Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why the Sony Xperia Z2 is the best running partner.

Sony Xperia Z2
I am always on the lookout for tools that can help improve my running. In fact, my last post on this blog (nearly 2 years back) was about the MOTOACTV GPS running watch. I've stopped using the MOTOACTV device, because Motorola discontinued the product, and the runs recorded on the device can no longer be uploaded for analysis.

Since then, I have been using a variety of smartphones to log my runs, but I've always had some problem or the other with all of them. That is, until I purchased the Sony Xperia Z2. I had originally bought the phone because of its excellent camera, but I find it makes for an awesome running partner. Here's why:

1. It's waterproof: 
According to Sony,
"The Sony Xperia Z2 has an impressive IP55/IP58 rating, which makes this slim and sleek smartphone both waterproof and resistant to the tiniest dust particles."
This means no more excuses when it rains. You can literally drop it in water, and it will work just fine.


2. Super-fast GPS: 
The Xperia Z2 has some impressive technology and processing power, and this allows it to acquire the GPS signal at the press of a button. This is one area I have always struggled with other devices. Even the dedicated MOTOACTV GPS watch used to take more than 1 minute to lock on to the GPS satellites, and sometimes fail to get a proper signal. No such problems with the Xperia Z2. You start the app, and the phone is instantly ready with your exact location.

Fast GPS signal acquisition.
3. Great Sound:
The Xperia Z2 comes with the Sony WALKMAN app, which does a great job of delivering rich sound. Obviously, you need to pair the phone with a good set of headphones. I find "Powerbeats" to be an excellent companion. The headphones fit snugly around the ears, and the sound is excellent. The best part is that you don't even realize that you are wearing headphones. They are that good.

4. Choice of running apps:
Since the Xperia Z2 runs on the latest version of Android, you have a wide range of running apps to choose from. I personally use 'MapMyRun'. The free version is more than enough. But because I use their app extensively, I succumbed to their nagging, and paid for their 'MVP' service, which adds some premium features such as coaching, live tracking etc.

MapMyRun Android App.

5. The Smartband:
The companion accessory (usually bundled with the device in many countries), adds an extra dimension to the running by keeping track of all your activities during the day, including the number of steps, how much you slept etc. The whole thing is logged automatically into Sony's Lifelog app, which gives you a visual display of your daily activities.

The Sony Smartband and the Lifelog app.
That's about it. I feel like I have finally found the ideal combination for my running motivation.

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