Motorola MOTOACTV review

The Motorola MOTOACTV is the latest fitness gadget out of the starting blocks

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Steps recorded on watch face

  • +

    Displays messages and alerts

  • +

    Various sports settings

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Rather expensive

  • -

    Metal back condenses sweat

  • -

    Headphone jack positioning

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The Motorola MOTOACTV watch packs fitness features and GPS into a wearable gadget, and also offers an MP3 player and syncing with your Android-powered Motorola phone

The latest gadget in an increasingly crowded market of wearable sports trackers and performance monitors, such as the Fitbit Ultra and the Jawbone UP, the Motorola MOTOACTV is a strange but pleasantly surprising device.

More than a simple MP3 player with some added fitness features, the MOTOACTV plays host to a broad selection of functionality with a host of sports tracking credentials further enhanced via a selection of boxed and optional extra accessories used to improve the user friendliness of these offerings.

Motorola MOTOACTV: Design

With more than an air of the latest generation Apple iPod Nano about its design, the Motorola MOTOACTV touts a 1.6-inch square touchscreen on a body considerably thicker than its Apple-branded MP3 competitor.

Crafted from Corning Gorilla glass the MOTOACTV's display is capable of withstanding a flurry of knocks and bangs associated with daily use and continued spells of exercise, a feature that proved functional and sturdy during our time with the device.

Primarily intended for use as a watch, the MOTOACTV comes boxed with a watch strap onto which the device can be easily slid on and off. Comfortable, well styled if a little oversized and easy to wipe down the strap transforms the MOTOACTV into a perfect companion for everyday wear as well as vigorous exercise remaining secure and operational throughout.

Motorola MOTOACTV: Features

With a selection of watch faces meaning the MOTOACTV can become as natural a piece of your daily routine as possible, the usual time and date offerings are bolstered by the onscreen collation of live steps taken and calories burned throughout the day, both perfect inclusion for no hassle or fuss monitoring of your daily targets.

Capable of more than simply counting steps, however, the MOTOACTV supports a number of predefined and individually attuned exercise monitors with users able to keep tabs on their running, walking, cycling and even elliptical work. Integrated GPS abilities mean that come the end of your session, distance travelled, average speed, pace and elevation information is all displayed and available to hand.

Capable of being synced to your Android-powered Motorola handset via Bluetooth and a free to download mobile application the MOTOACTV can be used to display texts and alerts as well as receive calls.

Whilst this feature works well allowing for quick access to information on the move it is slightly disappointing that the service hasn't been opened up to a broader range of non-Motorola specific Android devices.

Motorola MOTOACTV: Performance

Whilst the MOTOACTV's inbuilt MP3 player with 8GB or 16GB of storage ensures you have enough tunes to keep you going throughout even the longest of training sessions or car journeys the wraparound sports headphones that come boxed with the device whilst comfortable are slightly disappointing offering weak, tinny audio that lacks deep notes or strong bass.

Winning the device's MP3 player some added credit, however, is the ability to easily set 'power songs' that you believe will provide a bit of added motivation when the lactic acid kicks in. What's more, the device, after a number of sessions accompanied by music, will craft playlists attuned to your top performances.

Giving with one hand and taking away with the other the MOTOACTV allows goals to be set for individual training sessions but fails to offer any audible alert when completed meaning you are left second guessing and repeatedly checking the display for information.

Motorola MOTOACTV: Verdict

Entering a market on the verge of a boom the Motorola MOTOACTV is an all-round strong device that ticks all the boxes. A good battery life means you will charge the device at most twice a week based on frequent use while the ease at which activity information is displayed takes one arduous task out of motivation-waning exercise regimes.

Slightly on the expensive side with a £250 price tag the MOTOACTV is a perfect tool for the exercise enthusiast with its watch, performance tracker and MP3 abilities helping justify the cost supplying three great bits of kit in one.

Luke Johnson

Staff Writer on T3 Luke Johnson studied journalism at the Liverpool John Moores University and writes, news, opinion and interviews for the site. Topics of expertise include gaming, phones, photography, tablets and computing. Luke is a huge Apple fan, too, owning multiple Apple products and writing about iPhones and iPads frequently.