Hands on Runtastic Moment review: A classic watch with fitness tracking smarts and a budget price

Can Runtastic beat Withings at their own game?

TODO alt text

Runtastic is well known for their popular running app, but their original fitness tracking device, the Runtastic Orbit, failed to make a significant impact on the market.

Frankly, that's because it wasn't very good.

Can their second attempt, the Runtastic Moment, fix everything they got wrong with the original? We went hands-on at IFA to find out.

The original Runtastic device was a fitness band, very plain looking, and essentially Fitbit wannabe. The new Moment is much more wearable, this time resembling a Withings Activité or Mondaine Helvetica No1 (which is no bad thing).

The Moment comes in four versions, the Elite, Classic, Basic and Fun.

The range starts off with the Fun, it comes in a number of bright colours with a silicon strap, next up is the Basic which is almost identical apart from the more simple black or white colourways.

Next is the Classic, which, as the name suggests, resembles a classic dress watch. It features a leather strapand a metal casing which comes in silver, gold and rose shades. It looks a lot more masculine than the Withings Activité, which may appeal to some.

This is the version we tried on at IFA, it's a good size (not too chunky), quite lightweight, and comfortable.

Finally, there's the Elite, which, like the classic, looks very masculine with its ruggedised black stainless steel casing and mesh strap.

Refreshingly, all models perform the same functions. Theis include 24/7 timekeeping and activity tracking, 100m waterproofing (although there's no swim-tracking yet), and a claimed 6-month battery life (we'd need a lot longer with the device to test this).

Activity tracking capabilities of the wearable includes counting daily steps, distance covered (there's no GPS built into the watch), calories burned (no heart rate sensor for accuracy), and sleep duration and cycles.

With this feature set it's unlikely to challenge GPS running watches from the likes of Garmin anytime soon, but it has the capabilities that match many fitness bands on the market.

Yourdaily progress is shown directly on the watch, while more detailed information is accessed on the 'Runtastic' and 'Runtastic Me' apps.

The app is available on iOS, Android and Windows devices, so most smartphones should be covered. It connects to your device with low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 so it shouldn't have a negative impact on battery life.

Additional functions include a vibration motor for a silent alarm, and a seven-day memory, which means you won't lose your tracked steps if you're not glued to your smartphone.

The Runtastic offers some additional features over the Withings Activité, but it also come in at a much lower cost, with prices starting at £99 for the Fun and Basic, and rising to just £149 for the Classic and Elite (compared to the £300).

Our initial impressions confirmed the watches also feel a lot cheaper, but it's a tempting price point for a good looking watch.

Verdict

The Moment is a curious device, coming from a brand such as Runtastic gives it credibility, but it seems so far removed from the app that they're almost unrelated (except in name).

It's a stylish wearable and very reasonably priced, whether that's enough to win consumer from market-leader Fitbit remains to be seen.