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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Battery Life:  Approx. 1 year
% Inaccuracy:  0.4
Tracks Distance in addition to steps?:  No
Manufacturer:   CSX

Our Verdict

The CSX Simple Walking 3D is a unique product. In a field in which manufacturers try to cram in more and more function and miniaturize their devices to the max, the CSX brings a unique large screen and very streamlined data set to the market. The Simple Walking 3D counts steps and displays that count on a large LCD screen. 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. For more direction and derivation, a product like the Bellabeat LEAF is a better choice. For simple step counting, look no further than the CSX.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Pedometers of 2017


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 simplest 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 decide 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 Jawbone UP Move 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 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 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. It is this polarized distinction that earns these two devices our respective Top Pick awards.


The Bellabeat and Spire get the award for their highly tuned set of data collected, while the CSX gets an award for absolute simplicity and commitment of task. The Simple Walking 3D 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 exactly 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 .25 mile track lap, repeated, we found only .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 people's walking stride and normal human stepping rhythms being variable, this accuracy is remarkable. In years of testing pedometers and fitness trackers, no device has been as accurate in this exact same test as the Simple Walking 3D. When looking at products for our simplicity Top Pick, the CSX 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 (and we had no problems in weeks of testing with the step count getting inadvertently reset) 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 Striiv Smart.

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


The Simple Walking 3D is 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 basically no better deal in our test. This is basically 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


The Simple Walking 3D is basically the same as the 3DFitBud, except for the accuracy in our testing regimen. Both of these are uniquely simple and clear. Their easy-to-use interface and large screen lend themselves great utility to the subset of the population looking for just 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
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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