Running with phones

Did anyone watch the Google event a few weeks ago? The Nexus 6p seems awesome, and I think I want it. It’s got great specs, it runs pure-as-snow stock Android, with Marshmallow out of the box. Looks awesome, but also looks…big.

Huawei-Nexus-6P1
big ol’ phone

At 6.27”x3.06”, it’s on par with the iPhone 6 Plus – in fact, it’s a just a little bit taller.

Now

So, I’m used to running with a big phone. The HTC One M8 that I have isn’t teeny-tiny; 5.76” x 2.78” is a good size, but I wouldn’t call it a “phablet” like the 6 Plus and 6p have been called.

For a long time (over a year, I think), I would run with my phone in my hand. Not only was I new to this running thing (and not sure if it would stick), I also didn’t know how long I’d have my phone. It actually wasn’t the worst thing in the world, since I could easily check my distance or flip to the next song. For really long runs though, my hand did get a little bit cramped.

IMG_0120
Let’s get some shews

After my first half, I bought a shiny new pair of shoes and an armband. Not having to hold my phone was pretty great, and the band could also hold my keys, so I no longer had to wear them on a lanyard around my neck. One issue,though, is that it lay the phone perpendicular to my arm. I think this did, in fact, make it easier to interact with, but it was bulky and looked kinda funny.

Later

If I step my game up to the Nexus 6p, it should fit in my current armband, but I think I may try a new one out anyway. Most armbands lay the phone parallel to the arm, so there must be something to that. I’d be interested in trying it out – especially with this much bigger phone, I wouldn’t want it sticking out and looking huge.

Someday

But frankly, none of these solutions are ideal for me. You’ve all heard me gushing about my Fitbit and complaining about some of its software integrations. The truth is, I can’t wait for a Fitbit or smartwatch that does everything my phone does right now. Dealing with a phone during runs is awkward, especially with an armband. In fact some days I forgo the band altogether and just hold it like I used to; again, it’s much easier to interact with. But I can’t wait for the day when all I have to do is grab a pair of Bluetooth headphones and be on my way. No armband, no phone, no headphone cables – just a few taps on the device I’m already wearing, and I’m all set with music, GPS, and heart rate.

And thankfully, I bet my dream run-tech is only a year or two away.

-R

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