Withings Activité Review
Data is dissected to offer a comprehensive view of our activity.
Since we’ve last encountered the Withings app, it’s taken on a major redesign. Gone is the menu driven interface from before, replaced by a timeline-esque layout that’s complemented by the bright and bold colors employed by the app. There’s another pane that breaks down the other views of the app, which include the dashboard, friends, profile, reminders, and much more.
Using the Activité specifically, we’re shown information from our sleep and running data, and once they’re clicked, we’re given bar graphs that further go into detail. For example, the steps data are broken down to an hourly basis – while conversions for distance and calories burned are given. With sleeping, it’s nice being told at approximately what time we’re in bed, and what kind of sleep we’re getting.
It’s really good and comparable to what Fitbit offers with its ecosystem, though, we prefer Withings’ app layout.
Connectivity is all handled by its Bluetooth LE radio. There’s no interaction needed through the Activité itself, but the setup process requires the app. Specifically, the initial process includes pressing the pinhole sized button on the back of the unit to activate it, and from there, use the app to pair the Activité with your phone – in our case, an iPhone 6 Plus.
Synchronizing data can be done manually by launching the app, but it’s something done discretely in the background.
It’s one of the most accurate fitness trackers we’ve come across.
Using the app, there’s an option to set an alarm, which causes the Activité to vibrate when the time comes. A cool, neat feature is double tapping the sapphire glass on the unit – where the hands move to indicate our preset alarm time, and then they go back to the correct time afterwards. Certainly cool, but that’s basically the extent of its features set.
Comparing it to other dedicated fitness trackers, it lacks the diversified tracking that we get from other sporty units. For example, there’s no heart rate sensor to deliver a more accurate calorie burn during workouts – while the watch face is limited to telling the time and our percentage progress. No, there’s no telling of the temperature, date, or notifications – just time telling and that’s all!
8+ months of battery life means there’s no worry of nightly or weekly charging.
Powered by a single CR2025 battery, it’s nice that the Activité doesn’t require nightly or even weekly charging. Withings boldly claims that the single battery can deliver as much as 8+ months of usages, which is undoubtedly outstanding – so there’s no worrying about replacing it for a long while. Of course, it’s still ticking on well after 2 weeks for our review, which is already more than anything produced by other fitness trackers with rechargeable batteries.
Ultimately, it boils down to whether or not you like the styling of the Withings Activité – by far the most discrete and unconventional looking fitness tracker. It absolutely breaks the mold when it comes to the visual design of a fitness tracker, but it makes us wonder why more watches don’t simply incorporate the hardware needed to make them fitness trackers as well. If you do fancy the design, it’s an elegant and premium looking thing that’s great to wear for formal and business events – whereas sporty styled fitness trackers look out of place.
As for the pricing, not everyone is going to be thrilled paying $450 to pick up the Withings Activité for fitness tracking. Add to that, it lacks the diversified features set that other models offer – like GPS, heart rate monitoring, and much more. The pricing, obviously, is justified due to it being Swiss made, so it shows with its meticulous construction and high-quality materials. Essentially, you’re buying the Activité merely for those qualities.
Alternatively, there’s the Withings Activité Pop, which follows the same watch-style as this one, but swaps the premium materials with Swiss mineral glass, brass hands, PVD-coated metal, and silicone strap. In addition, it’s available in three colors – azure, shark gray, and sand, each one selling for an easier $149.95.