An Evening Workout & MOTOACTV GPS Watch Review

Hello, hello!

We had gorgeous weather here yesterday — high 70’s and super sunny, minus the gross humidity that was around last week. Last night around 5:30, after finishing with our respective work, Matt and I headed out for a workout to enjoy the beautiful day. We did some running, some walking, and included stops for various strength moves. My legs are finally feeling fully recovered from the Tobacco Road Half Marathon!


Hand stands also had to happen, obviously.



This is Matt’s hardcore workout face:



We ended up covering 3.5 miles and were out for about an hour, according to Matt’s GPS watch.


He’s been rocking the MOTOACTV by Motorola GPS watch. I received an email a couple months ago about reviewing this watch for the blog, and initially I was going to say no because I already have a GPS watch, but the more I read about it the more I knew that Matt would absolutely love it! He’s never had a GPS watch before; he used to work out with his phone to listen to music and used the free GPS fitness tracking apps on that, but this meant his phone was always near death because of all the sweat, plus they are just awkward to carry while working out. This watch looked like it had a ton of cool features and was top of the line, so I responded to the Motorola peeps and asked if it was okay if Matt reviewed the watch on my blog instead. They said sure!

He’s been testing out the watch for a few months now and has been loving it. Here’s his official review!


MOTOACTV by Motorola Review

by: Matt

The MOTOACTV by Motorola is a cool little wearable or mountable device that works as GPS fitness tracker and also a smart music player — smart because once it gets used to the songs that motivate you, you’ll hear them more often when you need a little added umph to get you through the wall.


The MOTOACTV can be worn as a watch, a clip or even mounted on a bicycle to track mileage, pace, route, and other various statistics about your workout.  


Pretty cool, indeed.  Here are some things I’ve really enjoyed:

  • The display is sharp and clean.  Plus, it’s mostly touchscreen giving it a very smartphone/ipod-ish feel.  A few mechanical buttons to power on, start/stop workout, etc.  Also, it charges on a standard USB plug.


  • The headphones that go with the MOTOACTV are seriously the first headphones I’ve ever owned that don’t fall out of my ears while running… yay ear sweat.  I hear you can get a wireless version as well.
  • Loading the software on your comp and syncing playlists were pretty easy. (Holds up to 6.7 GB.) The hardest part is combing through your music library to make the ultimate workout playlist.  
  • The MOTOACTV is smart enough to work on both outdoor runs and track using GPS, but also inside on the treadmill or elliptical using what I can only imagine to be dark magic.
  • If you own a Motorola cell phone, you can sync the phone with the MOTOACTV and receive weather updates and text messages on the device itself via Bluetooth.  While pretty cool, it hasn’t been all too practical to have my phone and MOTOACTV within Bluetooth distance of each other (generally under 10 meters) to really take advantage of this.  
  • You can set goals and targets… and the voice coach actually gives you good advice and encouragement!  Yesterday she reminded to stay hydrated by drinking X ounces of water per 30 minutes or something.  I didn’t listen, but still cool!
  • A slick online account feature where you can really slice-and-dice your workout and share it through social networking outlets.  Screenshot below (you should be able to swap the photo out for a picture of you running all serious-like):


Some things I would work on:

  1. The battery does seem to go quicker than a device of similar size, say for example, an ipod nano (although a nano is not tracking you via GPS, of course).  It lasts plenty long to do any single workout (or even a marathon) and would stay alive for a couple days without a charge, but there have been times when I forgot to power it off and grabbed it for a run to find it was dead.
  2. Transferring the device between the watch, to the bike, and to the clip is a bit tricky.  Once its attached, it takes some elbow grease to free it from its moorings.  
  3. A programmable stopwatch or timer for a cross-fit or Spartacus type workout would be awesome.  There is both a stopwatch and a timer, but I couldn’t figure out how to configure intervals (ex 1 min on, 30 sec off) without actually hitting the start and stop buttons. 

All in all, an awesome fitness tracker / music player.  I really like the clean display, simple and intuitive user interface and web features included in the account.  If you can’t have a workout buddy who plots your course on a map and tells you your stats while singing Journey to you at the top of his/her lungs, this is the next best thing.

Lol — I love that last line. Thanks to Matt for the great review! Maybe I should have kept that watch for myself after all… ;)

I have a full morning of class, an afternoon of assignments to get through, and plans to meet a blogger buddy for a run this evening. Happy Tuesday, friends!


  1. 1

    Matt needs to do more blog posts :) Esp wedding ones :)

  2. 3

    Great review Matt. The device looks like the readings are very sharp. I like that. Great hand stand, Anne. Have a great and productive day.

  3. 4

    Awesome hand stand! ;)

  4. 6

    You two are so freakin cute! Loved Matt’s review, I’ve been looking for some real reviews of the MOTOACTIV.

  5. 7

    Thanks for the review Matt!

  6. 8

    Some of the higher-end MOTOACTV headphones measure your heart rate through your ears. No chest strap required!

  7. 10

    I got the Moto ACTV the same way as you. I have yet to do my review because I want to do a few more runs with it but so far I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

  8. 11

    I still haven’t uploaded music on my Moto, but I like using it as a gps :)

  9. 12

    That’s a pretty stellar hand stand!

  10. 13

    I love your tank top and shorts – what brand are they?

  11. 15

    Have you tried the strength training/weight lifting function on the Motoactv? I’m curious how it works and if the heart rate monitor is needed.

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