One of the new sports GPS watches by Soleus – the Soleus GPS Pulse BLE + HRM measures not only your heart rate – but it also enables you to easily upload your sports data via Bluetooth, onto your smartphone.
This means that there is no need for chunky uncomfortable chest straps or wires. And there is no lag time between completing a run and uploading your run for example, onto your social media pages.In fact the data can be automatically synced once you are within range of the dedicated Soleus mobile app, meaning that if you have the habit of carrying your phone with you on a run, then you can upload the data immediately upon completion of the run.
Besides these features, the watch also comprises of six interval timers, a 1/100 seconds chronograph and five alarms. It is water-resistant for up to 30 metres and has an EL Backlight mode for runners who enjoy running at night.I was recently given the opportunity to review the Soleus GPS Pulse BLE + HRM sports watch. Here are my comments:
At first glance, this sports watch appears to be slightly chunky on the wrist – possibly because of all the interesting and useful features that have been packed into it.
The strap of the watch is black but there are three, two-colour combinations for the watch face rim – black & yellow, black & white and blue & white.
And despite the chunky appearance, the watch is quite comfortable to wear, thanks to an ergonomic silicone strap.
This is supposed to be more durable than your regular PU watch strap and should be able to be worn in all weather conditions. I have tested it out in Singapore’s heat and it didn’t slide around my arm despite my perspiration. But I haven’t tried the watch out in the rain yet so I can’t comment on that.
Syncing the watch
It may take some time to initially sync the watch to the Soleus Smartphone App – I had to perform it a few times before the syncing actually got picked up by my iPhone 6. However, the initial syncing process isn’t really that difficult and the instructions are spelled out quite clearly in the Soleus website.
Once the initial syncing process has been done, the Soleus Smartphone App automatically picks up the watch when they are placed near each other and the Bluetooth is turned on, so this is completely fuss-free.
Besides the Soleus Smartphone App though, the watch can also be automatically synced with the SoleusSync computer App. This is an easier process as the watch tends to be picked up quickly by the computer more quickly and it is very easy to upload your data and view your workout progress through the Strava smartphone or desktop app.
Using the watch
I thought that the watch is pretty easy to use for running. The numbers on the watch face are quite big, thus making them easy to read and you will not need to strain your eyes to take a look at for example, is the pace you are running at or how much distance you have covered.
The lack of a heart-rate chest strap is good in the sense that you don’t need to remember multiple devices when you go out for a run. All you need is to strap the watch around your wrist so in this way, it is very convenient.
But for the heart-rate readings, I found them to be lower than average and didn’t really tally with my perceived body effort. But then again, the lower than usual readings could have been due to the fact that the wrist may not have been the most ideal place to measure heart rate. I have previously used Soleus watches that rely on a chest strap and the heart-rate readings appear to be more normal and in line with how I am feeling at a certain stage of my workout.
I also noticed that the GPS signal takes a while to be connected – on an average about three to five minutes. There had also been one occasion where it didn’t pick up a GPS signal until about 5km into my 11km run.
But I think that the location where you are running plays a huge part in the receiving of the GPS signals – if the area is more open, then a signal will be picked up faster. But if the area has plenty of concrete buildings – such as Orchard Road, then there may be problems with detecting a GPS signal.
After you have completed your run, it is quite easy to save the data inside the watch – all you need to do is to press the button at the top right hand corner twice – firstly to stop and secondly to save the workout. This is a very simple process.
The battery life for the watch lasts approximately about eight hours. It may take some time to connect the charging cable to the Soleus watch, but once this is achieved, charging the watch is a pretty seamless process that takes about a couple of hours.
I think that this is definitely a fuss-free watch and is good for those who do not like to be burdened with multiple pieces of equipment, when they go out running.
The Soleus GPS Pulse BLE is available at TANGS VivoCity, OG Orchard Point and selected sports and watch retailers.
It is currently retailing at USD 229 (SGD 321).