The Best Combined Heart-Rate Monitor and GPS Watches

Jan 11, 2012
Outside Magazine
Motorola Motoactv

Motorola Motoactv    Photo: Courtesy of Motorola

The Motoactv could be as revolutionary for the wrist-top market as the iPhone was for cell phones. Hyperbole? Consider the features: an iTunes-compatible MP3 player, real-time GPS, and an auto-sync feature that uploads your workout data as soon as you’re within range of your computer’s wireless network. The touchscreen is fast and intuitive, and all your data—a live map of your route, pace and split times, elevation, and heart rate—glows quietly on your wrist. Also, the optional wireless earbuds (from $99) sound great and use an embedded sensor to track your heart rate via blood vessels in the ear, doing away with the need for a chest strap. The watch isn’t waterproof, and the dock connecting the device to the wristband and bike mount isn’t as solid as we’d like. But one afternoon with the Motoactv and that $300 performance watch you bought last year will seem straight out of 1985.