Monitor Your Fitness

Amazon’s reviews of the “Polar RS400 Running Series Heart Rate Monitor” are evenly spaced out… the same amount of reviewers love it as those who hate it… so it’s really confusing, but there ya go.

Anyone know if the golf software is available for the 8gb Motoactv? It was supposed to be but I haven’t really heard for months.

So the refurb Motorola does not come with the heart rate strap, but the new one does? Is that correct?

To my knowledge the golf update for the 8gb Motoactv software was a limited time offer. It expired last March or April. However I believe the golf version of the software (ROM) is available for flashing after rooting via XDA. Haven’t needed to do this myself and can’t guarantee it. I know there are a few custom ROMs as well through XDA.

I have 2 Motoactv having just bought a 16gb Golf Version a couple mos ago as a backup. I’ve had an 8gb for over a year for running and golf and still love it. No problems to date and still IMO the best multiuse fitness watch available despite the lack of active support by Motorola (Google). The web syncing/tracking site and forums are still active.

Surprising it still has the most features and capabilities over anything to date despite being available for almost 2 years.

The MOTOACTV is great. However, the web portal blows and is often inaccessible. Thankfully a dev at XDA wrote an app that allows the MOTOACTV to write a TCX file to the internal memory, as well as auto upload it to Dropbox and/or sync it directly with a Runkeeper account. Best of all, you don’t have to flash a customer ROM. You only need root access. Check it out here:

It really takes the MOTOACTV to the next level, where Google should have taken it!

does anybody have any idea what the maximum wrist size of the Lifetrak is? I’ve tried the manufacturer’s website and amazon and nobody seems to have any size specs whatsoever. (My boyfriend has a huge wrists so this is kinda key)

Bought the motoactv last March. It really changed my active life. Grabbed the motorola bluetooth headphones as well, running without worrying about wires is amazing. The motoactv tracks how well (or not well) you run when listening to songs, and overtime comes up with essentially your “kicin-ass” playlist of everything that makes you run harder. It’s a neat feature.

The web portal, as previously mentioned, does go down quite often, but honestly other than a weekly check up on how I’m progressing, I don’t see much need to go in every single day.

That’s bad information. The latest software version of the MotoActv made all versions “golf versions”. Basically it doesn’t matter whether you get the 8 or 16gb model you’ll still be able to use the golf features.

The golf 16GB version is $219 on amazon.

When using the FM feature, can you use your bluetooth headset? Why I ask is that it appears to be rather common that these type of devices use the wired earbuds as an antenna.

No, you cannot use the FM feature with a bluetooth headset. Also, using bluetooth headsets really eats into battery life, which isn’t great to begin with.

That said, the Motoactv is a VERY good fitness watch. I got mine over a year ago after my Garmin died and I love it. I just wish that it was still a supported product. I cannot believe that there isn’t a product on the market with comparable features (GPS, wireless data uploads, bluetooth, and MP3 player).

Man… I just bought a TomTom GPS runner like a month ago. This seems much more feature-rich for cheaper (on the refurb).

Is the 29.99 one water resistant so if you wear it kayaking it would be okay? Or Stand Up Paddling?

I had a MotoActv. It was a decent novelty once rooted (Angry Birds worked great as did a few other things). I had Honeycomb running on it. That being said, it was not good for battery life (no way in he… it would last a long race, especially a marathon I’d assume). I’d say on normal use without GPS runs it may run 2-3 days on a charge. With activity, it diminished quickly. The step counter like most wrist wear-ables was not accurate. If you want it for that, get yourself a fitbit. I’ve found NOTHING that compared to fitbit (regular pedometers, phone apps, MotoActv, and Basis Band cannot compare). Also, and a big warning, unless you find a way to protect this thing with a skin of some sort, you’re likely going to break the screen. I was fumbling putting my MotoActv on in the morning after a shower and it fell from waist height to the tile of my bathroom floor. It hit the corner and it shattered the screen because the glass is raised on the bezel. You’ve been warned. If you want a pic of mine just Google “cracked motoactv screen” and it will be the first result. It’s like $70+ shipping to get it replaced. I ended up selling mine to someone that had a good screen but bad circuitry or something in his. I currently use a combo of Fitbit One, Nike+GPS watch, and on occasion my Basis B1.

If any watch designers are out there reading this, this is what you need to make for a REAL fitness watch:

Design it physically similar to the Nike+GPS: double-wide clamp down strap (to keep strap from breaking and to keep it from flopping around on the tail of it), Eink screen (yes color is fun and exciting, but it sucks in daylight and it kills your battery - neither of which is good for running/fitness outdoors), backlight that is bright.

Also from the backlight option a hybrid of Nike+GPS and Basis. Basis uses the accelerometer to know when you turn your wrist in the direction to look at your watch and comes on, Nike+GPS allows you to flick your wrist or tap the screen to enable it. All 3 of these combined would be perfect.

Get the sensors like the Basis B1: galvanic response, skin temp, and light based HRM (no chest strap needed).

3d accelerometer, but find a way to make it as accurate is the Fitbit One. I hear the Fitbit Flex is actually quite good, but I can’t speak to that. All I know is every wrist based one I’ve seen or tried hasn’t, but if you can figure that out, kudos.

GPS. It must have GPS! I’d like to have this as an open standard like GPX and then it could sync to any number of sites. Also, if whatever “portal” or “software” is used with it could find a way to sync or at least import from the TCX files from Nike+'s site, that’s a bonus because I have a ton of history there. I really hate that they have a proprietary format, but I love their hardware, so it has been my primary.

Track multiple sports! This is the other downside of Nike+'s hardware/software. TomTom branched off from Nike on their own and came up with some good watches, one of which is a multisport, so they’re getting there, but they require a bluetooth chest strap for HRM (I HATE chest straps!!!) and I don’t believe theirs does accelerometer/pedometer/stairs tracking. They kept with a similar design of the Nike watch and so they’ve almost got what I want aside from accelerometer and sensors like Basis.

Bonus points too if they make it bluetooth compatible if people do want chest straps, to use bluetooth headphones for hearing your pace etc, to sync to phone wirelessly, and also to have an API that it could control apps (like Pebble does). To be honest though, the API would be the last on my list, because I never trust phone batteries to withstand long runs. Hey, I’m slow! It’s yogging.

Ok, so in a nutshell, use the MotoActv for hacking/AngryBirds/music and not fitness, be careful not to drop it, and get a TomTom MultiSport, TomTom Run, or Nike+GPS watch and a Fitbit One if you are really intersted in tracking fitness.

I’ve had no issues with battery life on my watch. Well it did run out once, but that was because I forgot to take it out of my car all week after running each day for 45-60 minutes. After a long run battery life would be eaten up about 10%. And I use a heart strap (ANT+) and GPS with EVERY run, that’s what it is made for. I haven’t run with music on in a while though, so that may help. The music player is fine except that it is horrible at randomizing anything. I have mine on shuffle and can predict with 100% accuracy what the next song is. It’s almost like it makes a playlist the first time it shuffles your song. Other than that one annoyance this watch is hands down better than the other two Garmins I have owned.

The fact that I can’t create a course with more than 20 waypoints or import a course from another source is pretty important to me.