So today I went to see Motorola. Two very nice gents (Bobby and Joel) took me through the latest Motorola gear and it started with this – a watch. Now, I should just point out that this isn’t just “a watch”, it’s actually more of a personal trainer that sits on your wrist. Oh, and it doesn’t have to sit on your wrist either.
The Motorola MOTOACTV, to give it’s full name, lets you track your fitness and sync music via an online portal. You can side-load tracks too, but if you just want to click-and-go you can. If you don’t want it as a watch you could instead use the Sports Armband, clip, bike mount or one ot the other sports accessories.
As you run, cycle or walk the MOTOACTV will track you via GPS and calculate your calories, speed and other data which you can access online when you get home and hook onto your WiFi. With optional accessories (like the heart-rate monitor and bike sensor) you can even tell your heart rate and how much you’re peddling – no free-wheeling down-hill and getting extra points.
Music plays a big part too, and you can load up the on-board storage with your favourite tracks to push you on. It’ll even “learn” which tunes spur you on to give you the extra push when you need it.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. I asked that very question. This, deep down, is Android. Sure, you can’t load Angry Birds on it – the interface is simple, clean and effective – but what happens to the battery with all that GPS usage? Luckily Motorola have noticed this. When they were testing the product they weren’t pleased with the battery usage and, following some serious tweaking, they’re now getting 8-10 hours of life with continuous use. So, if you fancy running for 8-10 hours solid, you should be fine.
The MOTOACTV features easy-to-locate buttons to adjust volume, start your training session and start playing music. The 1.6″ touch-screen is bright and quick, with a simple and clean interface that makes it easy and quick to use.
I’ve seen phone manufacturers attempt to make “smart watches” before and I have to confess this is one of the better ones. Sure, it’s a little chunky, but for fitness fans that actually fits in quite well and the on-line portal means that you can keep an eye on your regime (and your music) easily – no downloading, cables or software to worry about.
It’s available in the UK for around £249.99. Have a look at Sweat Shop if you’d like one.
We’ve got some excellent hands-on time with (thankfully) none of the usual MWC background noise :)