Sure, there may be more sophisticated dedicated pro-running systems out there, but there’s nothing in the mainstream consumer gadget area – either MP3 players or phones – that comes close to the miCoach’s impressive coaching complexity. It’s a device you can use for its normal-hours, day-to-day job as a phone, but which will also encourage you to slip on those trainers to get fit.
Samsung has done a tidy job with the music player. It’s well integrated with the miCoach system, as well as being usable on its own. The 1GB of on-board memory is enough for a couple of hundred tunes, but it’s a shame the F110 doesn’t have a memory card slot to boost that capacity further. Decent quality ear-gear is supplied with the miCoach phone - they hook around the ear with in-ear buds for a noise-reducing fit.
Samsung has done a tidy job with the music player
It’s a two-part headset with a 3.5mm jack socket mid-way enabling you to add your own preferred headphones for running or more sedentary listening. The connector positioning on the side of the phone is aggravating, owing to the snag-factor you encounter when trying to remove it from the armband or, to a lesser extent, your pocket. The supplied earphones need a bit of adjustment too to ensure a snug fit when running, but produce fine audio playback once in place.
You can get some high quality sound out of this mobile. The user interface looks classy and is easy to use, with the navpad doubling up as the music player controls. As well as the more typical categories – albums, artists, genres, composers, most played, etc. - the music player includes workout-friendly categories – alongside your motivation songs, there are Tempo and Stride categories, plus an FM radio favourites slot.
You can classify tracks automatically by tempo - slow, medium or fast - sing the supplied Samsung PC Studio Multimedia Manager software on your PC before copying them to the phone. Stride tracks offering suitable pavement-pounding rhythms can be downloaded too. Alternatively, you can sync tunes with Windows Media Player 11, or drag and drop tracks over in mass-storage mode. Transferring by Bluetooth is another option – both for copying and stereo playback using wireless headphones or speakers.
In addition to tune-playing, the miCoach application also has space for a separate image gallery, should you wish to snap and file training related pics. These can be applied to individual workouts too, for visual reminders of where you ran - or how beat you looked afterwards.
As an all in one device that looks impressive, the heart rate monitor etc is very good.... i wonder what it does if you get a call whilst running though :D
I agree it's not going to be up there with the Garmin products (though i think the 305 must add 30lbs to your wrist, it's a brick!!!), but by the looks of it it moves the game on a little from the Nike+ system.... it won't be quite as accurate without GPS (neither is the Nike+) but it's all one place.
Shame neither of them have bloody Mac software though. Grrrrrrrr
I have been skeptical of such products. However your description of mapping a route with HR data has changed my mind. I don't know that I'd drop a ton for it but it is an excellent idea.
There is no other training than running. If you want to get fit, you start to run. And when you run, you'll get fit. Or injured.
No scripted-motion bespectacled black dude in flourescent yellow lycra cycle shorts and wife-beater?
I DON'T WANT ONE WITHOUT MY HOMOEROTICISM!
A nice idea...
..sadly, without GPS this thing appears next to useless once you've used a Garmin Forerunner. You can get a 305 for a little over a ton nowadays.
Nothing like seeing your routes in Google Earth, along with speed and HR data overlaid in a on-map 3d graph detailing HR , speed and elevation at whatever point.
Once you've used that, this phone appears little more than a nice HR watch.