Multifunction watches combine the power of GPS training watches with ABC watches and – in the extreme – handheld GPS systems. Building them is an ambitious task. How do you combine all those features into products that don’t overwhelm the user? What’s the trade-off between functionality and battery life? And how should the desktop and/or web software complete the user experience?
Several manufacturers took on the task recently and delivered products into the market with varying degrees of success. Here are two:
Highgear XT7 Alti-GPS Multifunction Watch – Highgear makes a range of wrist instruments and digital compasses. The XT7 rolls a select set of ABC watch features into what is primarily a GPS trainer. For $250 MSRP, you get altitude and weather tracking, along with speed, distance, pace and heart rate monitoring. See full review.
Suunto Ambit Multifunction Watch – Finnish manufacturer Suunto was one of the early pioneers in the ABC watch category and continues to innovate with the Ambit. All the features of a GPS trainer and a fully functioning ABC watch come packed into the Ambit. Prices start at $500. See full review.