As a runner, fitness writer and personal trainer I love testing out new gadgets that make my workouts more productive.
One thing I’ve been eyeing up recently is a fitness tracker. I’ve attached my phone in various ways but it always manages to fall off mid run which is mildly annoying when you’re closing in on that 5k PB!
The ideal tracker would have GPS, a heart rate monitor to check intensity, be capable of tracking all my activities, i.e. kettlebell/weight/conditioning training, and integrate with a good record system.
Does the Moto 360 Sport fit the bill?
Most wearables are watch- or bracelet- based. The Moto 360 Sport is a watch, not a bracelet, and looks pretty good too. It’s fairly discreet, no shiny-sparkly bits, sort of chunky but I find bigger watches make my hands look smaller 🙂 and goes well with any outfit (yes, this is important!)
It comes in three colours but I would discount the white band immediately, it looks great in photos but is a dust and dirt magnet in real life. I was tempted by the orange band but it’s harder to match with my shoes 🙂
The watch is water resistant, so can handle rain, but it’s not suitable for swimming.
There is a black strip across the bottom of the display which houses all the sensors. It stops the watch from being perfectly circular and it is a bit strange but you get used to it pretty quickly.
Talking about the display, there’s some funky tech that makes it readable outside in bright sunlight. As bright sunlight is a rarity here in the UK I haven’t been able to test it out yet, but so far it’s been readable in most conditions.
It’s colourful, has some additional features, like stickers and doodles you can draw, making it fun to use. Not essential but nice 🙂
Battery life lasts about a day and that’s with all the smartwatch functionality in use. When actively tracking a run the GPS is a battery drainer but as I keep my runs under half an hour it hasn’t had an effect on my daily use.
The GPS lock can be a bit temperamental. There are days when it tracks my position in seconds, then there are days where it can take a couple minutes to lock.
The run tracking is very accurate. Reviewing my runs show the tiniest deviation from my track and getting all the stats on the move allows me to adjust my pacing on the go.
However, the heart rate monitoring is very suspect. I did a heavy kettlebell session which sent my heart rate soaring but the Moto 360 Sport only registered 63 bpm! I’m not that fit 🙂 This makes interval training harder to do properly.
The Sport label is a bit of a misnomer – the watch, at the moment, is only useful for run tracking. It can’t track any other activities, I’m guessing with software updates this should be possible. This makes it less useful for the gym or yoga. You’ll still need to pull your phone out and log those activities.
The main issue for me is that at the moment Moto 360 Sport seems to have some intermittent connectability issues with my phone (Nexus 6). Works fine with other (older?) phones and smartwatch features function perfectly. Clearly this is going to be fixed when the updates in the future but I’m not clear when and not huge on waiting :/
So is the Moto 360 Sport is The Gadget to go for? Unfortunately, not quite. Not in its first incarnation anyway. With software improvements, I think it could be great.
Overall I’m still in two minds about fitness wearables. Wearing a tracking device is very useful to for the data record – but it all depends how accurate it is! Not much point recording if it’s not right, is there? From what I’ve seen and tested, there is still some way to go. I might replace the Moto 360 Sport, which is really a smartwatch dressed up as a fitness tracker, for a FitBit Surge. Report to come later!