Thursday, January 12, 2012

MOTOACTV - my first sports watch

I was thinking for while about buying GPS-enabled cycling computer and Garmin Enge 500 was my favorite. I wanted to try my routes and connect other sensors via ANT+. Obviously Garmin device provides all these features. I can connect cadence and heart rate sensors. I can even upload it to my Bodymedia Activity Manager via Garmin Connect. Then few weeks ago Motorola revealed MOTOACTV device, Android based sports watch with music player. Moreover it has ANT+ and Bluetooth LE so potentially I can use more accessories than with Edge 500. It also has WiFi and FM Radio. Apparently you can also root the device and install some other Android apps. I guess these two devices are hard to compare. Edge is truly cycling computer while Motoactv is a hybrid. I decided to get Motoactv cause it can be used for other activities beside cycling and in theory I can expand it by installing additional apps in future.


I got it yesterday and it was pretty easy to setup. If you want to use WiFi you have to install desktop software in order to add networks (you cannot type passwords on this device). I tried desktop software on Windows and OS X and functionality is similar. I charged it for couple hours as directed before I tried it outside. I must say that GPS lock is instant in comparison to my Palm Pre+ which quite often cannot sync at all. I guess it is what you get when you got GPS integrated with a phone receiver. What I liked Motoactv is auto start/stop workout feature. It automatically sense that device is not moving and suspends logging data until you start moving again. I was not always sure about my average speed provided by SmartRunner app on my phone cause it kept logging even if I stopped. I hope it will be possible to install Android version of this app on Motoactv some day to compare. After you are done with you workout you may upload data to tracking website. You might do it wirelessly with WiFi or connect to the desktop with USB. Wireless option is great when you do not have your computer with you but still want to upload and see results. I would probably need ANT+ USB stick if I chose Garmin. I am still waiting for delivery of heart rate monitor to see how ANT+ integration works.