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Striiv is back with a smaller pedometer-like device that integrates with a fresh iOS app via Bluetooth for fitness motivation along with gaming and social connectivity. The app has the look of the old Striiv device but is far more socially oriented, yet just as user friendly. The new Play device however bares no resemblance whatsoever to the original Striiv. Instead, it sports a similar form-factor to Fitbit's One and Ultra devices. To that effect, the Striiv Play has chopped down to be as slim and trim as possible and serve its function as the most accurate step and movement counter out there, which is also its biggest selling point. At the same time, Striiv's iOS app is free in order to encourage as much social connection as possible, but it is more limited in its ability to count movement.
At first glance, the Play is about the size of one's thumb. It is a good size for clipping into that tiny pocket on to your jeans. Finally! A use for that pocket! They also recommend clipping it into the front part of your bra, but that just isn't comfortable for me personally. Fortunately, the TruMotion Technology is really very accurate compared to other pedometers and certainly superior over the iPhone's capabilities. That is also why the stair counting feature is only available with the Play.
After the recommended initial 30 minute charge, turning on the device was easy as a tap. After you download the iOS app, get signed in, and turn on bluetooth, simply click on settings and enter in the corresponding code that appears on the device. The device will then be linked to your Striiv account. Overall, the set up process is fairly easy. And if you are someone that keeps Bluetooth on all the time than this won't be a bother for you. However, if like me, you need every last bit of battery life possible, it can be a bit of annoyance. So I turned mine on only periodically to sync my Play's data with my Striiv account.
The device sports a simple OLED screen with brightly displayed basic information such as: steps, stairs, miles, calories burned, minutes of activity, and the time. You can also put it on airplane mode and turn it off/on by holding down longer. Striiv says that a standard charge should hold for about a week for most people. Unfortunately for me that was not the case. I got about 2 days off the first charge, but better on the next one.
The app uses the same nice comforting design as my old Striiv device. We did an in depth review of the original Striiv quite awhile ago, and many things are exactly the same, which is great to see. For example, the app still charts your progress. Furthermore, yhe Striiv original game MyLand is still there and going strong. Here you can garden a beautiful island using real world effort points, and harvest coins from the growing plants. Striiv promises more games to come and we eagerly look forward to seeing what's in store. In the meanwhile, they are still throwing out challenges at you and dangling reward points that you can spend in MyLand! For example: Reach 722 steps in 10 minutes, Risk is 100 but the reward is 1500 points. That is certainly enough to get your inner competition going.
However one thing is noticeably absent, and that is the donation stream that really set Striiv apart initially. You used to be able to choose to use your points in a charitable manner rather than in just MyLand. It is a shame to see this feature go. It is understandable that with a free app, they are more limited in their ability to extend themselves in charitable directions, but it would have been nice to see that option added in when the $69.95 Play is linked to the app.
What else is new?
Social Features. You can connect with Facebook friends whether or not they have the Play pedometer, through the iOS app. You can compete with them, share your records, earn rewards, and make them super jealous and spurred on to better fitness by beating their records!
MyFitnessPal has partnered with Striiv in the app to make the overall well being and fitness experience all encompassing. Those of you that have used it may already have a whole network of friends set up that you can integrate into the Striiv app. The food database is monstrous and will really complement the goal of both programs.
Overall, Striiv is shaping up an already fantastic brand base and has done a good job expanding it to the masses for a wonderful fitness experience. And while it's apparent that they are trying to take on Fitbit's own devices with the Striiv Play, their unique apps features manages to truly set the device apart from the competition. We look forward to what games they come out with and are really impressed with what they have done so far. Whether you choose the Striiv Play for $69.95, or the free App to connect with your friends, we know you will have a lot of fun taking new strides.
The Good: Social competition! New games on the way! Accurate measurements. Smaller pedometer with a sleek design and OLED display
The Bad: Constant Bluetooth can be draining on the iPhone battery for some.
Striiv Play Bluetooth Pedometer Review was first posted on October 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm.
© 2012 Chip Chick
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