I received my first GPS watch for Christmas 2009. I had started doing more running and wanted a way to track my mileage and pace without having to measure the distance beforehand and keep track of the amount of time I was on the run. I was thrilled to receive the Garmin Forerunner 405, one of the first GPS watches that wasn’t the size of a dinner plate. I’ve been running with the same watch ever since, and I really haven’t had an opportunity to explore elsewhere. The GPS watch market has changed a great deal over the past five years, and I was very excited to receive the Soleus GPS Fit to review from Modcraft, free-of-charge.
The GPS Fit is not much different in size from my previous watch, the Garmin Forerunner 405. The faceplate has plenty of real estate to make glancing down and catching your pace or distance a snap.
From a full charge, I was able to run in GPS mode for around 6 hours. This isn’t necessarily a strong area for the watch, as many other alternatives grant much longer life, but it was plenty to get me through any of the runs that I was doing (I’m not an ultrarunner…yet).
The data that came back from the Soleus GPS Fit was one that left me a bit puzzled. I would often find that the Soleus reflected a much longer travel distance compared to my Garmin, and typically it was about a tenth of a mile longer. This falls within my own acceptable standard deviation, so I wasn’t terribly concerned with the discrepancy.
The interface is one that left a lot to be desired for me. I have been able to take advantage of the sleek Garmin Connect web application for the past several years, and there’s very little that can match that level of geekery. Soleus has provided something called Soleus Sync that provides the very bare bones information that the watch collects and no more. It seems that the best way to extract the extra goodies from your data is to pair it a web application like Strava.
Here is one of the strongest areas for the Soleus GPS Fit. The watch is exceedingly simple. It provides speed, distance, pace, and time…and that’s it! You can either run with auto-lap of miles or kilometers, or leave the lap counter off completely. There are four buttons that include Start/Stop, Light, Enter, and Mode.
Unless you’re someone like me who really loves a good set of accurate data about random metrics, this watch may be all you need to go out and start putting in the training for your next race. Soleus is not producing a Garmin killer, but they are filling a niche of cost effective distance trackers for the everyman runner. The Soleus GPS Fit comes in at a very reasonable $99 MSRP.