“Training Intelligence” — that’s what the Pear Mobile aims to provide. The product consists of a heart rate monitor, gym headphones, and an app that will train you, push you, and monitor your performance every step of the way. It’s your own personal trainer and it sounds like a dream come true.
The Pear Sports Mobile Training Intelligence System is built for iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, and 5C, and it is indeed an interesting product. It’s supposed to be much more than a heart rate monitor and fitness app, it’s supposed to be a workout instructor that understands your body.
Pear consists of gym headphones and a heart rate monitor, neither of which are technically required to use the free training app. The gym headphones are pretty decent and have a built-in button that will read your heart rate on demand. They’re on par with your average $20 earbuds. Most importantly, they’re sweat proof and come with rubber fit tips designed to stay in-ear. It fits well even during extreme activity.
The heart rate monitor is your basic chest strap. It’s an adjustable elastic band that secures to the bluetooth transmitter, located in the center of your chest. There’s no on/off button and the battery lasts for months. All you have to do is wet the sensors underneath the strap. With a proper fit and moist pads, Pear does a good job of constantly monitoring heart rate.
Pear consists of a number of different training sessions, ranging from strength to cardio, free and paid. The audio guidance will push you to hit the recommended heart rate zone or exercise goal. It can tell you to speed up or slow down, and it offers tips like how to maintain good form. The coaching is what really differentiates Pear from other fitness and heart rate monitors. There’s hundreds of training sessions available, and there’s just about everything you could want. There’s specific muscle groups like ab workouts, leg workouts, upper body, there’s activities like biking, running, stretching, yoga, and there’s goal activities for weight loss, fitness, or racing. There’s very specific workouts and very broad workouts. There’s a lot. There’s enough free workouts to last you a long time, and there’s $30 workouts like a 16 work training for marathon running.
If you’re used to fitness apps, you’ll find the Pear app pretty familiar. It does GPS logging, integrated music via the iTunes app, and workout scheduling. It charts your heart rate and keeps track of your workout.
Pear is a little more limited then other apps, especially when it comes to workout reviews. It aggregates your high level stats, but you can’t check your pace or heart rate from a certain point during the workout. You also have to flip your phone sideways just to view your heart rate. Worst of all, there’s no real time charting for pace or heart rate. You can see current heart rate, but you can’t see the trend over the last few minutes.
Pear really comes down to dedication. If you want a trainer without paying hundreds of dollars, it can be a great value and a priceless utility. There’s an epic number of workouts that guide you every step of the way. The workouts range from beginner to advanced and you can start with anything you’re comfortable with. You can also base your workouts on what equipment you have available to you. We weren’t so crazy about the app, it’s limited on the usability and logging. On the bright side, there’s always potential app updates that could turn that right around. Pricing out at $135, it’s expensive for what you’re getting (heart rate monitor and inexpensive headphones). We recommend checking out the app before making a decision. If you need that push to start exercising again then Pear could be your new best friend. It’s currently available on Amazon.com.
The Good: Accurate and real-time heart rate readouts, Motivational, Tons of free workouts for varying degrees of experience
The Bad: App needs work, Subpar data review, Pricey