17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2013
I have been using the Magellan Switch Up for ~2 months now. I primary bought this watch to use as a GPS cycling computer so I could record and track my rides (both indoor and outdoor). I also run but use (and will continue to use) and Garmin Forerunning 405cx (which has the most annoying bezel in the world). Because of the Switch-Ups features I will also be using this watch during my triathlons.
Overall I am very happy with this product and would recommend to a friend.
High Level Pro's and Cons:
1) Much less expensive than Garmin's Edge 500 - couldn't find any other option that could come close to the Switch-Up's functionality for the price
2) Works with all ANT+ accessories
3) Works well for both running and biking - the Multisport mode is very nice for triathlons
4) Easy to record and download data - does not use ANT+ to download data which is a positive
5) Display is extremely configurable - love this feature
6) Accurate GPS - In order to get accurate GPS I had to download the latest firmware and also wait an extra minute after it said it acquired satellites to get good results
7) Uses standard .FIT file format - easy to upload to Strava, Training Peaks, etc
8) Easy to switch between my two bikes
1) Takes longer to acquire satellites than my Garmin Forerunner (ok for me since I mainly use it for cycling)
2) Bulky - If this was my primary running watch it would be a bit too large, on the bike its perfect though
3) Magellan Active website - not a fan but I can easily upload my workouts to just about any 3rd party site so not a big deal for me
4) Battery life - I have not run into any problems, my longest work out has been just over 3 hours but if I were to do an ironman I would probably need to buy the extended battery pack
Here was my list of must haves when I was looking for a cycling computer:
1) ANT+ compatible - already have ANT+ sensors and need a computer that plays nice with ANT+
2) Can be used on multiple bikes - have a road and triathlon bike and want to be able to switch the watch between them
3) Can be used with a power meter - I don't own one today but this will be my next purchase
4) Accurate GPS
5) Less than $300 (was originally looking at a Garmin Edge 500)
The Switch Up met all these points and had many extra features that I really like (including how customizable the display is). When buying this product, for me, it was really a two horse race between the Garmin Edge 500 (~$250) and the Switch Up. The Garmin Edge has been the gold standard for so long that it was a hard choice even with the higher price. In the end the price was the biggest selling point for the Switch Up and I was able to get speed/cadence sensors for my bike and still money left over.
I want to expand on a couple points:
I have seen reviews that have stated poor GPS accuracy. In order to determine the accuracy I did 20 workouts (some running and some biking) with both the Magellan and my Garmin Forerunner (and a couple with my wife's Forerunner 405 too). The first run I completed, the Magellan showed horrible accuracy.... +5% of the Forerunner and on route that I was confident in the distance (from previous group runs with several other GPS watches confirming the distance). I downloaded the data and on the map view I could see that the Magellan thought I was bouncing from one side of the street to the other, where the Garmin had a smooth tracking (on the correct side of the street).
I downloaded the latest software and, on my next run, I waited an extra ~1 min after the watch said it had acquired satellites before taking off. This time I got much better results - within 1% of the Garmin results on the same course. I was expecting these two watches to be within +/- 2.5% of one another and as long as I would give the Magellan a little extra time it would be within this "limit". This is fine for my because I will primarily be using this on my bike so I using have plenty of time to let the watch acquire satellites while I'm airing up my tires and what not.
I see that many reviews say they have seen poor accuracy, but after I updated the firmware and started giving the watch a little more time to acquire satellites I did not see this issue.
The Switch Up supports all of the major ANT+ accessories, which means that it can easily go indoors or out from a recording standpoint. Here are the ANT + accessories that I have used with this device: heart rate monitor (Garmin), Footpod (Garmin) and Speed / Cadence Sensor (Garmin). All these were extremely easy to pair with the device. I actually have two Speed/Cadence accessories, one for each bike, and it is easy to go from one bike sensor to another
Other reviews to check out...
DC Rainmaker's review (one of the best out there)
CNET review (decent review, not too in depth)
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
So I read the review regarding the Switch Up vs the MOTOACTV, and I must say that I strongly disagree. Its difficult to compare these two devices based on their features.
A brief background:
My first fitness GPS was/is a Forerunner 305 which served me well, albeit the battery is finally dead after years of use.
My second fitness GPS was the MOTOACTV. It lasted 4 months - Luckily I purchased it from REI and they returned it, after Motorola would not replace it. (They cited sweat damage)
My third and current GPS is the Magellan Switch Up. I wanted to try Magellan this time, as I had tried Garmin and Motorola in the past. I also chose the "Up" version for the vibration alerts and temperature monitoring.
The following is for information purposes and not an actual review. The Pro's and Con's listed will be features or problems that the other does NOT have.
The MOTOACTV vs the Switch Up.
-Bluetooth (wireless headphones for voice feedback or music)
-WiFi Syncing to the MOTOACTV Portal (Webpage)
-MP3 Player (Will pull NON DRM Protected music from iTunes)
-Android (Hackable for advanced users)
-Can be used as a watch very easily
-Integration with Android Phones (Text alerts, incoming calls, etc)
Pro's Switch Up:
-50m Water Proof (Swimming)
-Vibration Alerts (Going to slow, just hit 5miles, etc)
-File Export to .FIT .KML or .GPX for your favorite Fitness tracking app
-Disk Mode (access your data without using a portal/webpage)
-SiRFstarIV GPS Chipset (Current Gen)
-Add-on battery pack (Extend your device's life)
-This is HUGE: On the box and when described on a website "Rain Resistant and Sweat Proof" but in reality and written in the warranty terms: "Defects or damage that result from: ... (b) contact with liquid, water, rain, extreme humidity or heavy perspiration, sand, dirt or the like, extreme heat, or food." I guess its not "Rain Resistant" OR "Sweat Proof". Buyer Be Warned.
-Sweat and Rain causes the multitouch to trigger, this can result in unwanted function. (Skipping songs, pausing workouts, etc)
-No Replaceable battery
-Cannot access data any other way than the website
-Uses Gorilla Glass: Can chip and crack (Know anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch with a cracked screen? Yep, just like that.) Garmin and Magellan devices still use plastic (will only scratch)
-Rubber plugs that go into Micro USB and Headphone port can fall out
-Touchscreen does not work with gloves on (Winter)
-First generation device; support is abysmal
Con's Switch Up:
-Price. While it has a few killer features that comparable Garmin's do not have, I'm not sure its worth the extra $150. (vs Forerunner 205)
-Menus system is incredibly clunky
-Single user. It may have multiple Activity Profiles, but only 1 User Profile.
-Buttons are spaced very close together. There is lots of "real estate" not being used. Accidental pushes could be prevented
-Too large? Based on what the new Nike GPS Watch and MOTOACTV fit into such a small product.
-Does not Auto-Save. You must manually save each activity
-Black and White screen. Reverse print is nice, but its 2012
-First generation product (Magellan is new to the fitness game).
I'm very happy with the Switch Up. I feel like I did years ago when I bought my Forerunner 305, a fantastic purchase.
Although I had an extremely poor experience with the MOTOACTV, I did purchase it first. Its a great little 'toy'. I just hope those that buy it don't expect it to be as durable as I did.
Hopefully this will help someone decide which device is right for them.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
Bad inaccurate watch and terrible customer response. Stay away from this product. I contacted them many times through emails and all, and told them that its accuracy is terrible regarding measuring distance. They tell me to eventually there would be an update and fix the problem. Even though they know the product is a lemon.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've used the Garmin Forerunner for about 5 years when it finally died on me and I loved it. I'd been looking for another GPS watch to use for all my outdoor activity and came across this. When I first got it out of the box I noticed it isn't quite as clunky as my old Garmin, although still a little on the big side. It comes in pieces so that you can mount it to various items, such as your bike, wristband, or plug it in to your computer to upload your activity.
This is one of the drawbacks. My old Garmin was an all in one piece, meaning all I had to do was take the watch off and connect it to the USB cord and voila, can upload my activity. With the Magellan you have disconnect the face of the watch, which doesn't come off as easy as you would think. There isn't a release button so I always feel like I am struggling to un-snap it. Conversely when you connect it to your computer it practically snaps all by itself and comes off just as easy. But it is still a little hard to detach the device.
Acquiring a signal in San Jose was no problem at all, acquiring it almost immediately. Once I was running I didn't lose the signal at all. I was even able to obtain a signal inside my apartment, although that would drop off occasionally when I moved it around. But outside the signal was strong. As you are running you have several settings you can choose from, with the default display and unit being the time ran, distance ran, and pace, using kilometers. Half way through my run I was able to easily switch the unit to miles and continue my run. As you reach each lap, default being 1 mile, it beeps and vibrates, letting me know in an unobtrusive way. A nice feature is the auto pause, where it will notice if you are stopped and pause the watch. Conversely, and I haven't experimented with this much, but if you pause the watch yourself and then start running it will notify you that the watch is still stopped. I like this feature because there have been countless times where I stop my watch and then resume biking or running, only to realize far down the road that I had forgot to re-start it.
Finally I had trouble creating an account. It kept giving me an Account Failure, using two different browsers and two different devices. I eventually had to request Magellan customer support to create the account for me, which they did right away. The website is decent, although I do miss the maps that Garmin provided, or the ability to import to Google Earth. Additionally, there isn't a stand alone software, and instead you must go to their website to upload all your activity. Wish I could have something locally on my computer, so this is a bit of a drawback.
All in all I am impressed with Magellan Switch Up and will have many miles of activity to use it with. A would recommend.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2013
I had high hopes for the Magellan Switch Up. Since Magellan has been producing various GPS devices for many years, I figured that they must have a team of designers who could pull off a new fitness device with as many features as the pre-release hype described. Unfortunately, the features are there, but the all important GPS is not!
While the Switch Up has a marvelous display, and a feature set that is enough to make even the most seasoned endurance athlete's jaw go slack and agape, the one thing that drives all of those features is completely absent - an accurate GPS. Lacking the ability to very accurately determine distance renders all of the seemingly impressive features, save the clock function, completely useless.
To all of those who gave the Switch up a glowing review, I challenge you to take it out and compare the distance that the device is telling you with an actual, measured course. How it "feels" or "seems" is completely irrelevant. Test it against a hard measured distance, and I wager that you will be shocked at the devices inability to properly calculate distance. It really is THAT bad!
While many first generation devices have been "fixed" through firmware updates, the updates to the Switch Up have done nothing to fix the accuracy of the GPS of this device. Since the heart and soul of a fitness device is an accurate GPS, the Switch Up is a zombie amongst a throng of real fitness devices.
Will Magellan do better next time? Let's hope so, because the Switch Up is completely useless in its current state.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I am reviewing the Magellan Switch Up as a bicycle GPS, as it is being marketed to be a multi-use device, I wanted to see how this device performs as a bicycle GPS. I use a Garmin 800 now, which is pricier than the switch up, however my I like the ability to see data all on one page.
Edit: bumping up my review to 4 stars after further use.
Manual (thx to Trizzor): [...]
Items I like:
1. Docking station to charge and transfer data.
2. Display is clear even under sunlight.
3. Auto start when movement is discovered by GPS (like Garmin)
Items I dislike:
1. Device is difficult to remove from the watch or bike attachment.
2. Not able to upload to Strava, yet.
3. Button response is slow.
4. As a watch, it's a little bulky (tall).
Overall, the Magellan Switch Up is a great dedicated bicycle GPS, this is comparable to the Garmin 500 bike GPS which is $100 cheaper. However if you are a runner and a cyclist, this device is excellent.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2013
Update 2014-10-06: My Magellan Switch Up locked up during a ride on Saturday. Now it won't boot up past the Magellan splash screen. Tried the Magellan procedure of deleting all the files, but still won't boot. A terribly low quality product. Contacted Magellan support to get a warranty replacement. They said they would send a replacement, but never did. Do not buy Magellan.
First, there is a pretty serious bug in software version 3407 that can cause you to lose your activity data: if you select an activity to delete, the device will always delete the most recent activity, not the one you selected.
I use the Switch Up for bicycling and running. Overall it works good enough for my purposes, except for on longer rides. The battery only lasts about 6.5 hours.
It's way less expensive than the Garmin alternatives. The screen is pretty small, so it's hard to read while riding or running, but doable. The multisport functionality is nice. I have had some stability issues with the device's software, where it has locked up, requiring me to hold down the power button to revive it. I have updated the software to the latest version from Magellan's web site.
It seems to have trouble connecting to ANT+ sensors except when the Switch Up is first turned on, so sometimes rebooting lets it connect right away. It can sometimes take a frustratingly long time to acquire GPS signal.
The buttons and menu system can be irritating. The audible plus vibrating feedback are nice, but very quiet.
The Switch Up does not support multiple bicycle profiles, which is bad when you have multiple bikes with GSC-10 speed/cadence sensors. So you have to go through a bunch of menus to reconnect to the GSC-10 you want to use before you ride.
The proprietary USB cradle is unfortunate; wish it just used a standard USB micro connector so that you don't need a special cable. Cannot be used for rides lasting longer than the battery charge because it will not turn on when charging. It is nice that the Switch Up appears as a standard USB mass storage device though, so you can easily copy .FIT activity files (which Strava accepts) on any computer (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows), as long as you have the special USB cradle.
It is a bit of a challenge to extract the Switch Up from its wrist or bike mounts, as other reviewers have mentioned, but that's minor. At least it won't accidentally come off. The wrist mount has been comfortable enough for me for hour-long runs. The bike mount is pretty clever, easy to install and remove, no need for cable ties.
The position data is very inaccurate and imprecise compared to a Garmin unit. Compare my track riding: http://www.strava.com/activities/201756296 versus a Garmin: http://www.strava.com/activities/201744045
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I usually use a product for a couple of weeks before I review it, but I used this one hours after I got it and I wanted to post my initial experience and then I'll update it after. I have been using a Fitbit Wireless Activity/Sleep Tracker, Black/Blue since May and I love it. It tells strides and converts those to distance. I'm interested in seeing how it's data correlates with the Switch Up. The Switch Up will also work with a foot pod to tell strides and a bike unit. I may want a foot pod, but there isn't a Magellan brand one, so you have to just pick out an ANT compatible one. I have ordered the Garmin Foot Pod [Retail Packaging]
Public Profile to see my run data: active DOT magellangps DOT com SLASH user SLASH 207
- First Run: Was weird because it started before the unit updated date and time from the GPS. You can see mile 2 included the loss of signal and makes it look like I ran further than I did and thus faster.
- Walk: GPS lock was great. It mapped my walk to the foot, even where I walked back and forth watching a Coyote in the park!
- Run 2: GPS took longer to lock before I started. I was next to tall buildings for a while. Went through 2 tunnels, lost signal, but it locked back on within 10 strides of coming out of the tunnel. Route was very accurate.
- Bike: Just used it on my wrist and switched to the Bike Activity. It held GPS lock the entire time. Mapped route exactly. Really cool.
My Initial Notes:
- Charge went from 100% to 85% on first run. Got back to 100% within 15 minutes of being hooked to my PC
- Unit Snaps into watch band very securely. It is tough to unsnap but that's fine with me.
- Unit is not as large as it looks but it's bigger than a watch. 2 inches by 1.5 and half an inch thick. A little bigger with the watch band. It didn't bother me running at all.
- The Switch Up comes with a getting Started booklet, but the online Manual has all the details on how to use the device.
- It seems that all the settings have to be made on the unit itself using the four buttons on the "watch". It would be really nice to have a computer font end that adjusted the settings, but that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.
- Each button has 2 or three functions and labels. I didn't see the labels in the black rubber at first like the "X" and Checkmark for the left buttons.
- You can edit your display screen. They are mostly defaulted to 3 items per screen. You can bump that from 1 all the way to 6 and then put whatever stat you want in each box. Very noce.
- Website is: active DOT magellangps DOT com
==> Make sure you are not running the 64bit version of Internet Explorer and that Compatibility View is not on.
==> If your unit mounts as a Drive letter when you attach it you can upload your activity data that way. You can use the Upload from Files option, Browse to the drive for the SwitchUp and find your run data in the Activities directory (if you've remembered to hit "Save and Reset"). You do get the option to download GPS data to the unit to increase GPS Lock speed when using the Upload from Device.
- You have to install the plugin to upload the FIT data directly/automatically from the unit. It was a bit funky on my Windows 7 Professional 64 bit machine. It didn't want to run the plugin install because it said it was "unsafe" I had to go to other options on that warning screen and say "Run anyway". I had to close the browser then reopen it to get the upload screen. When I ran the install for the msi file, it flashed up and said installing then went away. No other status updates. It did show up in Control Panel in the list of install programs though.
- After installing the plugin, I failed to get a screen to allow me to upload from the device. The upload files option fails to use any of the files from the device. I have written to Customer support. I will update this when I get it working.
==> It turns out you have to press and hold the left bottom button and select "Save and Reset". Then a new FIT file is created on your device. You can then use the "Upload Files" option and select that file from the "Activities" directory. The website will then show a line under Updates. This can take a while to get imported to your Activities page. Customer service was very helpful.
- Home PC Windows 7 Home Premium: Had to download the MSI plugin and save with another extension. Then rename to .MSI right click and install. File was being blocked by Virus Software. "Upload From Device" option then worked! The program recognized that it had already uploaded that run so it didn't upload that data again. When I uploaded the walk I took from home, the upload from device option also had a checkbox to download GPS data to the unit to increase GPS Lock speed when using the Upload from Device for 7 days.
Running with the Switch
- GPS: I had bought a cheaper unit a year or so that I got from Target on clearance and returned it. It refused to get a GPS lock for longer than a couple of minutes anywhere I ran in Chicago. Today this unit got a lock as soon as I had a decent patch of clear sky. It didn't lock in between tall buildings on the walk to the gym. But once in a little more of clear area it did. It then held the lock really well. I won't know the extent of how good until I can look at the data on their website. It did lose signal in the overpass stairwell. I can see on my run map that it goofed up. That would be where the footpod would help.
- Pace: The pace seemed to be right on. I did a 4.75 mile run and had to walk a few times. The pace was on target from what I do on the treadmill, so that was cool.
- Heat rate: The unit comes with a chest strap for heat rate. It got a really good connection and my heart rate was right on what I'm used to it being on the treadmill.
- There are preset "activities" I just used the Road Run. It automatically reset the lap counter at each mile mark and told me the pace. That was cool. You can adjust these things and add a pacer and this is all setup through the unit itself.
- The pace will be a great motivator for me. I love instant feedback and this unit updates the pace every second or so.
==> I will update this as soon as I get more information.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2014
Bought this watch 3mths ago for my triathlon training. There are still many problems with this watch, although the battery life was stated as 8hrs, it actually lasted only 5hrs initially. After only 3mths of usage (about 3 times a week) the battery life has dropped to 2.5hrs. There were also problem with detecting my HRM and footpod and I had to do a factory reset and restart the ant+ devices. I have tried contacting Magellan through their warranty website but there was no reply.
This watch can't even compare to the Garmin 305 that I bought 4yrs ago, which is definitely a much better product in terms of reliability and functionality.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Garmin seems to be the brand leader when it comes to active GPS devices. Magellan's new device, the Switch Up Crossover, is designed to go from water to bike to run. Overall it's an impressive first effort from Magellan, but there's room for improvement.
The box comes with a bike mount, a wrist mount, charger, the GPS itself and the heart monitor. The Switch lacks a bike mount. There's a manual, but it's a "getting started" manual, nothing indepth. The manual is in PDF form online.
The GPS unit itself is kind of blocky and doesn't have that "cool" look to it, but it works great. It feels pretty snug in both the wrist and bike mounts, so I'm not worried about it falling off. Initial GPS signal acquisition took about 10 seconds and was pretty reliable at a quick glance compared to my old Garmin Edge 305 when examining routes. Once there was a signal, I got fairly good coverage despite the highrises of downtown Chicago.
Since I just started jogging, the Magellan Switch Up worked splendidly. You're able to create your own custom profile just like any other GPS watch and it seemed to agree with the Edge 305. One of the cool things that I like is that there's an "Auto Pause" feature that you can set when you're at a stop, which is handy because if you're in a city, you're going to be stopping quite often. It was able to determine my pace pretty accurately (I hope) even with stops at stop lights. There's also an ETA feature, so you can determine what time you'll be done, even with a stop or two. That's pretty slick - this way I can set up a ride and be sure I'm home at a certain time.
There is a multisport option for triathletes, so you can build your race out and you can quickly go from swim to bike or bike to run. I'm not sure how I'd feel about swimming with this watch but Magellan recommends you keep the unit in your swim cap. If you're doing half triathlons or Ironmans, there's also an extra battery pack that you can buy that stacks on the unit. It's a nice modular design.
The Switch Up is also compatible with ANT+ devices, so power meters, food pods and other telemetry devices will work and record the data. The included heart rate monitor worked fine, and fit snugly around my chest (always a concern since I'm a bigger guy.)
The software is the biggest gripe for me - it's not as polished as Garmin but you can still upload your activities to Garmin Connect if you want. Magellan Active is quite nice, but the online mapping is not pretty. It makes me miss the Google Maps overlay of Garmin. There's a lot of social features so you can share your workouts.
Overall this is a great first effort from Magellan. I'm sure that minor bugs will be worked out in future firmware enhancements, but this is a good effort. It's $100 cheaper than the comparable Garmin device, the Forerunner 910XT, and should be on your shortlist if you plan on doing duathlons or triathlons.