Tech4o Discover Review

March 15, 2012
Tech4o Discover
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
97
GPS Accuracy
8
Satellite Acquisition Speed
9

The Good

  • Great size—standard watch size
  • Heart rate strap included
  • Great as a navigation tool
  • Highly accurate
  • Good battery life in GPS (8.5 hours)

The Bad

  • Software is not Mac compatible
  • Inability to export data except to software
  • Font on display is lackluster
  • Software is basic but lacks sophistication
THE VERDICT

The Tech4o (Technology for Outdoors) Discover watch is a nice entry level GPS unit that packs a lot of tools for a reasonable price.  It lacks the higher resolution and touch screen or bezel of some other GPS watches on the market, but nonetheless when it came down to its basic functions, the Discover worked very well.

FULL REVIEW

The Tech4o Discover is a fairly easy and simple to use GPS watch and outdoor tool. While Tech4o promotes the Discover as an all around outdoor activity tool, my review is simply from the point of view of a runner.  It is interesting to note that the Discover does have navigation capabilities, including a compass, though my tests did not focus on this aspect of the unit.

Size
This is a small watch—a big plus for those with smaller wrists.  The face looks like a standard sports watch and the strap is similar as well.  I had no complaints with the fit or size of the wacth at all and in fact it is one of its best features. 
Before being able to use the Discover, one must first load the software from the 80mm cd (Macs will not support either the 80mm cd or the software that the watch uses). Hopefully in the future Tech4o will make software available that is Mac compatible for the Discover.

Software
Upon loading the software, you need to plug the unit into the computer with the USB charging and transfer cord.  After charging the unit, you can then program the watch with the software.  You can then enter personal data while configuring the unit to your liking.  You can enter metric vs. standard units as well as program the data display fields (pace, distance, altitude, etc) to your liking.  I found this to be fairly simple as the software is pretty basic and straightforward.  What I did not enjoy was the fact that the set up of the data fields was easiest set via the computer software rather than manually.  Manual configuration can be pretty tedious but is nice if you don’t have access to a computer.  However, I can see why Tech4o did this, as part of the programming of the watch allows for the program multiple user profiles which would permit for more than one person to use the watch.

Running Function
After setting the watch up it’s time to run. The watch has four main function screens: Compass, Home Time, Navigation, and Workout.  Simply tap the view button to scroll through these screens.  Once on workout, hold the view until the “GPS ON or GPS OFF” text appears. 

Satellite Acquisition
With the GPS on, the Discover acquired satellites very quickly, about a minute at most which is on quicker end of other watches I’ve tested.  In my tests, I set the data display fields to record standard distance, average running pace, current pace and altitude.  The Discover responded well with accuracy in all aspects of my tests.  I wore it with another GPS I use and it compared very well.  I especially enjoyed that the Discover has an altimeter which for other watches in its price range is uncommon.

Accuracy
Based on my 5000m track test that I do with all GPS tests, the Discover ended up being only 80m off, which is extremely accurate.  Like other watches the Discover allows one to take splits during the run and then review all data after on the computer.  Another advantage of the Discover is that you can review your routes via Google Earth.  It is also worth mentioning that the Discover comes with a heart rate strap which is a nice addition.

Summary
I had only two complaints:  the graphics on the watch are rather jagged; they just look a bit outdated.  Secondly, the Discover is not Mac compatible.  Overall, this is a great introductory watch from Tech4o, similar to Garmin’s Forerunner 110 or Nike+ Sport Watch though it does offer the user a lot more options and for a great price.

Features
•    Workout Metrics
•    Smart Lap/Track Log function- auto maps your route
•    Waypoint Navigation
•    Digital Compass
•    Heart Rate monitoring
o    2.4GHz wireless transmission speed.  Coded technology prevents interference from other watches or exercise equipment
•    PC Uplink & analysis software
o    Watch settings and Workout profiles can be easily configured on your computer then uploaded to the watch
•    Time Mode
•    EL Backlight
•    Full Dot Matrix LCD
•    30m Water Resistance
•    Rechargeable Battery

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$200.00
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