Keep fit with this rugged good-looker

The Runtastic Moment Elite might look like an analogue watch, but it is also a fitness tracker that monitors your steps taken, distance covered, calories burnt and even your sleep.

It is water-resistant to a depth of 100m, so you can wear it while you swim or dive.

The Elite is a good-looking watch. Its 46mm stainless steel case and watch face are both black, and it carries the look of a rugged military aviator analogue watch.

There is only one button, situated at the four o'clock position. There are hour and minute hands, but no second hand. The hands glow in the dark, a nicety that is missing from its competitor, Withings Activite Pop.

Like the Pop, the Elite has a sub-dial at the bottom of the watch face, which is the daily step progress indicator shown in percentages. So if you set your daily step goal at 8,000 steps, the sub-dial hand will point to 50 per cent when you reach 4,000 steps, along with a 1sec vibration.

The build is pretty sturdy. But the leather strap is really thick and stiff, and it is a struggle to bend around the wrist. Despite wearing it for over a month, it is still not "run in" and feels really uncomfortable. You might want to change the strap, which is easy to do as it is a standard 22mm strap.

You need to download the Runtastic Me app (Android and iOS) on your smartphone to sync and set the goal target and other settings, such as alarms and idle notifications. The connection between the watch and phone is via Bluetooth.

To sync, press the watch button for three seconds. Once synced, the hour and minute hands move to show the time on your smartphone.

You need to manually set the Elite to sleep-tracking mode - a hassle, considering that many fitness trackers do this automatically. To do so, you press the button for 2sec and wait for the sub-dial hand to move to the crescent-moon icon.

Compared with my calibrated Fitbit Charge HR fitness tracker, the Elite tends to overestimate the step count - by up to 20 per cent at times. In addition, unlike the Fitbit where I can see exactly how many steps I have taken with a press of a button, you need to whip out your smartphone and start the Me app to do so.

The sleep-tracking function also tends to overestimate the length of my sleep. Its readings were around 8 per cent more than my Fitbit's. But it shows the amount of time awake, and in light/deep sleep.

On the downside, you need to subscribe to Runtastic Premium (US$9.90 or S$14.30 per month) in order to see your fitness statistics that are more than a week old.

The Elite runs on a standard CR2430 coin battery that is supposed to last six months.

Verdict: The Runtastic Moment Elite is a rugged, great-looking watch with fitness tracking functions, whereas other similarly-priced watches tell just the time. Just change the strap.


PRICE: $239










This article was first published on January 13, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.