It may not be much to look at. And like 99% of other fitness devices, it still relies on your phone to work. But the Moov Now really is different because it gives you powerful, useful feedback that puts it in a different league to regular trackers.
If you want to improve your form and performance while running, swimming or cycling, or are looking for a toning body-weight program, there’s a lot to like here. However, a few bugs and annoyances mean the Moov Now has some way to go before you can tear those other wearables off your wrist and ankle.
The actual unit is about the diameter of a 10-cent coin, and not much thicker than your typical magazine, but it packs enough smart sensors to make it a multi-sport dream. Load up the app, sync it to the Now (powered by a watch battery), and you’re away.
The Now itself is tucked inside a silicon strap that you can wear on your ankle or wrist. It talks to the app, providing real-time feedback while you’re running, cycling or sweating through a body-weight workout (more on swimming later).
While some fitness trackers do just that — track kilojoules burnt or exercises completed (for you to revise after the fact) — the Now gives real-time feedback via spoken audio on the smartphone app. Although this means you’ll need to wear headphones, many of us already listen to music while working out.
Go for a ride on a pushbike with the Now on your ankle and the unit will tell you if your cadence is too low or — conversely — if you’re maintaining a pace the pros would be proud of. Your kilometre-by-kilometre status is also piped into your ear, along with any milestones, like nailing a steep gradient.
This is where the Moov Now really shines. Having intelligent feedback and encouragement based on your actual movement and form goes a long way in keeping an interest in a sport if you’re forever going solo.
The Moov’s not quite alone in these capabilities: Jabra’s Sport Coach headphones do a capable job based on your heartbeat, but they’re not so great at monitoring and correcting your motion.
However, the Now’s less useful for swimming, since you’ll have to go to the info once you’re out of the pool (or keep your smartphone at the end of the lane, if you’re feeling brave), though the stats it provides (stroke rate, distance per stroke) are useful — when it works properly.
Back on dry land, our regular 14km commute home across the Sydney Harbour Bridge was often peppered with weird stats, like an elevation gain of 690m (a third of the height of Mount Kosciuszko), and the device disconnecting for no reason.
Moov acknowledges there’s a problem with Bluetooth over Android, and advises you to clear your paired Bluetooth devices list, but it’s annoying nonetheless.
We still give this one the nod, purely for its versatility, and with the kinks ironed out, the Moov could represent excellent value for money — and a proper contender for the fitness wearables crown.