Timex Metropolitan S This barebones smartwatch gives you Apple Watch aesthetics, fitness tracking, and basic notifications at an affordable price.

The Apple Watch is great, but forking out $400 for an obsolescence-fated device whose primary purpose will still be telling the time just doesn’t work for some people. Fortunately, there are plenty of smartwatches out there that offer comparable features without an Apple tax attached. If you want one from a recognizable brand, the Timex Metropolitan S definitely makes an attractive option.

A part of the brand’s new line of smartwatches (the other is a round case variant), the wearable takes a similar rectangular case as Apple’s famed watch, but runs neither watchOS or Google’s wearOS. Instead, it uses the same software used in Amazfit devices, an affordable line of smartwatches from Chinese wearables company Huami, albeit with Timex branding all throughout the platform.

The Timex Metropolitan S has a 36mm aluminum case housing the 1.65-inch AMOLED touch display, which has 348 x 442 pixels of resolution and durable Gorilla Glass on top. The display is always on, by the way, so you can check the time with just a quick glance (no need to shake your wrist), while boasting a quality that, the outfit claims, should look bright and crisp under any kind of lighting, making it as usable outdoors under direct sunlight as it is with the gentler illumination inside the office. It comes with over 20 built-in watch faces, too, with a good selection of both digital and analog styles.

As with all modern smart watches, it’s designed to be a fitness tracking powerhouse, with a full complement of sensors that allow it to measure activity, monitor heart rate (yes, it has a wrist-based heart rate sensor), and track location (onboard GPS) in real time. It also has multiple workout modes, so you’re not restricted to running and cycling for activity tracking, making this a competent alternative to GPS sports watches. Do note, the product page says it’s only rated to resist brief water immersion, so they don’t recommend wearing it for swimming, which means, you won’t be able to use it for water-based activity tracking.

The Timex Metropolitan S comes with an onboard battery rated to last up to 14 days. Granted, that will only hold if you don’t use the GPS or the heart rate sensor whatsoever, so expect to charge it more frequently if you actually use it for anything other than timekeeping. The watch, by the way, comes in two colors, black and rose gold, so you can still look like you’re wearing an Apple Watch from afar, in case that’s your thing.

Is this a good alternative to the more expensive smartwatches out there? If you’re not that demanding about your wearable, it probably is. If you want more than fitness tracking and phone notifications, though, you might be disappointed as it doesn’t offer much beyond that. You’ll definitely be better off either getting an Apple Watch or one of the many wearOS devices out there. Just be prepared to pay a lot more.

The Timex Metropolitan S is available now, priced at $179.

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