MOOV NOW Mulit-Sport Fitness Coach
Updated:Nov 3, 2015
Moov's second generation product, the MOOV NOW, builds on the successes of their first generation product, the Moov Classic. In addition to the same great live-coaching features, it offers a sleeker, lighter, more comfortable form factor, the added convenience of a coin cell battery, more sensors, support for 3rd party heart rate sensors, and 24/7 activity and sleep tracking. The new, streamlined MOOV app lets you choose among swimming, running (several workout options), fitness walking, outdoor cycling, bodyweight workouts, and cardio punch workouts. The MOOV's live smart coaching feedback motivates you, challenges you, and monitors your form as you master each difficulty level.
Just a Heads Up!
I always like to let readers know how I obtain the product I review, whether it's a purchase, a gift from a friend, or a sample unit provided by a company. In this case, Moov sent me the MOOV NOW to test and review. Regardless of how I come by a device, I'm still going to provide you with my honest thoughts about its pros, cons, and the overall experience of using it.
Note: I have a few small questions (about MOOV Coach's voice and social features, for example) that I've sent to MOOV. I will update the review when I receive their response!
Moov is a crowd-funded company that raced through the product launch process at lightning speed: Their product funding goal was reached in just 90 minutes, $1M worth of Moov products were sold in just two weeks, and the first generation product shipped within just 5 months of the crowd funding date. I tried their first generation product, the Moov Classic, and was duly impressed.
Now they've released their second generation product, the MOOV NOW, a much slimmer, lighter device that offers the same great AI Smart Coaching plus 24/7 activity and sleep tracking. The new, streamlined app supports 3rd party heart rate monitors for certain workouts. Also, whereas you previously needed to download a separate app for each Moov workout, the new app and allows access to all Moov sports from a single point.
About Moov: Product, Apps, and Coaching
The Moov Hardware & Battery
Housed inside the round, plastic MOOV NOW unit is a 3-axis accelerometer, a gyrometer, and a magnetometer that record motion 24/7. The app analyzes and interprets this this data to provide information about your sleep during the night, activity during the day, and live feedback during your workouts. The app also provides charts of sleep, activity, and workout metrics.
Each MOOV NOW unit is available in blue, red, black or white and comes with two silicone bands -- one for wrist wear and one for ankle wear. The bands are thin, comfortable, and -- thanks to their mesh design -- quite breathable. A single CR2032 watch battery keeps the unit running for up to 6 months.
The MOOV NOW is compatible with iOS and Android and syncs via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), so your device must be BLE enabled. GPS is required for the Speed Endurance running program and for the Outdoor Cycling program, but not for the remaining workouts or for 24/7 activity and sleep tracking. Certain workouts also allow you to pair (via BLE) with a 3rd party heart rate monitor.
The Moov Smart Coach
The MOOV NOW differs from the 24/7 activity and sleep tracking of standard fitness trackers in that it also offers live, interactive coaching as it guides you through a variety of workouts, from running, walking, cycling, and cardio boxing to bodyweight workouts. It also tracks swimming and offers data post-swim, but does not provide live coaching during your swim.
Moov Coach's feedback is both audio and visual -- you'll hear the Moov Coach guiding you and imparting wisdom during the workout, and you can view live data via the app during the workout (as well as charts post-workout). The Moov Coach's audio feedback covers a lot of ground:
Sleep Tracking and Activity Tracking
The sleep tracking feature automatically detects when you fall asleep and wake up, and it displays periods of deeper versus lighter sleep in chart form. The app also estimates the amount of nightly "restorative sleep" you experienced. You can easily edit the sleep and wake times if you feel that the automatic detection did not work correctly.
The activity tracking feature monitors your activity intensity throughout the day (displayed in chart format in the app), including total calories burned during the 24 hour period, total active minutes (activity above a threshold level), and how many times you were active during the day.
My Experience using MOOV NOW
Wearing, Pairing, and Battery Life
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the new MOOV NOW was the revamped design: noticeably sleeker and lighter than the first generation product. It's also one of the more successful designs I've encountered to date -- a friend even commented that it was one of the most attractive fitness trackers she's seen so far!
The silicone wrist and ankle bands are one-size-fits-all and offer a wide range of adjustability. While I still think it's hard to beat a standard watch-style band in terms of ease of attachment and a secure fit, the MOOV NOW band's snap-on design is easy to put on with practice, and it stays secure during an intense workout. The bands have a slight elasticity that helps keep the device snugly in place and a perforated design that allows your skin to breathe.
Installing the Moov App and pairing the MOOV NOW was fast, simple, and easy. Having been through some of the worst fitness tracker pairing experiences (and some of the best), a painless setup is something I really appreciate!
As opposed to the Moov Classic, which had a rechargeable battery and charging pad, the MOOV NOW ships with a watch battery that lasts up to 6 months before needing replacement. This is a great upgrade, in my opinion. A device that's always ready to go makes it easier to start your workout without delays, removes one more hassle from your day, and means you have one fewer cord to lose/one fewer piece of desktop clutter. The Moov App gives you a heads up when the time comes to replace the battery, which is also nice.
The MOOV NOW is a very comfortable wrist-based tracker to wear to sleep. Its lack of bulk and weight meant that I was able to sleep on top of my arm (or with my head resting on my arm) without discomfort. I've been amazed by how easy it is for even a relatively slim device to disturb my sleep, so this is definitely a plus for the NOW.
I do normally love having a fitness tracker with a screen and a wrist-based optical heart rate sensor, but the drawback of those models at night is that tossing and turning can trigger them to emit a bright light that can disturb your sleep. The MOOV NOW's lack of a screen and wrist-based optical heart rate sensor made for a more soothing sleep experience.
I love the convenience of the NOW's automatic sleep detection. Sleep metrics include when you fell asleep, how long you slept, and when you woke up. It offers an estimate of time spent in "restorative sleep" each night, in addition to total sleep time. However, it doesn't offer a breakdown of hours in light versus deep sleep, number of awakenings/tossing-and-turnings, or time spent awake during the sleep session, and you can't see the sleep session in greater detail than the chart below. (I actually did sleep that long, by the way -- that one was not an error!)
For many users, this might be a sufficient level of detail for daily insights. I tend to browse sleep data mainly out of curiosity -- I don't actually do much with it. However, I do like to see that is not a feature of the MOOV app is a historical chart of my sleep over the last 7 to 14 days along with the rolling average of sleep per night to see whether I'm averaging out to about 8 hours.
You can also edit your sleep and wake times -- something I consider essential in trackers that detect sleep automatically, because no one gets it right all the time. In my first few uses, the band tended to mistake reading in bed at the end of the day as me already having fallen sleep. After I wake and sync the band, it has also extended my morning sleep by up to an hour if I spend that hour fairly sedentary in bed.
The band's sleep tracking is supposed to improve as it gathers more of your unique data. Now that I've corrected it a few times, it seems as though these mistakes may be happening less often. Once the front-end and back-end sleep times are in place, it seems on par with my other sleep trackers in terms of accuracy of automatic sleep detection.
I like wearing a device that tracks my daily activity in addition to my workouts, so I appreciate that the MOOV NOW includes this feature. For me, seeing the data from daily tracking serves as a reminder to get active when I've been sedentary. And when I've had a full and active day, seeing it tallied up provides an extra feeling of accomplishment. I also like seeing how my daily calorie burn relates to my general daylong activity, not just my daily workouts.
I like how the MOOV NOW focuses on total daily active minutes rather than total daily steps as the main metric for daily activity tracking. This encourages you to get a minimum of 30 minutes of intense activity of any type. Fitness trackers that focus too much on steps regardless of workout intensity can give you a false sense of having been active enough in a day, even if you didn't get your heart pumping. However, if you've grown used to a step-based metric, you might miss having a daily step count.
One thing the Moov App doesn't offer is a chart of your average daily sleep or average daily active minutes last week or last month. You can view data on a daily level, and you can scroll back in time to see your data from previous days, but you can't see aggregated data over time to answer questions like: "How much nightly sleep/daily activity did I get on average last month?"
Below is an example of the MOOV app activity chart. You can view specific activities in more detail if they were sessions that you and Coach Moov did "together" by opening up the app's history tab.
The sleep and daytime activity tracking are just icing on the cake -- smart coaching is where the MOOV NOW really shines.
The "Coach" is represented by a synthetic female voice who speaks through your phone speakers/earbuds during your workout. While the coaching hasn't changed much between MOOV Classic and MOOV NOW, it was already great to start with. I've been impressed by the difference that Coach's feedback makes on my motivation during indoor workouts and my focus during solo runs (both my attention to form and my focus on the goal of the workout).
Run & Walk
The Run & Walk program only requires one MOOV NOW to use, and it offers several workout options: brisk walking, running efficiency, open training, sprint intervals, and speed endurance. I was able to try all programs except for the Speed Endurance program, which requires GPS -- a feature my iPod Touch doesn't have.
Wearing the MOOV NOW turns running into a game for me. I like seeing whether I can match or beat the previous level I achieved, and the desire to complete a level pushes me to run just a little longer and harder than I would otherwise.
You can also listen to your music while using the Run & Walk app, but if you're like me, you'll be more interested in listening for the next thing that Coach Moov has to say. The app has a few other fancy features: you can skip the warmup, pause your workout, and opt for reduced coaching.
The app chimes from time to time to signify that you're on target for the goal (cadence or pace) for that program. I appreciated the periodic feedback, but didn't understand why it chimed when it did -- it seems random.
Below, I've included a few examples from the end-of-workout summary screens for a Sprint Interval session:
Moov Cardio Punch
Cardio Punch features four workouts: Basic Training, Light, Semi-Pro, and Champion. I started with the Basic Training, which teaches you the punches, footwork, combos, and the symbols used within the Cardio Punch workout and includes helpful videos that demonstrate the correct form.
Once you know the moves, select from three difficulty levels: Light, Semi-Pro, and Champion. Each features six 2-minute "rounds." Set your device (a phone is fine, but a larger screened tablet makes it much easier to see) at eye level a few feet away and get going! Punches flow at you video-game style, and you hit them when they reach the "target" point that's close to you.
The Cardio Punch workout is the most fun I've had with fitness wearable. It turns a workout into a game, and it's compact enough to do from home or when you're traveling.
Though you can open and test this app using just one MOOV NOW, you really need two to use it properly. I used the Cardio Punch app with two first generation MOOVs and had a blast, but this time around I only had one MOOV NOW to test. With a device on only one wrist, the app automatically categorizes the punches as missed for the other wrist.
My only gripe about the Cardio Punch app is that you can't pause in the middle of a round. Sure, a round is only two minutes, but it seemed like there was always some interruption I wanted to stop and deal with briefly, whether it was cracking a window, adjusting the volume, or plugging in the iPad because it was running out of battery.
7 Minute+ Workout
When I tried the 7 Minute+ Workout with the MOOV NOW, I was reminded of my reaction to trying it the first time around with the Moov Classic: it's really great to have someone count my reps for me! Even though Coach miscounted one of my situps, I can't deny that I prefer it to counting my own situps (which I sometimes miscount, too). While I don't see this app replacing my existing strength training routine, it has added some variety and serves as a nice supplement to it.
The 7 Minute+ Workout walks you through a bodyweight workout. It begins with a mandatory "Fit Test" to determine the right starting level, and the subsequent levels push you to complete a growing number of pushups, lunges, squats, sit-ups and other bodyweight exercises. As you complete each rep, the Moov Coach counts them for you and shows you a video of a fitness model demonstrating the right form.
There is technically no limit to how many difficulty levels this app has --- as long as you complete early levels, you keep unlocking harder levels, and you can progress as far as you'd like. All levels feature three sets of the bodyweight exercises and a growing number of reps in each set.
I've provided a few examples of the post-workout metrics below:
I did a few laps in the pool to test out the swim feature. While my iPod sat safely at home, my Moov captured stroke types and swim stats. It can record up to 90 minutes of swimming, but my puny gelatin muscles can't handle that kind of a pool workout. I swam for about 10 minutes before emptying my lungs of chlorinated water and calling it a day.
It seems to have done a good job of categorizing the strokes (I stuck to backstroke, freestyle, and breaststroke, though it also recognizes butterfly stroke). I also like to default to the sidestroke when I just want to relax. The app clearly categorized the sidestroke as one of the above strokes, though I'm not sure which one(s). The company plans to add 2-MOOV capability to swim workouts in the future, which has the potential to aid in swim stroke recognition.
Below is an example from MOOV's press kit on the left, and an example from my leisurely and unfocused (yet thoroughly enjoyable) swim on the right.
Here are a few more screenshots from my swim workout. After a swim, the app will display info including your longest continuous swim, your fastest 100m, and a breakdown of your laps.
My iPod Touch doesn't have GPS, so I couldn't test this workout. I know the day has come and gone for me to get a smartphone, but I cherish the luxury of disconnectedness that a dumbphone affords. Instead of joining the thumb-skilled ranks just yet, I'll just provide a brief overview of what to expect from the cycling workout.
Wearing a Moov on your ankle captures cycling stats, while your handlebar-mounted smartphone provides additional info (via GPS) and lets you view data during your ride. Coach Moov gives you real-time coaching (both visual and audio, include tips on when to shift gears), and the app provides a live map, route mapping, heart rate monitor support, and a variety of metrics including speed, distance, cadence, power output, calories, elevation, and more.
Future Fitness Programs and Additions
Moov is in the process of rolling out a competitive and social aspect to the app and expanding the number of workouts that accept 3rd party heart rate monitor data. They have also announced plans to add tabata workouts and indoor spinning. They also plan to add two-MOOV capability to swim workouts. Moov takes customer input into account when planning features and workouts, so get in touch:
I thought the company's 2nd generation product continues to do a great job with live Smart Coaching, and I appreciated the many other upgrades to the latest Moov experience: the slimmer profile, improved style, improved band, use of a watch battery, single consolidated app, sleep tracking and activity tracking, and expanded integration with other health tools (Apple Health, 3rd party heart rate monitors).
The MOOV NOW appeals to me because of its fun, interactive live coaching, the variety of workouts it encourages, and its focus on active minutes rather than steps as the important metric during the daily activity tracking. I like that there are a ton of difficulty levels and that there are workouts I can do indoors and outdoors.
A few helpful thoughts for readers who might be interested in the MOOV NOW:
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Features & Added Benefits
The Moov's greatest distinguishing features are its live interactive Smart Coach and its growing range of fitness programs from running to fitness walking, cardio boxing, swimming, bodyweight workouts, and cycling. Each fitness program features a range of difficulty levels, and Moov tracks multiple metrics corresponding to each sport. It also offers 24/7 activity and sleep tracking.
The Moov contains a 3-axis accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyrometer to track your motion.
Hardware & Wearing
The body of the NOW is made of plastic. Each MOOV NOW comes with two silicone bands -- a smaller one for the wrist and a larger one for the ankle. The face of the device also serves as a button that you press to sync or to identify your MOOV at the start of a workout. It is available in blue, red, black and white.
It is waterproof and can be used for swimming.
Battery Life & Charging
The MOOV NOW ships with a single CR2032 coin battery that lasts an estimated 6 months before needing to be replaced.
Your data syncs to your compatible device wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It syncs every 45 minutes, or you can sync manually by pressing the face of the MOOV NOW.
A list of Moov-compatible iOS and Android devices can be found here. It also supports 3rd party heart rate monitors with Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with Apple Health.