All I wanted was a method to collect basic workout information: duration, average and maximum heart rate. I had previously used a unit, which did the job reasonably well for many years. Not wanting to spend a whole lot for what I considered pretty basic functionality, I bought this unit.
A list of ‘peculiarities’:
- The fastener on the chest strap is odd, basically overlapping soft rubber that gets twisted together. I have no idea why they couldn’t have gone with a simpler buckle that clicks open and closed. The oddity of the design makes it hard to undo when slippery, which leads to...
- I’ve had very little luck getting a heartbeat to register on the watch without a whole lot of licking on the contacts on the chest strap. Frankly, more licking than I want to do, so I’ve actually went out and got some water-based gel. With that, I’ve had much better luck getting a heartbeat displayed. Except that...
- With or without the addition of gel, it’s been really hit and miss to get a heart rate displayed on the watch, when the watch is strapped to my wrist. At times, I get a credible reading; at other times, I got no reading, or what seems to be every second beat. My smart wife told me that if I’m going into some sort of arrhythmia, that might be valid, but on the other hand, taking the watch part off, and hooking it right over the chest strap does result in a steady, apparently valid reading. So now, I workout with a watched hooked over my chest strap under my t-shirt.
- Now...the watch. More minor complaint: the ‘person-machine’ interface is strange. It took me awhile to figure it out, but as far as I can tell, you have to reset the memory, work out, reset the memory again, and then you can access the details of the workout you just finished. Hitting reset after the workout seems very counter-intuitive to me, but that seems to be what you have to do.
- I guess I should have realized from the spec sheet, but this unit doesn’t provide (or I haven’t figured out how to access) a reading of the amount of time spent in the ‘target zone’. My prior ‘Polar’ did...would be nice info to have.
- The unit is supposed to cleverly tie in to a smart phone, using a little dongle thing. However, the range at which the dongle picks up a single seems to be about 3 feet...the phone loses signal if I put it on a table right beside my treadmill. Lastly, and it’s probably on me, but I haven’t figured out how to make the Runtastic app work for me. If I had better luck getting the chest strap (or watch? I’m not sure) to talk to the smart phone dongle, I’d try harder to figure the Runtastic app out, but at this point, the Runtastic-Sportline association is a red herring for me.