I usually don’t like running with headphones. But I started growing increasingly annoyed with GPS watches and the need for a specialized charger, for how long it takes them to lock up to a satellite and the fact that in more than one occasion I wasn’t able to sync my data with the PC after a run.

I also started listening to audiobooks while running on treadmill and after having listened to “The Martian” by Andy Weir, I was hooked.

Now when I run I load up Strava, put an audiobook in and go.

Tired of juggling the phone through my hands I decided to look for an armband. After reading countless and useless reviews on Amazon I bought one like the other million around. I used it once and immediately discarded it.

The fit on the arm was awful and it was impossible to actually action any function from the armband itself. Removing the phone and re-inserting it into the armbad was also a mission impossible.

While almost decided to give up, I stumbled upon the Annex Quadlock Armband.

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To cut to the chase – I really like it.

If you have an iPhone, or a limited list of Android devices, you can get a specific case (and a waterproof one, I’d recommend) that clips to both the armband and the universal bike kit. If you like me have an unsupported one (I have a Nexus 5), you’ll have to do with a little clip that you stick on your normal case.

Let me show you a couple of pictures, you’ll understand how it works easier than with words.

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To be honest, I bought a second case just to run with it – because I did not want the extra bulge of the “lock” on my normal case.

What you can now do, is to securely lock your phone to the armband by pushing on the lever and rotating your phone until it “clicks” in place. You can rest assured, it’s safe there. I reckon the only point of failure could be the glue of the sticker, but so far (a couple hundred miles) it does not seem to be giving at all.

The reason I like it though is that I can – by simply pushing on the lever again and twisting it back – remove the phone from the armband while running and check my stats. It’s back on the arm in a second.

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Now enter the second reason I like this system: I can put it on my race bike by simply clicking it on again. Pictures to follow, to show you.

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So – is it all great?

There are a couple of bad points, and here they are:

  • It is not cheap. The armband is $54.90 if bought with the universal adaptor (like mine) or approximately $70 (depending on the phone model) for the one with the actual case
  • If you don’t have a waterproof case (and there are no waterproof ones for the Nexus 5, for example) – you won’t be able to use it in the rain. And I love training in the rain.

These are in fairness only 2 points – but can be quite significant. I wouldn’t go back to a normal armband now that I have the Annex Quadlock, but I can understand other people be resistant to it, maybe just because of the price alone.

While this review is specifically for the running armband, I need to say this seems to be the best bike mount I have tried so far – so it has that going on for it too.

My recommendation: if you are not scared by the pricetag, buy it.

What do you use to run with your phone? Please share your experience in the comments !

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