Gear Review: Bia Sport GPS Watch
$279 | bia-sport.com
Best For: Women; solo runners; those who prioritize simplicity and ease of use
- Lap Counter
- SOS Alerts
- Heart-Rate Monitor (Not Included) Compatible
Battery Life: 17 hours
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Designed by entrepreneurs and athletes Sylvia Marino and Cheryl Kellond, and launched via the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, the Bia is what we imagine a GPS watch designed by Steve Jobs would look like—sleek, compact (weighing 1 ounce, which is one third to one half the weight of most GPS watches) and exceedingly easy to operate, with a single button and touchscreen.
Though it is intended to be a women’s watch, anyone will appreciate its simple functionality, non-clunky design and angled fit to avoid banging against your wrist bone.
The watch works in conjunction with a rechargeable “GoStick”—a separate (included), equally compact GPS unit that clips onto your shorts or pack, connects almost instantly to GPS (no more waiting around for your watch to locate satellites!) and automatically syncs workouts to your online training log.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Bia is its SOS functionality: in case of an emergency, you can trigger automated SOS alerts, complete with your GPS location, to be sent at 60-second intervals to up to 10 emergency contacts.
While our beta model didn’t live up to the 17 hours of battery life promised—lasting more like six to eight hours between charges—we have high hopes for the finalized version.
This review appears in our Summer Gear Guide, Trail Runner #97, July 2014, on newsstands now.