Small and Stylish
The pedometer has a bright LED on-demand display and you can scroll through your total steps for the day, stairs climbed, distance, exercise calories burned, and exercise time. You only see the totals for the current day and it resets automatically at midnight. There is also a charging display and time of day. It recharges by plugging into a computer or power source with a USB cable. It needs recharging every three to four days.
Smart Phone App
Download the free Striiv app for iPhone, iTouch or iPad (iOS 5.0 or later). The app communicates with the Striiv Play via low-energy Bluetooth 4.0. The Bluetooth connection was seamless and easy and didn't require continuous relinking or telling it to synch. When you open the app, it automatically looks for the Play and syncs the data. Your friends who don't have the Play pedometer can still use the Striiv app with their phone's GPS function and compete with you in challenges.
What do you get, then, by buying the Play rather than just using the Striiv app? The app uses your device's GPS, so it drains battery power faster. GPS also won't work for treadmill steps and may not work inside buildings. You also don't get the stair counting feature with the app, as it relies on the altimeter in the Play pedometer. Also, the Striiv Play pedometer is tiny, sleek and easy to wear vs. carrying your cell phone all day.
Trophies and Stats
You also get energy bonus rewards and trophies for beating your daily average, burning a soda's worth of calories, walking far enough to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and besting your friends' averages and daily bests.
This is motivating and addicting. There is always another trophy you are just a couple of minutes away from achieving. "Just one more" you tell yourself. And for once, it isn't one more cookie, it's one more minute of activity, another flight of stairs, etc.
You can invite friends to get the app and join in playing via email, Facebook, or text message.
View your daily totals by week or by month with a bar graph for steps, stairs, distance, exercise time, and exercise calories. I thought this display was very simplistic and you can't see a within-day graph or see it broken down into moderate or vigorous intensity activity. The developers say that their target audience doesn't really value that sort of in-depth data. There is no tracking of specific workouts.
At the debut of this app, you can only view your trophies earned on the current day. I found that unsatisfying as I wanted to look back at previous days.
You can enter your weight on your Striiv Play and track it, earning energy points just for making entries.
Connect to MyFitnessPal
You can link your Striiv app with the MyFitnessPal app so it will update your activity calories burned on MyFitnessPal. You can track your diet with MyFitnessPal.
Playing the MyLand Game
With the Striiv Play, you build your MyLand on the phone app.
Differences Between Sriiv Play and Original Striiv
The original Striiv pedometer also allowed you to earn charity donations with your activity. At its debut, the Striiv Play and app do not have that feature. That's unfortunate because I found that very motivating. If you started a MyLand game with the original Striiv, you start all over again with the Striiv app.
Bottom Line on the Striiv Play
However, this is a not an activity monitor system for tracking moderate vs. vigorous activity, for sleep tracking, or for tracking specific workouts. Instead, its a fun tool to motivate you to increase your total daily steps. I found the mini-goals to be even more effective than aiming at a single big number such as 10,000 steps. Those little challenges sneak up on you and get you to the bigger goal before you know it.