Omron Alvita Optimized Review
Cons: No smartphone app or associated cloud data management
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Alvita is almost the best-valued pedometer in our review. This budget-oriented pedometer is as accurate as is necessary, and stores seven days of data for basic comparisons and motivation.
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 need.
Luddites and non-smartphone users will appreciate the one-device simplicity of budget-minded pedometer. Many users will enjoy the simplicity and affordability of this device to count their steps and monitor activity.
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. With the Alvita, as with most distance-counting pedometers, it is a function of user-entered stride length multiplied by 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, which 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.
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. The Omron Alvita 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 neither 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 an empty pocket without your keys, phone, or wallet there to inadvertently push buttons.
If you are looking for a smaller device, the FitBit Zip is about half the size and also has a fair amount of data on the device itself. The Zip Wireless can also be synced with a smartphone app to allow the user even more in-depth access to information.
This pedometer has an average error percentage of 0.8 percent. This is near the very top of our tested devices. Only the Top Pick CSX Simple Walking 3D was more accurate, though the Best Buy 3D TriSport was comparably accurate to the Alvita.
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 to set it up. It took each of our testers fewer than five minutes to measure stride length and enter relevant data. Once configured, the Omron Alvita is clear and easy to interpret. The three buttons are clear and simple, while each data field is readily interpretable.
If you don't want to carry a smartphone, crave something simple, or are shopping on a budget, the Omron Alvita is an excellent choice.
With a bargain basement price, an included battery, and 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 Alvita has more functions and more memory, but the number display is much smaller — making the screen slightly more challenging to read.
Omron brings years of experience in manufacturing medical and industrial monitoring equipment to produce 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 and Mary Witlacil