Motorola Motoactv review

The Motoactv from Motorola was a wearable sports tracking device that worked just as well as a smartphone.

Although the original company split into two separate entities in 2011, Motorola, Inc. is still one of the oldest telecommunication providers in the world. Founded in 1928, this multinational company originally manufactured devices that allowed radios to run on household electricity.

This venture was only the beginning of a long line of radio related products, including the Motoactv wearable tech.

Motorola Motoactv Features

To explain, the Motorola Motoactv is a fitness tracker first and smartwatch second. Its primary features are all designed with the athlete in mind and include:

  • GPS. This allows you to track your pace, distance, speed and even elevation as you walk, jog or run. You can even see your route live, on the screen, as you move through it.
  • Heart rate monitor. The heart monitor allows you to see how fast it’s beating in real time, as well as its average, maximum, and minimum beat rate over a certain time frame.
  • Music. The smartwatch is equipped with a mp3 player which can store up to 4,000 songs. It also uses bluetooth technology to sync to your playlists and podcasts from iTunes and Windows Media Player.
  • Challenges. The Motoactv allows you to program exercise routines and set specific targets in distance, time or calories burned. Its online training portal also lets you join competitions with other athletes and share your self-created challenges with them.


There are smartwatch features to take into consideration as well. The Motorola Motoactv uses Android technology to bring you the following:

  • Weather alerts. Using a weather plug-in, the watch can tell you what the current conditions are at just one glance. You can even log the weather with your fitness reports if it made a difference in your performance that day.
  • Touch screen control. The screen of the Motoactv is constructed using 1.6 inch Corning Gorilla Glass. This is a scratch-resistant feature that is also designed for rough handling.

There are no controls to work, as you only need to swipe the screen to change menus and tap when you find the feature you want. The display adjusts automatically to changes in light, so there should never be a problem viewing your watch whether you’re in or outdoors.

  • Notifications. The Motoactv can pair with your Android mobile phone using Bluetooth to keep you updated. Phone calls and texts are displayed, as are Tweets and Facebook notifications. You’ll be notified of a new alert via a short vibration to your wrist. You can respond from the watch. The letters are small, making writing messages difficult but it can be mastered with some practise.
  • Wi-Fi. The watch automatically syncs with any Wi-Fi network you have programmed on it.

Motorola Motoactv Review | Pros and Cons

Unfortunately the wearable tech gear from Motorola is not waterproof, so you will have to remove it before swimming activities or even taking a shower. It comes with a rechargeable battery that has a 325-hour standby life, or nine hours with outdoor use and 20 hours, indoors. Expect to have to charge the device at least every two nights, if not more.

Each purchase of the Motoactv originally came with the smartwatch device, watch strap and a Motoactv clip. The buyer got to choose how they wanted to wear the device. You also received a pair of headphones for listening to your music and a USB charger for the battery. When it was first released, its RRP was USD$249 through the Motorola USA website.

Motorola discontinued the manufacture of their sports themed smartwatch in 2013, but the Android apps are all still available online and owners can still share workout results with other users.

While it was a good wearable tech device at the time, various bugs and the introduction of more advanced smartwatches kept this one from gaining the popularity Motorola had hoped for.

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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