Customer Review

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506 of 533 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great potential...but wait for v2, November 9, 2011
This review is from: MOTOACTV 16 GB GPS Fitness Tracker and Music Player (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I purchased an 8GB MOTOACTV the day it was released from a local "big box" chain, and my first impressions are that Motorola has created a device with great potential, but one that needs work to smooth out a few rough edges. First, a bit about why this was purchased...

I'm a long-time casual runner who is gearing up for longer races (half marathons) next year. While I usually love to run in silence, my longer training runs are getting a bit monotonous, so I was on the hunt for an MP3 player that could add some spice to my workouts. I've been using different GPS watches over the years, primarily Garmins (305, 405) and, more recently, the Nike+ Sportswatch, and the thought of having both an MP3 player AND a GPS unit rolled into one seemed like a masterstroke. When I read about the MOTOACTV in October, I thought "voila!" - the perfect fitness accessory. And on paper, it seems perfect. Built-in Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. Heart-rate monitoring through wireless headphones. Use of ANT+ technology. What's not to love?

Well, a couple of major things come to mind after having used the unit for a few days now. First, is my fear that the MOTOACTV isn't built for real-world use. Motorola claims this device is water-resistant, but the USB port on the left side of the unit is protected by a flimsy port cover that doesn't stay in place during runs, leaving a gaping hole for sweat and rain to enter. I suspect we'll see lots of these devices needing repairs for water/sweat damage. Secondly, and even more damning, is battery life. I've taken this device on three hour-long runs now, each time fully-charged. I've returned home with the unit down to less than 25% power level. This was using the MP3 features, Bluetooth on to wireless headsets, and GPS tracking. Given this rate of battery burn, I doubt the device would last more than 1:30-2:00 which, in the world of marathon-training (and even half-marathons), just isn't enough. This is a serious issue which Motorola may be able to address with software updates but, for now, it's a deal-breaker.

There's great potential here. The software/OS is easy to use and powerful. I love the display and overall build of the device (USB port not withstanding). And the MOTOACTV website seems solid for a 1st Gen effort. If Motorola can address my two concerns - better water resistance and much better battery life - they'll have a winner. For now, though, I'd take a wait-and-see approach: wait for updates and see if things improve.

My two cents...
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Mar 30, 2012 6:40:10 AM PDT
Since this review has so many readers, I wanted to post here that we are delighted to announce that the MOTOACTVTM App will be available for all Android smartphones (Android 2.1 and later) - starting Monday, April 2nd. Plus, it has been updated and packed with new features, such as the ability to launch your planned workouts from your Android smartphone and track progress of your personal fitness goals on your phone.

You also get the great Bluetooth® enabled functionality between your MOTOACTV and Android smartphone such as receiving notifications of incoming calls, ability to redial calls from the MOTOACTV, see calendar notifications and receive text messages.
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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 60 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 9, 2011 11:39:10 AM PST
cudthecrud says:
Thanks for the review, they seem few and far between right now, and most don't address using the ACTV for actual workouts.

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 9:01:57 AM PST
I understand being concerned about water resistance, but a lot of things that are actually very water resistant don't look like they should be. Why not try testing it in the wettest conditions it's advertised for before drawing your conclusions?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 2:50:15 PM PST
Any fitness device that leaves a mini-USB port on the side wide open is not going to be water-resistant. It's a hole that's open to water and sweat. The port doesn't stay covered thanks to a poorly designed port cover that doesn't stay in place. I, for one, am not going to test the obvious and find out the hard way. Feel free to purchase your own and give us a report. Thanks Brian.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 7:21:52 AM PST has super detailed fitness review on the motoactv. basically it seems a truly world beating watch (better than the gamins) with two, killer flaws... potential ways for water damage and horrible, horrible battery life. i think this product is going to move the entire industry forward as the screen, feature set, and price kill garmin, nike, and timex products but we need better battery life and better water proofing before this is a worth while device. so darn close...

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 8:33:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2011 8:50:42 AM PST
Thanks for the review. I'm a bit surprised at your comment about the USB port cover. Mine is solid rubber and fits very snugly into the recessed port area. I do find the I need to give it a little attention to seal it -- it closes best from from "back-to-front" if you get my meaning. But I wouldn't dunk it in the water, either. While I don't have any personal experience with it, I've been told that this case ( is a good fit for MOTOACTV owners who have concerns about moisture exposure. You may want to check it out.

Without overpromising, I do expect battery life improvements as we roll out software updates. Please join us on the Motorola Owners' Forums ( where there is a growing MOTOACTV community. Several of the device engineers are responding to questions and taking in owner observations.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 8:43:33 AM PST
Mine is solid rubber, too, but I find it pops out of the port with very little effort while I'm exercising. In retrospect, I wish Motorola had explored other ways of charging this device, much like Garmin & Timex have done with their docking clips. Maybe in the next version?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 8:52:16 AM PST
I will certainly pass it along -- thanks. (Not sure why my reply was truncated before but I've reposted it.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2011 2:45:14 PM PST
Hi. Eagely awaiting software update that improves MOTOACTV battery life. Any idea when this will happen?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2011 7:52:27 AM PST
Nothing I can share right now. :) I think I can at least say that our pace for updates to MOTOACTV is much more rapid that for phones. Please watch the Motorola Owners' Forums ( where I will post news when updates are available.

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 9:24:31 AM PST
F F says:
For the record though, there's a difference between "water resistant" and "water proof".
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Location: Kensington, MD USA

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