One of my favorite training tools for running is the Nike+. (See review here) It is a nice piece of kit that interfaces nicely with your iPod and helps to keep track of your distance, time, and calories burned. The system uses a sensor in, or on, your shoe and a receiver on your iPod to collect the data. Now, Tech4o brings similar technology to their Accelerator watch, delivering a great training tool for runners who like to keep tabs on their distances and progress.
The watch has a built in accelerometer and puts it to good use measuring your pace, whether walking or running. Much like the Nike+, to get the most out of your Accelerator watch you’ll want to calibrate it before using it. That means you’ll want to make a trial run over a known distance, allowing the watch to measure your strides and automatically customize itself for your running (or walking) style. Once calibrated, the watch is quite accurate, and does an excellent job of keeping track of your distance, even if you vary your pace and stride.
The built in accelerometer offers similar performance to the Nike+ without the need of the external sensor. But it did take me several calibration runs to get it tuned just right. Once it was calibrated however, it was pinpoint accurate from that time on. Tech4o says that the watch is 95% accurate, but from my testing I’d say it might be even more accurate than that.
The Accelerator has a nice, quick start mode, that guides you through the initial set-up process, including customizing it to your own body time, with such variables as height, weight, and age. This mode makes it very easy to set the date and time from the moment you take it out of the box, but the user interface does take a bit of getting use to when you start using it on a day-to-day basis. While it isn’t exactly rocket science to use the Accelerator, the UI is less than intuitive until you train yourself to the system.
In addition to these great fitness features, the watch has all the usual watch features, such as a chronograph, countdown timer, duel timezone, alarms, and so on. This makes the Accelerator not only the perfect workout companion, but a great travel companion too. It’s even useful on the trail for keeping track of your distance hiked too.
I’ve been using this watch for the past couple of weeks, and already find that it has become part of my workout gear. It is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and looks good too. It also happens to be kind of fun to glance down at your wrist and see your progress for your daily run as well. For now, the Nike+ is staying at home. (MSRP: $69.99 – A bargain for a good workout watch!)
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