Review: Nokia N79 Active Edition

l1010147A few months ago I was touring Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo when I espied the Nokia N79 Active Edition. Announced around CES time, this phone combo included a heart-rate monitor and sports armband along with special software to record your distance, heart-rate, and route for each workout. The software includes a full complement of statistics and maps for your pleasure and is quite fully-featured.

The phone itself uses A-GPS to measure speed and distance and the heart-rate monitor is a Bluetooth model made by Polar. It also includes a built-in pedometer and two extra backplates so you can customize your phone. I tested it a few times over the past few weeks and came away quite impressed.

As a work-out tool this thing is perfect. My dream has always been to have a music-playing device with full workout stats recording systems built-in and the N79 fits the bill. It is compact and the armband works well and protects the phone from dirt and grime.

You can export your workouts to multiple websites including Google Earth and you can share and record your workouts for posterity. It has a built-in 5-megapixel camera with flash.

Now for the bad news. As far as I can tell the N79 Active isn’t available on Nokia’s website or any stores. It was supposed to sell for about 350 Euro which calculates to about $5 million but I haven’t been able to spot it in the wild. You can get the N79 itself for $349 or so.

Bottom Line
In general this is a great addition to the NSeries family and a great work-out tool. Here’s hoping Nokia actually starts to ship it.