Your smartphone is a great training companion. Not only can you stuff it full of your favourite tunes, but all that great tech built into it means that it can do pretty much anything that a dedicated fitness computer can. The only problem is that most smartphones are fairly large and relatively heavy, so you don’t really want one bouncing around in your shorts pocket while you’re running.
The Cygnett Action Armband addresses that problem, allowing you to strap your smartphone to your upper arm, ensuring that it doesn’t annoy you when running.
There are essentially two parts to the Action Armband – there’s the padded pocket for your smartphone or iPod, and the adjustable strap that wraps around your arm. The stitching is tidy and looks strong, while the fabric is extremely soft and relatively breathable – I was happy to find that my arm wasn’t sweating profusely underneath the band after a long run.
The pocket that holds your smartphone has a hole at each corner, which makes it ideal for all iPhones. It’s easy to see your phone’s screen through the clear plastic fascia, and it seemed to cause no problems with the touch controls either.
You insert your phone by lifting a flap at the top of the pouch, sliding the handset in, and then pulling the flap down over the top. The pouch isn’t waterproof, but it will probably keep your phone protected from all but the worst storms. Try to remember to plug your headphones in before you strap your phone to your arm, it’s much easier that way.
The arm strap has a couple of Velcro pads on it, and it’s pretty easy to get the whole thing fastened securely and comfortably. It’s tempting to pull the strap really tight so that it doesn’t slip down while you’re running, but you really don’t have to. You don’t have to cut off the circulation to your hand to keep the Action Armband in place, it stays surprisingly secure with relatively moderate tension.
I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t feel my iPhone on my arm while running, because there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a fairly heavy device. In fact, this is the first time that I found myself wishing I’d upgraded to an iPhone 5 from my 4S – there’s no doubt that the lighter weight of the iPhone 5 would be welcome when using the Action Armband. That said, even with a relatively heavy phone, I’d still rather have it tucked safely away in the Action Armband than flopping around in my pocket.
If you like to route your headphone cables under your shirt to avoid annoying cable slap, you’ll need a fairly long cable. This is because the cable is running down from the armband to the bottom of your shirt, then back up under your shirt. It’s not a massive problem, but one worth bearing in mind. Again, the iPhone 5 would help this issue thanks to its bottom mounted headphone socket.
Another point worth mentioning is that although it’s easy to use the touch controls through the plastic window, it’s a little awkward even seeing the screen when the Action Armband is in place on your upper arm. Unless you’re a contortionist and can dislocate your shoulder at will, you have to twist the armband around whenever you want to interact with it. That said, I usually just start my running app and don’t touch my iPhone again until I’m done.
At £19.99 the Action Armband won’t break the bank, and if you run regularly with your iPhone it’s probably a sound investment. It certainly beats having your phone in your pocket while you run.
If you’ve decided to use your smartphone as your main training partner, the Cygnett Action Armband will make your life far easier. Rather than having your phone smacking against your leg while you run, it will sit comfortably on your upper arm.
The issue with the headphone cable length will come down to your personal preference, and having to twist the armband around to interact with your phone on the move isn’t really a deal breaker either. This is a great little carry case that’s reasonably priced and comfortable to wear – definitely worth considering.
- Very comfortable to wear
- Easily adjustable
- Water resistant
- Touch controls work well through the fascia
- Reasonably priced
- Headphone cable length could be an issue
- You need to twist the whole case around to see the phone