed by hitting Mode and traversing to the Run Data screen.
Dimensions: 45 mm x 45 mm x 17 mm
Weight: 56 g (2 oz)
Training Application: No
The Soleus’ user interface isn’t the most intuitive. Buttons like View perform multiple functions. Press it once in Time mode and it toggles to the second time zone. Hit it again and the button activates the backlight. Hitting the Enter button twice also activates the light. There also seems to be too much information crammed onto the relatively small face. In Time mode, the Soleus displays the time zone number, the time zone location, the time – with hours, minutes, seconds and am/pm indicator – the day and date. That’s a bunch of data and not all of it is necessary. Streamlining the interface would make the watch feel more focused and less “fiddly.”
The Soleus was not only the least expensive GPS watch in our test, it was also the smallest and thinnest. The quality of the band was terrific ranking right up there with those of the most expensive. It adjusted easily to fit my wrist and held up well after repeated wearings.
For less than $100, you cannot go wrong with the Soleus GPS 1.0. It’s small and light, yet just as rugged as watches costing four times as much. The interface is not the easiest to use but it’s as accurate as any product on the market. If you need a more feature rich offering, you can try Soleus’ newly released GPS 2.0 that has training software/data upload capabilities for just a few bucks more.