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Video: Motorola MotoACTV Is What the iPod Nano Should Be

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When Motorola first unveiled their new MotoACTV device the other day, my first thought was: oh look, an Android iPod nano. Finally. I’ve long felt that Android device manufacturers needed to get more on creating iPod rivals. (By the way, Samsung, hurry up with that Galaxy Player.)

Not only did Motorola step up in creating a viable nano rival, they also managed to create a device that does a bunch of things I wish the nano did. Though the company emphasizes the fitness aspects of the device, the MotoACTV is really the smartwatch Josh Smith (and everyone else) has been waiting for.

Even if you’re not into the whole exercise thing, the MotoACTV is very tempting.

motoactv in the wrist strap

At its most basic, the MotoACTV is an MP3 player. It comes in 8GB and 16GB flavors, which won’t hold every song ever, but will give you a few days worth. It also has an FM radio inside in case you still cling to the soothing tones of morning zoo DJs.

It’s a little larger than the nano, measuring 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.38 inches and weighing just 35 grams. The 1.6-inch color display is nice and bright, just big enough to give you the info you need but not for much else. You get physical buttons for volume control on the side and two on top for navigating.

What the MotoACTV has that the nano does not is Bluetooth, which can connect to Android phones (and interact via a free app). Through this connection you can get notifications of incoming calls, read alerts and text messages, or even take calls. This works with both the included wired headset or the Bluetooth one. You can’t initiate a call from MotoACTV, but that’s still pretty sweet.

Then the fitness stuff comes in. In addition to the heartrate monitor in the headphones that come with it, users can keep track of steps, and how far they’ve run or walked with the GPS. Plus, the MotoACTV can connect wirelessly to ANT+ sensors in fitness equipment. The sweatproofness helps, but I wonder if I’m going to need to disinfect it often?

motoactv with wired headset

There are a ton of fitness-related goodies on the software side, like a way to track your progress over time, challenge friends, and share your progress on social networks. The device will also keep track of the songs that get you most pumped up and will play them when your energy flags.

It’s too bad that the MotoACTV is targeted so directly at the fitness market, because that could turn some couch potatoes off to its other virtues. Then again, it may inspire some to think about their health a bit more even if they don’t buy it for exercise. Nothing wrong with that.

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

7 Comments

  1. MotoACTV

    10/20/2011 at 4:42 pm

    @tobiasbuckell Sorry, you have to wait. Follow us for updates

  2. unloack iphone free

    10/22/2011 at 6:17 pm

    Like :) this is great mobil phones is wery praktik

  3. rocket_pup

    10/24/2011 at 11:27 am

    I contacted Motorola support, and they COULD NOT tell me the specifications of the arm band accessory. Specifically, what is the largest circumference.  Kind of disappointing for a product targeting sport enthusiasts!

    • Charlie Sheen

      11/02/2011 at 1:33 pm

      I would not expect tech support desk to know size of an armband when they technically don’t support the product yet…  Wait a few days, go to the store, and see in person if it will fit over your amazingly large biceps.

  4. Kev916

    01/05/2012 at 11:32 am

    I own the iPod Nano and the LunaTik Lynx wristband. If you have any allusions about wearing something on your wrist, you definately should get the Nano/LunaTik option instead. This thing is nothing more than an overamped pedometer that is looking at places other than your arm to live. Nothing compares to the iPod for music navigation and the watch faces make the Nano a viable alternative to a deidcated watch. Moto may has an advantage in the fitness area but the Nike app in the Nano works just fine for me. Only question I have is can this device receive downloads of third party apps? That is one thing missing with the Nano…

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