Hands-on Gear Review

Omron Alvita Optimized Review

Omron Alvita Optimized
Price:  $27 List | $14.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, on-device data memory, comprehensive movement data
Cons:  No smartphone app or associated cloud data management
Bottom line:  The Omron is the most sophisticated device we tested that doesn’t have any sort of cloud or app connection.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Battery Life:  Information not available
% Inaccuracy:  0.8
Tracks Distance in addition to steps?:  Yes
Manufacturer:   Omron

Our Verdict

The Omron is the least expensive device in our test that stores data for later review. Although it is cheaper, the CSX Simple Walking 3D only captures step count until the user resets the count to zero. This award winner is as accurate as is necessary, and stores seven days of data for basic comparisons and motivation. If you want a clip-style stand alone pedometer, but are looking for a little more sophisticated data management and considerably more involved social and motivational interface, check out the Striiv Smart.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Friday
November 11, 2016

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This contender is nearly the best value pedometer in our review. It is a simple tool, with an easy interface and accurate data collection. On a matrix that combines data storage, data variety, and cost, the Alvita comes out high. It measures steps, extrapolates distance and calories consumed, stores this data on the device itself for seven days, and does so reliably and simply.

Performance Comparison


The Omron in an average female hand  for scale.
The Omron in an average female hand, for scale.

Data Management


This device is designed to display the time, the number of steps taken today, the time spent in more vigorous activity and the number of steps taken during that time, calories burned, and distance walked. It also shows this data for each of the seven previous days. The on-device only data management is simple and rudimentary. That may be exactly what you are looking for.


Luddites and non-smartphone users will appreciate the one-device simplicity of this award winning pedometer. If you are on a budget but looking for the more robust data management of an app linked platform, check out our other Best Buy award winner, the Jawbone Up Move. The Jawbone is a little more expensive and doesn't have any real usable data on the device itself, but it is an affordable entry to the Jawbone app experience. Many users have grown to love the Jawbone app and associated organization and motivational attributes therein. Again, in closing, this contender is simple and exclusive to one device. Many will appreciate that.

The step count is the main feature of the Omron. We only wish the screen were larger  like that on our Top Pick winning CSX Simple Walking 3D.
The step count is the main feature of the Omron. We only wish the screen were larger, like that on our Top Pick winning CSX Simple Walking 3D.

Depth of Data


This pedometer captures a surprisingly robust suite of information, given its budget price. With steps, distance, calories, time, and an "aerobic activity" feature, it is the most feature-rich of the non-app linked devices. It is important to note how the various data fields are generated and derived. Step count is a function of the body's rhythmic stepping motion as captured by a digital, movement-sensing accelerometer and interpreted by digital algorithmic processing. Distance is a function, in the case of the Alvita, of user entered stride length times steps taken.


Other products use a population-wide average step length to approximate distance. Interestingly, in terms of distance accuracy, there seems to be no appreciable difference between the products that use a population average and those, like the Alvita, that use user-entered stride length. That could be a function of the average height of our lead test editor and dedicated accuracy tester. We have not done extensive testing of the accuracy of distance measurements with people of different stride lengths. The aerobic activity field in the display evaluates the vigor of one's activity and records the amount of time the user spends at or above a certain, undefined, threshold. Calorie count is derived from user entered height and weight combined with daily activity estimates as derived from the step count and aerobic activity information. The time field is a simple digital 12-hour clock.

Calories burned is one of the data fields of the surprisingly comprehensive data set captured by the Alvita.
Calories burned is one of the data fields of the surprisingly comprehensive data set captured by the Alvita.

Portability


The Alvita comes equipped to be clipped to a belt or leashed to a pocket. The pocket clip is secure, and the included leash can back it up. Omron also indicates that pants or chest pocket carry is appropriate. In our testing, the buttons were somewhat easily pushed and dislodged when carried in the pocket. While the visible fields of data would change with these pocket calls, we never had data inadvertently cleared nor changed in this configuration. If you choose to carry it loose in your pocket, perhaps it is best to do so in a pocket with no keys, phone, nor wallet there to inadvertently push buttons.


If you are looking for a smaller device, the FitBit Zip Wireless is about half the size and also has a fair amount of data on the device itself. The Fitbit can also be synced with a smartphone app to allow the user even more in-depth access to information.

The Omron  as clipped to the bra of one tester. This is an okay carry method  and is great for fitness fashion that may not have pockets.
The Omron, as clipped to the bra of one tester. This is an okay carry method, and is great for fitness fashion that may not have pockets.

Accuracy


This pedometer has an average error percentage of .8 percent. This is near the very top of our tested devices. Only the Top Pick CSX Simple Walking 3D was more accurate. When comparing accuracy, consider that most users will use this device to compare one day to the next. If each day the pedometer is off by similar amounts, the comparison is still valid. While the accuracy of the step count and distance estimation was great, our tested device never reliably recorded or displayed the claimed aerobic activity. According to the instruction manual, the Alvita is supposed to separately count aerobic steps. If the user is walking more than 60 steps per minute or continuously walking for more than 10 minutes, the aerobic recording is supposed to kick in. We recorded aerobic steps in some instances while similar activity at other times didn't register.


Ease of Use


The basic and clear instruction manual walks the user through the few steps required before the unit will begin recording information. It took each of our testers fewer than five minutes to measure stride length and enter relevant data. Once configured, the Omron is clear and easy to interpret. The three buttons are clear and simple, while each data field is readily interpretable.


Best Application


If you don't want to carry a smartphone, or just want something simple, this is an excellent choice.
The Omron  inside a tight jeans pocket. It is a little bulky for this sort of carry. It is more comfortable without the removable clip.
The Omron, inside a tight jeans pocket. It is a little bulky for this sort of carry. It is more comfortable without the removable clip.

Value


With a bargain basement price, included battery, and basically reliable function, this device is an excellent value. It is marginally more accurate than the rest of the field, and is easy to carry. As compared to the similarly-priced, Top Pick Award-winning CSX 3D, the Omron has more functions and more memory, but the numbers are displayed much smaller.
The Omron  clipped to a tester's belt.
The Omron, clipped to a tester's belt.

Conclusion


Omron brings its experience in manufacturing medical and industrial monitoring equipment to this simple piece of consumer electronics. Other products in our field come from dedicated activity tracking companies and are marginally more consumer friendly as a result.
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:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
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2 star: 0%  (0)
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