It is really interesting to see the smartwatch move forward in so many different ways. It is nice to see a device that, in many ways, could eliminate time on my phone itself. But, I really am waiting for the watch that does all that today’s smartwatches do plus have great battery life and a GPS built-in. There are some watches with the built-in GPS but it would be nice to see that more standard.
All of these devices reminded me of my first non-Garmin watch I used for running. Back in 2011, I bought the Motoactv the day it came out. It was Motorola’s entrance into the activity/smartwatch area and it was a pretty nice device. The main reason I had bought it, however, was for an accessory that was promised but never delivered on. It was the Bluetooth earbuds that allowed the user to make and receive phone calls through the watch/phone combo and took the heart rate from the ears. That part never worked out for Motorola so it never was released. Because of that, I sold the Motoactv after a few months of waiting and went back to my Garmin.
But, the Motoactv as a smartwatch/fitness watch was quite interesting. I found the GPS was not as accurate as the Garmin GPS off the bat (it would take up to half a mile to get the pace right) but the ability to have a GPS watch, MP3 player, and a little bit of a smartwatch was great! The battery life was terrible initially – like it would not last an average marathon. But, that improved with an update.
My Favorite Part
My favorite part of the device was the audio integration with the fitness aspect of the watch. The Motoactv gave the option to set a particular song as a “Fit Song.” This enabled the user to click that song in at any point to give the extra musical boost you might need to finish your run. Another music-centered feature was the ability to create a playlist based on the pace you kept with the various songs. This way, you were able to automatically have the songs at your disposal that you body reacted to the best for pacing.
All of this data could be imported into the Motorola app and you could see how all of that musical/pace data matched up. It was really cool to see the way that my running reacted with various songs. That single feature was one that I would love to see added to another watch at some point. In the meantime, it is still possible to purchase the Motoactv. You will need an Android phone to take advantage of syncing with a phone, but, as an MP3 player, it is not bad either. It costs $99 for the 8GB version and $119 for the 16GB version through Amazon. You can even get it cheaper used through Amazon. To have GPS and MP3 altogether for that price is pretty great!
Did you ever use the Motoactv?