A little while ago, Motorola reached out to me to see if I’d like to try out and review their new GPS, MP3 player, and heart rate monitor in one, the MOTOACTV.


I have to admit that once I got the MOTOACTV, it sat in its box for about two weeks. I didn’t have too much time to figure out how a new gadget works since I was starting a new job, and I wasn’t in a hurry because I had my Garmin Forerunner.

It wasn’t until I tried it out the first couple times that I realized this is not, at all, a Garmin.

I compared it to my Garmin because they both have GPS and track distance, pace, route, and splits. However, the capabilities of the MOTOACTV exceed those offered by my Garmin.

MOTOACTV Capabilities:


Since I’ve been using my MOTOACTV, I haven’t used my Garmin. While out on runs, I’ll use both the GPS and mp3 player capabilities, and while out on walks, I bring it with me for the music/audio books only. It actually makes me a bit greedy in that I wish it had phone capability, too! Then all I’d need to carry for GPS, music, and phone would be this little tiny device!

I’ve been using the MOTOACTV for a little more than a month now, and over that time I’ve noticed some things I love about it, along with some things I’d change.



  • touch screen capabilities – I loved being able to easily swipe during my run to switch from overall time to splits to average pace, and then back to music to change my song
  • screen appearance– the color on the screen makes it very visually appealing, and I also liked that you could zoom in and out of the route, down to the street name detail. This eases my worries about getting lost during a run!
  • ease of switching from music to workout and back
  • the size – it’s tiny! It doesn’t weigh much either so I don’t feel like it’s throwing off my gait
  • versatility of wear – it comes with a clip for your shorts (my favorite,) a wrist strap, and an arm strap. I like the belt clip because I can easily take it off and clip it back on mid-run Smile
  • It tracks elevation! As long as the signal holds up, I plan on bringing it along on hikes to track how many feet we hike up in Colorado.
  • It knows me – the MOTOACTV has a feature where it can sense which songs motivate you. It picks up on your pace, and when your pace picks up, it tracks which song is playing, then it lists that song as a power song or a song that makes you faster. Pretty cool, huh? Smile You can also do this manually during your run by pressing the "lightening button.”


  • Limited battery life – this is my biggest complaint about the device. It only lasts for about 8 hours before having to charge it again. However, this is only out of laziness. My runs/walks are typically an hour or less, so it’s likely not a super big problem for me – unless we bring it on a long hike, then it might not last the entire time.
  • Limited space – it’s got a pretty small amount of storage space. I tried downloading about 5 audio books for our trip, and I could only fit 3 on there – and that’s with only about 150-200 songs!
  • GPS signal – while satellites tend to find a signal quickly (I was impressed by this) it also dropped the signal fairly easily. On a hike, Shane wore the Garmin and I the MOTOACTV, and the Garmin had an additional .4 miles on the total distance. Not a huge gap, but a gap nonetheless.

Overall I’m extremely impressed by MOTOACTV and plan on continuing to use it during my walks, runs, and using the music portion for relaxing.


Do you use any GPS devices or other contraptions for tracking stats during your workouts?

I don’t take my stats too seriously right now, but when I set out for a 4.5 mile run, it’s nice to know when I’m getting close to my distance goal and how I’m doing on time!

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  1. I’ve been looking to get something to keep track of my heart rate and calories burned. I really don’t even know where to start looking though. For me, it’s more out of curiosity with judging workout intensity since I’ve started developing workouts.

  2. Oh my goodness I think I would be in love with this thing!! All of the pros sound amazing. And the cons don’t really bother me all that much haha. I especially love that it “knows you”….so cool!!

  3. I have been looking into getting a GPS, but have no idea which to get since all of them have pros and cons!

  4. Awesome… I use my Garmin HRM right now, and I”m questioning its accuracy…

  5. I’ve been looking into possibly upgraded my Garmin (it’s really old), love this review! I’ll have to look at it now too 😀 Thanks!

  6. The pros sound like they definitely out weigh the cons! I think this looks awesome. I definitely am looking for something like this. I like how it can tell which songs are best for improving your pace and motivate you, how neat!

  7. I also have the Garmin Forerunner 305. The only complaint is that it takes forever to find a satellite and I have to be standing still for it to find one (it takes forever when I’m walking). I’m really intrigued by the Motorola though!

  8. wowwww this is SO COOL!!!! it kind of looks like a giant ass computer though that sits on your might weigh you down during your workout no? haha 😉

  9. Thanks for the review! I have been looking at these for months now!

  10. Wow! this thing looks cool! i’ve been on a lookout for a GPS watch! the belt clip too is something i really like

  11. I have had the Motoactv since Christmas time and I love it. One of my original complaints with it was also battery life. I did not enjoy when the battery died on my around mile 22 of a my first marathon. However, there have been multiple software updates for it and one included a battery life option. Under settings > Battery Saver > Workout Battery> Normal, Extended or Marathon. I tend to keep mine on Extended and usually only have to charge it every 10 days or so. Change to the Marathon settings if you know you are going on long hikes and you shouldn’t have a problem with it not lasting the whole time.


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