Get your walking shoes as Nokia releases Motion Monitor for the Lumia 1520

Did you miss this morning’s deal on the Fitbit Flex? That’s a shame as Fitbit sets the standard for pedometer devices, but there’s a great alternative now on the Windows Phone Store: Nokia Motion Monitor (beta).

Teased at Abu Dhabi, Nokia Motion Monitor is exactly what it sounds like. Similar to the recent Samsung Galaxy phones, this app uses the internal sensors to detect your walking patterns. It then tallies up your steps in the app, optionally on your lockscreen (seen above) and it then adds some visually appealing graphs to show the amount. There are also ‘events’ that signify the commencing of intense activity, all logged for you. You can also go back to other days to see your steps taken.

The app is super simple to use with no setup required. There is a brief tutorial to explain how it all works and what the information means, but for the most part it’s a set-it-and-forget-it app.

I took it out for a spin and while counting my steps and comparing it after to the app, I have to say it’s quite accurate (if anything, it may over-estimate slightly). Is it as good as owning a Fitbit or Jawbone? No, as like anything else, having a gadget dedicated to a single purpose is better than a smartphone. For instance, I’m not sure I want my Lumia 1520 in my shorts when I go for my daily run due to its size. Having said that, this is free, requires no setup and for the average user, it’s a step into that big beautiful world of wearable exercise technology.

Currently, the app is only available to Lumia 1520 owners. That’s due to it having the Lumia Black firmware already onboard but also because it has a Snapdragon 800 Quad-core processor.

Nokia explains that the app “uses (a) dedicated core on Nokia Lumia 1520 to off-load sensor data processing from main processor, enabling algorithms to run using low power”. See what they did there? The Lumia 1520, which boasts that Quad-Core processor, allows this app to run on a low-energy mode in the background while not disturbing normal core OS performance. That’s a shame as it means that older Lumias may not see this app come at all.

The app will also take “10 days to learn your average day-to-day activity, then compares a day's activity against your whole activity history”, so there’s a learning curve for the app (not you) before it gets a good idea of your average. Finally, Nokia notes that the app does use power but “consumption is low”.

It’s very exciting to see this app come to the Lumia 1520, but what about Fitbit and Jawbone? Let’s just say Nokia isn’t limiting themselves to just this app and come early 2014, we can expect something from both companies on Windows Phone.  Nokia is putting a renewed focus on wearable technology in 2014 and this is just the beginning.

Want to know more? Head to Nokia’s Beta Labs page, where they detail the app. And if you have a Lumia 1520, hit this Store link (or scan the QR code below) to download Nokia Motion Monitor beta.

QR: Motion

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • "what about Fitbit and Jawbone? Let’s just say Nokia isn’t limiting themselves to just this app and come early 2014, we can expect something from both companies on Windows Phone"
    This part makes me happy. Since Im 99% sure my fiance got me a fitbit for christmas
  • I hear ya'. Would be great to have an official WP app that syncs with the flex or force. Just bought a Surface RT that has bt 4.0 so that's the only current device I can sync wirelessly through FitBit Tracker 3rd party app.
  • THIS
  • which tracker app do you use?! I cant find it and would love to sync with Surface RT
  • is there a 3rd party that will sync with my fitbit?
  • Here you go.
  • Hey smontoya2,   That isn't a 3rd party app, that's the official Fitbit app developed by Fitbit. It also doesn't sync with your tracker. I've had this app installed since it came out.   Thanks anyway!
  • My apologies for the confusion. Its strange because it immediately syncs with my fit bit flex when I open the app. Thinking about getting the Force but may wait for WP compatible devices.
  • So Daniel knows a lot about the Nokia future plans... Hummm...
  • Mine struggles as is, without all these extra apps.
  • Got a Fitbit last night as a gift, looking forward to support with an official app on my Lumia 920. Can't wait for Bluetooth 4.0 LE to be enabled so the rest of my devices and apps finally come to WP, they are the last piece of the puzzle for me to make the platform feature parity and fully useful to compete with the other mobile OS out there. It will be nice not seeing my phone being the only one without support for these types of features.
  • Bring it for the 1020 please Nokia.
  • It will be available for Lumias with Nokia black I think, cauz in the change log of black there's a Pedometer ;)
  • Read the post...I specifically note that this requires a quad-core processor to run in the background. Black is needed for the lockscreen support. I mean Nokia tells us this directly in their article as do I...
  • ^this^ lol...takes no time to read the articles and people always ask questions which have already been answered...the internet generation eh!
  • Woohoo! I was tweeting at Nokia about this. I thought it was a setting a didn't setup correctly. I really want to be able to use a fitbit however. So much so that I will buy a fitbit as soon as the app or some type of app is released that will let it sync to my Lumia.
  • I hope it can handle biking as well. The walking/cycling tracker on google now is one of many things on android that makes me regret switching to windows phone.
  • Got it installed. Coolness
  • I believe this app will be available for all Lumias with Nokia Black ;)
  • Keep believing and ignore the facts then.
  • Pffff been using pedometer on Sony Ericsson w710 somewhere in 2005, but my Lumia 920 comes too old for that =D
  • So Daniel, is that a 1520 in your shorts or are you just pleased to see me? :-D
  • I don't get the whole "wearable" craze.  If I exercise outside I have my phone with me anyway and can use GPS and RunKeeper to track the activity.  If I exercise inside, I'm on a treadmill that tells me my time, pace, and (therefore) distance.  No extra gadget required.  As for walking around daily, I'm doing that anyway and don't include that as "exercise." But it is good to see developers stating they're coming to Windows Phone "eventually," as so far the app situation is pretty sad compared to Android and iOS.  Will I ever be able to get the same apps on my Nokia Lumia 521 as on my Galaxy SIII?  Probably not, but it's not even close yet.  And if "eventually" doesn't come soon enough I'll be sticking with Android.
  • Using pedometers is not going to be much use but using heart rate monitors is the ideal way to exercise correctly. This type of wearable tech is changing the way people exercise and stay healthy. On that note, I can't wait til my Adidas HRM can work with my 920.
  • I was addressing Fitbit type pedometers specifically, but I see your point. I, however, use the brute force method - running 45 minutes or more daily elevates my heart rate enough that specifics aren't so important to me.
  • I know a few people, including myself, who's lives have been changed by using Fitbit and related technologies. It's about setting and reaching goals, competition between friends (you can see rankings with your colleagues), etc.  Once again, you're making the wrong argument, which is "I don't see why this is important...". You're not seeing it from other people's perspectives. For many, this serves as a motivational tool, a jumpstart to exercise, biofeedback (humans tend to under estimate calories eaten, over estimate activity) and it's what they need to begin to change their habits. You don't see a need for this. Great. But look at the industry and this "craze". If you can't think outside of your own experience, you'll have a tough time "getting it". It's that simple. Case in point: I don't have a Facebook account. But I don't go around telling people "I don't get it!" of they're dumb for using it, as clearly it is I who is in the minority.
  • Good points.  I guess I'm blessed to have excellent self-motivation. Keep up the good work.
  • 1) Most treadmills or other equipment will not save your usage data over time.  If you're training for something, or just interested in keeping track of your activity over time then a wearable device can be very helpful. 2) Related to #1, apps like RunKeeper might tell you about your current session and even track your activity over time, but they lack any record of your indoor workouts- so you're getting a limited picture. 3) A wearable device with at least limited on-board storage may allow you to ditch the phone completely while working out, and simply sync up its data with the phone or a computer later on when you're at home.  Some folks prefer to travel lightly when exercising, or may not want to bother with wires, or have some other reason for wanting to leave a very expensive phone at home.
  • To hell with this app, where can we get a cyan 1520?
  • If you notice it's a white one with a cyan case. But I agree I want a cyan 1520.
  • What the hell is this app doing that it needs a quad core processor to run? I've seen dumb phones with pedometers.
  • It's to save battery power. On a Quad-Core CPU, you can use one core to run on a low power state and utilize the others for OS related activity. That way you minimally impact battery and device performance. I guarantee you they could make this run on a dual-core, but the tradeoffs in performance/battery may be too great for the average user. It's about guaranteeing a certain experience. Dumb phones are not smartphones. More specifically, to compare what a dumbphone does in the background, i.e. nothing, to a smartphone (running email, messengers, weather, live tiles, calendars, etc.) is probably about the worst analogy you could make in this situation.
  • Those are great points, but I'd rather it be a decision I made for myself. I don't need the app running all day long if I'm just sitting at a desk, but it would be cool to fire it up when I go for a walk or run. Oh well, I guess that's what Fitbit is for.
  • Now, if I could only fit a 1520 in my Pocket :P
  • Yeah, I was thinking about the irony of it only running on their biggest phone - the one most likely left on your desk during the day!
  • I honestly can say that an app can not run on a dual-core machine more than satifyingly. So I don't know how this is possible to run ONLY on this. I guess this only a launch issue. They will update the app in time.
  • I might eventually give this a try.. What's great about it is that it shows what can be done with apps,with the new GDR3 updates as well as new hardware. I've been having my 1520 for about 10 days or so now,and it feels funny when I pick up my 920.I've been using both however.. To anyone who thinks that the 1520 isn't pocketable.. Stop wearing kiddie pants. I used to fit my HTC Flyer when I had it..and my girls iPad mini in my pockets.. This phone is hardly noticeable.
  • Anyone able to get this to work on the glance screen? My 1520 has Black, but I can't seem to get steps to show up on glance.    
  • You will get it as an update,
  • I would love a Jawbone Jambox App!
  • On day 2 very cool ! Hopefully they integrate with my fitness pal soon. I liked using my fitbit for that, till I lost it haha. 
  • I carry my 3DS every day.