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Best Pedometer Watch (and Wearable) Review for 2017

A quality walking routine needs a quality pedometer.

In this article I focus on helping you find the best pedometer for 2017.

Regardless of your level of fitness, walking every day can have a significant positive impact on your health, energy levels, fitness and overall happiness.

Daily walks are one of the most important habits you can develop, because they influence many other positive habit changes.

If you are going to start a walking routine, chances are you will want to get a pedometer to accurately track your steps, miles, kilometers, floors and calories. Plus, you might want a wide assortment of other features that are offered with modern pedometers.

This pedometer review will show you the best pedometers based on what “type” of person you are. 

What is the best pedometer for 2017?

Don't have time to read the entire review?  Then check out our picks for each of the four major categories of pedometer...

Pedometer Brand

Perfect For

Our Rating

Best Overall

Multi-Purpose

Bargain Hunter

Best Looking

How do Pedometers Help with the “Walking Habit”?

  1. Every step counts. While getting specific, purpose driven, exercise is essential. All minutes walking around your house and work do begin to add up. Pedometers encourage walking extra distances. Such as parking your car far away to get a few extra steps.
  2. Walking for distance is inaccurate.The only  purpose o a pedometer is to count your steps. When walking for distance, different people have a different strides and walking (or running) speeds.  Therefore X calories burned in a mile is a very inaccurate gauge.
  3. Pedometer uses accelerametors to measure movement, which gives you a “step count” that can be used to accurately track your movement based fitness.
  4. Most pedometers come with an altimeter, so it can tell if you are going up an incline, going downhill or over a perfectly flat surface. This is essential for any pedometer that measures calories burned over time.
  5. With some pedometers, measuring steps, distance and calories is all they do, while others have a handful of additions that can be used to “gamify” your walking experience, as well as many options to export the data to all sorts of cool fitness apps and interfaces. This is really where all the differences in the pedometers come into play.

In this article I have broken the “best pedometers” into four distinct categories.

The Four Types of Pedometer Reviews

(Sidebar: This is a long review. To make it easy to follow, I have include links that “jump” directly to the type of pedometer you might want.)

For the Cheapskate: I don’t mean anything, “bad” by the word cheapskate. There is nothing wrong with wanting to save a few bucks. The Omron Series of pedometers a simple and  effective, pedometer. It is consistently rated as one of the top pedometers around.

Jump to OMRON PEDOMETER REVIEW

For the Techie: The best Pedometer for those who love their electronic “toys” has to be the Fitbit. Like most techie toys it comes in various shapes and styles to suit your needs. I cover them all in this pedometer review: the Fitbit One/Flex/Zip.

Jump to FITBIT PEDOMETER REVIEW

For the Multi-Tasker: Watches are a great multi-tasking item. Not only do they tell time and act as a piece of jewelry, but these days they can do a lot more.  Add a walking/running pedometer to the list of things that a snazzy watch can do. I cover one of the best rated and most popular pedometer watches in this section.

Jump to PEDOMETER WATCH REVIEW

For the Gamer/Social Addict: Those that love to socialize with other electronically, play online social games, or just like to make normal things into fun challenges will be enamored with the Striiv.

Jump to STRIIV PEDOMETER REVIEW

OMRON PEDOMETER REVIEW:

Because sometimes simple is best

The Omron series of pedometers are generally the highest quality of the lower end of the pedometer price curve for the pedometer market.

Omron Alvita pedometer are fully functional, built to last and will generally give you all the information you need from a pedometer. They only thing they “lack” is a few of the extra bells and whistles from other entries on this pedometer list.

Omron Alvita Series Comparison Chart

Omron HJ-320

Basic Alvita Pedometer

Omron HJ-321

Tri-Axis Alvita Pedometer

Omron HJ329

Alvita Ultimate Pedometer

Omron HJ-323

Alvita USB Pedometer

Omron HJ-327T

Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker

Steps

X

X

X

X

X

Aerobic Steps

X

X

X

X

Distance

X

X

X

X

X

Calories Burned


X

X

X

X

Wireless






X

Display Memory

7 Day

7 Day

7 Day

7 Day

7 Day

Device Memory




22 Day

14 Day

Resets 12 AM

X

X

X

X

X


Most of the items on this list are multi-functional. They are pedometers and…. something more. But this very popular pedometer isn’t.

It has one purpose and one purpose only.  The Omron is a highly accurate pedometer that gives you step counts, time, distance, and in most models: calories/fat grams burned. If you want to keep things simple, this pedometer does them really well.

Many of the less expensive pedometers fail because they are spring activated. They may be fairly accurate for large movement swings, so they work well for running, but they fail to accuracy track steps when it comes to walking.

The Omron Altiva Pocket Pedometers have Tri-Axis technology which makes making this pedometer accurate no matter what position it’s in, and therefore highly accurate in tracking steps and distance.

(Note: All of the items on this list use accelometers for that reason: they are much more accurate.)

This simple, but accurate pedometer has the advantage of its simplicity, the small size and relatively low cost. Of the inexpensive models of pedometer, it is the best.

Learn more about the Omron Altiva Pocket Pedometer

FITBIT PEDOMETER:

The Best Pedometers

It is my opinion that Fitbit makes the most reliable, accurate and cool pedometers around. They have all the flavors of activity trackers that you could desire. They have watches, bands, clip on pedometers, and tiny activity trackers. They are also great for the multi-tasker since in conjunction with the Fitbit app, they do quite a bit more than just count steps.

For years I only used the  Fitbit One. This clip on version of the Fitbit has been reliable, sturdy and everything I could ask for. I highly recommend it if you want your activity tracker in a clip on design.

For testing purposes I bought both the Fitbit Blaze and the Fitbit Charge 2. Both of these watches added lots of bells and whistles to the basic Fitbit One… but they also cost a little bit more money. I really liked both of these new offers, and it was tough to decide between the two. The Blaze looked a little bit fancier, but the Fitbit Charge 2 had just about all of the functionality of the Blaze but was about 60$ less expensive. This makes the Fitbit Charge 2 my Favorite overall choice… by the narrowest of margins.

Best Pedometer for 2017: FitBit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2: The Fitbit Charge is the latest and greatest release from the folks at FitBit. It replaces the old Charge HR and the Charge basic, with added features and decreased cost. This is probably why the Charge 2 is Fitbit's #1 seller. 

Features of the Bestselling 2017 Fitbit Charge 2 Pedometer Watch

  • Large OLED screen
  • Tap display
  • Reminders to Move
  • Guided Breathing Sessions
  • Multi-Sport Tracking
  • Call, Text & Calendar Alerts
  • Auto Sleep Tracking
  • Automatic Exercise Recognition
  • Customizable Clock Faces
  • Long Battery Life
  • Reminders to move

==>> See more about the Fitbit Charge 2

Versions of the Fitbit Activity Tracker

Fitbit Model

Zip
One
Flex
Charge 2

Steps

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Calories

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Distance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Clock

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Sleep Tracker

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Silent Wake Alarm

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Floors Climbed

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-tracker support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Wireless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Battery/Charge lasts

6 months

Two Weeks

5 Days

7-10 Days

Active minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exercise Recognition

No

No

No

Yes

Multi-sport

No

No

No

Yes

Continuous Heart Rate

No

No

No

Yes

Caller ID

No

No

No

Yes

Text Notifications

No

No

No

Yes

Music Control

No

No

No

No

GPS Tracking

No

No

No

No

Style

Clip On

Clip on

Wristband

Wristband


Fitbit Model

Alta
Charge HR
Surge
Blaze

Steps

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Calories

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Distance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Clock

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sleep Tracker

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Silent Wake Alarm

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Floors Climbed

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-tracker support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Wireless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Battery/Charge lasts

4-5 Days

4-5 Days

7 Days

5 Days

Active minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exercise Recognition

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-sport

No

No

Yes

Yes

Continuous Heart Rate

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Caller ID

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Text Notifications

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Music Control

No

No

Yes

Yes

GPS Tracking

No

No

Yes

No

Style

Wristband

Wristband

Watch

Watch


FitBit Apps: Getting the most from a Pedometer

What each model of Fitbit can do on its own is only part of what set's Fitbit above most other pedometers.

Fitbit has its own website where you can keep charts and graphs of your activity. You can use this to completely monitor your activity, keep track of weight loss and even interact with other users, if you so desire.

Fitbit also syncs with just about everything. You can update via your cell, or any bluetooth device, and it will upload your tracking data. You never have to upload the data, it will do that automatically.

The Fitbit also works well with a variety of mobile apps: SparkPeople, Lose It!, MyFitnessPal, and MapMyFITNESS. Basically, any fitness and weight loss app that accepts outside information will sync with the Fitbit.

What functionality does the Fitbit app add to your Pedometer?

The Fitbit app, along with a mobile device or desktop allows syncing and display of all data from your activity tracker.  It also allows you to sync, import or hand enter a lot of other data. Giving you nice graphic displays that can help you discover all sorts of trends in your activity, sleep and eating patterns.

  • Track and display sleep patterns
  • Track and display all steps and exercise
  • View total displays for calories, steps, distance and active minutes
  • Keep track of total food and calorie intake
  • Connect multiple Fitbit devices to a single account
  • Challenge family and friends
  • Measure  hydration
  • Set and meet weight loss goals
  • Discover new fitness facts in active forums
  • Meet new friends
  • Exercise and activity calendar
  • Use your activity to help others (with fitforgood)
  • Get new badges for achievements

Oddly enough the last one, though a bit silly, is one I always got a lot of encouragement from. I would get jazzed to see new badges appear as my distance, steps and climbs increased. They are silly.. but fun.  The image here is a lifetime achievement I just got and am quite proud of, the Russian Railway Badge: 5,772 miles walked with the pedometer.Russian Railway Fitbit Badge-250

Badges:

  • Goals
  • Daily Climb
  • Lifetime Climb
  • Fitforgood Badges
  • Stair Badges
  • Step Badges
  • Lifetime Distance Badges

==>>  Check out the Fitbit Charge 2 pedometer

Fitbit Flex: The Fitbit Flex is a FitBit One internally, and has a similar set of features, but it’s designed to clip to a pocket, shirt, belt or pants pocket.  It also comes with a wristband easy portability.

The Flex is completely waterproof, so you can wear it in the shower or swimming at the beach. It comes in two basic colors, but there is an assortment of colorful bands to “fit” your unique personality.

==>> See more about the Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Zip: The Fitbit Zip is the least expensive model that only lacks the sleep tracker and altimeter.

The FitBit Zip has the nice benefit of running on a battery.

The Fitbit One has a charger that runs off of your PC. In this day and age of tablets, some people do not want to start up a PC or laptop to charge their Fitbit when its charge is running low. So for the battery option can be a nice addition for those who want a more mobile lifestyle.

The Fitbit Zip is about half the price of the other FitBit models with the majority of the options.

==>>  See more about the Fitbit Zip

SWISS ARMY PEDOMETERS: A watch, a pedometer and a stylish jewelry, and a whole lot more.

Withings Activite Digital Pedometer/Analog Watch Hybrid

In all of my research, I found a lot of good pedometer watch options. People like watches and people like pedometers, and like peanut butter and chocolate, the two go well together.

One thing that was lacking in the pedometer watch market was a watch that looked as good as many classy analog watches. No matter how good looking a watch is, a display simply does not look as good as hour and minute hands ticking around a clock-face.

The Withings pedometer watch takes a step forward, by taking a step backwards. Mixing analog watch elegance with digital pedometer watch functionality, we finally have a watch that can be worn anywhere, any time.

There is actually a lot of ingenuity built into in this pedometer watch.  The folks Withings took what we know about pedometer watches and changes everything.

  1. This watch is water resistant up to 150 ft. The most of any pedometer watch.
  2. No charging, docks or cables needed. This pedometer watch runs off a standard watch battery.
  3. Automagically starts tracking  exercise, and you can see status at a glance.
  4. Has sleep tracking and a gentle vibration alarm.
  5. Synchronizes with Smart Phone.

==>> See the Classy Withings Activite’ Watch /Sleep Tracker/Heart Rate Monitor

Fitbit Blaze. The hot new pedometer watch

As I write this the Fitbit Blaze has not yet been released, but I have already preordered one. (Release date is 15 March 2016).  This new pedometer watch has a lot going for it.

First of all, I think it looks fantastic. Looking simply like a nice elegant watch. In addition to the elegant watch face, there are quite a few optional bands for this bad boy, so that you can really make it a watch for all occasions, from a fancy leather band to classy metal links.

All the major features are listed on the Fitbit comparison chart above, but there are quite a few more. Below are some of these nifty new features.

Pure Pulse Heart Rate: Helps you track your activity throughout the day.  Follwoing your pulse will let you know how much time you spend at peak, optimal and fat burning zones during your exercise.

Connect to Fitstar: Your online personal trainers at Fitstar can check out your stats and even give you real life training in your workout sessions with a mobile device connection.

Connect to GPS: Fitbit Blaze can connect to GPS through your phone. This can give you updates of the routes you run and your pace. The Fitbit app can save a large history of your routes, stats and paces.

Smart Track: With Smart Track you do not need to remember to log in your workout routines. Smart track will notice the elevated heart rate and log in the workouts on its own.

Numerous Clock Faces: The Fitbit Blaze pedometer is not limited to the pictured clock face. This pedometer watch has numerous choices to choose from.  Making this clock face look like whatever you desire.

Long Battery Life: One of the problem of many of the pedometer watches is that they have relatively short battery lives. When the iPhone watch came out, I bought one of those, thinking I cold use this as my activity tracker. While iPhone may get a some better battery life in the future, I feel the short battery life now makes it fairly useless as an activity tracker. It is far better to use something purpose built for the job.

Text, call and calendar alerts: The Fitbit Blaze gives you all sorts of notifications on your watch screen. If they are important they can be dealt with on your mobile device. If they are not important, simply swipe to get rid of the notifications and go about your day.

==>> See more about the Fitbit Blaze

Striiv:

Making Walking Fun Since 2012

Motivation is not always easy to come by.

Some people can get up each and every morning and feel the drive to get their daily exercise in.

For others it is a chore.

Those in the first group don’t need something to make it fun, but for those in the latter group, the Striiv might be the perfect pedometer.

Like all the Fitbit models, the Striiv will give you calories burned, steps, and distance.  Plus it updates this information online for you to track and follow. But if that is ALL you want, the Fitbit is smaller, sturdier and is a better option.

What the Striiv has is multiple levels of gamification. Which is to say that it strives to do is to turn your exercise, walking, and fitness into a rewarding experience.

Striiv ChallengesPoint, goals and awards. Striiv makes exercise a game in many ways. It gives points for a variety of mini goals and awards you on everything from walking off a cupcake to climbing the Statue of Liberty and Mt. Everest. This can be great encouragement because it brings out the competitive edge.  “I only need 1,457 steps to my next level.  I have to push on!”

Charity with Striiv PedometerCharitable Walking. Striiv will also help you do your part for charity. When you reach certain pre-determined goals, Striiv and their corporate partners will donate to charity in your name.  All you have to do is get out and walk.

Social Striiving. With Striiv you can also connect with friends and challenge them, in real time, to things like a race across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Striiv Island Walking GameBuild your island. Striiv has something called, “Myland”. Myland is a mini-game fantasy island. You build this land and populate it with trees, houses and a wide variety of animals. In many ways it is much like popular social games like Farmville, Cityville, Dragonvale and the like. But this game is powered by one thing: movement.  The more active you are, the more you can build up your island the way you desire.

Striiv is all about encouragement and making the things you know you should do a little bit more enjoyable.

Learn more about Striiv

Hopefully, if you’re looking at pedometer reviews because you want to walk more, or are looking to improve your walking habit, or just looking to make walking more fun then you’ll find the quality pedometer you are looking ofr in this pedometer review.

Some of these pedometers are fancy, some make it a game and some provide detailed metrics.  But these tools are all worthless without your drive, spark and commitment to turn this activity into a daily habit.

So good luck to you and keep walking!

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A positive walking routine needs a quality pedometer. Here are some of the best pedometer reviews for 2016.

 

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