Getting Started with the Striiv
You can use most of the features of the Striiv without syncing it to a computer. You need to sync to upload your walkathon donation credits. Syncing also allows you to upgrade the software, which keeps improving and adding new features.
The Striiv battery recharges by plugging the Striiv into an electrical outlet or computer USB port about once every two weeks. I used it for five days without plugging it in and the battery charge only decreased by about a quarter. It fully recharges in about an hour.
To get started, you'll enter basic info, such as your age, weight and stride length, which helps the Striiv calculate your calories and distance.
The Striiv is always counting your steps, but the screen goes dark to conserve energy if you haven't pressed a button in a few seconds. To wake it up, you press any of the three buttons -- the top power button, the home button or the back button. The home screen shows your step count at the top in big numbers (easy for aging eyes to read!) Swipe the top of the screen with your finger to scroll between data for total steps for the day, the equivalent stairs climbed, miles/kilometers, calories burned, and active minutes. You will also see your progress towards a daily challenge goal for each of these kind of data.
Below that are icons for the walkathon charity you have selected, a race flag to start a virtual race, and a MyLand animal. Tap any of these to get to the fun features of Striiv.
On the bottom row, you can see the time of day, the battery charge indicator, and a set of four squares which takes you to a screen where you can access your stats, trophies, settings and tutorials.
The tutorials are great. They include text tutorial and video/audio tutorials. You don't have to worry about losing the instruction manual -- it's built in.
- Easy to achieve, such as 200 steps in 15 minutes.
- Medium, such as seven minutes of movement in 25 minutes.
- Hard, such as exceeding your top mileage or top stair climbing mark today.
You can spin the wheel to find different challenges until you find one that is right for you. When you finish a challenge you earn extra energy points and you can go on to the next challenge whenever you wish. The challenges vary as to whether you are logging active minutes, steps, stair climbing, or distance. Some are long and some are short, so you can fit them in during a work break or set an all-day challenge as you wish.
Do you want to pace your walk? Join in a virtual race against one of three opponents -- Waddles, Sir Bacon, or Walkatron. I can easily beat Waddles with my strolling speed, but Walkatron had me really moving to stay ahead. It's not easy explaining to co-workers that you are racing a virtual pig as you powerwalk down a corridor. But show them the animated graphic and they will want to join in! If you have a friend with a Striiv, you can also race them and bet for prizes.
Do you want your walking to count for something? Select one of three charities and your walking steps will count towards donations. I've been earning polio vaccinations in India. The other two choices are to provide clean water and to conserve Tanzanian rain forest. Your charity donation credit gets uploaded when you sync the Striiv to a computer. It feels great to have my daily steps helping people.
For anybody addicted to a Farmville or Tamagochi type of game, the MyLand game built into Striiv can also keep you occupied. Your steps count towards energy in the MyLand game and you add plants and buildings to your virtual MyLand. These attract colorful animals that fly or stride around the screen. The graphics are fun and I've enjoyed building my MyLand. This is just one more way to encourage you to get in more activity each day, to earn those energy points and keep building your virtual paradise.
Stats and Trophies
The Charts screen shows you each of those in chart form for the past 5 days and for the past month.
The Trophies screen shows you trophies you earned today, all-time, and future ones you are working towards.
If you go online, you can see your stats for today, last full day, all-time, personal bests, and walkathon donations. You can also share any of those stats to Facebook or Twitter.
Social and Friends
If you have a friend with a Striiv, you can link up your Striivs to share data and compete with each other. You just have to get within 10 feet of each other and have both Striivs turned on and unlocked. Then your data will be shared and you can engage in a virtual race with each other. You also can get extra energy points by beating their average on any following day.
Bottom Line on the Striiv
The price is just below $100. I think it is worth the price, but some may find that too steep.
It is larger in size than many pedometers, so it can be clunky if worn on your waistband. But it stayed attached to my waistband with no problem, and you could carry it in your pocket or on a keychain if you prefer.
If you want to use a pedometer to only log steps during a walking workout, this one has no way to reset it to log only those steps, other than as part of a Challenge or Race.
You need a computer in order to upload the walkathon donations.
The fun graphics might be too fun for very serious adults.
It has multiple ways to motivate you and to challenge you to move. You have the Challenges, the Races, the Trophies, MyLand, Walkathon, Friends, and posting to Facebook and Twitter. Striiv really hits every way I can think of to inspire you to move. Maybe the only thing left for them to add are alerts if you haven't been moving for awhile.
I also like the ways it motivates you to move faster and increase your exercise intensity, with extra energy points for stairs or running. It is the most motivating pedometer I've seen besides the Nike+ FuelBand (which costs more and does less).
Striiv is a great pedometer to motivate you to walk more, walk faster, and have fun while doing it.
Striiv also debuted the Striiv Play Wireless Pedometer and App in late 2012 with many of the features of the original Striiv, but with a smaller pedometer that links to an app for playing the MyLand game and engaging in challenges.