Riding a bike with your cellphone can be tricky. Like, storing-it-in-a-plastic-bag-so-it-doesn’t-get-sweaty tricky. But what if a bike computer could double as a smartphone? The Vudu7 V can. Pitched as the “all-in-one” computer for your bike, the bright color touchscreen, headlights, and camera let it hold its own in the marketplace, but it’s the Android platform that makes the Vudu7 V really stand out. It’s more like a smartphone for your bike.
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Yep, the Vudu7, aka the V, runs on a quad core Android computer with a 4-inch, 800-by-480 color touchscreen. Mounting your phone on your bars can feel like taking your life in your hands, so the V offers similar computing style without exposing one of your most valuable tools to the elements or accidents. An IP67-rated case keeps the hardware intact and working through rain and snow.
With Bluetooth; ANT+; a video camera; a microphone; 3-watt speakers; and MicroSD, SIM card, and Micro USB slots, the V is capable of doing pretty much anything a phone can do. It can store photos and music, and with a SIM card, riders can connect to their cell providers. The SIM card slot means riders can really leave the smartphone behind and still stay fully connected to the world beyond the handlebars.
It might not be lightning-fast like your new Galaxy S7, but the V covers all the main features we use in our phones, including messaging and calling. Add to that a set of powerful headlights and the result is a very clever bike computer. With the five-button thumb controller, riders can control the V and keep their hands where they should be — on the bars. Of course, if V fans feel the controller defeats the purpose of streamlining gear on the bars, the touchscreen is just fine.
When the Vudu7 team launches its crowdfunding campaign, the first 1,000 V’s will go for $300 instead of $450. In either case, that’s about as much as a top-of-the-line cycling computer and quite a few dollars less than the a quality smartphone.