Runtopia S1 Might Be The Affordable GPS Running Watch You’ve Been Waiting For

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Most GPS running watches will knock a few hundred dollars out of your pocket, leaving them an unattractive option for those with more prudent spending habits. The Runtopia S1 offers an alternative for the economical spender, providing users a good load of training features at an affordable price point.

No, this wearable won’t offer anywhere near the functionality you’ll get from any of the more expensive multi-sport watches from Suunto, Garmin, and similar established brands. It will, however, cover all the basics runners need to adequately monitor and optimize their training, from tracking their running routes and recording their heart rates to providing suggestions and receiving real-time coaching instructions. Suffice to say, it will do most everything runners require to get their daily workouts handled.

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The Runtopia S1 has all the necessary sensors to track all your relevant running stats, such as speed, heart rate (it uses PPG photoelectric heart rate monitoring), and running routes, ensuring it can monitor all your runs with precision. It has a built-in GPS GLONASS dual-star positioning, so there’s no need to bring your phone along, as you can rely on the wearable to handle all the location-based data gathering on its own. A real-time coach will let you know whether you need to slow down, pick up the pace, or make any other adjustment throughout the run, with the advice based on the whatever specific goals you’ve set for each workout, essentially giving you a nudge to help achieve your targets.

All data recorded on the watch can be synced with the companion Runtopia app on your phone, allowing you to see your stats, along with a map of your running routes, in a larger screen that allows you to glean more meaningful information. Do note, the GPS capability is not as sophisticated as more expensive sports watches. It doesn’t allow you to adjust the frequency of GPS pings, for instance, which plenty of other brands’ models can do, while taking a bit of time to properly sync the GPS (as in, 10 minutes or more). So yeah, you do get some downside for the affordable price, so you’ll have to decide if it’s a worthy tradeoff.

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The Runtopia S1 shows off its data on a round monochrome screen with a 128 x 128 resolution, which isn’t quite big enough to show maps and other detailed graphical images, but has enough real estate to display all relevant data during every run. The watch’s 47mm enclosure is rated at 3ATM of water resistance, which should be good enough to use it in the rain and drench it on your sweat without encountering problems.

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It can last up to 25 days on standby, although you’ll only be able to use with the GPS switched on for up to eight hours between charges. That makes it good enough to last for most workouts, unless you’re an ultramarathon runner training for an ungodly chunk of the day. Other features include basic smartphone notifications (messages and calls), sedentary reminders, alarms, and multi-sport support in future software updates (cycling and swimming).

The Runtopia S1 is available now.

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