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MOTOACTV GPS Fitness Tracker… aka my new running toy

by Meghann on May 11, 2012

GOOD MORNING!!!

And HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!! :) Yay for almost being the weekend! :)

After 4 days of complete rest and recovery, I’m happy to report that my first run back after Sunday’s Flying Pig Marathon was a success! It was short (3 miles), it was slower than my average marathon pace ( 9:15ish min/mi), and my legs definitely reminded me that I had just run a marathon 5 days prior, but I did it and, man, did it feel good. :) I even brought Maddie along for the 3 mile adventure and she was happy as could be to be chugging along. I love my little running buddy!

And – as a welcome back bonus – I even had a new toy to play with on the run!

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As part of my brand ambassadorship with Verizon, the company sent me their new MOTOACTV GPS Fitness Tracker and Music Player to test out and review for the blog. It arrived on Wednesday and I’ve been itching to take it out for a run since then. As a dedicated Garmin Forerunner user (I rarely leave for a run without it!), I was actually looking forward to taking another GPS watch out for a run to see how it stacked up (I can rave and rave about my Garmin Forerunner from here until to eternity, but if I’ve never used anything else, it’s tough to sell it as “the best device EVER” if I truly have no idea what else is out there.)

The MOTOACTV GPS has a lot of similarities to the Garmin (it’s big and bulky, it tracks speed, distance, elevation, and route, and there’s ways to customize workouts), but there are a lot of differences (the screen is in full color, there’s a music player, you can wirelessly sync the data to your computer/smartphone, and the workout summary at the end is pretty nifty).

The MOTOACTV GPS is a squared device (similar size and shape as an iPod Nano) where you buy the accessories separately. The kind folks at Verizon were nice enough to send the wrist strap to turn the device into a watch, which was great for seeing the data while running, but sucked for using the MP3 part (connecting headphones to a watch didn’t work out so well). There’s an arm band accessory as well that would make a little more sense with using the device as an MP3 player, but wouldn’t work if you wanted to quickly glance at your pace/distance/time while running.

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I stuck with the gold ole iPod for the music portion of my run and decided just to test out the GPS functionality of the MOTOACTV device. I was impressed with how it quickly it gained GPS signal (and liked that it gave you countdown to let you know how long you had been waiting!) and how easy it was to start. Just press start and GO! I also liked how BIG the screen was and how easy the numbers were to read. I only wish I could swap out the “calories burned” from the main box with the total miles run. I’m sure there’s a way to do it, I just need to read the instruction manual to figure it out.

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During the run, it was easy to toggle between screens with just a swipe of your finger. I could swipe right and see my split times for each mile “lap”

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And I could swipe again to see a map of my run. I’ll admit, the full color map with STREET SIGNS that you could zoom in and out of was pretty impressive. If I ever got lost on a run, this map would be easy to follow to get me back to my car.

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And at the end of your workout, all you have to do is press “END WORKOUT” from the paused screen.

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Pretty nifty, right?

Of course, the REALLY impressive part was the super detailed workout summary at the end.

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SO. MUCH. DATA. Bonus points that the data was super easy to read right off the screen and synced instantly with my computer as soon as I walked in the door!

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Done!

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Right now my teeny, tiny concern with the MOTOACTV GPS is battery life. It’s supposed to last 6 hours, BUT that’s on full battery life. When you turn it “off” it never really goes off. It’s “sleeping” and silently running in the background, which means I’ll have to remember to charge it before every run (especially long ones). And if you’re a 6+ hour marathoner, it’s sad to think this device wouldn’t see you to the end of the race! :(

There are also a million and one features this device can do that I haven’t even touched yet. Just like with the Garmin Forerunner, it can be used when cycling (outside) and you can program workouts to it. I rarely use the workout feature on my Forerunner, mainly because it’s a pain in the booty to plug in manually and my Garmin hasn’t synced properly to my computer in well over a year (it freezes up for some reason and will give me the spinning multi-colorwheel for hours without loading a thing!). I’m curious to see if those are easier to create manually for the MOTOACTV device or just as pain in a butt. We’ll see.

Man, information overload. And I’m not even sure I said all I wanted to say about this guy! I’m sure I’ll have more posts on the features as I discover with them and a full review with my final thoughts once I’ve taken it out for more than one run. For now, I’m excited to have a new running toy to play with! :)

Do you use a GPS fitness device? Which one?

After my run I had a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and walnuts for breakfast.

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Simple and delicious. :)

Have a great Friday everyone!



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