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Wearable Tech

Runtopia's new smartwatch for runners is on sale for just $69

Normally $99, it features heart-rate monitoring, GPS and 25-day battery life. Plus: Also $69, these sport earbuds respond to voice commands!

runtopia-s1

The Runtopia S1 tracks your steps, runs and heart rate, all for $69.

Runtopia

Fancy GPS watches for running are expensive, right? Probably at least $200? Yes, but take "fancy" out of the equation and you can get something for a steal.

For example, the entry-level Garmin Forerunner 35 is currently on sale for $100, down from its regular price of $170. And the Cheapskate-favorite Amazfit Bip, which includes some runner-friendly features, runs just $70.

Read more: The best fitness trackers for 2019

OK, but the Garmin is 3 years old, and the Bip wasn't designed with runners in mind. But here's a wearable that was, and it's on sale: For a limited time, you can get the Runtopia S1 GPS running watch for $69. That's a product-launch special; it's normally going to sell for $99.

Runtopia? You might be familiar with the eponymous app, a popular running tracker that includes an activity-rewards element. ("Turn your steps into prizes!") The S1 is the company's first GPS smartwatch.

On paper, it looks pretty good. In addition to built-in GPS, it has a heart-rate monitor and water-resistant case -- arguably the three most important features for runners. It can receive basic notifications from your phone, and if you bring your phone along on your runs, the Runtopia app can provide audio coaching based on your heart rate.

Beyond that, you get basics like an alarm, a stopwatch, a compass and sedentary alerts. According to Runtopia, the watch should run for up to 25 days on a charge -- or up to 8 hours if you use GPS. How often you actually need to recharge the S1 depends on how often and how far you run each week.

Because this is a new product, reviews are few and far between. I'm hoping to get my hands on one soon, so I can see how it compares with watches like the Bip and even my Apple Watch.

But my suspicion is that while "serious" runners will find the S1 too limited, it should make a fine companion for the 5K crowd -- those who don't need or want a lot of fancy features, but do want basic run-tracking.

Your thoughts?

Now playing: Watch this: The Amazfit Bip is a steal at $70
1:27

Voice-controlled sport earbuds: $69

Speaking of running, I just found my new favorite sport earbuds. They fit great, sound amazing and do something I've never seen before: respond to voice commands. Without touching anything -- phone, watch, earbuds -- you can say things like "play music," "next song" and "accept call."

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The slick Origem HS-3 sport earphones respond to voice commands such as "play music" and "next song."

Origem

Coincidentally, they're also normally $99, but for a limited time, and while supplies last, the Origem HS-3 wireless sport earphones are $69.30 when you apply promo code CHEAPHS3 at checkout. That code should work with all three color options.

I've been test-driving these for a couple days -- and pretty much loving them. They're noise-isolating earphones (meaning you need to wiggle them into your ears to create a tight seal) with rotating ear hooks, the latter very comfortable and, for me, much easier to put on than the fixed, chunky plastic ear hooks found on most sport 'buds.

Sound quality? Fantastic. You know I'm generally satisfied with "good enough," but the clarity and bass response here have spoiled me for lesser earbuds. I also appreciate the fast USB-C charging (10 minutes nets me 2 hours of play) and stylish, metallic-looking design.

The voice commands? Awesome. Essential. Can no longer live without them. Two gripes, though: There's no support for "volume up/down," and the "Hello VoiceQ" command (used to invoke Siri or Google Assistant) works only when there's no music playing.

Fakespot and ReviewMeta both report some questionable user reviews (out of only 16 currently collected), but I'm here to tell you: really good product.


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