After having tested the rower + base unit package for one week, I think it is a solid product.
1. The build quality is excellent. The design of magnet locks on the rower bar and the doubler plate is very well thought of. So, is the magnet at the back of the base unit.
2. Heat dissipation is good. The base unit isn't hot to touch after a 30 minutes workout session.
3. Adjustable foot plate
4. Seat can be locked in place after workout.
5. Most importantly, it is compact and light in weight (compared to other rowers in the market)
6. With the doubler, the base unit generates enough resistance for rowing. Though this area can be improved because I'm hitting the maximum resistance. I sweated profusely when I increased the pace of workout to 30 rows per minute.
7. The whole package just looks and feels like a well designed product. It looks nice.
8. Power data display on the computer. Though it can be disheartening to find out that I generated around 110 watts on average using the whole body. Cyclist with strong legs can do much better than that on a bicycle and I could only generate 110 watts on a rower with my whole body. Meh, so weak.
9. Base unit computer supports over the air update according to a record on Whipr instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/p/CQrqqqgsoz2/). Can't wait to see this in action when a new firmware is available.
Not so good, but not showstopper either:
1. The M10 **** on the L bracket of the rower arm has to be tightened after each session. On one of the longer rowing session, the arm wobbled and I noticed that M10 **** loosened so much that the L bracket was rocking up and down. I guess I didn't tighten it enough before the start of the session.
2. The join of the rail caused loud thunk during workout when the middle leg wasn't adjusted properly. Once adjusted properly, the noise was very minimal when the seat crossed the join.
3. I'm not sure if this issue was due to combination of the smooth floor surface and lack of grip of the stands of the rail, the whole rower moved gradually when I rowed. This wasn't an issue if the workout was short. But I had to stop to adjust the rower on a longer session to avoid bumping into wall due to the space constraint. This issue was mitigated when I placed the rower on top of yoga mat to create more grip, but that was not ideal because the middle leg of the rail punched a hole into the yoga mat.
The issues mentioned above are probably the tradeoffs for portability. If the rower accessories were designed as non-detachable fixed rail with more weight, then we probably won't noticed these issues. Again, none of these is showstopper.
1. In general, on longer workout sessions (>= 30 minutes), the Whipr app consistently uploaded faulty data on Strava. The time/distance would be skewed. Support acknowledged the issue and fix will be forthcoming
2. Whipr app couldn't sync workout session started from the base unit.
3. On one occasion, Whipr app failed to sync the workout session started from the app.
4. Projected time provided by the base unit computer was inaccurate and didn't make sense. When you rowed faster at the end of the workout session, the reported projected time would be shorter than elapsed time. Support acknowledged the issue and a fix will be provided.
Again, none of these is showstopper. Software bugs are to be expected during the launch of a new product. Most importantly, they can be addressed with over the air update.
Nice to have
1. Fixed rail in the future revision. Though, I'm content with the current revision and won't be forking money to buy a new one until it breaks down.
2. More resistance. Maybe a pro model can do that.
3. Ability to hook up to power supply in addition to battery supply. After one week of workout, I have drained 40% of the battery power. I may have to spare more batteries in the future even though AA batteries are cheap.
4. Firmware/software update to support chest strapped heart rate monitor. It will be nice to see heart rate data on Strava.