I got a new Android phone recently and I’ve been curious if the Strava app can replace the aging Garmin 500 altogether. As it turns out the app does 90% of the things I need.
- Starting recording is dead easy with the record widget. There is no annoying wait for catching the GPS signal either
- I can record ant+ data from my power2max via Viiiva bluetooth heart rate strap
- There is no more need to spend time uploading files to strava.com anymore
- If I run out of phone battery the recording stays and the app really does not use that much energy anyhow so battery life really hasn’t been a problem
- The app keeps running in the background even if I take mid-ride photos
- You can pause the recording, but there is no minimum speed option so it keeps recording during breaks if I walk around
- I never had need for turn-by-turn navigation anyway so I haven’t missed that. I can use Google Maps if I need help with navigation
- I’m missing some kind of audio warnings for exceeding power threshhold or heart rate zones as I’ve just kept the phone in my back pocket
- In the app there should be some countdown (not just a beep) for start and end of Strava segments and I should be able to choose segments in advance
- In general there is lot of promise. In the future the app could give instant feedback and encouragement based on virtual coaches data.
So all in all I’ve been pretty happy with Strava app and already sold my Garmin 500.