By Claire Reilly
Outdoor GPS brand Magellan was talking up its fitness focus with the launch of a new range of "smart multisport devices" in Sydney last Friday, targeted at tech-savvy athletes who train in more than one sport.
The move into fitness devices is a change for Magellan, which has hitherto been focused on rugged personal GPS devices geared towards camping and hiking. With the addition of the new multisports range, Magellan will now go head to head with Garmin, which is well established in the sporting GPS category.
Known as the Magellan Switch and the Magellan Switch Up, the two new training devices combine the traditional functions of a sports watch (measuring heart rate, calories burnt and lap times) with the benefits of GPS route mapping, measurements of distance and pace, and a barometric altimeter on the Switch Up for measuring the elevation of climbs and descents.
It features 10 pre-set “profiles” for sports such as running, cycling and swimming, as well as 9 programmable profiles; it is water resistant to 50 metres and is also ANT+ compatible for use with heart rate monitors or cadence and power sensors on a bicycle. It also features an Activity Pacer that helps athletes track their distance, time and pace and adjust it to suit a desired level of progress.
The rectangular device is designed to clip into a wrist strap so it can be worn like a sports watch, and the top-of-the-range Switch Up can also be clipped into a multisport mount for quick transitions onto a bike. Both devices are also designed to be used with an online site that helps athletes track their routes and overall performance.
Speaking about the features on the device was Noeleen Lechner, marketing communications manager of Magellan Australia.
“The idea of tracking the progress of your fitness – how far or fast you went, how many calories you burned and so on, used to be only possible for the professionals or the elite,” said Lechner.
“But the Switch devices can provide and store so much information on your wrist or on your bike, and you can upload it to the Magellan fitness cloud or many other third party sites and share your stats on social media. Best of all, they are priced within reach of most Australians.
“It is now very easy to measure and monitor your fitness - whether you’re paddling through the water, cycling through the countryside or running. Magellan Switch can stay with you and help spur you on to set new targets, beat personal bests and clearly understand how well you are doing.”
The Switch is available for RRP $279 or RRP $329 with heart rate monitor. The Switch Up adds to the Switch’s 8-hour battery life with a 16-hour battery expansion pack, and also features temperature sensor, vibration alerts and an included multisport mounting kit. It is available for RRP $349 or $399 with the heart rate monitor.
The flagship Switch Up multisports GPS device from Magellan can be taken from wrist to bike, and allows athletes to track all aspects of a training session or race.