Striiv smart-pedometer review: a pocket dynamo that beats most fitness trackers

The humble pedometer was probably the first fitness technology gadget, and it remains a good way to track the number of steps you take. For the average person, any tool that encourages them to track their activity and then work on building up more fitness work, is a good thing. Now though, the Striiv smart pedometer has come along, giving the humble pedometer a 2013 make-over. Here is the BurnTech.TV Striiv review.

Striiv effectively enters the highly competitive activity tracker space. 2013 has been a big year in this area, with big boy manufacturers like Nike competing against upstart tech focussed start-ups. Any new product entering this space needs to do a bit more than act as a piece of fitness jewellery and count steps. So what are Striiv brining to the table?

There’s a number of things that I immediately like about this product. For a start, it offers an immediate feedback loop. I’m an avid gym-goer and I whilst I don’t really count walking a few blocks as exercise, I do like to get my hands on any fitness data immediately. A non-functional price of rubber on my wrist doesn’t satisfy, but Striiv does. The reason why Striiv is so effective here is because it comes with a two-inch display. This is used to detail real-time feedback, which is a great touch. No need to hook up to your computer or be on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to get your data.

The second thing I like about this product is that it is discrete. I have spoken before about my dislike for garish rubber bands. I can live with them on a weekend, but it doesn’t fit in the office. It’s a little like folks who walk to work wearing a suit and running shoes – it just doesn’t tally and does not look cool. Striiv on the other hand can be placed in a pocket, or generally just hidden away.

In terms of data gathered, Striiv fits right in with the crowd. In truth, there’s only so much data that such a product can gather, and they are all there now. So you’re going to get feedback on how far you walked, how steps you took, how many stairs you climbed and your minutes of daily activity. All noteable but not especially noteworthy.

However, Striiv have found a way around it, hence the ‘smart’ in the ‘smart-pedometer’. Striiv is another connected device, and as such there are apps which can boost its functionality. The apps focus thus far seems to be on social gamification around fitness. Take MyLand, an app that turns fitness into a social game, where you collect points that turn into gold as you get more active.

Then there are more fitness orientated apps, such as race app. This app adds a number of characters who you ‘race’, acting a bit like the rowing boat that you race on the rowing machine in the gym. It’s nifty and different, adding a layer of personal competition to an otherwise boring walk home.

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This smart-pedometer / activity tracker is not without its faults. We’re not talking about the most advanced product on earth, even in the relatively low tech activity tracker market. Take features like sleep tracking. It’s not overly accurate nor terribly useful, but nearly all trackers have it these days. Striiv though, does not.

However, it does do what it does well, and is a nice device to use. If you’re in the market for a functional, easy to use and discrete fitness tracker, then this is well worth a look.

What’s your take on the discrete nature of these devices? Do you mind the bracket design of products like the Nike Fuelband, or do you value the discretion that comes from the Striiv? Have your say in the comments below.