Best Overall Pedometer
The Editors' Choice winner needs to be comprehensive, representative, and well-made. It needs to do all one would expect of the category, and then some. It needs to do so elegantly and cleanly. By these criteria, the FitBit One
was an easy choice for our highest honor in this particular category. It is the only product in the review that tracks steps, distance, and sleep while showing that information on both a smartphone app and on the device itself. Its accuracy is satisfactory, and the ease of use is well refined. The main drawback we found, as compared to the other products we assessed, is the need to periodically recharge the battery; the Fitbit One requires recharging about once a week. Beside the battery concern, which is admittedly minor, the FitBit One validates our overall scoring matrix by topping the charts. At first glance we liked it the most, and our scoring rubric brought it out on top. That is the way it should be.
Best Buy Award for Smartphone Users
Jawbone Up Move
Comprehensive data collection
Long battery life
The Jawbone UP Move
is a pedometer in the neo-classic definition of the term. It counts steps and distance, monitors sleep, and syncs that information with a smartphone app for organization and monitoring. It does all this at less than half the price of our Editors' Choice product, with arguably a better battery situation. The main drawback of the UP Move is that it does not allow the user to view data on the device itself. The only way to see your actual step count or distance is to sync to your phone, open the app, and look at your screen. In a world increasingly reliant on frequent and lengthy screen time, it is nice when one has the option to not consult your phone at any moment. Our highest scoring product has fairly comprehensive data viewable on the device itself, while the Jawbone cuts this out to hit a lower price point. If phone reliance is fine with you, the Jawbone Up Move is a good way to save some bucks.
Best Buy Award for a Self-Contained Unit
Omron Alvita Optimized
On-device data memory
Comprehensive movement data
No smartphone app or associated cloud data management
We granted two Best Buy winners. In the market for a budget pedometer there are two distinct camps. There are those that will want absolute simplicity, and there are those that will want comprehensive function and data management. For the former, there is the Omron. The Omron Alvita Optimized
is an entirely self-contained contender that tracks steps, distance, calories consumed, and a couple other categories. It stores this data for the most recent seven days. For many many users, this is all that is required and all that is desired. For the budget-conscious user looking for a comprehensive data collector that doesn't require a smartphone, we recommend the Omron.
Top Pick Award for Simplicity
CSX Simple Walking 3D
No data storage
No distance measurement
The market for pedometers is a broad one. There are technophiles living "the quantified life" that enjoy the process and technology of monitoring their activity as much as they like the health benefits of increasing that activity. On the other end are luddites that only want to know how much activity they have partaken in and how much more they should do. Those in this latter category will love the CSX product. The CSX Simple Walking 3D
the simplest pedometer we have ever tested. It counts steps, displays that count in large print, and does nothing else. The count accumulates until you want to reset it. That is all. Setup is super easy, the device is the most accurate in our test, and, while we didn't test it long enough to verify this, the LCD display and watch battery will work together to provide months of service between battery replacement intervals.
Top Pick Award for Women
Robust set of data captured
Fragile spring clip
No data displayed on device
The Bellabeat LEAF
is both the most specialized product in our test, and the most feature-laden. As a product both branded to women and a product whose defining characteristic is menstruation tracking, it is as gender-specific as a pedometer can be. This specificity eliminates half the population. In this category, however, the LEAF brings the greatest breadth of data. In addition to step count and distance, fairly standard categories, the LEAF and associated app monitor sleep, breathing, and menstruation while prompting the practice of meditation.