Explova X5 Evo - Cycling GPS
The Xplova X5 Evo. Explained as a revolutionary cycling GPS computer with integrated action camera.
Looking for a new cycling GPS for your two wheeled steed? Something that offers all the bells and whistles without the hefty price tag? We may have found exactly what your looking for. The Explova X5 Evo brings function and features along with fun via the inbuilt front facing camera resulting in an impressive cycling GPS.
First thing to point out, the Xplova X5 Evo, backed by Acer has had a significant software upgrade from the previous X5 version. With Acer being a major driver behind everything from smart phones to laptops, we were expecting big things from this little GPS unit.
We liked the 3 inch, colour touchscreen. Although quite a bit smaller than the unit itself, we like its responsiveness and ease of use.
The physical buttons on the side of the unit are a welcome inclusion. They have the standard power button, but also a home return button and up/down button allowing you to toggle through previous trips without using the touchscreen. Buttons on the face of the unit, provides not only the ability to start/stop your trip recording but also the built in front facing camera. An option we found particularly useful.
Turning the device on, you are presented with a clearly laid out home screen. We found it easy to navigate through Routes, Activities, Workout and Camera options. Settings are easily found and accessed, with navigation within the menu straight forward.
On the bike
After completing the set up we were ready to add a bike into the equation.
Worth noting, you will need to add your own external sensors. For testing we paired the Xplova to the Magene HRM and the Magene Cadence / Speed Monitor (and on a side note we were suitably impressed with the performance of both of these products, so much in fact we were excited to welcome Magene to the Bikechaser site)
The provided, out front bike mount does the job, it connects firmly and with a half turn. The mount is semi adjustable through way of rubber spacers that are provided to fit most bars, however would have liked a little more flexibility here.
Selecting the Ride option (or press start) and your presented with another clearly laid out and easy to use screen. Immediately you notice the speedometer dial in the centre, with 2 smaller dials below for heart rate and cadence. This screen also shows power, altitude, elapsed time and distance.
Swiping the screen left or right, toggles you through different views of user configurable data along with a navigation screen.
Altitude is measured barometrically. This provides a more accurate altitude than GPS and was a welcome addition to this device. You are also able to re calibrate altitude as part of your device set.
For GPS, the Xplova uses both US GPS and Russian Glonass systems. This gives good accuracy on open roads but can be questionable on sheltered trails. To qualify this, we first tested on the road and then moved the X5 onto the MTB to test the trails. We found the drift in sheltered areas to be minimal and not worth any further consideration (we also didn’t experience any issues loading to Strava with segment info – Important that this is called out).
Turn by turn navigation is also available out the box with the Explova X5 Evo cycling GPS. You can download maps for almost any part of the world for offline navigation or map out a route on your smartphone (via the Xplova Connect App) relatively easy and then upload to the X5 and enjoy features like a position indicator and route trace on your base map.
The app is particularly powerful, allowing quick route mapping (including download of training plans) which you can easily upload and follow and get all the necessary stats. Smart sign functionality will give you advance notice of a coming incline/decline and you can pre set the front facing camera to start recording at a pre-determined point.
Definitely the “toy” part of this device, the in-built front facing camera is a fun inclusion. The camera records 720/30fps video and can hold about 1 Hrs recording. Recording options allow you to set the video to start based on pre-determined measures like speed, position, incline or decline %, as well as other modes like Manual, Loop and Time Lapse.
Video quality is good, with 120 degree angle and a reasonably stable image. You also have the option for still photographs (at 1080 pixel resolution), which adds another dimension to this front facing camera.
A lot of functionality all squeezed into a small, clean looking device. The involvement of Acer gives us confidence in future firmware updates bringing more features and functionality.
Xplova claim a 12 hr batter life, which when tested we were seeing 9+ hrs without Camera usage. Add the camera on loop and you cut your battery life down to what was more like 4 hrs (still not bad for continual recording, plus GPS functions)
The ease of use and functionality makes this a great all-round cycling GPS that gives plenty of options for you to grow into and explore. The video is a fun feature that we enjoyed and could definitely find a use for, whether its recording for safety or to brag to your mates.
We enjoyed the accuracy of the GPS, and route mapping in particular. Probably worth a mention that via the connect app, you can seamlessly link with Strava and Training peaks, making upload and download easy and straight forward.
At an entry level price, you’re getting a lot for your money.