The analogue watch is having a smart tech revival and the Runtastic Moment is the latest in a line of fitness trackers embedded into old-school devices.
Featuring activity tracking smarts built into the watch's body, and a built-in battery that will last around six months, the Runtastic Moment follows in the footsteps of the Withings Activité, Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smart and Nevo Watch. But how does it fare? Read on to find out:
Runtastic Moment: Design and features
The Runtastic Moment comes in three flavours to suit different budgets: Moment Basic (€129), Classic (€199) and Elite (also €199). They represent good value for money, considering that each is made of decent materials and stainless steel and come in substantially cheaper than the Activité ($450) or the Nevo ($299). We tried the Basic and Elite versions.
The Runtastic Moment Elite is a chunky beast
The Runtastic Moment Elite is a beefy 46mm watch encased in stainless steel. It makes for a weighty 242g body under a curvy domed glass. It's a big hunk of watch. While perhaps the weight and design play to the Elite brand, the strap does not.
Attached to the stainless steel lugs is a hard fabric strap that could possibly be one of the most uncomfortable watches we've ever worn. The wide lugs and stiff, thick strap simply can't bend around your wrist, and it ends up awkwardly sitting on either side of your arm. It's not just a personal issue, everyone who tried it at Wareable HQ found it horribly uncomfortable.
The strap allowed no bend near the lugs, and therefore it sat off to one side
That brought us to the Moment Basic. It's heavier, yet slightly smaller at 43mm, making the Basic more manageable; the result is that the silicon strap is infinitely more comfortable to wear. It's also slightly more compact and we preferred the more minimal watch face, although that's down to personal taste.
The whole purpose of analogue watch/fitness tracker hybrids is to present the technology in a form factor you're more likely to wear. It's design masking the function. But we're not really sure that Runtastic has succeeded with the Moment. All the watches look okay, but for our money, none boast an aesthetic that would make you proud to own them.
In terms of features the Runtastic Moment range is fairly simple. They will track your steps and sleep. You can set alarms (just standard wake up calls, not smart alarms) and check all your stats in the Runtastic Me app.
As well as the main analogue watch face, the Runtastic Moment features a second dial which shows your goal progress. It's a handy guide to how you're progressing against your step goal, which can be changed from within the Runtastic Me app.
Being from Runtastic, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Moment has some hidden tricks for running. Well, we're told that an update to the Moment next month will mean that the watch face will turn to a mile counter when you're out for a jog – but other than that, there's little here for the running enthusiast.
Runtastic Moment: Activity tracking
As we mentioned, the Runtastic Moment will track your steps and sleep and record the results in the Runtastic Me app. There's a built in accelerometer that tracks your steps by the movement of your arm, but there's no GPS so it's all still a bit of a guess.
In terms of accuracy, it's a mixed bag. We pitted the Runtastic against the Misfit Shine, which has a history of being freakishly accurate, and we saw it both understate and overstate our daily steps. On an average day it was around 1,000 steps higher than the Shine.
However, when we took both out for a run, it drastically underestimated our performance. We ran 2.7 miles to the Post Office and then walked 0.8 miles home with a parcel and tracked it via a GPS watch. The Misfit Shine recorded that as a 3.5 mile trip (exactly correct – we did ay it was freakishly good) with a total of 5,954 steps. The Runtastic Moment Basic clocked the exact same trip as just 2.76km (1.7 miles) with only 3,960 steps. Accuracy is clearly an issue.
Runtastic vs Misfit over the same 3.5 mile journey, worn on the same wrist
The Runtastic Moment will also track sleep, and that also suffered minor accuracy issues. A common problem with movement-based trackers is that when you wake up and stay in bed it registers that period as sleep. It's not that big a deal and the results are still a useful barometer of your weekly rest – it's a guide, not a scientific study.
However, what is a big deal is the return to the bad old days of sleep tracking where you must manually tell Runtastic when you're going to sleep by holding the button for three seconds, which feels totally counterproductive.
Any sleep tracker worth its salt can work out when you're asleep and track accurately – Fitbit, Jawbone and Misfit have all added automatic detection to their trackers, and anything that requires manual input feels very dated.
Runtastic Moment: App
The Runtastic Me app is a fairly basic affair, which shows off your daily stats and not a lot else. Once you've got your watch hooked up it's nice and seamless and you're not left waiting long to have your steps, calories and distance updated.
Hooking up the app was a little hit and miss in the first place, and it took a few attempts to get the app and device linked. You can have more than one connected at a time, if you so wish.
The app also syncs with Apple Health and Google Fit, and a really nice touch is that you can have steps from your phone added to your daily totals should you forget to wear the Moment one day. This means you won't have blanks in your day.
Another big downside to the app, however, is that a lot of the best features – namely advanced goals and analysis and unlimited history of data – are limited to the Premium app. That means an extra $4.99 per month on top of the €129/€199 purchase of your Runtastic Moment. Sorry, but that's just not on when most trackers offer the same features for no extra cash.
- Great price
- Hassle free tracking
- Doesn't look like a fitness tracker
- Wayward step tracking
- Manual sleep mode only
- Decent features behind paywall