LightRunner Armband Hardware Review

Our Review by Rob Rich on June 22nd, 2015
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A GOOD FIT
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The Griffin LightRunner armband is a handy and safe way to store your iPhone or iPod while running at night.

Made by: Griffin Technology
Price: $39.99

Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Usability Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Reuse Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Build Quality Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

The LightRunner armband is about what you’d expect from a typical armband meant for running - at least a think, but I’m hardly an expert on running equipment - but it does offer a couple of useful features that could give it an edge. Mostly because of how it uses a protective layer to guard your iPhone or iPod from scratches while still letting you use the touch screen, and because it can light up to make nighttime jogs a bit safer.

It’s a pretty well-constructed band that keeps your device secure while also allowing access to the headphone jack if you need it. I feel it’s a bit on the bulky side, but seeing as it’s meant to fit 11 different kinds of smartphones (from the iPhone 5 to the Moto X) I’m not sure there’s much they could’ve trimmed off. It might take some getting used to, but it works.

A different and somewhat unexpected problem I had was actually getting the LightRunner onto my arm. It took some adjustments and in the end it managed to slip on without too much trouble, but only just - and my biceps are far from large. It should fit most users if they fiddle with the strap for a bit, although folks with larger than average arms could have some trouble. Once I managed to get it on it didn’t slip or shift - ditto when my wife tried it, and her arms are much smaller than mine - so there’s that.

I have to say though, it’s impressive how well the touch screen still works through the LightRunner’s protective layer of plastic. The plastic feels a bit thick and it doesn’t sit snugly over my iPhone 5, but it picks up touch incredibly well regardless. It even works with an iPod’s selection wheel. Turning on the built-in LED warning lights is also quite easy. All you do is press a button on the side of the band and you’re good to go. You can also press the button a second or third time to make the lights blink or blink at a slower rate, respectively. And if you ever need to change the battery it’s a simple matter of peeling back a velcro cover on the underside of the strap, popping off the battery door, and swapping out the old CR2032 with a fresh one. No screwdriver required.

I wouldn’t say the LightRunner armband is essential, but it is a pretty useful way to tote your iPhone or iPod around during a run and the LED lights certainly help make you more noticeable early in the morning or late at night.

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