updated 03:25 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Device pairs MP3 player with exercise monitoring
Although Motorola's upcoming Droid Razr phone was the focal point of a launch event today in New York, Electronista also had a chance to try out the company's Motoactv fitness device. The Motoactv resembles an iPod nano and provides the same basic functionality as an MP3 player, but Motorola has added a wide range of additional sensors and connectivity options that serve to monitor workouts and interact with other Android devices.
The device centers around a 1.6-inch touchscreen, just big enough to provide basic information on something that can be worn as a wristwatch. We still think the size is a bit cumbersome, particularly for people with small wrists. Thankfully Motorola has built the Motoactv as a modular system, enabling the device to be work on a belt or even thrown in a pocket.
A GPS receiver provides location data that is used to calculate travel speed, while ANT+ and Bluetooth support can be used to connect heart-rate monitors and other additional sensors. We like Motorola's wired and wireless headphones, which integrate heart-rate monitors without requiring a separate accessory.
If the device is paired with a smartphone, text messages and call alerts are pushed to the touchscreen interface. Users can then choose to ignore calls, answer using the phone, or direct the call to a Bluetooth headset.
We left with a positive first impression of the Motoactv system, which includes a robust web-based portal that enables users to monitor progress over time and schedule workout reminders for the future. The software even compares heart rates to specific tracks, enabling users to custom tune a playlist for their workout plan.
Motoactvs provide a wealth of fitness features, but the price is not exactly cheap. The 8GB model will sell for $249, while the 16GB variant commands $299.