Oakley Radar Pace Sunglasses Review: A Wearable For Your Workout
2016 brought with it a surge of new wearables geared towards fitness-minded techies. With the holiday season and 2017 rapidly approaching, Oakley unveiled the newest in fitness-tracking gear: workout sunglasses, the Oakley Radar Pace.
These sunglasses depart from traditional wrist-based smart gear in that the user relies solely on audio prompts. Lacking any visual displays, the Oakley Radar Pace uses a voice assistant to answer questions or, more notably, coach you during your routine. Equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer and humidity and proximity sensors, along with Bluetooth and ANT+ for pairing a heart rate monitor (no standalone GPS, unfortunately), the Pace acts as a combination pair of headphones (that plug into your ear separate from the eyewear) and fitness guide. Pressing the touchpad on the side of the frame and saying the phrase, “What’s my workout for today?” will prompt the sunglasses to tell you your current plan. The session will also auto-pause when you stop moving, which maintains your accuracy even when at the crosswalk.
Throughout the run, Pace will chime in with feedback, whether your pace is too slow or even if your strides are too big. Can’t wait for the coach? Just ask “How’s My Pace?” and the sunglasses will respond will real-time information. They also make for a decent pair of workout eyewear. A recent CNET review reported that the sunglasses, despite all the added tech, remain lightweight and fit comfortably on the user’s face.
From beginners to serious runners, Pace has you covered. Using the iPhone/Android app, the sunglasses pair to your phone, allowing the user to track fitness data and set up a personalized workout plan. Like the most cutting-edge of fitness wearables, the app also adjusts the plan when you miss workouts, and it’s feedback also builds into a truly personalized plan. Pace also offers a workout plan for cyclists.
CNET reports that the battery life is less-than-desirable, up to 6 hours. The Pace occasionally will also drop its connection and not credit you for the miles you ran. Still, for those who need an extra push during workouts, the virtual coach might be the next-best-thing before hiring the real deal.