Timex iConnect Premium Active is a new smartwatch from the legacy brand Timex, and it offers premium looks along with a colour touchscreen. It can track your activity, sleep quality, and heart rate, and gives you reminders to drink water and get up from your seat. The Timex iConnect Premium Active smartwatch also offers notifications from email and messaging apps that you use on your phone. It alerts you to calls and lets you calm down with breathing exercises.
The Timex iConnect Premium Active is priced at Rs. 6,995 with a silicone strap and Rs. 7,295 with a stainless steel mesh strap. It has a bunch of features, but is it good value for money? I've been using it for over a month now and here's my detailed review.
One of the most striking aspects of the Timex iConnect Premium Active is its premium look. The unit I got has a flexible rose gold stainless steel mesh band, and I think it looks pretty good on my wrist. This watch is primarily designed for women, and suits slimmer wrists. There's a squarish touchscreen with gold edges, and this watch looks slick, especially when paired with the mesh band. Timex also offers silicone band options at a slightly lower price. The dial has significant bezels on all sides of the display, especially at the bottom, making the actual area of the touchscreen rather small. There are no buttons, and navigation is solely based on touch input.
The replaceable stainless steel mesh strap stays in place using a magnet. I noticed that on very few occasions, particularly when playing badminton, this gave way. The Timex iConnect Premium Active's grip on my wrist became loose and it could potentially even fell off. The silicone strap has a buckle closure, making it a better option for active users.
The Timex iConnect Premium Active has a 36mm dial with rounded edges and metal frame. The watch is touted to be IP68 water resistant, and it suffered no damage when washing utensils or doing any other work with water while wearing it. UI navigation is simple. Swiping down shows options to adjust brightness, toggle DND mode, and shut down the smartwatch. There's no automatic brightness adjustment though. Swiping up opens up the notification panel, which just shows you alerts from your phone. There is no way to respond to incoming messages or emails. Even call alerts can only be seen; you cannot mute the ringer or decline a call through the watch.
Long-pressing the watch face will let you change it, and there are five options available on the device. The menu, which can be accessed by swiping left, shows daily activity data i.e. the number of steps you've taken, the distance you've covered, and the calories you've burnt. Tapping the heart rate indicator will automatically start reading your heart rate and show the results. The watch also records your sleep patterns, giving you data as well as distinguishing between deep and light sleep.
The Timex iConnect Premium Active only has seven workout modes: walking, running, climbing, riding, basketball, elliptical, and yoga. Other basic ones such as swimming and even free training are not incorporated.
To pair the Timex iConnect Premium Active, users will need to download the iConnect By Timex 2 app on their phones. The pairing process was quite easy on my Samsung Galaxy Note 20, with no hiccups whatsoever. The dashboard, or the home page of the app, shows full details of your daily activity i.e. active time, distance covered, steps, and calories burnt. It also shows you your most recent heart rate measurement along with measurement history if you tap on the banner, and weekly sleep data.
The app offers basic customisation controls such as setting the time intervals for sedentary alerts and reminders to drink water. You can also change the wrist orientation and add alarms. There's an option to toggle daily heart rate recording, but this device doesn't support 24x7 continuous monitoring and you can't change the interval between each measurement. Finally, you can decide which apps will show you notifications.
There are four additional watch faces offered within the app, over and above the default ones on the Timex iConnect Premium Active. Apart from this, there are no personalisation features, and I particularly missed options to control being able to wake the display just by lifting my wrist, the amount of time the display stays on before going to standby, and even a flashlight. There are no period or ovulation tracking, stress monitoring, or SpO2 measurement features on the Timex iConnect Premium Active.
During the several weeks I had with the Timex iConnect Premium Active, I conducted varied tests to ascertain its performance. The touch input took a little while to get used to and isn't the smoothest implementation I've used so far. The heart rate tracker and the sleep tracker managed to produce satisfactory results compared to readings from similar known devices, with the sleep data aligning with the quality of sleep I experienced the night before.
With average use, the battery in the Timex iConnect Premium Active lasted for about four days. This is with brightness kept at the maximum level and a daily half-hour run. If the brightness is reduced, each full charge should last longer, but I wouldn't recommend it as there's significant reflectiveness, especially when its sunny outside. There's a connecter at the back for charging, and it took about two and a half hours for me to fully charge the device.
To test the accuracy of step and distance tracking, I counted 1,000 steps manually while wearing the Timex iConnect Premium Active. The fitness band counted 970 steps, which is significantly less accurate than most devices. I also covered a distance of 1km, verified in advance using a car's odometer, and the smartwatch calculated this to be 1.02km, which isn't too far off the mark.
If you want a great-looking smartwatch, the Timex iConnect Premium Active is worth considering. However, it lacks a whole lot of features. There need to be more workout modes, period and ovulation tracking (given that this watch is targeted at women), and more options in terms of watch faces, with the ability to customise them as well. Activity tracking is not absolutely accurate, as compared to smartwatches from other brands such as Amazfit. There's no configurable 24x7 heart rate monitoring, and I want SpO2 tracking to become an essential feature for all smartwatches, in these uncertain times.
Also, I do not recommend the mesh band if you work out a lot, as it tends to loosen up with athletic movement. Selling at Rs. 6,995 with a silicone strap or Rs. 7,295 with a stainless steel mesh one, the Timex iConnect Premium Active smartwatch should help the brand reinvent itself from a traditional watchmaker to a company that now has a range of smartwatches and fitness bands as well. However, there are some great options such as the Amazfit GTS 2 mini and even the Realme Watch S at around the same price.
Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.