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.
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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.