Update to Original Post (4/3/16)
Moov reached out to me via twitter after apparently reading the post and asked me to contact customer service saying they wanted to fix the issues I had experienced and wrote about below. They offered me a free replacement band. I thanked them for their efforts and will let you know if there is anything different with the buckle or the bands ability to hold the tracker. I have not used the device in ages and gave one to my son who runs and rides a bike so I have 2 left.
I saw an article announcing the new Moov fitness device with a special rate on pre-orders so I decided that it looked really cool and would solve some of the workout issues I face. As you may recall I have used Fitbit’s, Garmin, Google Glass and a number of apps. My exercise routine includes both aerobic activities like running and elliptical, all counted by the steps on most devices but I also like to use the rowing machine and have used Bodbot for my stretching and weight training. None of these activities are effectively counted by a step tracker like a Garmin or Fitbit.
The Moov includes two straps, one for your wrist and one for your ankle, one Moov device and an app on your phone. The app is easy to install and you link the device by pressing on it, a short light indicates its available to pair and you pair it for each activity you want to do on the app. Pairing was easy although I often had to press the device multiple times to get it into pairing mode as indicated by the flashing light.
The app comes with a number of exercise routines that cover walking, running, swimming, boxing and an under 10 minute workout. These were easy to select and set up. During the workouts the app provides you with feedback on pace and impact.
Issue #1, Ordering
I easily ordered one unit within days of the announcement and began waiting for the delivery announcement. As the date approached, I saw that they had a special offer if I ordered a second at the discounted price, they’d add it to my first order and I’d keep my place in the pre-order line. I went ahead and ordered the second and notified them via email to put the two orders together. Well they weren’t capable of that, they emailed back that I needed to place a new order for two of them and they would cancel the other orders and place the new order for two in my previous place in line. So I ordered two and sent them yet again another email to cancel the other orders. In the end for some strange reason, they only cancelled one of my orders so I ended up receiving two red ones as my first order and a few days later one blue one, paying for all three.
Issue #2 The Strap
Lets face it the strap is a pain to put on. There are a lot of complaints about this online.
Its hard to snap the little piece into place
It’s difficult to get it tight without having something like the top of a table hold it in place while you try to get it to the right tightness (in fact I tried wrapping it back over itself, to get some leverage with the strap for a while, just to make it tight).
The first time I pulled the longer strap out of the box the clip that is used for the strap fell off (I was unaware until I got to the gym and went to switch the Moov to the longer strap to run with it and realized it was gone. So I emailed them immediately and asked how I could get additional clips for the strap, its now been over a week and I have not received any response. The little clip can get caught when putting one end of the strap through the other and pulled off so watch for this. I then found the clip right where I had pulled the strap out of the box.
And perhaps the BIGGEST ISSUE the little Moov device can fall out of the strap if you are doing things. On the second day I was pulling some backpacking equipment out of the closet and about 20 minutes later noticed that while I had the strap on, there was no Moov in it. I proceeded to look throughout the house and then remembered that I had some difficulty pulling something out of the closet. Sure enough I found it in there on the bottom. Apparently the strap can get caught, spin around and stretch enough for the device to fall out. NOT JUST ONCE So this morning I awoke and my strap was in fact empty again, the device was not in my bed or bedroom. The only thing I can think of is that last night as I was taking luggage out of a car, the strap got caught on something, pulled, stretched and the device fell out! Maybe I’ll find it in the back of the car.
Issue #3 The Workouts
I have used a few of the workouts including the Walk to sweat, Run my own way and Get toned in under 10 minutes. There are others including Push to the limit, Improve my pace and distance, Ride outdoors, Record and analyze a swim and Have fun burning calories. Given the issues above I probably won’t be using it much anymore but anyway:
- It doesn’t Count Steps. WHAT???? It only activates above a certain level which is a fairly high walking or activity pace. While it will show your activity level throughout the day, only activity that reaches a certain threshold counts and steps aren’t counted at all. While they can think this is cool because they want you to get above a certain activity level to improve your health, not counting steps is a major issue and just plain dumb. So I wear two devices to see steps as well.
- The feedback you get from the device while working out is neat and giving you pace and impact while walking or running is well done and useful. In fact that is what I have been looking for, a device that goes beyond a tracker to provide useful information and motivation; but the messages regarding posture etc can be repetitive. During the Run my own way training I found the feedback regarding my pace spaced too far apart, during the Walk to sweat it was about right, but it lowers the music volume too much when providing feedback and then increases the music back to the previous level.
- The Get toned in under 10 minutes workout had difficulty tracking my squats so I ended up doing maybe 5-7 extra each set trying to get the 10 counted in the time allotted. I ended up one short when I reviewed the activity.
- If you are working out on a treadmill it counts distance via GPS so you have to manually enter your distance upon completion. A few times somehow I clicked through the manual entry step and ended up with little to no distance and there was no way I could find to correct this after the fact.
- It did nothing with my rowing and really can’t count weightlifting or those types of activities.
- Apparently they admit it doesn’t work on a elliptical, so I decided not to test it.
Overall its really just a cool toy. It’s too easy to lose if worn all the time, is a pain to put it on, doesn’t count steps, so I wear two devices, doesn’t track other activities that I do on a frequent basis like treadmill, rowing and weights (well the others don’t either but that was what I believed Moov would do), doesn’t count some of its own activities well like those in the Get toned in under 10 minutes workout and the response from their customer service is poor to non-existent.
Unless they make some major changes to the strap, device, customer service and overall usefulness of this tracker, and if I can find the device, this one’s headed to limited use and the two others may get donated to charity, I just can’t give them to people I know as gifts.