I like wearable tech… I think that’s abundantly obvious if you follow me on any social channels. Or have read this site. Or know me in person. Or all of the above. So when I was asked if I wanted to receive an Omron Alvita to review I was excited to take a look!
So this tracker is a small device that you can clip on to yourself, or simply drop it in your pocket. It doesn’t require you to wear it on your wrist like many trackers out there. But it’s also very simple, it doesn’t track sleep like some devices. No notifications or extra bells/whistles. This is essentially a souped-up pedometer.
That’s not to say it doesn’t do that well… it functions very well in that regard. It gathers your steps as you move about your day. It resets itself each night so you don’t have to push any buttons to clear out the previous day. And it uses Bluetooth to talk with an app on your phone where you can store charts/graphs of your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly progress. It gives you an estimate of calories burned and distance traveled while wearing it.
It comes with the battery and two different back covers. One cover has a clip and the other is just smooth for carrying it in your pocket. The backs are very easy to change out as needed.
And I would definitely recommend changing it out if you’re not clipping it on to yourself. The device is small, but the clip is huge. At least, it feels huge in relationship to the actual tracker. And it is a little uncomfortable if you catch the clip at the wrong angle. Another downside of the clip is that it doesn’t seem to open very wide so clipping it on is a little tough on denim or thicker fabrics.
The other quirk was getting the screen to display your steps taken. The instructions tell you to shake it 2-3 times, but it kind of takes a good violent shaking to get the screen to wake up. Once it’s awake it’s easy to just tap on the screen to cycle through your steps, calories, distance and time of day. If you just leave it alone the screen will turn off after about 20 seconds, but you can just rest your finger on the screen for 2-3 seconds and that will turn off the display.
It syncs to the OmronFitness app and that performed reliably in all of my testing. I tapped sync in the app and it connected right away. Using the app you can keep all of your historical data… unlimited amounts of data. The tracker itself only holds 14 days of data, but combined with the app you can see a broad range of how you are moving over time.
Tapping on any of the measurements in the app will open up an option to set a goal for it. So I tweaked this day and said my goal was 2000 steps just to see what it would do. Every step beyond the goal level was highlighted as yellow and I had a little medal hanging from the top as my reward for surpassing the goal. Hooray!
Wait… did I just advocate fudging your numbers?
I’d like to see the clip overhauled on future versions of this device, but I like the simplicity of the device. It works well and isn’t trying to deliver on too much. I think this would be a cool gift for someone who wants to move a little more and has a smartphone but isn’t necessarily a gadget-fiend. For a real data nerd or techie, it might be too basic to suit their taste!
Prices are all over the place online, on Omron’s own site it says the device is $45, but on Amazon you can snag it for $23. You can also find it in Walgreens stores.