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Runtopia’s cheap and cheerful GPS running watch launches in Europe

A GPS running watch for £63 – what’s the catch?

There was a time when a GPS running watch would set you back at least £200. Thankfully, that has changed, and you can now get basic ones from the big players for around £100 – the Garmin Forerunner 30 for example – or Chinese imports for even less (hello Amazfit Bip).    
Now it’s Runtopia’s turn to get into the low-cost running watch fight. The Runtopia S1 launched in the United States earlier this year for $99, and now it’s coming to Europe. In the UK, it’ll set you back just £62.99, while it goes for €70.38 in mainland Europe.
The Runtopia S1 works with the Runtopia app on both Android and iOS, and while its 128 x 128 monochrome display is unlikely to win any beauty awards, it does translate into a 25-day battery life. Or eight hours if you’re using the built-in GPS or GLONASS.  
That means you can leave your phone at home, although you probably won’t want to, given the lack of music or contactless payments on the watch. Plus, if you do take your phone with you, the app will provide audio coaching, based on your pace, speed, distance and heart rate.

Otherwise, it’s just the basics you need, as you’d expect for the price. The watch tracks heart-rate and can give you audio alerts for sudden changes to ensure you don’t overdo it, and that monochrome display will also show up message notifications and call alerts. The other standards of fitness trackers – step counting, calorie tracking, sedentary reminders, alarm clock, compass and stopwatch – are all present and correct too. No sleep tracking, mind, if that’s a deal breaker. And you can forget about ANT+ connectivity at this price, too.

The Runtopia S1 is available to buy now from the official website. I’ve recieved a review unit, and will have a review up once I’ve thoroughly put it through its paces…