Inexpensive Mobile Device Suggestions for Zwift + Kickr?

Are any of you using an inexpensive (~$50) Apple or Android device that works with both Zwift and Wahoo Kickr apps?  If so, what device are you using?

I’m one of 4 people in the world that uses a Windows Phone as my daily driver, so that means I’m out-of-luck for using the Zwift and Wahoo mobile apps.   I’m considering buying an inexpensive mobile device (Apple/Android) just to use as a dedicated Zwift device (so I can give “Ride-On” to other riders!) but I could use some help picking a device.   Most Apple devices are quite expensive, so I’m thinking it’s going to have to be Android.

Things I’d like to be able to do with the device:

  • Update firmware on my Wahoo Kickr
  • Perform a spin-down calibration on my Wahoo Kickr
  • Use the Zwift mobile app along with the desktop app

ANSWER:

Both the Wahoo Fitness app and Zwift mobile app work on most* Android tablets and phones.  I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet and it works with both applications and is currently selling for about $125.  The large form-factor makes the Zwift application easy to touch and read as compared to a tiny phone screen.

 * The Wahoo Fitness apps wouldn’t download from the Google Play store on the Dell Venue 8 Android tablet I purchased.  A call to Wahoo confirmed that this tablet was incompatible with their apps, although they don’t know why.

I don’t have an inexpensive device to recommend but I can tell you from my personal experience of using both an iPhone 6 and an iPad Mini 3, I’d go with a tablet instead of a phone for the bigger screen and better battery life.

With the bigger screen, its easier to read and hit buttons while sweating for hours on the trainer and with the screen constantly on and using BT, the bigger battery in tablets means less constant charging.

 

Good points, Michael. 

Although Apple products are of top-notch quality, so is there price which means I’ll likely be looking at an Android tablet.  Therefore, can anyone recommend an inexpensive Android tablet that works with Zwift and Wahoo’s Kickr utility?

Hello Todd,

Not sure about the wahoo app but my $49 Samsung Core from Metro PCS runs the Zwift app just fine.

Hello Todd,

Not sure about the wahoo app but my $49 Samsung Core from Metro PCS runs the Zwift app just fine.

Thanks for the phone info, Jeff.  It looks like the Samsung Core Prime is $49 after mail-in rebate.  Hopefully the rebate doesn’t require one to be a Metra PCS subscriber.

Per Michael’s suggestion, I’m leaning more towards an Android tablet.  Best Buy has two on sale that I’m considering, both at $90:

I already have a Windows version of the Dell Venue and it’s a pretty nice tablet for the money.   Anyone have experience with using either of these with Zwift and the Wahoo Utility?

I ordered the Dell Venue 8 listed above.  I figure if it doesn’t work, I can return it to local Best Buy.  I’ll report back as to whether or not it meets all my needs.

I got the Dell Venue 8 today.  The good news is that Zwift works well on the tablet and the display is nice and large, making it easy to use.

The bad news is that the Wahoo Kickr apps can’t even be downloaded to the Venue 8 and I have no idea why. 

Not that anyone cares, but I decided I’m going to return the Dell Venue 8.  It worked just fine on my ride tonight, but at the moment I don’t know anyone on Zwift and so it doesn’t make much sense for me to have one more electronic device connected for no good reason.  All my ride stats are already displayed on the main screen, leaving the rest of the Zwift mobile features purely for group chats, giving riders “Ride Ons”, etc.  All neat things, but all things I can do without.

I borrowed a friend’s iPhone 4s to update the firmware on my Wahoo Kickr and for me, the form factor of the iPhone is just too small for the Zwift application.  I can’t imagine trying to type into the group chats and the like on such a small device.  So I’m back in the market for a tablet that can do spindown calibrations on the Kickr and run Zwift.

I called Wahoo Fitness today to find-out if there are any Android tablets that are supported by their applications since the Dell Venue 8 apparently is not.  The support person said that unfortunately the Dell Venue 8 has some issue where it’s being blocked by Google Play to not be compatible with the Wahoo applications.  However, he also stated that the majority of Android tablets should work with the Wahoo applications.

Sooo… I’ve ordered a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 from Best Buy ($110) and I sure hope it works for both Wahoo Utilities and Zwift.  It should be here in a day or so. 

I received the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet today and it works perfectly with both the Wahoo Utility and Zwift apps on the Google Play store.  Problem solved!

Thanks for doing the leg work on this Todd. I have been using my phone but since I turned 50 I need a bigger screen:) The price is right too.

FYI, I just learned that I cannot update the firmware on my Wahoo Kickr using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 :-(  According to Wahoo’s tech support, a device needs to be running Android 5.0+ in order to upgrade the Kickr firmware using the Wahoo Utility app.   The Galaxy Tab 4 only has Android 4.4.2.

Ugh.  Back to the drawing board.