A training device to guide you and keep you honest during all of your workouts.
Some sort of bluetooth or wireless earphones as well as a ANT+ stick for wireless transmission to and from the computer.
A cutting edge device that makes training simple and fun for those looking for guidance.
The PEAR Square One is a new and innovative product that houses a ton of features in a tiny device. In simple terms, it is like having a personal trainer (somewhat) with you during all your workouts that can offer feedback based on the readings via the footpod (for speed/distance) and heart rate monitor (for effort). For those of you accustomed to listening to music, the PEAR device is designed to seamlessly integrate and control the iPod shuffle, though not required.
So, why is the PEAR Square One better than using a gps watch or similar. Well, we aren't saying it is better, but it is certainly a viable alternative with some added features that certain folks might enjoy. If we were trying to sell it (which we aren't because we don't sell anything) some of the benefits we would push would be:
- It is a great device for recreational athletes or those getting started as it comes with plans that range from helping you to stay active, lose weight, or even prepare for a running race
- It offers the convenience of never having to look down at your watch as all the data is reported to you via the earphones (any time you want)
- It offers immediate feedback on pace, effort, and technique, which is great for beginners
- For interval sets, you aren't limited by "watching your watch". You simply run until the magic voice in the earphones says stop
- You get access to the PEAR Portal which allows you to choose your plan and log/track your training
The PEAR Square One system comes with the following:
- PEAR Square One
- Heart Rate Strap and Sensor
- Foot Pod and Lace Clip
- Earphones (made by Surefire)
- USB cable
- Ripstop Nylon Bag
The device is relatively simple to setup and update. When you first setup the device you go through a few easy steps to set up your account at the PEAR Portal.
Very simple sign up process.
You answer some very basic fitness settings.
Next up is to download the PEAR Agent, which syncs data back and forth between your computer and the device. (Note: Mac compatible, which is awesome)
Then, you are officially "logged in" the PEAR portal. From here, you have a plethora of options with a pretty simple interface.
From here you can easily manage the workouts that are on your device if you want to manually change up your planned schedule.
The PEAR portal has over 30+ plans (and growing) to choose from depending on your "goal" and fitness level. Each plan will populate your schedule with daily workouts for the plan duration.
You also get a calendar view of your schedule with upcoming and completed workouts.
So, the portal is pretty cool, especially for those just starting out as they pretty much get the complete package as far as scheduling and tracking their activities.
Using the device is incredibly simple, as it should be.
In order to provide your metrics and log your workout data, you will need to wear the Pear HR strap and Foot pod.
The HR strap is an ANT+ strap, and a comfy one at that.
The Foot Pod is ANT+ as well and will easily snap on the laces of your shoes.
After this, you are all set. You grab the PEAR Square One, headphones, and iPod (if you choose). The Square One automatically detects the ANT+ accessories and alerts you once they are found. Next, you simply choose from the workouts you have loaded on the device from the portal or choose generic workout.
Navigating the square one is pretty straight forward.
The top "play/pause" button does exactly that. When you are ready to go, press the button. If you need to pause at any point, simply press the button again, and so on to get started again. Once you are finished, you press the power button to stop and store the workout.
You can use the up and down arrow buttons to choose between the workouts loaded.
Lastly, the volume is controlled via one button. Each time you press it you will hear a beep that is at a certain volume. Continue pushing the button until the volume is at your desired level.
So, once you get going, it really is like having a coach on your shoulder, or in your ear, the entire time. You get instructions pertaining to the effort, form, breathing, etc you should extend for each interval, and then feedback based on your effort if you are on pace or off pace. And, if that isn't enough, you can get basic metrics such as pace, heart rate, and total time anytime you want by simply pressing the button on the earphones.
Speaking of the earphones, these are some of the most comfortable and stable that we have tried. Whether it be the treadmill, sprinting, or even jumping up and down, we couldn't get these to fall out.
We did find the accuracy of the footpod to be pretty spot on when comparing with our GPS device.
The MSRP is $249 which might shock some people. But, you have to think about what you are getting. You are getting a device that will give you the majority of the metrics you get from a GPS device and that will work inside or out since it's calculations are from the Foot Pod. Couple that with a library of specific training plans and logging software. After you consider everything that is bundled with this small device, the price doesn't sound so bad.
TriBomb Bottom Line
We think the PEAR Square One is a great innovation of the latest technology that combines much functionality into one device. If you enjoy listening to music while you run or are simply looking for something new in your run training, the PEAR Square one is a great choice.