Over the last two months, I had the chance to test two top of the line Sigma Sport products. I outfitted my road bike with the ROX 10.0 GPS bike computer and took it cycling in The Netherlands. I also took their RC MOVE sport watch mountainbiking in Crete.
As a (hobby) cyclist, the ROX had my main attention. I’ve had a Polar system for a few years which uses a sport watch that can process cadence, speed, calories, heart rate etc. With these options added to it, the Polar was expensive, but to be honest it kind of sucked.
To get the Polar working properly, I’ve had 5 different chest belts, but still my heart rate stayed unmonitored half of the time. So when Sigma gave me their system which (at under 200 euro) cost less than half of the Polar, I had doubts that it would be any good.
The Sigma ROX 10.0 was a pleasant surprise, it literally never missed a beat. It even registered my heart rate if I had ridden somewhere, had a few drinks and then hopped back on the bike. And trust me, this was completely new for me. My old system could never pick up a beat after a stop of say an hour.
If you compare the Sigma ROX 10.0 to its competition, like Garmin, Suunto or Polar, it’s significantly better priced and has every basic function, which are dozens. On top of this, the ROX comes with extra options that some of the more expensive competitors don’t even have. These include temperature, full GPS, elevation and a good PC interface. For a list of the 100+ features, click here
The RC MOVE is a new product, and it’s a very good and affordable sport watch and heart rate monitor. It has a comfortable soft rubber band, looks good and barely costs half of what the other good brands go for. It has an impressive list of features (check full list here). But unfortunately it has an annoying teething problem.
For it to fully function, you need to sync the RC MOVE with your phone, but that phone can only be an iPhone 4S or newer. Given that the 4S is almost 5 years old, the age compatibility is not much of a problem. The issue is that the RC MOVE basically only works with iPhones, not with Android. And Google’s operating system happens to be the world’s market leader.
I suppose that there are good reasons why it takes Sigma longer to get the RC MOVE working with Android. And I understand that it’s being worked on, but given that Android is the market leader, this definitely takes some shine off the RC MOVE’s impressive value for money.
There actually is a workaround for Android, but it only works on models with Bluetooth LE/Smart/4.0, which are usually only the latest top of the line phones. So if you have an iPhone 6, or even a Samsung Galaxy 6, it’s not an issue, but for many other phones the RC MOVE may be a bit too modern.
When I got the chance to test the Sigma ROX 10.0 and RC MOVE, I had just started looking into a replacement for my “old” bike computer/sport watch. So I initially considered this a test drive of one possible option. But on my first ride out with the ROX, I was pleasantly surprised and basically already “hooked”.
I hadn’t expected that, at such a relatively low price, you could get such great products. So Sigma impressed me, and except for the RC MOVE’s incompatibility with Android, I really don’t have a bad thing to say about either of these Sigma products.
Oh and by the way, I know I was only testing these, but for the guys at Sigma: Sorry, but you’re not getting them back.