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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.
22 comments37 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 16, 2012
I purchased the 8GB version of this product from Amazon in December 2011. I consider myself an early adopter. In the beginning, Motorola was very proactive at helping with problems on the device. Specifically, the major problems I have deal with the web portal...the device itself has had some minor quirks but nothing that is a show stopper. I helped Motorola troubleshoot problems with the website up until mid-January. After that, everything worked relatively nicely until early July 2012...about 6 months of the device doing what it was supposed to do. I have not been able to view any of my workouts (even the old ones) since mid-July. I reported this problem to Motorola tech support...they created a ticket and then unilaterally cancelled it. They sent me an e-mail saying the problem was solved when in fact the problem was not solved. I have posted on the Motorola forums. It took weeks to get a Motorola employee to respond to the complaints regarding this issue (I am not alone with it). They still have not proposed a fix. Anytime I do a workout with music (the primary reason I bought this device was so I could have the MP3 player and GPS in one device) I get a message that the website is "unable to process the request". I listen to music during the vast majority of my workouts. The fact that Motorola has cut the price of the device by nearly 50% does not give me confidence that they will continue to support actually makes me think that they are dumping it. The Motorola website is the ONLY way to get your data out of this device. There is no option of directly retrieving your workout data via USB to your computer. Right now, the only thing the device is useful for is playing music (with less functionality than my ipod) and telling me how far I have run. I cannot use the data the device is collecting to assist me with increasing my fitness level and tailoring my workouts. I'm really not sure why Motorola won't fix the website...they are not providing answers either through tech support or via their forums. The failure of Motorola to launch the wireless headphones/heartrate sensor that they were promising when I originally purchased this device was a huge disappointment, but the inability to get my workout data is a showstopper. If I could return this device to Amazon at this point, I would. Do not purchase this if you want to view your workout data.
77 comments72 of 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 11, 2013
I *really* wanted to love this watch. I had been on the lookout for a fitness device for MONTHS and MONTHS that:
-- plays music and is compatible with wireless headphones
-- has GPS functionality
-- is compatible with heart rate monitors and cycling computers
-- uploads your data automatically over a wireless connection
-- aggregates and analyzes your data
-- is smaller than a smartphone
... I felt like I hit the jackpot when I discovered the MOTOACTV. It really does everything listed above, as advertised. The watch itself is great and has a pretty slick interface.

The software needs some work (both the desktop software and web portal). For example, I wanted to upload some data onto Strava, but it was incredibly complicated to do so.

The most disappointing thing is that the watch is not sweat-proof! I have tried to get in touch with customer support regarding this via the portal (both the live chat and e-mail), and the responses have been less than helpful (call our 800 number or look through our forum).

For now, I'm back to using my smartphone and old school Polar Heart Rate monitor. :Sigh:
22 comments25 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 6, 2013
I have never written a review on here but felt obligated based on my experiences with Motorola Support/Service. I purchased the device for Christmas in 2012. I was incredibly exited about it -- it truly had many features that would essentially replace my wife's iPod / Nike+ combo. The device worked ... OK for a few months; although we found it incredibly difficult to load music. That process was never robust, and often the files wouldn't show.

A couple of months later we started to encounter battery issues. The device would need a 100% full charge for a ~45 min run outside using GPS. Looking online, this appeared common. In the first-generation of this thing, it wasn't terribly unexpected.

Then, during summer 2013, the device became incredibly buggy, the screen essentially stopped working, and the thing became an expensive paperweight. A couple months later (we were moving) I finally sent the device into Motorola repair well within the time frame of warranty.

They said that there were some interior pins/connectors that appeared to be corroded -- DUE TO PHYSICAL DAMAGE and they wouldn't not repair. I'll be honest, I can guarantee the issue is sweat. We didn't think this would be an issue because Motorola claims that the MotoACTV is SWEAT-PROOF. Not sweat-resistant, but sweat-proof. Being a workout device, this is expected.

However, Motorola support claims that the corrosion inside the device is due to physical damage and won't replace. They don't seem to care that they suckered many people into buying a P.O.S.

If you're going to walk with this, or do any non-strenuous activities then it may be suitable. However, as I think you'll see, anyone who is running with this, and has owned for any length of time will say that it is simply NOT AS ADVERTISED!
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on August 9, 2012
When on earth are Motorola actually going to fix the TERRIBLE web site - they call it "the Portal".

It is buggy at best and every time they "fix" one thing it breaks two existing things.

At the moment, no route maps have been shown for over a month. Nothing has been done and the numerous complaints on the forums and on facebook and direct to Customer Service have all been ignored or fobbed off.

The thing with the MotoActv is that you're stuck with the terrible "portal" because you can't get at YOUR data unless you first upload it to their portal.

Then it's possible to export a very limited, and often faulty, amount of data as a .csv file. No intervals, laps etc..

So.. Matt, as you seem to have deserted the forums.. are you prepared to answer in here? What's going on? Why the big price drop? Why is the forum being ignored? Why all the problems on the "portal"????
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on September 24, 2012
Stay away from this product if you do anything that actually causes you to sweat. The sweat resistance is minimal, and motorola will try to tell you that you have water damage from sweating. GPS is inferior to Garmin by a long shot (running maps showed me running through the middle of a river), and distance was off by up to 1/2 mile on known tracks. Music suddenly stopped working with any headphones. Battery life is horrible. The number of updates the device needs is through the roof. I was updating every two weeks (that is until it ended up at Motorola for repair for the music). Motorola tech support is also sub par, and even with their 5 day turn around time, I am waiting two weeks to get my device back. Don't just read the reviews on amazon, check the web (don't use google search as they suppress the bad remarks..... they own motorola). Get yourself a low end garmin and an ipod nano, and you will be MUCH happier. Even my iPod does better on distance tracking then the motoactv did. O, one last comment, the volume from the motoactv is very low, so I needed a set of powered headphones just to be able to hear through minimal wind noise. Overall, this is a half-baked device!

PS. I am writing this on behalf of 25 people from my gym that purchased the device through a motorola rep that has since left the company because she couldn't handle the complaints anymore. Motorola is doing nothing to help us.
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on December 16, 2012
New Updated Review and Rating: Motorola has since fixed the software bug that I complain about below. What also fixed this issue was factory-resetting the device. I refuse to "root it" as one user suggests because I think the running apps are even worse. The Motorola GPS and portal are pretty accurate and they now have an "export" feature, so you can TCX it out to one of your preferred sights. Overall, since the reboot and software fixes, this device has served me well since Nov. 2012 (today is April 1, 2013)....
Old Review::::::::

This old dying dinosaur of a company just can't get their acts together, can they??!!

I was initially very happy with this device; it did everything that it was supposed to. I'm a runner who loves to run and listen to inspirational music AND have accurate running stats down to the second and tenth of a mile.

Fast forward to a month later and there is now a software glitch. Some type of "Multisport" functionality was added.... so, what it does is it resets my lap count (when I don't want it to) and the start/stop button then pauses when I don't want it to. The result is it spits out data in the form of several "laps" or increments which weren't user defined (ie not defined by me). Again, I wanted to purely use it for running to get accurate GPS stats, times, etc. I posted this complaint to their forum and got no answer whatsoever. Other users have experienced the same thing as well.

Now, I don't know what to do with the effin' hunk-of-junk and am temporarily back to using my Smartphone/Runkeeper app. I will soon be shopping soon for another GPS watch from a renowned telematics company like Garmin..

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY....The last 3 items have bought from them have all been failures. 1.) The Razor - display went out after 1 year. 2.) Broadband cable "booster" - stopped working after 3 months. 3.) MotoACTV. It's no wonder they got bought out by Google.
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on August 14, 2012
I have to strongly recommend against the MotoACTV for any real runners out there.

Personally I really like the device, except for one very fatal flaw:
from [...]
"What type of damages are not covered by my warranty?

Damage and/or performance issues that result from contact with any liquid, water, rain or extreme humidity are excluded from warranty coverage.
Motorola will not repair or replace liquid-damaged products. They will be returned unrepaired."

I've had great battery life, run 17 miles with it, kept the screen on the whole time (running in predawn hours it's fantastic not having to find a light button) and had over 40% battery when done. The GPS quality is very good, usually less than 30 seconds or so to locking. I don't use the MotoACTV website, as I have a script that automatically grabs the data and converts it ready to post to runkeeper (or any other decent site) and I'm working on a way to automate that completely.

During my first 12 mile run with the MotoACTV my "music" button got stuck on, and I couldn't navigate away from the music menu. Ok, I disabled the music button. Next run Volume UP got stuck. Disabled that. Then the "back" button on the screen became flaky. Sent it in for repairs, got it back a little more than a week later. First run with it (15 miles) was fantastic. Next run my HR strap quit connecting. Next run same. Next run (17 miles) the "back" button on the screen kept getting triggered, and it self-navigate back to the main watch page. I couldn't tap the screen fast enough to get the workout page back up fast enough to see how far I'd run. Very frustrating. Of course the "workout" button had stopped working so I couldn't just press it to get back, and there was no way to stop the workout in the end except turn off the MotoACTV.

So I have now disabled volume up, music, and mapped volume down to workout, and it is still totally unusable after a few miles.

I'm sure all of this is because I have the audacity to sweat while I'm working out.

So Friday my Garmin 910 is arriving and my MotoACTV will be a very cute little paper weight.
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on July 16, 2012
I rarely write reviews but I think that this unit gets a lot of unfair criticism. I've owned the unit for 4 months now and have been quite pleased. First and foremost the support for this is excellent. Despite what other people may be writing there have been 3 firmware updates in the four months and each update has brought notable improvements and added new features. The website has also undergone several improvements as well during that time. Eventually, I think this will evolve into a awesome device. That being said its not perfect. As a background I'm a casual runner (5mi runs) and play a fair amount of golf as well as volleyball, cycling etc


1. Constant firmware updates and continued support. This can't be understated. 1mo or so firmware cycles are pretty swift for a general consumer device.

2. Excellent golf GPS. The watch updates every 3 seconds. You need to stand over your ball for 3 seconds to get an accurate distance but as long as you do that you are accurate to within a yard or 2. You get distance to hazards which the lower end garmins etc do not give you. You also get the ability to track your game. From average distance for each club to fairways and green hit to number of putts. You can really break down your game and distance (provided you enter the information when you play). There are something like 20,000 courses and it has all the myrtle beach courses I've played

3. Bluetooth capability- Once you've worked out without the wires you can never go back. You can also get text and phone notifications but I found them annoying

4. Excellent workout tracking and GPS- The device gets quick GPS lock (usually about 15-30 sec for me) and doesn't lose the lock in my area. I have been in a couple of heavily forested areas and did lose signal there. Planned routes work fine. Note to the earlier reviewer if you select the "follow roads option" it will follow on the roads otherwise it assumes you are doing a cross country route and will just connect your waypoints.

5. World maps. Took a jog in Italy and the streets are all there. Its also great for tracking your travels. I went to Europe recently and all my travels were mapped out on the portal. How many times did I go around the coliseum. Looks like 3. You can annotate your workouts so its like a personal travel journal.

6. Rapid charging. It takes around an hour to fully charge.

7. MP3 player. Nice little music player that holds 16GB of music. Good for trips and workouts. Has playlists and will display album art. If you could make you own playlists on the device it would be perfect as it is you need to sync up with itunes

8. Lots of info especially for the casual athlete. I got the heart rate monitor and I really like being able to put myself in various zones for interval training or endurance. It will give you verbal coaching (basically a voice over the headphones saying you are going too slow or too fast) so you don't need to keep looking at the watch.

1. Battery life- I personally have used it marathon mode all day to track my vacations and can easily play a round of golf (I usually have 60% battery after a 4-5hour round). That being said if you are doing ten hour rides or a full iron man it may not last which is unacceptable in the middle of training/race since you can't charge it (it does charge fast). If you are en elite endurance athlete or ultra marathoner this is probably not for you. I wear as a watch all day to count my steps/cal and it can go 2 days without charging but not much more

2. Looks- I don't care much for the bulky look but I do get a lot of comments about it and people are always wondering what it does

3. Sweat/rainproof but not waterproof- It would be nice to be able to swim with this watch especially as they have waterproof HR monitors

1. Web portal- motoactv only syncs with the web portal. You can get the raw data and send it someplace else from there but you can't skip the portal. The portal is also very slow, particularly if your using an ipad. This can be frustrating especially when you want to go back to a more remote round of golf or workout. This is a big con since you need to do everything through the portal. I'm not micro analyzing my workouts but if I was this would probably be a deal breaker. Its that slow.

2. Can't view data when paused- This is a frequent complaint on the forums and I can't figure out why they haven't addressed this. Not being able to check your pace etc when paused makes planning very difficult
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on August 8, 2012
Motorola doesn't care about the consumer. They just keep putting out new products with promises and then drop them from the line without having taught customer service enough about the products to handle all the complaints. Case in point...the latest Motorola GPS which promised new maps but never delivered on it, so the original decent design and GPS is worthless with 4 year old maps and no way to update them.
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