I’ve been running watchless lately because it’s become kind of a new mission in life for me (plus it’s so damn hot I need another thing making me feel like shit on a run like I need another hole in my head). But I’ve been trying out my Bia watch and uh… Well… Let’s just say I’m not too thrilled with it and probably won’t be using it too much. I’m not crazy about the bia, in fact, if I had purchased it normally through a regular store by this point I probably would’ve just boxed it back up and returned it for a refund. If you’re looking for someone who’s going to get all excited about the fact that it’s a woman-owned business with a “community” of users, you have come to the wrong place. I support that in theory, but in practice I think a product needs to stand on its own and being owned/operated by women isn’t going to make up for the fact that despite coming in a variety of colors, the wristband on this thing is a pain in the ass and pretty poorly designed.
Velcro? Seriously? Whoever thought a strip of velcro was a good idea should be fired from the design team.
The large button on the side is theory easier to use than the small button on the side of your Garmin, I say in theory because it’s not actually easier to use. I remember reading that you just have to “slap the screen” to start a new lap, so imagine me standing there like a putz slapping a screen and nothing’s happening. You don’t press the side button with one finger, either, you have to use your whole hand and despite it’s larger size it’s harder to press.
Moving on, when you pause your workout, you lose that screen up there with all your run information on it and that kind of peeved me. Pausing and resuming the run was a little more cumbersome than with my Garmin and as someone who does that often enough (I run in a city and as added incentive to not run into traffic, I long ago came to an accord with myself that I’d pause the watch for stoplights/stop signs. Yes, I’ve been told by other runners that this is cheating because you “can’t pause the clock in a race” and no, I didn’t punch these people in the face for their unsolicited opinions.). Overall, as someone with what might be considered a smaller wrist (though the Bia wristband makes it look quasi gigantic) I didn’t find the kind of askew face to be a huge design improvement over a regular watch. The face just feels more like a smushed version of a Garmin as opposed to an over all lighter/less bulky watch face and the go stick. Damn, the fucking go stick. I clip it to the pocket underneath my skirt. If I clip it with the bulk part facing in, it doesn’t connect to the watch as well, and I find it somewhat uncomfortable on my waistband. For the purposes of running, especially early in the morning for a race, there’s little chance I will remember to bring two pieces. Also, I’ve found there is in fact a delay between turning the watch on and getting a signal so I can start running (not as long as the Garmin but nonetheless… It’s not immediate, instant gratification).
I also wore it to row and just set it to the swim option and did some math to mentally translate 50 meters to 500. The wristband bothered me the most while I was rowing.
I compared the readings with our cox box while I was coxing on Tuesday and with my Garmin while running and found everything matched up. It’s just overall, I’m not really excited about it. I don’t think it’s a dramatic improvement over my Garmin and quite frankly I’ll probably just keep using my Garmin because then I don’t have to remember two pieces. I might leave the Bia at my parents for when I’m home and need to get in a training run over the summer, but so far I haven’t found anything that’s let me thinking, “Wow, this is a huge major improvement over my Garmin (that’s two years old and completely out of date now)!”
So if you were asking me about a GPS watch, I’d probably tell you to pass on this one (as it stands right now).