Garmin Forerunner 405/405cx vs Polar RS800cx G3

For the gadget-happy athletes, the comparison of Garmin Forerunner 405CX and Polar RS800CX.

A while back I read a Garmin Forerunner 405/405cx review which was pro- the device. This text was intended as a comment on that review, but grew a bit out of hand for a comment. Here first a few words on the Garmin – just for context. Garmin, the word is yours:

“The Forerunner 405/405CX is the evolution of GPS-enabled training. This sleek sport watch tracks your distance, pace and heart rate, then wirelessly sends the data to your PC for later analysis. The 405CX features heart rate-based calorie computation and comes with a second wrist band option suitable for smaller wrists”.
For a comparison on the Garmin Forerunner 405 and the 405CX I suggest you go here:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=141&compareProduct=31859&compareProduct=11039

Now, while all that Garmin marketing and the products themselves certainly do make you think about how you can use one of them in your training, there are a few things that should make you think twice. For instance the battery life of Garmin 405/405CX is not impressive and will require frequent charging. If you go somewhere far away for training or competition, do you really want to have to worry about charging your heart rate monitor too?

If you compare the Garmin 405 to the Polar RS800CX with G3 (GPS) sensor – the premium product from Finnish company Polar you’ll find both pros and cons for both. Let’s start with some of the Polar’s weak points:

  • too many devices: heart rate band, wrist unit, GPS-unit;
  • since recently: the Polar is a very closed platform with no current options of exporting Polar data to other platforms – although I haven’t tested it, the Garmin does offer export to Endomondo and other tools that allow for mapping and sharing of training routes and data through various social networks.

The advantages of Polar vs Garmin are:

  • The disadvantage for the Polar can also be turned against the Garmin: More devices in the Polar solution also ensures that if for instance the GPS runs out of battery during training you will still get heart rate data for the remaining session. Not so with the Garmin where it’s all lights out if the wrist unit dies. Furthermore the Polar’s battery will take you MUCH further than the Garmin battery – probably because the battery doesn’t need to support the same amount of functions.
  • Final comment on the battery: Battery change with the Polar doesn’t happen often, is easy, and relatively cheap.
  • Soft heart rate strap on the Polar. With the Garmin the heart rate strap is hard and a soft is only available for an additional $70.

I’m missing more information on social network integration. The Polar is completely unfit for any type of social network interaction. The Garmin has an own network with a few shortfalls, but more importantly allows exporting training files to services external to Garmin.

Conclusion: For me Polar wins this battle. The shortcomings in the Garmin package are a source of irritation if experienced while training. I have a feeling that I might find myself without battery really often.

Still, one has to often if Polar is fighting the right battles. Presumably the consumer market is where they get most of their money and they might want to watch it more closely and avoid what has happened to the Navigation device manufacturers: Mobile devices with minor additions grabbing market share with free software.

It’s happening in the training device market already: mobile devices from Apple, Nokia, HTC and more now include GPS for positioning and speed data, software for the tracking and uploading, and finally all they need is a 3rd party bluetooth heart rate monitor and off you go. I’m not aware of any heart rate straps that will do the trick, but as soon as they come out, Polar should get worried.

More about that in a future post.

Denmark Online Groups Rankings

New list of rankings of Denmark-related groups online has been updated. Seeking new groups too!

I recently started tracking the development and size of Denmark related forums and groups online. At this point the largest groups are “Danmark Unlimited” on Xing and “Dabgo” based on LinkedIn and Ning with about 6-6.500 members each.

My own group “Danmark“, while by far outnumbered by the two groups mentioned above, grows consistently. With good activity and services for group members “Danmark” should be able to make the gap to “Danmark Unlimited” and “Dabgo” even smaller.

To make this list as complete as possible, do suggest groups that you know of, which are related to Denmark. Place your suggestion as a comment to this post.

Also remember to come back to http://bit.ly/dkgroups for an update on groups focusing on Denmark, Danes or Danish.

My Favourite Nokia E71 Apps – 27/6 update

Here a quick list of installed worthwhile apps which I need to reinstall upon E7¹reinstall:

– shozu (social networks): http://www.shozu.com
– gravity (twitter): http://mobileways.de/products/gravity/gravity/
– google maps: http://m.google.com
– nokia sportstracker: http://sportstracker.nokia.com/nts/main/download.do
– nimbuzz (im): http://nimbuzz.com/
– mail for exchange: http://www.businesssoftware.nokia.com/mail_for_exchange_downloads.php
– totalrecall: http://www.killermobile.com/newsite/content/view/40/82/
– sms preview: http://get.smspreview.mobi
– flixwagon: http://www.flixwagon.com/
– qik
– Enterprise One (Seven) theme for E71
– mobbler
– coreplayer
– google translator
– wordmobi + python
– screenshot
– accuweather
– google app: http://m.google.com
– pathe cinemas

In addition:
– update share online

Maybe:
– Youtube app
– Nokia maps

Part 2: Tweeting E71 – Enter the Challenger: Twittix

Gravity rules as king, but as in all stories involving a king you usually also have someone out to get the king’s crown and the kingdom of S60-Twitterers. Here comes Twittix!

Twittix Followers In the series on Best Tweeting Experiences for Nokia E71 we’ve been having a look at Gravity from Mobileways.de so far. Gravity seems by many to be the king of twittering on S60-based mobile devices including the Nokia E71.

As in all stories involving a king you usually also have someone out to get the king’s crown and the kingdom of S60-Twitterers. In our story, the most likely contender at the moment among paid Twitter clients seems to be Twittix from Viking Informatics, sold and marketed by Mojosmobile.com.

Now, Twittix is a native S60 client for Twitter. It costs about €5 and brings you all the things you’d expect from one of the top two applications in the market: timeline, tweeting, replying, direct messages, My Tweets, people you follow, followers, etc. In my last post on this topic I said that Gravity has set the bar, so naturally we will be comparing Twittix to Gravity. In the following I will focus less on what these two great applications have in common and a lot on what makes them different from eachother.

Twittix packs a few features that Gravity doesn’t which changes the user experience a bit. You can forward tweets via sms, which means that you can share interesting tweets or just your own tweets with anyone with a mobile phone – you’re no longer bound by who’s on Twitter. Personally I’m a big fan of breaking down barriers like that so this is a definite plus for Twittix and something Mobileways should seriously consider implementing in Gravity.

With Gravity you can see how many followers and how many following a profile has. Twittix takes it further and lets you view profile and even browse who is followed and who is following. Smart feature which makes Twittix a stronger tool for finding new connections.

Twittix Profile In addition you can pick any profile and introduce that person to anyone currently following you. This too is a plus point for Twittix.

Twittix has other features which Gravity is missing, but the above features are the ones that in my mind makes Twittix more than just a “wannabe Gravity”.

Twittix is missing some features too, though.

One major missing feature is the ability to create and store multiple Twitter searches. That feature makes it possible for you to not just use Twitter as a social engine, but also as a knowledge engine. Twittix is missing literally endless searches and Twitter trends – two features which are much more about what is going on than who it is going on with. Twittix does have one search and more on this front is coming in version 1.01, but at this point it’s just not enough for content focused users.

Essentially this is what it’s going to come down to for many users: What kind of Twitter user am I? Am I a user-focused Twitterer or am I a content focused Twitterer. Many user focused and social twitterers will choose Twittix for its ability to stay in touch with people and connect people to other people – including connecting themselves to all of those people. Content focused users should stick to Gravity for its access to a wealth of information about things that interest you regardless of who it’s coming from. If I were to come up with a tagline for Twittix it would be “The Social Twitter client”.

With both clients it’s a bit of a give and take and both are excellent software products. You have to make up your own mind, but for me the graphics of Gravity, the many searches you can make along with the ability you do have to stay up to date with people still makes Gravity my Twitter tool of choice – even at €5 more than Twittix. The look and feel of Twittix is not polished enough for me – very subjective, I know, but that’s my opinion.

All that said, it looks like Twittix is carving a niche for itself and judging from some of the activity in the blogosphere the kingdom might not be entirely safe for Gravity just yet.

Have a look at the feature by feature comparison on this Google Doc.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Part 1: Best Tweeting Experience for Nokia E71: Gravity

In this series of blogposts I’ll be helping out with the question: “What’s the best Twitter client for MY E71/S60?”. Here at first is GRAVITY!

Twitter client Gravity on E71 Packing my E71 for a series of tests of various applications for the E71. This time I’m taking a look at the best applications for twittering with focus on what works on E71, which in turn will work on most other S60-based handsets as well. Each Part will hold a rather in-depth test of each application hence why I’m just putting a single test in each post.

Intro

Brief on Twitter according to Wikipedia:

“Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers).”

So far so good. Same as with many other internet related services also Twitter works really well on Symbian S60 in general and especially well on Nokia E71. To create a bit of an overview I’ve grouped the choices into three categories: Paid for installed clients, Free installed clients, Browser-based clients (all free).

Paid, installed clients: Gravity

Gravity is the leader of the moment (see image), providing:

  • Timeline
  • Replies
  • Direct Messages
  • My Tweets
  • Favourite tweets
  • Friends (people you follow)
  • Followers
  • Browsing of User Tweets, User & Replies, Search
  • Nearly endless Twitter searches
  • Twitter top trends
  • Picture tweeting with Twitpic and Mobypicture
  • Full-screen mode
  • – and those are just the Twitter specific features.

For the rest Gravity holds settings for the profile, timeline updates, replies updates, messages updates, and auto-update settings. In case you loose your phone your account and password seems secure as the password is represented by asterisks. In-application update feature makes sure you have the most recent version at all times – if you want to. You can add several additional Twitter and Laconica accounts.

Finally and probably most impressive of all the graphical design and touch and feel of Gravity is unparalelled on the S60 platform and rivals the best of other platforms. Oh, and in case you were wondering I actually coughed up the 10-or-so Euro for the application. It rules supreme and has set the bar for what Twitter applications should be able to do on the E71 and S60.

It comes with a full-blown trial to test the whole thing for what I remember to be 10 days, which should be more than enough to get a good idea of what you’d be paying for – just the way I like it.

Gravity can be picked up through the vendor’s website at http://mobileways.de. The author is to be found on Twitter (of course)

Have a look at the feature by feature overview on this Google Doc.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]