The Soleus GPS 3.0 - Trial Tests

The Kingfisher training crew recently received the Soleus GPS 3.0 watch, courtesy of Soleus Running SG's generosity to trial.  These experienced Kingfisher trainers have used a number of other training computers and heart-rate monitors, and were eager to take this new kid on the block for some test drives.  We brought it for a number of runs on both road and trails, in the city as well as park connectors, from distances of 8km-25km over a period of one month.  What follow are findings based on initial trials and feedback from our trainers, with some areas required for further testing and feedback for improvements by the manufacturer.

The Soleus GPS 3.0 watch comes with all the functionality of Heart-Rate Monitor (HRM) and a GPS function (without the need for an additional arm-pouch like in some other GPS watches) at an affordable price.


The Soleus GPS score well in the looks department with a simple black/yellow strip that gives the sporty look, yet able to wear it out as a causal timepiece for non-running activities too.  The Soleus watch is pretty light and of compact size compared with other GPS watches, although it could be even slimmer and best to come with a wider range of colours.  The watch strap fits rather snugly and wraps around the wrist very well.

Configuring the watch was rather straightforward, with just a few user settings (gender, weight, age, etc) to deal with.  However, the familiar data view settings found in some of the other popular brands were absent here.  Then this is a no-frills watch with important readings such as time, distance, pace and speed sufficiently covered, including simple calorie calculations.

Detection of the GPS signal was rather spiffy (within a minute) and the function worked well both in the city as well as trails.  This is comparable if not faster than the higher-end GPS watches that we have previously used.  Tracking of the entire run, up to 25km was correct with the signals maintained throughout.  

The Lap interval marks are quite easy to use and there is an auto lap feature which can be set.  The lap display shows the distance covered and current time for that lap.  These were certainly put to good use during our track and interval training sessions.

Use as a regular watch

Because of the lightweight and small size of the watch, it is a good proposition to be used as a normal watch, which will display basic functions like time zones, day of week, date and time.  The watch supports up to five audible alarms, which can then be configured against the different time zones you’ve set (you can set up to two time zones).


The Indiglo-style backlight that displays for 12seconds upon activation is bright enough, and the contrast can be adjusted to give a darker tone to the text for clarity.

Battery Life

The Soleus GPS uses a USB charging cable that you’ll plug into an existing USB port of a computer or wall adaptor.  The charging is pretty fast even with the computer USB connection, just that the initial ‘bite’ of the cable to the watch needs some getting used to.

With a 8hr battery life with the GPS on, the watch does have good ‘stamina’ to last at least a marathon.  The battery in idle state is able to last for many days without charging, much better than some of the high-end GPS watches we have used.  

Download & Analysis

The watch comes with a USB charge cable which will double up as a data download function. 
The software to capture downloads with run data and mapped locations can be downloaded free from the Soleuswebsite.  However, the transfer of data to the computer takes a while to get activated occasionally.  But once the downloading get underway, the data is downloaded quickly and presented in minute detail for analysis on the computer.

The software display gives summary information of my runs, activities including pace graphs and heart rate zones information shown in graphical form.  Data points of 1-second recording interval are shown, very fine information presented in a chart.  There are tabs with many other information shown, including manually or automatically recorded lap information.

There is a mapping to both Google Map and MapMyRun showing the routes and distances that I have covered during the workouts.  Once it is in MapMyRun format, elevation data can be analysed as well.

Settings for the watch can also be done via the software interface and then updated to the watch when it syncs.

Initial Conclusions

Overall, the Soleus 3.0 GPS functions well as a reasonably-priced GPS watch with HRM function.  Although there are a few nice-to-have features that are missing, we can see more enhancements to be added on as we get increased user feedback.  

The watch is aesthetically nice for both sports-related activities and casual wear, lessening the requirement for a separate timepiece.  The GPS unit being integrated into the watch without a separate piece reduces any additional baggage to the runner, to run freely.  

The ease of use and reduced functionality offers smooth transition for first-time and new users to such training computer watches.  

At a price of $369 retail, this is a good value running watch with full functionality of HRM and GPS, a worthy contender in the growing range of running watches in the market.