Soleus GPS Cross Country

The Soleus GPS Cross Country is a fitness watch with a built-in GPS. It was designed for runners to be able to track their achievements with intuitive features that are simple, have a cool design, and inspire them to keep trying until they achieve their goals, all at an affordable price.

Its built-in GPS allows wearers to track their location, and it also keeps track of distance, pace, and speed. It has an easy-to-read, large digit display as well as an EL back light and safety glow for low-light conditions and nighttime. It also has a compass so hikers can know which direction they're traveling, as well as an altimeter for elevation. It also has a timer and lap detection, and tells users how many calories they burned. The GPS Cross Country stores some data, which can be uploaded to the Strava running and cycling app to track and share stats over time. It is water resistant enough to swim in and the battery is rechargeable with a USB so the watch can be used again and again.

If you're a runner and hiker looking for an entry-level fitness watch to help you track your stats, continue reading to see if the GPS Cross Country is right for you.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Built in GPS, compass, chronograph, altimeter, and lap detection
  • Takes less than a minute to find a GPS signal (slightly longer on overcast days)
  • Buttons are easy to press and menus are easy to navigate
  • Large, easy to read display
  • EL back light and in low light conditions, and safety glow in night mode
  • Water resistant enough for swimming
  • Cons
    • No heart rate monitor
    • Took many testers a while to figure out how to use it
    • Fit could be better due to lack of eyelet holes on the band
    • Altimeter could have better accuracy in higher elevations
    • Key Features
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country was designed with runners in mind, but can also be used for other activities. Users can choose between indoor and outdoor mode. It is water resistant enough to swim in and tracks elevation and direction, which come in handy for hikers and skiers. It can also connect to the Strava app that tracks running and cycling and posts statistics so that users compete against other people.
      Basic Features
      The GPS Cross Country's basic features are distance, duration, and pace. For distance, the current and total distance are tracked and can be displayed in either miles or kilometers. For duration, users can set timers for interval training or view their statistics over time using the built-in chronograph. Pace or speed can be checked in both current or average and in either miles per hour or kilometers per hour. All of these features can be viewed by scrolling through the menu.
      Advanced Features
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country has several advanced features. As its name indicates, it has a built-in GPS that can receive and track the wearer's current location. It does not have a heart rate monitor, which disappointed some testers. It has a compass and altimeter that can be very helpful to hikers and skiers going over mountains. It is water resistant up to 30 meters (99 feet), so it can be worn all day even while swimming. It also automatically tracks mile laps, alerts the wearer with a vibration when a lap has been completed, and tells the wearer how many calories they burned. It has a safety glow at night and a back light for low-light conditions.
      The GPS Cross Country has pretty good accuracy. The chronograph is accurate to one-one hundredth of a second, which is helpful for competitions and long-distance runs such as marathons. The altimeter has good accuracy, although it can be not as accurate when air pressure drops or when going over rolling hills in high altitudes. The GPS accurately detects the wearer's location for recording statistics.
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country uses a GPS and USB for connectivity. The GPS usually connects in less than a minute, although some testers reported it can take a minute or two, especially in cloudy or overcast weather. The USB cord is used to upload data to the Strava app and to charge the battery. It does not have Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity.
      The GPS Cross Country was designed to be compatible with the Strava app. Perfect for competitive runners and cyclers, it allows users to upload their data in order to track things over time and compete with friends. The app has a map of your locations provided by the GPS, distance covered and time lapsed. It also has a history graph of distance and times, and a training log that tells you how far you've gone that day and how much further you have to go. Strava functions as a social network where users can follow or be followed on their profile pages, and each person's profile page has a tab for running and a tab for cycling. The app is available on desktop, which is nice because you will need to use a USB port to upload your data, and also on iPhone and Android. Last but not least are the premium features: the beacon feature, where real time locations are shared with up to three friends for safety, leaderboards for competing with friends, and tools for analyzing performance.
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country is very comfortable for a GPS watch. Testers commented that they did not even notice the watch; although some non-GPS watches are even more comfortable. It is made of lightweight materials because of Soleus's commitment to intuitive features for runners, and weighs just 2.08 ounces. It sits on the wrist and fits great on large and small wrists. The band is comfortable to wear, but does not have as many eyelets as some other watches, so some reviewers noted that the watch's overall fit could be a little better. However, since it does not have a heart rate monitor, the fit does not need to be as exact as fitness watches that do have them.

      Read also about best running shoe for big guys.
      The GPS Cross Country comes in two styles: black / Lime and Black / Gray. The watches have a round shape and look the same except for the accent color on the bezel. The screen has black text and a gray background, with large digital numbers, letters, and icons on the display. The stationary bezel is made of black plastic and the black rubber band has a buckle clasp. The case is stainless steel with a diameter of 35 mm and a thickness of 18 mm.
      This watch is solid even though it is made of plastic and testers said that it feels like it might break. It can be dropped or accidentally bumped into things and not break. The band is comfortable and feels fragile, but it can be worn for daily activities without any problem as long as it's not pulled on too much. Potential buyers should note that the battery charger clip joint is easily broken, so they will need to be careful when charging the battery. The battery lasts for many recharges over at least a few years, and the buttons on the sides also last for years without chipping or breaking off.
      The face has a round shape with large black digital letters and numbers for easy reading. There are several screens that can be scrolled through by clicking on the buttons. It can display the time and date, run, chronograph, timer, GPS-based altimeter (altitude, ascent and descent), compass, alarm, autolap and view settings, and a choice of indoor or outdoor training mode.
      The band is black and made of rubber/polyurethane. It is the standard 22 millimeters wide. It is flexible enough to be worn during workout activities and durable enough to not break easily. It has eyelets/holes for adjustability, although not as many as heart rate monitor watches, and comfortable to wear. It has a buckle clasp for closure and comes in a single unisex length.
      Sizes Available
      The GPS Cross Country is available in a single length called “unisex” and the width is 22 mm. Testers noted that the watch fits well on both large and small wrists, which is good because some watches don't feel right on small or feminine wrists. The size of the watch face is a good happy medium between too large for small wrists and too small for large wrists. The eyelets allow the band to be adjusted in order to fit different sizes.
      Ease of Use
      The watch's menus are easy to navigate through once you know what you're doing, but many testers said that it took some time to learn how to use the watch. The top left button is for the light, setting and saving laps, and increasing adjustments. The bottom left button is for selecting the mode and exiting a particular screen. The top right button starts and stops the timer, saves data, and decreases adjustments. The bottom right button changes the view. The buttons are very easy to press and can sometimes accidentally be pressed when reaching into one's pocket. Charging the watch and uploading data are easy because you just need to plug the watch into a USB port using the cord that comes in the box. Users will need to download Soleus Sync before uploading data.
      Power Source
      This watch is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. It charges using a USB cable and lasts for nine to 10 hours of GPS activity between charges, and can last for up to a few months when used as a watch and the GPS is turned off. The battery can be recharged a lot of times, but it drains faster when the GPS is on, the EL back light is on, or the watch is in Night Mode (safety glow on). It also drains faster on the longer runs of more experienced runners as opposed to short daily runs, which makes it a good entry level watch. Most testers did not experience problems with the battery, although a few reported that their battery would not charge.
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country was slightly lower than average price when it was released originally in 2013. It has the basic tracking features for runners and also uploads data to the Strava app. It also has a GPS, back light/safety glow, a decent battery life, and is water resistant enough for swimming. Taking away from the price are the lack of heart rate monitor, smartphone connectivity, and colorful display. The GPS Cross Country is currently being sold for anywhere from 33% off to a few dollars over its original price, and many retailers no longer carry it because it is sold out or discontinued due to being an older watch.
      The accessory for this watch is the Soleus GPS Watches Charging Cable – Data Upload, which is available on the Soleus website for $20. It is a replacement charging cable in case the one that came with the watch gets lost or broken. It can either charge the watch using USB or allow data uploads to the Soleus Sync Software. There is another clip charger available for $10 but it is not compatible with this watch because it does not allow data uploads, so potential buyers should pay close attention so they purchase the correct charging cable.
      Key Features
      • GPS built-in for receiving location

      • Keeps track of total distance as well as current pace and average speed

      • Compass and altimeter for detecting direction and elevation

      • Water resistant up to 30 meters (99 feet)

      • Allows users to upload data via USB, and store up to 100 laps of data/memory

      • Allows wearers to set interval timers with its chronograph and automatically detects laps with a vibration

      • Easy to read display with large digits

      • Safety glow during night mode and EL back light for low-light conditions

      • Rechargeable battery lasts 9 to 10 hours between charges when using a GPS
      Bottom Line
      The Soleus GPS Cross Country is a great entry-level watch for runners and cyclers looking to track their goals and compete with friends. It is comfortable, durable, easy to use, water resistant, has a nice look to it, fits most wrist sizes, has pretty good accuracy, and is affordable for a fitness watch. It is able to be used indoors or outdoors, in the sun, in the dark, or anywhere in between. Areas to improve upon include making the navigation system more intuitive to use, better accuracy in high elevations, more eyelet holes, and possibly adding a heart rate monitor and making the display in color. The GPS Cross Country is a nice option for people who are currently using or want to use the Strava app because it will help take care of tracking and uploading their data for them.
      Where to Buy
      By Stephanie Potter
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 05. 2021

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