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Pedometer Watches

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Updated May 29, 2014

Keep track of your walking steps, distance, calories burned and other data with these pedometer watches. They differ in whether they also have sports watch functions such as chronograph, countdown timer and alarms. Some track your steps continuously, while others require you to turn them on to begin recording steps, and they turn themselves off after a period of inactivity. Choose wisely to get the features you want for workouts only, for total daily steps, or for both.

1. Basis

Basis Health Tracker Watch
Basis ©
The Basis packs a lot into this health tracker watch. It shows you day, date and time with one button. Press another to see your steps and progress towards your daily goal, calories burned and total active time for the day. Press again to see your heart rate, which is being measured by sensors on the skin-side of the watch. If you walk, run or bike for more than 10 minutes, it records it as a workout and shows you the elapsed workout time. It's also measuring skin temperature and perspiration to get a very accurate measurement of your exercise intensity. It knows when you are sleeping, too. Basis transmits your data via Bluetooth to Andoid or iOS mobile devices or through a USB connector to PC or Mac computers. On the Basis dashboard and app, you set up habits to achieve such as "Don't be a sitter" and "Morning lap" to earn points and badges. The heart rate data is meant as a check only, not as minute-by-minute workout tracking. I found that it records fewer steps than my Fitbit and Polar Loop, so it is effective in editing out junk arm movements.
Review: Basis Health Tracker
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2. Nike+ FuelBand

Nike+ FuelBand SE 640
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
This ridiculously motivating activity monitor is worn as a bracelet to track total steps, and the SE update also allows you to track workout sessions. You can view the time of day with a press of the button. You also see your total daily steps and activity calories burned. It calculates a NikeFuel score as you go through your daily activities, and indicates your progress to your daily goal with colored LED lights. Reach your goal to set off a celebration on the FuelBand. Upload your data to a computer via USB connection and/or to an iPhone app via Bluetooth connection. You'll want to do that to see the NikeFuel cartoon do a happy dance. View graphs and totals of your daily steps online or with the app.
Review: Nike+ FuelBand SE
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3. Polar Loop

Polar Loop
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

The Loop is a stylish black band until you press the button. You can see the time of day, your total steps, total daily calories burned, and progress towards a daily activity goal. Then it has a motivating Activity display showing you how many more minutes you need of jogging, walking, or just being up to achieve the activity goal for the day. It links with an iOS app via Bluetooth Smart or with PC and Mac computers via a USB cable. But its secret sauce is that it can also pair with Polar's Bluetooth heart rate monitor straps and you can track your workout heart rate on the Loop as well as with apps. Online and in the app you can see full details for your daily fitness activities as well as your sleep time and quality. It's a great wristband activity monitor.
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Review: Polar Loop

4. Sportline Duo 1060 Speed and Distance Heart Rate Monitor

Sportline Duo 1060 Heart Rate Monitor Speed and Distance Monitor
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This pedometer watch features a pulse monitor, plus comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor. It's a full-featured sports watch and heart rate monitor. I found the pedometer feature to work well for dedicated walking workouts. It estimates distance and calories. It has a 7-workout memory. The watch allows you to set upper and lower heart rate limits and shows you time in zone, above zone and below zone. You get a continuous display of your heart rate and the percentage of maximum. The sports watch features a backlight, chronometer and interval timer. Plus, you can just wear it as a watch with day, date, and alarm.
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5. Silva Tech 4 O Accelerator Watch

The Silva Tech 4 O comes in several versions, including men's and women's styles -- one of them is pink! They all work the same and only vary in appearance. This watch allows you to set up to six daily on/off times for recording your total daily steps, or you can use it to manually record a specific walking/running workout. The accelerometer estimates speed, distance and calories burned. The sports watch functions include a 50-lap chronograph, countdown timer and daily alarm. Some users found the pedometer turning itself off during inactivity, but you can delay turn-off for as much as 30 minutes of inactivity. Sensitivity can also be set to reduce junk steps. It saves seven days or ten weeks of data.
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6. Sportline Pedometer Heart Rate Watch 960

Sportline 960
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
The Sportline 960 aims to do it all as a sports watch, pedometer and heart rate monitor. The pedometer function can be automatically set to time specific portions of the day or activated when you start a dedicated walking workout. In this way, you could use it to track all daily steps or use it just for your workouts. It saves seven daily and ten weekly totals in memory. Through a finger pad, you read your heart rate. I have always had poor luck with finger pads, so be sure to check its accuracy with a manual count or a chest-strap heart rate monitor. You can set your desired heart rate zone. The watch has a back light along with every kind of sports function: chronograph, lap timer, countdown timer and five daily alarms.
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7. Polar AW200 Activity Watch

Polar AW200 Activity Watch
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
The price is the biggest drawback to this watch (although I now see it at deep discount). For almost $200, it should also have a heart rate function and download to your computer -- it doesn't do either. It is designed for counting steps, activity time and estimating your activity zone to show you how hard you are exercising. It isn't designed for total daily steps, but rather to be started and stopped during dedicated exercise times. There are nifty functions, though: An altimeter shows your elevation changes and even displays them as a graph. It has a barometer and temperature reading, so you can know the weather. Unfortunately, it only stores nine files, so if you take three daily walks, you have already exhausted the files in three days. I just can't justify the cost.
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