Most helpful positive review
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Works wonders for me
on July 16, 2012
I've had a MOTOACTV for almost 3 months now, and I'm happier with it than I ever expected to be. I had arthroscopic knee surgery 4 months ago, and my surgeon recommended bicycling as therapy for my knee. When I was clear to start riding, I bought a new bike and a MOTOACTV with Motorola's heart rate sensor, bike speed/cadence sensor, and bike mount.
I've racked up 650 miles since then, and lost around 25 lbs. Part of that is because I really, *really* want to lose weight and get my knee back into shape, but the MOTOACTV has been a huge help. I'm able to track distance and speed for each ride and see my progress, and I'm the sort of person that this sort of thing really motivates. I'm now cycling daily and getting in around 100 miles per week, and feel like cycling and exercise is a comfortable new part of my life. I've went from almost completely sedentary to reasonably fit (if still overweight), and I feel like it's a permanent change, not just a hobby that I'm going to drop when circumstances make me miss a few days.
There are a number of similar devices on the market from Garmin and other manufacturers, as well as phone apps+dongles that can accomplish most of the same things, but for my uses, the MOTOACTV has the best mix of features of anything on the market. Specifically:
- The battery lasts for 6-8 hours of active use, or around 2 days of use as a pedometer. Most fitness phone apps that I've seen will kill phones in way less time.
- It syncs over WiFi, so I don't have to drag it back to a computer to sync. If I'm not in a hurry to look at results, then I can just wait and it'll sync on its own every few hours. If I want to look at the results, then 'sync now' is only a couple button presses away.
- It charges over microUSB, so I don't need to bring Yet Another Charger when I'm traveling.
- It's flexible about how you wear it. You can put it on the big, chunky watch band, or clip it to your belt, or put it on the bike mount, or even shove it in a pocket. I've done all of those at different times.
The combination of these mean that the MOTOACTIV has the least *friction* of any fitness device that I've used. It Just Works--I don't have to worry about charging it, or conserving power, or syncing it, or anything. I just plug it into my phone charger every now and then, and it's good.
Now, it's not perfect. It's Motorola's first attempt at a fitness device, and there are a few weird issues with it. It's not as waterproof as it should be, the battery doesn't last long enough for an all-day bike ride, syncing is kinda slow (it syncs ~30 minutes of data per minute, so a 2 hour ride is going to take several minutes to sync). The UI is a bit odd sometimes. The screen can only show duration + distance + 4 other variables at a time while biking, so I can't show speed, elevation, cadence, time-of-day, calories burned, and heart rate all at once. It'll sync with Android phones natively, but not iPhones. But, all in all, I'm really happy with it. Motorola has kept pushing out substantial software updates about once per month, and each one adds a feature or two and fixes a bunch of known bugs.
I'm happy enough with it that I'm tempted to buy a second one and keep it as a reserve--if I ever lose or break the first one, then I won't miss a day or two's worth of exercise data. I've lost a couple fitbits over the past two years, and it's been really demoralizing, even if I find them eventually.