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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coaching for triathletes
As a working mom with limited time, this product has increased the effectiveness of my triathlon training. The Pear device coaches me to stay in the appropriate zones when I am running so that I am not going too hard or too easy, maximizing my training effect. I have incorporated the strength training workouts into my regime also, which has increased my overall fitness,...
Published on June 9, 2012 by Tri-Jinty

versus
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine When It Works
First the pros:

When it works, it does exactly what it promises.
Large number of workouts.
Tracks your workouts, which also helps motivate me to do my workouts.
iPod shuffle integrates nicely with the PEAR
Good Customer Service

The Cons:

The website for getting the workouts is not that user friendly or intuitive
It...
Published on August 21, 2012 by D. White


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine When It Works, August 21, 2012
By 
D. White (Bossier City, LA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
First the pros:

When it works, it does exactly what it promises.
Large number of workouts.
Tracks your workouts, which also helps motivate me to do my workouts.
iPod shuffle integrates nicely with the PEAR
Good Customer Service

The Cons:

The website for getting the workouts is not that user friendly or intuitive
It does not work that often. I would guess on at least half my workouts, the PEAR has stopped recording my heart rate and distance. This of course makes it just an expensive Ipod holder. This situation the requires a hard reset of the PEAR and also makes the current workout you are doing unable to synch with the workout plan you are doing. Very frustrating.
Very expensive, especially considering how often it does not work.

Overall, I cannot in good conscience recommend the PEAR. I would have giving it only 1 star but their customer service has been very helpful and quick in responding to emails about the issues I have had with the PEAR. Only wish the could get it to work better.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the Technology, hate the product quality, February 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
I have been using this product for the past couple of months. I must have used it for a total of around 20-25 times. Based on this experience, I decided it is time to post a review to help other shoppers/fitness enthusiast.

Package:
The package comes with several items: Square One device, Earphones, Heart rate monitor and strap, Foot pod, nylon gear bag, usb cable.

Setup:
This is fairly easy. Connect the square one device to your computer, download and install the pear software. You can choose from a variety of workouts (free and paid) from the Pear Sports website and then sync your Pear device to download those to your square one device.

Wear the heart rate monitor and the foot pod. When you turn on the device, it detects the monitor and the foot pod AND then you are good to go. You can use the up/down arrows from the device to choose a workout.

FLAWS:
While the technology is unique and extremely useful, the product is full of flaws.

1. Earphone incompatibility: I own a Bose sports earphones and they are way more comfortable than the earphones that come with Pear Sports. When I tried to use the Bose earphones with the square one device, the Square one device acted all crazy - it kept on giving out the stats nonstop. I ended up continuing to use the pear earphones.

2. Earphones Quality: The sound level from the left earphone went louder and from the right earphone decreased. Happened a couple of times.

3. Foot Pod detection: Several times when you turn on the Square one device, it doesn't detect the foot pod. You have to really shake your leg, may be even jump for it to be detected. Also, during the workout, sometimes the device would just not be able to locate the foot pod. This gets extremely annoying when you are in the middle of a run.

4. Nylon Gear Bag: Too small. The heart rate monitor strap doesn't fit in the gear bag.

5. BIGGEST FLAW: The Square One device -
a) There is no way to know how much battery is still available.
b) The device pauses randomly. So I have been using one of the programs a - 50 min workout. 10 min warmup. Then 90 seconds in Zone 5 followed by 150 sec in zone 1 for recovery. This zone 5- zone 1 intervals continue 8 times before a final cool down for another 10 min or so. Normally, the device (recorded instructor voice) asks to run in zone 5 for 90 seconds and at the end of it asks to slow down. I am running with an all-out pace waiting for the instructor asking to slow down --- but it wasnt to be. The device goes into a coma so to say. After running into this issue a couple of times, I noticed that it automatically pauses. And you can resume by hitting the play button - only for it to happen again in the next cycle. I resynced the device but to no avail.
c) The device is made out of plastic. While the blue color looks cool, it has a cheap plastic feel to it. There's always a fear that if you accidently drop it, it might crack.
d) Compatible with iPod shuffle. I tend to listen to online music. So I ended up getting an extension cord that I use to connect my iphone and the square one device.

Maintenance:
1. You will need to regularly wash the heart monitor strap.
2. Need to sync your device once every week or so by manually connecting to the computer. No Bluetooth sync support.

While the technology is unique and am yet to find another product which offers these features, the overall product quality is just about average.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware of a "Buggy" System, Puppet Reviews and Obsolete Tech, November 13, 2013
By 
RMcloser (California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
Before you go any further reading this review, let me admit right away that I do not own this device. I have been only window shopping it for the past 8 months, looking for the best deal possible on Amazon, Amazon Marketplace as well as running retail websites. My impression is Do Not Buy. Here are some reasons -

1. I'd first like to dissect some of the glowing 5 stars reviews from supposedly avid runners, people who are new to exercising, stay-at-home mothers and those who have no problem balancing life and a running schedule that involves marathons (see reviews by Tri-Jinty, HappyPerson2, Pen123, DBUC and Michael T). Though these reviews "may" all be true, one has to be somewhat skeptical when many of these reviewers have less than 5 reviews or even no other reviews on Amazon besides Pear. I would have bought this months ago if these reviews didn't seem so surreptitiously placed and just unnatural in tone. I wish Amazon could do a better job monitoring or verifying what reviews are "puppets" and which ones are honest. We all work hard for our money and I am sure no one likes being misled.

2. The reviews that do seem honest bring up valid points (Thanks to Isabel M, D. White, Avid Amazon Shopper, V. Winkler, Catherine Miller "Kate", THERESA and others for naming some pros and cons for the device). Some of the complaints:

- The foot pod often loses contact with the Square One device
- The plastic clip on the back of the Square One device is flimsy
- Being unable to detect battery life on the device
- The Square One pausing randomly on a run and/or not saving the data accrued on that run
- Inaccurate run distance calculated

Some of the positives are:
- You have someone in your ear coaching you, motivating you for a work out (For my wants, this is the most intriguing and attractive aspect of the product)
- Improved running quality and times
- New workouts are available for download so if runs get boring, that's probably on the fault of the runner
- You don't need a running partner to stay motivated, you have one at your finger tips
- Instant feedback (Heart rate, Calories burned, what zone you are in) at the push of a button

3. But here is the conclusive reason why I would avoid purchasing the PEAR Pro Square One - Pear shelved updating its features and no longer sells this product on its company website.

Let me elaborate - In the past, Pear had two motivational products for sale, The PEAR Pro and The PEAR Mobile Intelligence System. The Pear Mobile is a separate device that syncs with the runner's iphone or android phone. To sync with a phone, a free program can be download from the itunes store or elsewhere allowing for the recognition of the heart rate monitor. The Pear Mobile Intelligence System comes with the blue tooth enabled heart rate monitor and ear phones. This means the Mobile version does not use the foot pod, rendering the complaints about the connectivity issues of the foot pod obsolete. The distance calculated/tracked relies on your mobile device's enabled GPS.

In some recent conversations with a Pear representative, they revealed the following, "Our team has stopped production on the Square One unit. We just had so much more success with the app on iPhone [whereas The PEAR Pro] is much more expensive to produce. So we have removed it from our store. [W]e still have [The PEAR Pro units] all under warranty, we are just choosing not to sell them and focusing more on the smart phone side. The phone just has so many features already built in. While our hardware of the PEAR Pro [Square One] has to be built, designed [and] tested, [all] before [it] rolls out to our user."

Before my conversation with Pear Sports, I saw such a great deal for the PEAR Pro on another website, I almost made a purchase. Earlier this week, I received an email from Pear Sports (I am on their mailing list) that advertised a new cloud based portal system and the new data that the Pear can analyze and give to the user. I was most interested in getting mile splits (not just average mile) for any given run. The Pear can now do this!, however ONLY the Mobile Intelligence System is capable of this, NOT the hardware version of the Pear Pro Square One. So in effect, the technology and data offered by Pear Mobile will always be miles ahead of its predecessor, the Square One.

Furthermore, the PEAR Pro Square One and Mobile Intelligence System have separate viewing portals and their data is not capable of being merged. Again, Pear Customer Service related to me, "The PEAR Pro and the iPhone apps (for the Pear Mobile) live in there own PEAR eco systems. They do not mix technology wise."

So if you want to enjoy the advantages of PEAR, my advice, would be to go with the Pear Mobile Intelligence System or perhaps another device that suits your needs. I don't like carrying a phone or wearing an armband when I exercise, but I may have to make an exception given all the features Pear affords to users.

From reading the legitimate reviews, the most glowing aspect about PEAR is their customer service. Users have commented about the company's attention and willingness to help their customers troubleshoot problems and replace "buggy" or faulty devices. I recommend you check out their Facebook page to get a good idea of the company. You can also read users' comments and see how PEAR employees dutifully respond to their questions. Further proof of their responsiveness towards people are their multiple responses to me with questions about their products.

I hope this review has helped you.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware... tons of suspicious reviews, December 12, 2012
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
Thought this looked to good to be true... after scouring all the reviews the amount of reviewers who have only rated this product and nothing else on amazon (very very suspect of fake accounts) is very very high.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great concept/Poorly Executed, August 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
I really wanted to love this product. The concept was great. Unfortunately, the execution failed.

The first step out of the box is to go to the Pear website to download the software before connecting the device and creating a profile. I have a MacBook Air and after downloading the software and clicking the button to go to the Pear Portal, it would not let me move to the next step. Instead I kept getting the message that I needed to download the software before moving to the next step. Ugh. I shut down and restarted a several times but could not get out of this continuous loop. After lots of frustration my husband tried and after lots more frustration he somehow managed to get it to recognize that the software was loaded in order to move to the next step.

Next came picking a program for training. I am training for a half-marathon and read reviews that there was a free program you could load to the device to help with this training. The Pear portal was not intuitive. After scrolling through a bunch of half and full marathon programs that cost $280, I found one that I thought matched my need but after reading the description realized it was to coach me through 1 run that I should do 2 weeks before my half-marathon and was not a full program. Finally, I found the half-marathon program that I wanted and loaded it to the device. Success. I was very happy to find that there was a free program for this and that it seemed to offer what I wanted. Great considering the $200+ price for the device alone.

Then, I realized that the clip on the back of the device (as well as the entire device) was made of CHEAP plastic and had fallen off. I was determined to try this thing and see if it really worked like the other reviews said so I got ready for my workout and put the device in the pocket of my running shorts. The heart monitor strap and foot strap all went on fine and seemed very intuitive but I realized before walking out the door that there were no instructions on how to start the program on the device. The Pear portal had read that it sent 5 or 6 workouts from my program to the device and I knew my first day was going to be a 25 minute run but I could not find instructions on the portal either. Instead I googled for more information and found a YouTube video posted by Pear that described how to get everything set-up. This was helpful. It didn't provide much instruction on starting the voice cues or program on device but I figured I'd figure it out when I got started. Outside, I clicked on the power and play buttons and I the device asked me to pick a program. The first one said 25 minute free form or something like that and I figured it would be the first one on my half-marathon program since that's the only program I loaded and I knew the first run was supposed to be 25 minutes. Then the device told me that being a free form run it would provide me with no voice guidance during the workout. Oh no. I realized this was not the workout I wanted and must have just been a generic one included on the device. I tried to figure out how to change the program but instead the forward and back buttons did not work and the pause/play button would only tell me "workout paused" and "workout resumed". Still unsure of whether this was what my first workout was intended to be I decided to go ahead with the workout anyway. It told me it recognized the foot pod and the heart monitor in at least one of my pause/resume modes so I assumed everything was working fine. Even thought it won't give you coaching during the free form run, it does provide stats at specific intervals, I believe it was every 5 minutes which told me my pace and time. By clicking on the button in the earpiece I was able to get it to talk to me more frequently which was easy and nice but still only provided me pace and time information.

Back home, I was excited to load my results and see how all of this worked. I quickly realized my suspicion that I had the wrong workout was correct. The stats on the screen showed me my time and pace but I noticed that it did not provide any heart rate data and the calories burned section was 0. I'm not sure why none of this registered. There was nothing telling me if there was an issue with the heart-rate monitor (and it had told me it recognized it at the start of my run) or if there was some other reason why the data didn't appear. Additionally, I had provided my weight, etc in the initial set-up so not sure why calories burned were not calculated unless it also requires the heart rate data. Disappointing.

The portal has a nice calendar to show you all your scheduled workouts based on the program and dates you picked. This is a nice feature but since I did the wrong workout I needed to move my half-marathon training plan out. There appeared no way to do this except for moving/dragging the workouts one by one to a new date on the calendar. Ugh. I really feel like this product could have been great but there is a lot of work needed to just make the portal and device a lot smarter. You should definitely be given the option if you skip a workout to move the remaining series by the same amount of days to match your pre-set schedule.

For reference, I have an ipod shuffle which works with this device. I also have an ipod nano which I was using previously that tracks my run; pace, distance and time and will give me audio cues on all these items throughout the run based on whether I do a timed or distance run. I also have the Jeff Galloway 2:1 workout which will tell me when to run (2 mins) and when to walk (1 min) that I typically play while doing my runs. The real benefit I saw in wanting to try this product was that it would give me more specific instructions throughout the run due based on the heart monitor to help me take my running to the next level and properly prepare for my half. All of the other features you can easily get with dozens of other devices on the market. Sadly, there were so many other issues with this device and portal that I'm back to searching for a comprehensive device. This one will be returned.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coaching for triathletes, June 9, 2012
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
As a working mom with limited time, this product has increased the effectiveness of my triathlon training. The Pear device coaches me to stay in the appropriate zones when I am running so that I am not going too hard or too easy, maximizing my training effect. I have incorporated the strength training workouts into my regime also, which has increased my overall fitness, and has definitely helped with my swim and bike form. One of the amazing benefits of the Pear is the increased staying power that I now have, especially on runs. Instead of running the same loop in the same time on each run, the coach makes running so interesting and takes the thinking out of it - you now have someone to rely on to make you do the hard work - for example - I would never be running 30 min hill repeat workouts on my own - but now, with the music (from the shuffle which is attached to the Pear) and the voice overs from the coach I push myself like never before. The same applies to the 11 mile long run or the 45 minute tempo run. The coach intermittently mentions form (for example, relax your arms, engage your abs etc) and by listening to tips like these and other feedback numbers (distance, cadence and heart rate zone), before you know it you are half way through an 8 mile run. I am not a tech person, so simplicity is key for me. This couldn't be easier. Now I can't run without it. It makes the workout count when the Pear tells you at the end of a 45 minute run that you burned 650 calories. What better way to start the day.

A few months down the line and I decided to buy a custom training plan to upload onto my Pear device - I want to reach the top 3 in my age group in San Diego sprint and olympic distance triathlons - I am following my plan and it is so much fun, you become alot more driven and focused and even more importantly the three disciplines are approached in a very specific way so your training efforts are maximised, each workout being very specific to the end goal. The plan has taken into account my limited time available, and some overall goals in triathlon - improving the run split. I would highly recommend the custom plan, I chose to use Matt Fitzgerald as the coach, it is really amazing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Mama Bear Got Her Groove Back :D, July 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
I have been wanting the Pear for months, but hesitated due to the price. Then, I became very sick, and basically "out of commission" for about two weeks. Afterwards I was very weak, and struggled to get back into my routine. My very encouraging husband then decided to order this for me. This wonderful little device arrived in the mail very quickly, and all I can say is , "WOW". It has made such a difference. I typically train HIIT (high intensity interval training) style with kettlebells, sandbags and body weight exercises. Running has always been my fitness "Achilles Heel". Previously, I had tried using a HRM with a big clunky wrist watch, as well as my beloved GYMBOSS interval timer to do run\walk combinations. I could never get it quite right, and would always feel weak and defeated after my running sessions. I have been using the Pear consistently for about two weeks - and can honestly say I've made incredible progress. It literally is like having a trainer right there with you - encouraging, and teaching you how to really get, "in tune", with your own body during the workouts. Not only are the running programs top notch - the weight training circuit programs are fantastic. (There is not a wide selection - but this product is fairly new - more to come I am sure!). After a run I no longer feel defeated. I get the same feeling I do after a good kettlebell session - strong, accomplished and that I am getting somewhere. The fact that I can actually see the improvements via the Pear Portal is icing on the cake. I finally feel good during runs - and the numbers don't lie; my body IS responding to the training. This product IS worth every cent - go for it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Fine when it works." My thoughts exactly., August 6, 2013
...from an earlier (August 2012) review. I bought this product when it first came out, in early 2012, and it worked great for awhile, then started getting dicey around the 1-year mark. Customer service was great (and fast) and replaced the whole kit right away (even though I only requested a new USB cable). I was "up and running" again for awhile, but then four months later, it bonked out again. You can only charge the device with the USB cord; when the battery drains, you get no warning, the system will just keep re-starting (it's super annoying to be 4 miles into your run only to hear "welcome to Pear. Looking for sensors..." and have the whole thing start you from zero, meaning you've lost all of the data from that run.) Along those lines, charging with the USB cable is a big production; I don't think it's a high-quality USB cord -- I literally have to hold it "just so" like I'm administering CPR just to get it to charge. A lot of people rave about the headphones; I think they're awful, the sound quality is awful, and if you use your own headphones, then you can't access your heart rate info (I have suggested to PEAR that they also offer a heart-rate watch as an optional accessory for those of us who don't want to push the earphone every time you want a heart-rate read). Other issues: there's no way the "calories burned" data is accurate (it's about double what it should be). I don't think the training zones are accurate (heart rate is only one measure of exertion -- it's not the whole picture). I quickly got frustrated using any of the training plans because of this (it would constantly tell me I was out of my zone, which wasn't consistent with my RPE). I also bought the "old" (original) system that required an iPod shuffle, so it was annoying to have to buy another gadget. Downloading data from the device to computer is laborious (a kink that they might have worked out with their newer version) although it's cool to be able to upload workout data automatically to Facebook and Twitter. In theory I also love that you can track your progress visually over time (in terms of pace, mileage, etc). But you can't do any of that when the device itself fails on you--whether it's the battery, the sensors, or whatever component might be the problem.

In theory this is a good idea but in the end it did end up being a very expensive iPod shuffle clip -- I can't even reliably use the heart rate monitor. I should also point out that I'm an indoor (treadmill) runner so it's not like this device/system takes a beating or gets dropped, rained on, etc. I'm thinking of just returning all of the parts (from both my original purchase and the replacement kit they sent) and asking for a partial refund, but not sure it's even worth it. But I would not recommend this product in good conscience to anyone -- not for $200. I'm going to go back to running with an "old-school" heart rate monitor with a watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most Disappointing, December 29, 2013
Most of the reviews are generally positive so I decided to give this a try. I create an account--no problem. Then I try to "Add" a plan because I "have no plans". OK, so I do a search to find many of the plans are for purchase and quite expensive, but some are free. However, I am unable to downloaded any of the free ones (the plans for purchase, by the way, download quite easily and add to the cart without issue). For example, you go to "Plans" tab. Click on a "free" workout. Click on the "download" button, but it does not go into the plans. You are returned to the "add plans" screen and back in an infinite loop. OK, so I can't have any plans unless I buy one so I'll try this $200 device without any plans. I click the button to start a free form workout and run. Click the pause button when I'm done. Plug it in and find there is no map/gps feature. I need to use the footpod. How can that be accurate? What happens when I do different workouts and speed up? Does the foot pod know how long my stride is for each individual step (maybe it does? I don't know.)? Next, I decide it's time to call support. Unfortunately support is closed for a few days (a week?) until next year after the holidays. Trying to find the refund process, but I don't see any obvious online support or forums.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot trust the reviews, August 16, 2013
This review is from: PEAR Pro Training Intelligence System (Sports)
Customer reviews are a great tool in helping to choose a product. However, it is too easy for dishonest people to place fake reviews to influence prospective buyers. The mere appearance of impropriety (few reviews in a short amount of time with one expensive article and lots of inexpensive others for example) are a red flag and a turn off to me. I was considering this product but too many reviews appear to be fake and the few that appear to be genuine aren't good enough to justify my spending good money over this product. When in doubt, just walk away. Caveat emptor!
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