Hands-on Gear Review

CSX Simple Walking 3D Review

CSX Simple Walking 3D
Top Pick Award
Price:  $22 List
Pros:  Simple, large display
Cons:  No data storage, no distance measurement
Bottom line:  The simplest product in our test delivered remarkable accuracy with an excellent high visibility screen.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
% Accuracy:  99.6
Battery Life:  Approx. 1 year
Tracks Distance in addition to steps?:  No
Manufacturer:   CSX

Our Verdict

The CSX Simple Walking 3D is a uniquely simple product. In a field in which manufacturers try to cram in more and more functions while miniaturizing their devices to the max, this device counts your steps and nothing more. Steps are tracked on a large LCD screen that is simple to read. When you want to start over from zero — reset the device. Period. No app, no memory, no derived information like distance or calories. Just raw data. The user then does with that data what he or she wants.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Pedometers of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Friday
November 11, 2016

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The Simple Walking 3D stands out for its simplicity, in a field of ever more complicated products. In general, most consumers accept the additional complications of products because of the advantages of data storage and comprehensive information collected. However, many are looking for the absolute most straightforward step counter. For those, this pedometer is the perfect product. It counts steps, and nothing more.

It doesn't sync with your smartphone, it doesn't distract you with other games or numbers, nor does it confuse one day's progress with another. It simply counts steps, until you reset the count to zero. You get to decide when to reset, you get to choose what is an appropriate goal, and you get to keep track of your progress toward that goal, on a long-term basis. The display is large and clear and turns off for battery preservation when not in use. Simple products deserve simple reviews. If you are a spartan step counter, the CSX is for you.

Performance Comparison


A walk in the woods should be simple. Tracking your steps can be simple too. The CSX is a super simple tool for quantifying the number of steps taken. Period.
A walk in the woods should be simple. Tracking your steps can be simple too. The CSX is a super simple tool for quantifying the number of steps taken. Period.

Data Management


If all the products we reviewed were like the CSX, we wouldn't even have "data management" as a category. The CSX doesn't manage data as much as it simply counts. It starts with one step and keeps going until you reset it. There is precious little data to manage. Users of the Simple Walking 3D will choose it for its simplicity. All you want to know is How many steps have I done today? Or this week, or this month? Nothing more, nothing less.


For those that want to watch long-term trends or share their progress with their social networks, the app-enabled devices like the Fitbit Flex 2, Bellabeat, or FitBit Zip Wireless are better choices. If you don't want to use a smartphone but do want to watch at least a few days of data at a time, the other Best Buy winner Ozo Fitness SC2 will do exactly that for you, right on the device. The Omron Altiva Optimized captures and saves the most recent seven days of information, deleting the oldest as it adds a new day.

The large print LCD display on the CSX is by far the easiest to view and interpret of any product we reviewed.
The large print LCD display on the CSX is by far the easiest to view and interpret of any product we reviewed.

Depth of Data


The CSX and its look-alike 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter have the simplest suite of data collected in our entire review. They count steps and only steps. As a contrast with our other Top Picks, the Fitbit Flex 2, Bellabeat LEAF and Spire, the CSX is ridiculously simple. The Bellabeat records steps, distance, sleep, breathing, and, via user entered fields in the app, mood, and other unique information. The CSX only captures steps.


The Simple Walking is one of the simplest electronic products one could purchase. It is an accelerometer, a battery, and a large easy-to-read screen. The step count is clear and uncluttered. This is not for everyone, but it may be for you.

The back of the CSX device. The "Reset" button is the entirety of the interaction with the data. You let the step count accumulate until you want to reset it. It's a long press on the button to reset  and we never had any problems with the information resetting inadvertently.
The back of the CSX device. The "Reset" button is the entirety of the interaction with the data. You let the step count accumulate until you want to reset it. It's a long press on the button to reset, and we never had any problems with the information resetting inadvertently.

Accuracy


We noted above that the CSX and 3DFitBud products are very similar. They could be the same, except in branding, housing color, and tested accuracy. In our objective, head-to-head testing, however, the CSX was much more accurate. Over a 0.25-mile track lap, repeated, we found only 00.4 percent error. That means that for our lead tester taking exactly 500 steps in one iteration and 498 in another, over that 400 meters, the CSX recorded 500 and 502 respectively. With variation in both walking stride and stepping rhythms, this accuracy is remarkable. In years of testing pedometers and fitness trackers, no device has been as accurate in this test as the CSX Simple. When looking at products for our simplicity Top Pick, the and 3DFitBud are remarkably similar, except in accuracy. It is in terms of accuracy that the CSX edges ahead.


Ease of Use


There could not be an easier pedometer to use. Setup is as simple as pulling a protective plastic strip from the battery compartment and begin walking. It takes more time to open the package than it does to get working. And then there is only one button on the entire device. That button simply resets the step count to zero. Press and hold (we never inadvertently reset the step count during weeks of testing) the reset button for this zeroing, and you are good to go for the duration. The on-device screen of the CSX is also the largest in our test. It is easily readable to the naked eye, and the LCD display works with or without glasses and is visible in broad daylight as well as in lower light situations. Even polarized sunglasses do not compromise the view of this proven and efficient screen design.


Portability


There are larger products in our test, and there are smaller products. The CSX is so small as to be virtually invisible in your pocket. All these small products are eminently portable. The size of the CSX is well worth the large display.


The one drawback to the CSX is its lack of a clip. If you want to keep your pockets entirely uncluttered or wear clothing without pockets, you cannot easily clip on the CSX. In these cases, you must wear it around your neck or wrist with a lanyard. This is less ideal than the diverse carry options of the Bellabeat Leaf or the secure clip of the 3D TriSport.

While the CSX is relatively bulky  it's rounded profile slides easily into the tightest of pockets.
While the CSX is relatively bulky, it's rounded profile slides easily into the tightest of pockets.

Best Applications


It's a great choice for someone new to step counting and someone who doesn't want to be tied to a smartphone or a user's manual. We've said it already and will say it again — this is the absolute simplest pedometer we've ever used. A patient, self-motivated person will find the basic step count to be all he or she needs to monitor and inspire healthful movement. The CSX will do exactly what many need, and nothing more.

Value


For simplicity and accuracy, there is no better value. In absolute terms, there is no better deal in our test. This is one of the least expensive product we reviewed this time around. For another $7 you can get quite a bit more data captured and stored in the Ozo Fitness SC2, which earned this product our Best Buy Award. The CSX is a specialized product for the niche user, all at an excellent price.


The battery and device  with a US quarter dollar for scale.
The battery and device, with a US quarter dollar for scale.

Conclusion


This device is essentially the same as the 3DFitBud, except for the accuracy in our testing regimen. Both of these are uniquely simple and clear. The easy-to-use interface and large screens lend these devices great utility to those who are looking for the most basic motivation and organization of their activity.

Jediah Porter

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Most recent review: November 11, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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1 star: 0%  (0)


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