Magellan_Echo smart watchesomron pedometerWe’ve tried several of the new watches that count your steps and measure your fitness , but the one we stuck with turned out to be the least difficult to use and the least expensive. It’s the “Omron Digital Pocket Pedometer,” which was $22 at Amazon. (Amazon’s prices fluctuate, so while you’d think they were always the best deal, often they’re not. Check other discount stores as well.)

The Pocket Pedometer is about the size of an old-fashioned pocket watch. It can clip onto your belt or go into a pocket. It tells the time, counts your steps, tells how many calories you burned, keeps track of how many of those steps were at a workout pace and has a memory mode which cycles through your progress for the last week. At midnight, your steps reset to zero.

A much fancier alternative is the “Magellan Echo,” $150 from It tracks running and cycling and connects by Bluetooth to your phone apps to show your heart rate, distance and other statistics. Push a button on the watch to stop and start music or skip to the next song. The built-in battery lasts six to 11 months, so you don’t have to plug it in to recharge as you do with most smart watches. And it’s waterproof. Update: The company is adding golf, skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities this year, and some new colors.

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