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SportBrain iStep X Pedometer


About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Updated July 06, 2012

The iStep X only displays the step count, to access the other stats requires an internet connection. It's successors, the X1 and X2 display distance, calories, etc. on the unit as well as uploading to see graphs and charts.
Note: as of September, 2011, the Sportbrain web site is not responding. Check sportbrain.com before buying a unit as you will not be able to enjoy its features if the web site is not active.

The SportBrain iStep Pedometer

The original Sportbrain had no step display, you had to wait until you uploaded it to the website to see what your step total was for the day. The SportBrain iStep X has a large step display, which you manually reset when you desire. But inside the SportBrain is tracking your steps over time and is always ready to upload to the SportBrain website so you can view your stats and graphs.

Size: The SportBrain iStep X is larger than most pedometers, 2 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches tall. That makes it a bit bulkier to wear, but for its features, I'll tolerate the bulk. It clips to your waistband with a plastic clip - and many users have reported the clip breaking, although they also report the company replaces the entire unit swiftly if that happens.

The iStep X comes with a safety cord but no clip - I guess you are supposed to provide your own safety pin. That seemed odd, so I stole the safety cord from another pedometer.

Noise: The iStep X clicks with each step. I do not find that annoying, it is not very loud.

Accuracy: Testing against a standard pedometer and on a known course, I found it to be quite accurate.

Uploading Your SportBrain Data

SportBrain Steps
The SportBrain iStep X comes with a USB cord. On first use, you download a program from the SportBrain web site, register your SportBrain, and set a few basic bits of information about yourself. Weight and height are needed to calculate your calories burned and your BMI. The set-up was simple with no hitches.

You can upload your data as often as you wish. You should upload at least once every 50,000 steps or every 5-10 days or some data may be lost. The USB cable makes it easy for you to travel with your iStep and upload from an internet-connected computer that has a USB port. However, it must be a computer you can download the SportBrain program into from the website. This is also convenient for using at both work and at home if you just can't wait to upload.

Costs: The iStep comes with a free Silver membership to the SportBrain web site. You can upgrade to a Gold membership to enjoy discussion forums, chat, clubs, and reward challenges.

My SportBrain

Your steps for the past two days are displayed, with a heart indicating how close you came to logging 10,000 steps a day. It also estimates your miles and calories and compares your achievements to those of other SportBrain users in your age group. You can export your steps to an Excel spreadsheet if you wish.

Your My SportBrain homepage also shows a bar graph of your steps for the past 7 days, compared with your age/gender group. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is also displayed.


Whenever you walk or run for 10 minutes or more, the SportBrain tracks that as a Sportivity and graphs your speed and distance and tells you calories burned and minutes. This was the feature that really sold me on the SportBrain - I love seeing my walking episodes graphed out with estimated speed and distance. You can add notes to each episode, noting location or weather or what shoes you were wearing - anything that strikes your fancy.

Still not enough data? Next we look at the "Sportfolio" page packed with even more information from your walking steps.

Next Page: SportBrain Graphs your Walks and Stats

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