Here at Outdoor Retailer this week Magellan has announced their latest incarnation of the Magellan Echo line, the Echo Fit. The Echo fit builds upon the original Magellan Echo (which was released about this time last year) and adds in both daily activity tracking as well as sleep tracking – and even a phone-less running mode.
The Echo Basics
For those not familiar with the baseline (original) Magellan Echo, I’ll briefly cover the basics. That unit is like a smart watch in that it depends on your phone for most tasks. Meaning that it uses the phone’s GPS to track pace and distance while out on an activity. More interestingly though it leverages connectivity to enabled apps – such as MapMyFitness and Strava. These apps directly integrate with the watch to display pages unique to those apps. For example in the Strava app you’ll get notified as you complete Strava segments, in real-time.
The Echo connects to your phone (iOS and as of last week, Android too) via Bluetooth Smart for all of its data needs. From there it uses that channel for displaying not only pace/distance/speed, but also any paired sensors like heart rate, cadence and even power meters if you have one paired to your phone. Essentially the Echo acts as a blank slate for app developers (like Strava) to do whatever they want with the device. There’s even a swanky golfing app for it.
New Echo Fit Features:
But that’s all stuff that’s been there a year – let’s talk about the new stuff. To start, the unit adds in an accelerometer that’s used in two core areas. The first is daily activity tracking, making it like a FitBit or a FuelBand. The unit will track your activity 24×7 and display it on a page on the watch. Note that the user interface isn’t quite 100% final, so you’ll still see some minor tweaks between these photos and final availability.
Some of these new functions are available from a menu page that’s accessed by holding down the upper left button for a moment. You can then see the sleep option for example, as well as a timer mode. For daily activity tracking you only need to just tap the other left button to access at any time.
Note that the unit depends on a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery, and the Echo Fit is designed to last about 8 months (versus the 10 months for the original Echo). After that you’ll simply pay a couple dollars at your local drug store to get a new CR2032 battery and swap it out.
Below you can see the step counter page. It shows my goal (which I can define), as well as the number of steps taken. Along the left you’ll see a progress bar that fills up as I make progress towards my goal. Finally, you’ll see a 7-day average of steps. I think this is a cool addition I haven’t seen elsewhere on other units, and helps to balance out high step days (walking a convention floor) with lazy days (every other day of my life). Thus helping me to see what things really look like.
While not shown yet on the above screens you’ll also get distance (walked) as well as calories.
Next, they’ve added in a sleep tracking mode. You’ll start the sleep tracking manually via the menu shown two photos prior, which then takes you to the below page that starts the sleep tracking system.
In the morning when you wake up you’ll end the sleep tracking mode. This will then be shown 24×7 as a page just after the step counter page, where you can see your actual sleep that day – your goal sleep, and then also the 7-day rolling average. Again a useful feature particularly for me as my sleep patterns seem to be pretty sketchy.
Next, they’ve introduced a new phone-less running mode. This mode allows you to run without the phone and get accelerometer based distance and pace metrics. This is similar to many other watches that have come on the market in the last 12 months that have introduced wrist-based pace and distance. In most cases I’d give those watches ‘grades’ between a ‘D’ and a ‘B+’ in terms of accuracy, but, I have seen continual improvement from all manufactures over the past year – so I think in time it’ll be pretty solid.
This mode requires no phone be on your body while you run, but at the same time won’t show a GPS track afterwards. I asked what the accuracy level looks like here and it’s something they’re still narrowing down. Fear not, it’ll be an area that I test out in more depth as part my review this fall.
New Features for both Echo Models:
Note that while none of these accelerometer-dependent features will be available on the original Echo (because it lacks the hardware inside of it), there are some features coming to the original Echo via firmware updates.
First up is that both Echo and Echo Fit will get an update later this fall (around November) that enables smart phone notifications from both iOS and Android. This means you’ll get visual alerts from your phone for things like incoming calls, text messages and any other app that uses the notifications center (such as Facebook or airline apps like United).
Second is an update that was just pushed out recently that adds in a new timer mode. This mode is available on the original Echo units and allows you a basic timer.
Pricing and Availability:
Almost last but not least is pricing and availability. Starting on August 15th the original Echo will drop in price to $129US (without a heart rate strap).
Meanwhile, the Echo Fit will be available in October at $149US without a heart rate strap, and $199US with a heart rate strap. It’ll be available in all the below colors (blue, black, purpleish, and grey).
They’ll be working to establish major partnerships for uploading the calorie/step data (they already have it present for the athletic data), hopefully in time for or around launch. Right now they’re just sorting out with some of those companies the best way to present/send that data to them (an item that every activity tracker company that comes into the market has to solve).
My Initial Thoughts:
To me this is a natural evolution of the Echo lineup. It immediately makes it competitive to other activity trackers on the market, especially those targeted more at Fitness – even more so when the smart notifications show up. Further, since it already has a ton of app-driven screen functionality it offers a unique twist that others can’t match.
At the same time however, I do wonder if it’d do significantly better just a bit cheaper at $129US. That would put it in line with units like the new Timex Move x20 as well as with the more established Garmin Vivofit and Polar Loop. Now all three of those lack the app functionality, but that’s functionality that’s harder to explain to most consumers in a retail setting – but easier to demonstrate once they start using it themselves. Thus a lower price point might get the ball rolling a bit more. But again, just my two cents.
With that – like most other products I’ll be aiming for an in-depth review around the time the product hits retail availability later this fall. And as usual, feel free to drop any questions below – thanks for reading!
this is about both the Echo Fit and the new Timex
On these devices, does the HR strap connect directly to the watch, or go through the phone?
$149 is steep, but does offer significantly more functionality than both the Garmin Vivofit and Polar Loop (ability to use the phone as a GPS receiver for the watch). The only question is whether you need/want that functionality.
Any word on how many days of data can be stored on the watch between syncs?
Yes! I love my Echo and have been saying since I got it that I’d wear it all day if it could display other notifications. The price is a bit high, but the compared to my $99 Fitbit Flex, it seems fair. It’ll be really interesting to see how the price compares to the eventual iWatch (assuming that’s rugged enough for sports use)
Matt: With the Echo, you pair your HR monitor with your phone and then your tracking app passes the value to the watch for display (I use iSmoothRun with a Mio Link and my Echo)
Thanks for the response. That’s good to know regarding the HR monitor.
My question was regarding the ability to store step/activity data — say if one was to go camping/hiking for a week or two, would the Echo Fit have enough recording space to keep all of it without syncing to the Echo Fit app?
Sorry, that was an answer to Rolf.
That’s a good question though. I know the FitBits can store daily data for a few weeks without a sync. Hopefully it’ll be somewhere around the same amount.
thanks for the info, Jeremy.
I know the original Echo doesn’t have a vibrate function, but does the Echo Fit? One of my favorite features about my Jawbone Up is that I have it set to vibrate after 30 minutes of inactivity to remind me to get away from the desk.
I’d really like to find an activity monitor that will count my steps and load them into Fitbit (because my entire family is sharing data there together) automatically but also one that I can use to record my bike rides into strava. I don’t need anything crazy fancy or for $200-500, I just want to compare my millage between this week or next, or last year and this year, to see if I am improving or slacking. Strava is great for that but packing the cell phone everywhere I go isn’t so great, and it also doesn’t do well on touring/camping bike rides where there’s no place to charge it. 😉
Maybe this is the device I’m looking for and maybe it isn’t. I’d like to see more and what extra features come with the Echo Fit in October.
Just curious but have you seen anyone from Casio there talking about their Omnisync watch? I bought one a while back as a cheaper alternative to the Echo (you can find them for ~$70) that’s fully waterproofed. It leverages the same Wahoo API as the Echo, and it’s worked fine for me for running and as a simple stopwatch in the pool, and also provides phone alerts. The display is not nearly as nice though.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a product with such poor or nonexistent marketing. Are they even trying at shows like that?
does the casio watch support pairing a BLE heart rate monitor directly to the phone?
Yes; the watch just serves as a display and you can connect a BTLE sensor directly to the phone and have HR then relayed to the watch. Same as the Echo (see Jeremy’s comment above).
Whoops, I actually meant I wondered if it linked direct to the phone. Thanks for the answer, though. It looks like this batch of inexpensive fitness watches are basically the Wahoo RFLKT in watch form.
Arg. Linked directly to the watch is what I meant…
Correct- I also have a RFLKT and it works the exact same way- no sensor to watch communication, everything goes through the phone. I think the Omnisync and RFLKT also use the same BTLE device profile, as you can’t use them both at the same time.
I’ve been scratching my head over this one for a bit today, and I don’t think I like it.
First, I love my current Magellan Echo. I keep my phone in my pocket (I’m not that fast, so the extra few ounces won’t affect my Strava rank much!) The Echo shows me pace and HR, and I have one of the buttons set to “next track,” and another set to “lap.” Just works, and it’s great.
Why do I not like the fit? Because if I’m not jogging, the thing on my wrist has to do a lot more than the Echo. I currently use an Android Wear watch. It does good stuff… stuff I don’t need while jogging, but stuff that adds spice to life when I’m not.
And any sleep tracker that has to be told I’m going to sleep: immediate DQ. Go to jail. Do not collect my $200. Others may have other opinions, but I usually don’t have enough active neurons to mess with buttons as I doze off.
So what do I want? A Magellan Echo with the Valencell HRM and a stride sensor built in. That’d have been a killer. $200 would have been a fair price.
And what’d be better: something like that new Timex thingie — standalone 3G, all the whiz bangs, built-in HRM… just put the thing on your wrist and it does EVERYTHING. And, and this is really important, it needs to look good. As in really, really good. I’m not holding my breath, but maybe 2015?
(I work for a sister company to one that makes stuff in this space. I’m writing this as an individual.)
So, you don’t like the Echo Fit, but you like the original Echo? It adds functionality and keeps the price the same.. I’m not sure how that’s a downgrade.
I agree with your sentiments about having optical HRM and all the other “whiz bangs” but I’m pretty sure Magellan is not aiming to be that. I have not personally used the Echo (or Echo Fit obviously), but it seems to be a great value for what it is.
Time value of money argument… the original echo was a better use of $149 in 2013 than the echo fit is of $149 in 2014. Specifically, if my Echo broke today I’d buy the cheaper “unfit” Echo for $129. The extra features aren’t worth $20 to me.
Something I didn’t mention… my smartphones have lots of things that track my steps. The Moves app knows when I’m biking, running, walking, driving, etc. I can go back and remember where that good restaurant was someone took me to… And all for the price of $0 (plus giving away all my confidential information, firstborn, etc., etc.).
To each their own on determining whether the addition of an accelerometer is worth the additional $20.
As for the phone as an activity tracker. I have owned some version of Fitbit since the Ultra was released — I’m a big fan of the concept of tracking your activity level. While only having one device would be ideal, the phone is just too clunky and not always on your body to be really accurate for a “24/7” tracking device. How many times have you left your phone on the coffee table to get up to grab something from the kitchen? Or left it on your desk when you walked across the office to grab something from the printer? For many, that may not matter. But with the trend of phones getting larger and larger (I’m looking at you Galaxy Note), phones are going to progressively less and less convenient for this purpose.
Any activity tracker that seems to demand BLE (BT 4 and something like Andriod 4,3) is a deal killer for me. For one, when I do a run, I leave my phone home, but want detailed info. And on top of that, I have a phone that I bought just a few months back, with BT4 but android 4.2! (4.3+ has been promised, but could still be months away)
Honestly, you won’t find any units from here on out that will support legacy Bluetooth (or anything recently either for that matter). The battery drain is simply too big.
There’s a good list (sorted by manufacturer) of which phones support BLE on this page, if you expand the android section, and then mfg.
I didn’t realize there were any android phones still on 4.2, that had been released in the last 2 years.
Been very happy with the continuous and quick software updates from Google, carrier and manufacturer for this gen of phones. My 2 year old phone has gone continually more efficient.
link to fitbit.com
The Withing Pulse doesn’t need BLE. It works with Android 4.0
Through the phone.
So many new nice toys coming out. Is there budget for all of them.
Excited about this product now that Android is supported! I suspect next version will have optical HR monitor built in.
Thanks for the preview man. If they add Spotify support, then I am sold.
Also, why don’t most of these companies not support Endomondo? Is there a good alternative to Endomondo which registers running, cycling, hiking and Concept2 rowing (just manual logging for this machine)? Any suggestions? 😀
The main reason is that Endomondo doesn’t really have an official public API. They have some private stuff and some hackish stuff, but that’s it.
As a long-time iSmoothRun user, I made a suggestion about connectivity to other audio apps and in reply was told that Spotify-connectivity is a feature in the works. While the actual software update remains to be seen, the intention is obviously there.
I purchased an Echo last week after reading a few positive reviews. After several runs and a number of hours off-run fiddling with it, I can say to any of my fellow Android users, avoid this completely. It’s unbelievably buggy and most of the time, simply does not work. I have one of the “officially” supported phones and still had a terrible experience and returned it.
Even if they manage to work out the bugs, the device itself is still awkward. The buttons do not seem to respond except to a fairly hard long(ish) press but if that press is just a millisecond too long, it disconnects the device from the phone and reverts it back into dumb watch mode, and then you have to spend 3 minutes fiddling with it to get it connected again. Then you pray and beg for it to stay connected… something I was not able to get it to do for more than 5 minutes at a time. Seriously, a complete disaster. In order to move between data pages you have to press on the screen itself… completely inconsistent as to whether this ever works. All in all it eventually made me so mad that I wanted to throw this thing in the trash rather than return it; fortunately reason finally took over and it went back to the store.
So bottom line. IPhone seems to work (pretty decently according to reviews); avoid completely if on Android. And since a ForeRunner 15 is only a few bucks more, I simply can’t see the market for this. I was interested because as an app developer I though there might be some nice things I could do with the API but a normal user? I’m not sure I understand the allure.
After going through a ForeRunner 620, fenix 2, and now a Magellan Echo this year, I still find myself back using the trusty, reliable, accurate 310xt…. oooooo, look at that shiny new Timex One GPS+! Wait! No! Bad, Matt! Stay away!
And..what is the difference to echo 1? Thx!
Great preview and your end to end review of the base line Echo was extremely informative!
Quick question, do you know if the Echo fit’s accelerometer will allow the watch to display cadence information sans foot pod?
Thanks for your time!
I know this does not directly answer your question but If you use ISmoothRun (my favourite for running) even with Echo on IPhone 5 it will use the accelerometer chip in the phone to measure steps, cadence and even average stride length for your activity. It’s a few dollars for the app but has some great features even for more advanced runners.
First of all, amazing site and greatly appreciate the amount of effort you put into it. Have a quick question about the Echo Fit which might be a bit premature. I am currently a Vivofit/iSmoothrun user who is looking at this watch as a possible solution to replace Vivofit and pair with iSmoothrun and give me one device to wear.
When the watch is paired with an app (say iSmoothrun or Strava), does it disable the step counting? I hope it does since that would keep the run data completely separate from the activity data. If it does not, I might be better off looking at the current Echo which can be used for runs, while Vivofit is used exclusively for activity data.
Can anyone confirm that either of the echo devices have native support for runkeeper, rather than requiring to capture the data via a 3rd party app such as iSmoothRun?
Murray, Runkeeper just updated their iOS app to 184.108.40.206 which specifically states that Magellan Echo is supported now. Hope this helps.
Some interesting comparisons with the Apple Watch… making me think about just getting the Echo Fit anyhow, despite the incoming Apple Watch…
link to minimalistrunningshoes.org
(not my site at all)
Only the Echo is sold in Europe. Do you know when the Echo Fit arrives ?
I was looking hard at one of these as I religiously use iSmoothrun…. then I saw that the Pebble has been dropped to $99… so I bought a Pebble. Misfit tracking does sleep and steps, plenty of Pebble apps for various popular running apps. Plus a zillion other apps and notifications from my phone. Seems like a slam dunk.
Except that the Pebble Misfit app doesn’t sync with the iOS or Google Play app yes. Kinda a downer. Misfit needs to push that update so we can actually sync over the data.
I am not sure the Echo Fit is any better in that regard. I have the watch. It tracks steps fine and works with iSmoothrun well. However, I cannot find the Magellan Active app anywhere on the app store. Queries to Magellan Support about this – via Facebook, Twitter, email etc – have led to absolutely nothing.
I hope I did not misunderstand something about the Active app…..but as it stands, it becomes a question of whether Magellan releases the app first, or Misfit/Jawbone fix their apps on Pebble first.
Sean, thinking that Magellan hasn’t officially “launched” the Echo Fit. Either that, or Apple is just really backlogged trying to approve apps with the iOS 8 update. I’m sure the Magellan Active will show up eventually. It would be nice if Magellan actually gave a date though.
I suspect you are right on this one. However, I cannot fathom how they can sell the watch on their own web site without any information about the app.
In the meantime, the Pebble gets more interesting. I am looking at both. The Pebble clearly feels like a more refined watch, both work equally well with iSmoothrun and track steps about the same. With Pebble, you can actually do something with that information. The only thing Echo has going for it is the battery…..but if Pebble can last 4-5 days without recharge, I am ok with that.
Just as a confirmation, I have validated with Clever Training that they do now have the Echo Fit in stock (some colors anyway).
Details here: link to shareasale.com
Thanks for the update Ray. Any word from Magellan when they would release the companion app to get activity information off the Echo Fit? Been trying to ping them, but no respone at all.
Can we get some clarification on how the Magellan Echo Fit will actually work with activity tracking. Yes, the information is on the device, but how do you get it off the device? Questions to Magellan have gone unanswered.
I’m also wondering how we get the data off the watch and how the activity goals can be adjusted. At this point the activity function of the Echo Fit is all but useless. Sent a couple of messages to Magellan, but they have gone dark on this one.
Only response I’ve gotten is from Bill Day on Twitter. Magellan Active app still in the works.
link to twitter.com
Been using my echo fit for over a week now and on 5 different training runs / workouts. Used both ismoothrun and wahoo with great success and zero hiccups.
A note as an activity tracker, the watch underestimates the total steps taken daily. My iPhone healthkit app says 9,587 the watch will said 8,406. Too soon to tell since there were different variables involved but the phone was in my pocket all day as well.
Anyway, the sleep tracker is pretty useless, its just a “stopwatch” that will average out the amount of time between presses. If you wake up and forget to click it off, it will continue to run and mess up your averages. I find it of little use, but I didn’t buy the watch to use as such.
The watch as a standalone “stopwatch” and distance recorder. I had an opportunity to use this feature last night at a cross-training bootcamp. The watch records in the metric system, not sure how to fix it, not a big deal. As far as accuracy goes, They did have an indoor track here so I ran with the watch 100m that was marked on the track, the echo fit read 86m. Again under estimating the distance. This is another feature I didn’t purchase the watch for but had high hopes it would work for these classes I take 3x a week where my phone stays in my bag. Its a good “guesstimate” but not as accurate as I would like using just the accelerometer.
As is stands, there is no way to export the data on the watch (Activity, Sleep, walk and run activity (non-gps)) to any apps or files. I read this is in the works. The box it came it says it displays notifications, and if it wasn’t for me reading forums and this reviews comments I would have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to get texts and email notifications on the watch, this feature is not available yet despite the marketing on the packaging.
Overall it is exactly what I was looking for, I looked at the pebble as well but again it didn’t scream sports watch to me and I like the fit, feel and looks of the echo fit. The only issue I have with the physical function of the watch is the pressing of the screen, its not as responsive (doesn’t click) as you would like. So I had to map one of the buttons for ‘next page’ when I want view different metrics, its not a big deal since I do not run with music so the “next track” button wasn’t being used.
I can answer any questions until the BIG REVIEW comes out….thanks!
apologize for the spelling and grammatical errors typed this on the train on my phone…
What’s New in Version 2.0.15
The Magellan Echo Utility adds additional features to to the Magellan Echo Fit. In addition to the original features, Magellan Echo Fit users can configure their personal User Profile, Alarms, and custom goals.
Thanks for the update. Can users now download the fitness tracking data to have a record of the daily steps / sleep for the week, month, etc. ?
I purchased the Echo Fit for Christmas, but gave it a couple tests to make sure it was worthwhile. After using the iPhone since I started running, being able to not only see my stats but pause the workout while crossing the road or at a water fountain was invaluable. I also had the ability to check little things along the way, like how a higher cadence improved my speed on certain inclines more than others.
While I’m sold on these features, part of me wonders if it would be better to return it in exchange for something like the Garmin Forerunner 220 for better accuracy. I’ve found the accuracy of iSmoothRun to be about 2% off, which seems to be within the typical margin of error with GPS run tracking in general. Does anyone have an opinion on this?
Echo Fit has a pedometer but where does the data sync? From what I can tell it you can’t even relay the step activity into myfitnesspal (for negative or positive adjustments).
@matt_e This is exactly the problem others are having. Why release the Fit when there is no way to get the data off of the device?!
I have a question regarding this watch. I run as well as lift 6 days per week, so I’m looking for something that will be beneficial for both activities. I currently use the Polar FT60 heart rate monitor (until it broke). I’m looking for a device that will include the features of a heart rate monitor, plus GPS or running app compatability . I want to be able to use it for running as well as calorie counting during my weightlifting sessions. Is this watch what I’m looking for?
Pure garbage. Don’t buy this POS. It barely integrates with Runkeeper (runs will start fine but pressing stop crashes the app). Sleep function doesn’t do anything meaningful. It asserts to be a sleep timer, but doesn’t actually track time accurately nor is data downloadable to anything. only about five apps interface with the device, and none of them do so well. Bottom line, I spent $129 on a gadget that isn’t worth $10. Very disappointed in Magellan for selling this crap.
I couldn’t agree more with Eric. Don’t buy this. The user documentation is useless and the app is even more useless.
The sleep tracking seems nothing more than a sleep timer that you initiate and that ends with the accelerometer.
I am the geekiest person I know, I’ve spent 5 days with this watch and I still can’t figure out how to get it to do what I want when I want it. As I was reading these comments I was trying to figure out how to get into the pedometer function and I accidentally powered down the watch. When I power on the watch it goes searching for my phone, and by “searching for my phone”, I really mean “searching for my phone that is currently unlocked and open in the app that it’s paired with”
Well, it turns out that I don’t always leave my phone unlocked and in my running app and in search mode for my watch, just in case I accidentally power off my watch. So the watch can’t find my phone and after 15 seconds of searching, it powers down. I can’t even get my watch to display the time of day until I can repair it with my phone.
I love the idea of the Echo, I do think the hardware is a bit thick and the non-standard, non-replaceable watch band is silly.
This whole watch game reminds me of the cell phone game. It going to take someone to come along and make a good one so that everyone else can figure out how to do it right. Kinda like Apple did with the iPhone. Hopefully Apple can do it again with the apple watch.
And great website.
Sad state of affairs for Magellan when a third party website is the only place to go for information on their watch.
Well after one month or so of use I have encountered both sides of the coin, the first 2 weeks were bug-free (I am able to look past the activity tracking data transfer as its not that important) – but the last week or so has been filled with bugs such as:
1. Turning off randomly
2. Searching to pair with app for a long time
3. Turning off when I change the page to view data then requiring a brand new sync with iPhone (which may be in another room)
4. THE LAST STRAW: I am lining up for my first race yesterday morning (albeit a 5k) but the watch was working perfectly and I even tested the sync with ismoothrun in the car about 1 hour prior all was well. I get to the start line about 90 seconds before the gun, the watch just goes blank. I ran the race without the data I wanted. My buddy next to me said (shoulda bought the garmin) – Now lets see what sort of return policy I am allowed. BYE BYE Echo
As it is powering down automatically, indicates you have not paired and setup the Echo Fit with Echo Utility properly. This is the first step before you attempt to pair with any fitness app.
You need to pair it up with Echo Utility (ensure you have the latest version 2.0.15)
once paired, simply close the app and you will see the time, steps, sleep, calorie tracking etc by tapping on the button to change screens.
Once paired, it should always show the time + tracking features unless you have done a factory reset which you need to repair again via Echo Utility.
Then open up whatever fitness app you want to pair with and pair again with Echo Fit by holding down top left button, press top left button once more to initiate searching mode.
As far as i’m aware, all data stored on the Echo Fit will be able to be transferred to the Magellan Active App once it is released. Just need to sit back and wait for Magellan to release this app, hopefully soon, fingers crossed!
Thanks for the great reviews! Two questions, what platform will be used to get the step data off this device? Will it sync with something like myfitnesspal?
Also, have the smartphone notifications been rolled out?
I bought the Echo Fit when the price dropped to $99 on Amazon, and was REALLY unimpressed. The Echo Fit seemed like everything I wanted in a sports watch, but in person, it was just lacking. Compatibility with Android isn’t very great (iPhone reviewers were much more positive). It just felt rushed to market to me. I returned it for a Pebble, which was the same price and does more. I would have kept the Echo Fit had they had the kinks worked out a lot better. I think it should still be in beta, to be honest.
Hi Angela, do you happen to know if they added smartphone notifications yet before you took it back?
No, and I don’t think Magellan has intended to add that capability…. I think it’s mostly just meant to pair with whatever sports app you have on your phone to show your stats.
Thanks for the help. I actually already had an Echo Fit on its way when I read your review, and it has since been returned for a Pebble as well. I honestly didn’t realize that the Pebble was the watch for me because I get all of my wearable information from Ray and he hasn’t reviewed it yet outside of the runkeeper integration. They nailed the most important feature though (5ATM waterproofing) and so far it seems to provide smooth notifications. Pairing it with the Jawbone UP app allows it to be the only device I wear during the 23hrs a day spent not exercising.
However, for the time being, I will just separate my smartphone notification watch from my fitness watch until something comes out to blow my mind. The LG G Watch R looks so nice, but I’ve learned that the Android Wear watches never live up to their hype.
Ray, do you have all of the new Android watches lying around in your new cave? I’d be very interested to hear what you think about them as they all have lots of hardware for fitness but don’t seem to have the software to really support those sensors.
Yeah, I pretty much have every one of the major new Android ones sitting in the cave. 🙁 Just need the time to dig into them. I’m looking to use some of the quiet period after CES to do so, when (that time of year typically) there isn’t much in the way of new fitness devices but will likely be some new Android watches.
Might even take another look at Pebble. Like that it also integrates now with the 3DR IRIS+ in follow-me mode, making that pretty interesting for sports uses.
My Echo Fit just started showing Low Battery signal after only 2 months.
Sleep Function shows I sleep over 50 hours a day.
Doesn’t sync with enough of the most popular fitness apps such as My Fitness Pal, which I have been using for over 2 yrs.
There is no support from Support when contacted, other than read the directions!!
I’m wondering if there is going to be another software update, since my phone is going into iOS 8.2, shortly.
I know this is an old thread but are the echo fit watches suppose to record steps while driving a car home from work?
The step sensor is very, very sensitive. It counts steps when I’m sitting at my desk and move my hand.
I use my iOS step tracker in addition to my watch step tracker.
They are about even in the step count.
I have checked to see if any additional steps are added when I’m not actually walking and I don’t see any more steps than should be there.
Are you finding this to be true of your watch, Dan?
I don’t have an answer because I walk everywhere, but I think it’s an excellent question.
Follow up to my December 19, 2014 post.
I bought a brand new battery and replaced the old one in my 2-month old Echo Fit watch.
This solved all my previous problems.
The watch is working as advertised, with no further problems. I had no problems with installing the battery by myself, either.
Just an FYI for an easy fix.
Unless your name is Fred Flintstone, driving a car shouldn’t increase your step count!
And yet it does.
I had so many issues with mine when I first got it and I was so disappointed.
For me buying a new battery changed all my problems.
I was all ready to ship it back as junk.
I’m happy with it now.
At least it doesn’t show that I sleep 50-60 hours every night!!
Has this been released in UK/Europe yet? It has everything I need as a PE teacher (steps, HR, stopwatch) and would be a great accessory but cant find it anywhere. If it hasn’t been released yet, are there any alternatives that have at least these three things?
I’ve been frustrated at the lack of firmware updates from Magellan. As Ray mentioned in his review, Magellan was going to put out a firmware update in November. I haven’t seen one for my Echo yet and the product manager didn’t state they were going to roll one out when speaking to him at CES.
Well, I updated the software for my Echo Fit watch.
One of the “fixes”, stated that it would provide better battery life.
Within one day of installing the latest and only update, my watch showed “Low Battery”.
OK, within 12 hours the battery was dead…completely.
The battery was replaced just 2 months ago and I don’t use it to count laps and I don’t use the sleep function. The previous battery came with the watch and I did use it for the laps and sleep function…lasted 3 months.
I use it as a regular watch which records my steps, calories, and mileage daily…nothing else.
So much for better battery life.
Does anyone know why the battery life is so short? Or what I can do to prevent the battery drain?
Other than replacing the watch!
Now I have firmware 220.127.116.11., I don’t know if it is the last, because I tryed to update it, factory reseat, etc, but have not receaved update. Magellan support asked me to send my watch for diagnostic, but did not answered about version of firmware…Battery life was 1 week (varta 2032).
PURCHASED: 10/23/2014 for $179.
USE: Mountain Biking, Gym (Treadmill, Stationary Rowing, Circuit Training), Hiking and Walking.
Worn in rain 3 times, no swimming, so showers.
Battery replaced 3 times since purchase.
Purchased a Magellan Echo Fit after the watchband on my trustee Timex Ironman with HRM (not Bluetooth) began to tear, and found out from Timex they didn’t make a replacement for that particular model. That’s another story.
Researched various options, deciding to go with the Magellan Echo Fit after reading a very thorough review by DC Rainmaker.
Opened the box and scanned the barcode on the small instruction card, which launched the App Store and prompted me to download the Magellan Echo Utility to my iPhone.
I had recently upgraded my MacBook Pro to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and my iPhone to iOS 8. So a few moments later, while reading the basic setup guide on my iPhone, I hit the link to install the Wahoo Fitness Utility and heard a slight bleep from my Mac. iOS8’s new handoff feature had handed of the webpage address from Safari on my iPhone to my MacBook Pro while the iPhone requested permission to download the Wahoo Fitness App. Very Cool user experience.
The setup process was fairly straightforward and seamless, never had a need for any documentation or instruction. It took me about an hour to get the watch screens dialed in. Over the course of the next 2 weeks I refined the watch interface and Wahoo Fitness Workout pages to the configurations that worked for me. There were a few bumps along the way, but I was able to work through them by re-reading parts of DC Rainmaker’s review of the original Echo, not by looking to Magellan Support.
The key for me, and I think many other users of this device, is to sync the Echo Fit with the Wahoo Fitness App, and then feed data from Wahoo Fitness to other apps like Strava. I currently have the Wahoo Fitness App linked with Apple’s HealthKit, and I push workout summaries to Strava. HealthKit shares data with LoseIt.com, so I can track my calories and nutrition there. I have noticed that Strava does not always accurately receive the calorie count from Wahoo Fitness. This is not an issue with HealthKit or Loseit.
Functionally the device is everything I wanted and more: flexible and customizable on the fly, takes advantage of GPS data from my iPhone, and tracks heart rate through the Bluetooth strap. I was pretty psyched initially.
The issue with the Echo Fit isn’t software or application support, it’s the build quality of the device itself.
On my second or third ride I noticed the interior of the display was unreadable due to condensation on the inside of lens during a descent down Mount Tamalpias. On subsequent rides the display would shut off. When turning it back on, I’d have to push the sync button on the upper left of the display to reestablish the bluetooth connection. Not the easiest thing to do when you’re navigating terrain. About forty percent of the time, when re-establishing the connection, it would also start a new workout. Very annoying. The other sixty percent the Echo Fit would re-establish the Bluetooth connection with the iPhone and continue the workout that was already running. Over time, I had problems with the condensation and power during gym workouts as well.
I have had to replace the battery 3 times since October. The claims by the manufacturer that you can get 6-11 months out of a single battery depending on usage are patently false, as far as I’m concerned. I can count the number of times I’ve worn the watch as a time piece on one hand, the rest of the time it sits on the shelf until the next workout.
The last time time I replaced the watch battery was on March 8th, after a firmware update. I kept getting a “battery low” message after the update, even though the release notes said battery usage was one of the issues being addressed in the firmware. Ended up performing 2 factory resets before I was able to re-pair the Echo Fit with my iPhone.
For about ten days the Echo Fit worked better than ever. The screen tap control was more accurate and responsive, the sync issues disappeared. Only the condensation issues remained.
And then the device just stopped working. Put in on my wrist to get ready for a ride and there was no response. Tried several factory resets, tried (yet another) battery: the device simply would not activate.
I’ve processed an exchange and am awaiting the replacement.
Would I recommend this device to a friend? Would I purchase it again knowing what I know now? No. I would look at at Polar or Pebble.
Magellan is a well respected company. This is the first product I have ever bought from them. It may be the last. I don’t think the company is committed to the platform and I believe their reputation is suffering due to the poor quality and lack of enthusiasm/support for the this product.
For those of you using Echo Fit — do you get notifications for texts, calls, etc on your display? I’ve had many technical issues with my original Echo and will be giving the Fit a chance at a discounted price.
Sms, call, email notifications does not work. Lenovo Vibe x2, Android 5.0, bluetooth 4.0. Magellan Echo Fit 18.104.22.168.
Did they ever add iPhone notifications?
I bought this watch one time before but returned it because I didn’t get much use out of it, but I would spend $60 (Amazon) on it if it had text notifications.
I don’t know about notifications for iPhone,I tryed with Android 5.1 and had not… now my daughter use watch with old Android 4.2, that is why has only watch, calories and steps…And she is looking for another phone, then will try again.