micke-midlife on January 15th, 2009

part II: actually, it wasn’t delivered in a box, but all the parts were there, the n79 device, the heart rate monitor, the armband and the ear plugs. very nice, the device I mean, the n79 is a nice nseries device. in comparison to all the other black ones (not quite my cup of tea), the colour choices of the n79 that come with it are kind of refreshing. you put on the green or the blue back cover and the display color changes with it, neat detail.

i guess the armband isn’t top of the line - i’ve seen nicer ones for the i-thingy - and the ear plugs most probably have trouble competing sound quality wise with your big sennheiser or bose ones. but they do the trick here. it’s about running, not about locating every instrument in a beethoven symphony. the heart rate monitor belt however is top shelf, no doubt about that. polar quality, solid sensor area, antibacterial fabric for the rest of the strap, the transmitter using a standard bluetooth connection is a standard polar element. it is attached with two push buttons onto this belt, but could also be attached with the older mechanism where the transmitter is combining the two ends of the belt. so if the belt gets lost or breaks, you can get another one or digg out your old one and use the bluetooth transmitter with that one. There’s a standard battery in the transmitter as in all other polar belts, don’t know how long it lasts though. you can’t attach a phone charger or something as assumed on some other blogs.

one good aspect is, this whole sports bundle is applicable to a next mobile device you buy, one, two or three years down the road, because it’s standard bluetooth connection to the belt and the sports tracker application goes on all nokia s60 devices. for now the heart rate belt is only sold in this n79 active bundle. EUR 375 before subsidies and tax.

the sports tracker application comes pre-installed on the n79 active. it’s been around for a while as after sales app that everyone can install on a nokia s60 device. that’s also still the case. the latest version is found here on the sports tracker service or here from the nokia research center directly. we earlier had a review of an older version, part I and part II. so let’s focus on the differences to the older versions.

when opening up the sports tracker application the first time, a wizard starts that walks you through the initial connectoin to the belt. workes neatly, it finds the belt almost immediately and pairs it, that’s bluetooth stuff. it’s now connected and you see right away the current heart rate on the top of the basic application display. this bluetooth connection in general is working well and reliably. as soon as the app is on, the connection takes only seconds and is completely automatic. of course you’d expect that, but here is also really works that way.

tomorrow, we’ll take it out for a spin, the review follows in the evening.

part I: the launch yesterday + data fact sheet

part III: nokia n79 active, experiences of the nokia running man

part 3.5: nokia n79 active and polar s625x, becoming a humanoid

part IV: nokia n79 active, out for a test drive

Part V: Nokia N79 Active vs. Polar, Suunto, Garmin, Nike+ and Samsung miCoach

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