Magellan TW0103SGXNA Echo Smart Sports Watch (Gray)
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- Compatible with the following: iPhone 4S and later; phones with Android 4.4 and later
- Displays real-time data from sports apps on your wrist
- Remote control for sports apps and music
- Ultra low power, does not need to be recharged
- Designed for sports, ruggedized, water-resistant
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Playing sports with your smartphone just got better. The Magellan Echo watch solves the biggest problem when participating in a sport with a smartphone -- viewing and controlling sports apps while the phone is tucked away. Echo streams data and controls from your smartphone to your wrist. At a glance, you can see distance, pace, yards to green, achievements, notifications and heart rate from sports apps in real-time. The Magellan Echo not only controls your sports apps, but also your playlist or music stream. Echo's dedicated buttons allow you to play, pause or skip to next song. When you're not playing a sport, Echo is an everyday watch. A replaceable battery means there's no charging. Echo is always ready to go.
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1. It connects/disconnects randomly. Never for more than 30 seconds at a time, and it reconnects, but annoying.
2. Battery life isn't as claimed. First one lasted a week or 2. Second one lasted maybe 3-4 weeks. Used almost daily for 30-60 min/day. The batteries are cheap online and easy to replace though, so not a huge deal.
3. For skiing, it doesn't track total ascent accurately (this is a problem with wahoo app) during the workout. I can't figure out what numbers it's showing. Strangely, when you end the workout, the ascent is tallied correctly in the summary.
The heartrate monitor is awesome. Works flawlessly, comfortable (as much as these things can be), accurate.
For the money, this really can't be beat--you'd have to spend well into the triple digits to do what this can do, and still probably not get that much. It's a shame that more app developers haven't embraced it.
I like using the Nike+ GPS app and associated web site. But recent updates trashed the app. So I bought the Magellan to use as its software would also upload to the Nike site.
The Magellan works fairly well. Once set up, easy to use and does import to Nike (and other running logs) well. It does feel a bit cheap. And it doesn't seem to "smooth out" pace very quickly. It seems to jump around a lot. But I like being able to customize the buttons and advance songs w/the watch.
It has nice features. But without built in GPS not sure of value. If you use your phone for running (I use an iPhone) then a good value. But if you don't plan on using you phone while running, you have to go in another direction. It is essentially useless without being connected to a phone.
But honestly I'll be replacing it with Apple Watch when it comes out.
So, I hung in there with the Magellan because when it worked I like it. Eventually I figured out that if I had any trouble pairing the watch I needed to turn my phone off and back on and it would connect right away and generally stays connected. It might have a connection problem once every 15 or 20 runs when I do that.
I also tried getting the heart rate monitor to work, and the resetting of the phone helped that. I also swapped out chest bands. The Magellan monitor fits the band for another brand and it worked on both. I'm back to the Magellan band with no problems.
I recently upgraded my phone to the iPhone 6s and I have not had a single problem since the upgrade. It may have been an Apple pairing problem more than a Magellan, although it could be that the software was updated, making it more reliable. Regardless, I am using the watch every time I run and it is working the majority of the time, as is the HR monitor. I still don't like that a button fell off, nor the interface (which, again, could be the designers of the app I pair it with), but this is certainly worth four stars. It is an affordable way to get information off the phone while exercising without pulling it out or constantly looking at it.
Update July 18, 2015 - I like it less and less the longer I use it - 3 stars
After using a pair of these watches for a month or so, I am taking off another star. I use mine with MapMyRun, and my wife uses hers with RunKeeper. We both have iPhone 5s's. We have had regular connectivity problems with the bluetooth connecting being dropped, especially when using the heart rate monitor. I have had 50/50 luck with the heart rate monitor by itself, which is disappointing. I have another bluetooth heart rate monitor that is much more reliable.
I have also found it annoying that the regular operation of the watch with an app does not include the regular time. It is also frustrating that the watch cannot control any music setting but the music on the phone, although that may be an app/pairing issue, more than it is the watch itself. My other complaint is that the display on my watch rarely shuts off, which means it is draining the battery more than my wife's. My watch has already lost a button - just fell off one day - despite gently use for running only.
When the connection holds, I like using the watch. I have decided to stop using it in conjunction wit the heart rate monitor for now. I really wanted this to be a good pairing for my iPhone app use, but it's been disappointing almost as much as it's been helpful.
INITIAL REVIEW - four stars
This is my initial review after setting up my Echo watch and heart rate monitor. I will update after I have used it for awhile.
First, I am a pretty tech savvy guy - I get why Apple doesn't use written manuals for their products - they are truly intuitive. This watch setup is less so, and a brief manual would have been helpful, especially for troubleshooting. Even the Magellan website lacks troubleshooting help when setup doesn't go smoothly.
Part of the issue is that both my wife and I ordered Echo watches, and hers arrived first. As I tried to follow the instructions for setup, the watch would not complete the steps and would shut itself off. It took me awhile to realize that the battery was the issue. I sent that one back to Amazon and they are sending a replacement as we speak. Once mine arrived, I realized my wife's watch was ACTUALLY an open box item. The little plastic sticker that "shows" the display was removed on hers and the watch was actually on, which is why the battery was nearly dead. I also realized their little cardboard getting started card was bent up and mangled from either unpacking or repacking. Regardless, had there been a troubleshooting section, I could have saved some aggravation realizing I wasn't doing anything wrong and that it was a dead battery. In fact, perhaps most helpful would be a battery indicator on the watch itself that immediately shows the battery is nearly dead.
Moving on to setup. With my watch and its full battery, setup went much more smoothly in pairing the watch with my iPhone 5s. It went as described on the getting started page. I downloaded the app from the app store without a problem, opened it up, started the pairing, told the watch to pair - bam connected. I upgraded the software and it went smoothly. I connected it to my running app, Map My Run without any trouble, and it immediately started showing me data on a sample walk.
The heart rate sensor took a bit of effort. Here's a tip - if you have trouble pairing your bluetooth heart rate sensor, it could be because you already have a paired heart rate sensor on the phone. I have been using a standalone bluetooth heart rate monitor for the last year. I had to "forget" that device on my iPhone before the new one would pair up. After that - it worked perfectly. At first there was a delay between the app and the watch with heart rate, but within a minute it was giving me exact up to the second readouts.
I shut down the pairing and reconnected it several times. As soon as I open my running app the watch pairs up within a few seconds.
Note: if your running/exercise app can only control music on your phone, that is all the watch can do. For instance, neither Map My Run or Run Keeper currently allows control of apps like Pandora or Songza. To use those you must open the apps, start the music, and then open the exercise app. Those apps will not allow you to advance songs or pause songs from within them. (both say they are working on that) The watch will only do what the app it is paired with will do. If I hit the music button on the watch when paired, it will start playing whatever was cued on my phone's physical music inventory, overriding the third party app. To fix that, I have to get out of the exercise app and press play in Songza, for example. I hope that I don't often hit the wrong button when running, or that could be a real pain in the butt!
In terms of design, the Echo is simple to use, despite a few setup challenges. It has four buttons: One for the back light, one for pairing, one for music, and one for toggling. Several of them, when held down, will initiate either pairing with a device or turning on a stopwatch feature. The display with active information from May My Run shows two bits of data at one time. The first screen has Total "Distance" and Total "Time"; second screen shows "Pace" and "Calories"; third is "Current Song", and "Heart Rate"; fourth is "Power" (in watts), and "Cadence". The face of the watch is large enough that the information is readable without having the watch right in front of my face.
When the watch is not paired the time is displayed in large numbers with the hour stacked on top of the minutes. To the left is the day and date in small lettering, and to the right is a small indicator for morning or evening.
I went with the orange color because of price - it's kind of an 80's "hot" orange color, but not hunting vest blaze orange. It's manageable. The band feels soft, and it appears well made.
The heart rate monitor is pretty similar to my other bluetooth monitor. It is an elastic band that "breaks" at a buckle for easy on and off around the chest. The bluetooth unit snaps onto the strap. Note: take the unit OFF the strap when you are done to help keep the battery from running down. Making contact with the strap can cause it to keep trying to communicate and send a signal. It is smart enough to stop when it is disconnected. Also, based on my experience trying this strap out and from using one very similar from another brand, be sure to wet the strap around the electrode pads with water for best skin contact and accurate reading. I have also used petroleum jelly to good effect with another brand. Without the water, it won't give an accurate and consistent reading until you build up enough sweat that it can read the electrical signals clearly.
I will take my first full run with it tomorrow and will update any pertinent information or learnings. As of now, apart from the dead battery issue with Echo number one, I like the overall ease of use I am seeing after initial setup.