Runtastic Moment Elite Review: Good Looks, Bad Value

One of the biggest knocks against fitness and activity trackers is that their designs make them stick out ─ in a bad way. The Runtastic Moment Elite ($179) is part of a growing class of devices that look like a traditional analog watch, but keep tabs on the number of steps you take, as well as your sleep. But while I like the looks of the Elite, it lacks some features found in similarly priced competitors.

Design

Just by looking at the Moment Elite, you wouldn't be able to tell that it has any fitness-tracking capabilities. Like the Withings Activite Steel, it's a watch first, and looks good no matter what you're wearing. 

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideSize-wise, the 46mm, 8.5-ounce Moment is beefier than the 42mm Timex Metropolitan, not to mention the svelte 36.3mm, 1.3-ounce Withings Activite Steel. Those with smaller wrists may prefer the latter, or one of the smaller versions of the Moment.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideInstead of minutes and hours, the major tick marks around the Elite's dial are in minutes. A smaller inner circle lists the hour marks, but the red numbers are very hard to read. At the top is "MI" with "KM" underneath in red; when you start an activity in the Runtastic Pro app, the hands will rotate to show your distance. 

MORE: Best Fitness Trackers for Running, Swimming and Training

A smaller inset dial has just one hand, and goes from 0 to 100; as with the Withings Activite, this is your progress indicator, showing you how far along you are toward meeting the day's goals, as a percentage. It's a nice touch, but the Timex Metropolitan lets you switch between two different metrics.

Unlike the Activite Steel, the Moment Elite's hands glow in the dark, which is very handy when you wake up in the middle of the night and want to know the time. However, the Timex Metropolitan+ has a backlight. 

The Moment Elite looks good no matter what you're wearing.

When you hit 50 or 100 percent of your goals, the Moment Elite vibrates for a second, and a small red LED (by the 9 hour) lights up briefly. You can also set the watch to vibrate if you've been inactive for a time, as well as if you set an alarm.

The Moment Elite is waterproof to 300 feet, whereas the Activite Steel and the Timex will last up to 165 feet. However, of the three, only the Activite tracks your swimming. 

Models

The $179 Runtastic Moment Elite is the largest and most expensive watch in Runtastic's lineup. It has a black stainless steel case that's 46mm in diameter, has scratchproof mineral glass and a textile-and-leather strap.

Credit: RuntasticCredit: RuntasticThe Moment Classic ($179) also has a stainless steel case, but is a slightly smaller 42mm and has a polished finish available in silver, rose or gold. It also comes with a black leather strap. 

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The Moment Basic ($129) has a 42mm stainless steel case, comes in black or beige, and has a silicone strap.

The Moment Fun ($129) is the smallest of the group at 37mm, and has an aluminum case and silicone strap, Plum, Indigo, Raspberry or Sand. 

App

Runtastic makes more than a dozen exercise-specific apps for both Android and iOS (such as running and biking), but only one, Runtastic Me, lets you see the data gathered by the Moment Elite watch. It's a little confusing initially when you search for "Runtastic" in the App Store. 

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideThe main page of the Runtastic Me app shows at a glance the daily count of your total steps, active minutes, calories, distance and sleep. If you select, say, steps, the app shows you when exactly during the day you were active.

You can also set up to three vibration alarms, as well as an idle alert; if you've been sitting for too long ─ you determine the length of time ─ the watch will vibrate to get you moving. 

However, Runtastic me isn't as sophisticated as apps from Fitbit and Jawbone. For example, Runtastic's app doesn't adjust your goals based on your progress. That is, if you initially set your goal to 5,000 steps, the app won't gradually increase that amount. Additionally, there's no diet tracking.

I should be able to see all my data without having to pay $9.99 a month for it.

Also, Runtastic Me requires you to upgrade to a Premium Membership ($9.99 per month, or $49.99 per year) to access certain features, such as viewing your stats older than a week, or setting customized goals for calories, distance and sleep. While a premium membership is justifiable for, say, an ad-free experience or training plans, I should be able to see all my data without having to pay for it. 

Performance

As you run, the Moment Elite's minute hand can go from showing the time to showing how far you've run. However, this currently requires starting an activity in the Runtastic Pro app ($4.99) app ─ not the Runtastic Me app, which you use for every other watch function. It's a little confusing, and a little annoying that you have to shell out an additional five bucks to use all the features of the watch.

MORE: Best Running Apps

The Elite can track steps, distance, sleep and calories burned; its accelerometer was very accurate, measuring 650 steps as 648. Still, as I’ve found with many accelerometer-based fitness trackers, its accuracy will diminish with more vigorous activities, such as running. 

Sleep Tracking

In order to start sleep tracking on the Moment Elite, you have to press and hold the button on the side of the watch. The small fitness-tracking hand on the watch will then rotate to the small moon icon. When you exit Sleep mode (again, by holding the button on the side of the Elite), the small dial returns to its fitness-tracking position.

I wish it automatically entered sleep mode, as on just about every other fitness band these days, including the Withings Activite Steel. 

Within the Runtastic app, you can set an alarm, and the watch will vibrate to wake you. It lacks a smart alarm, like those found in the Jawbone and Fitbit apps; that is, it won't look for a time when you're in a light sleep state to wake you. It also won't automatically exit sleep mode.

Battery Life

The Runtastic Moment Elite uses a standard watch battery that lasts up to 6 months on a charge. That's fairly standard for most fitness trackers that rely on coin-cell batteries. 

Bottom Line

As a watch, I like the heft and build of the Runtastic Moment Elite. It's a substantial, attractive timepiece that looked and felt good on my wrist. However, Runtastic has to do more with the features and functionality of the watch and its respective app. The Withings Activite Steel, for example, offers automatic sleep tracking and comparable battery life in a much smaller and equally attractive design. And, you can view all your data without having to pay extra. However, if you're already invested in Runtastic's suite of apps, the Moment Elite is worth a look.

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  • Louisgw
    I bought the Moment Basic and enjoyed it for a few months. I found that it works well and was very similar in tracking to the Fitbit. My issue is with the company.

    The historical data charge, as you say, is ridiculous. But worse for me has been the customer service. After a few months I took the watch swimming for the first time and the result was a disaster. It quickly buzzed and then went dead and remains dead to this day. I contacted the company initially for help trying to see if there is anything I could do to dry out the watch, and then later to try to request a refund/exchange. I contacted them via email and on twitter, and attempted to call the 800 number my credit card had from the sale (it was a Nevada-based distribution company that was of little help). Through all my efforts I am yet to hear back from anyone at Runtastic, which really annoys and angers me. I actually liked the watch and was sorry to see it go so quickly. But the company has totally failed in the way it has treated the consumer. Runtastic and Adidas (which bought it) should be ashamed.