Hello, Withings

This year I’ve turned into a huge Withings fan. The company, based out of France, makes connected health-related devices; everything from scales that measure your body fat percentage to cameras that alert you when your indoor air pollution gets too high.

During the 2015 CES, Withings announced a new smartwatch called the Activité Pop; a cheaper version of their existing “Swiss Made” Activité. The Pop runs about $150 retail, while the original Activité will set you back $450. I decided to purchase the original and here are my thoughts after a month of wearing the device 24/7…

Activité Smart Watch

Inside the box are two wristbands, a grey silicon band that’s waterproof and a tan leather band that is not. The leather band did not fit my wrist because it was too short. After a brief search of the Withings website, I discovered that there was a longer leather band available that the company would send you free of charge if you recently purchased the Activité. Otherwise, the leather band will run you $282 dollars… which I have to believe is what pushes the price of the Activité up to $450.

The sapphire “glass” screen is impeccable. I’ve knocked my watch on hard surfaces so many times and there are still ZERO scratches. It truly is amazing. The watch face looks as if I opened the box and put it on my wrist for the first time this morning.

The “French calf” leather band is not waterproof so you have to remember to take it off before you shower in the mornings. I ended up purchasing both the tan colored band and the dark grey leather band. The photos on the website make it seem as if the darker colored band is black, but it is not. I think the tan band looks best with the white watch face after trying them both. The inside of the band has a soft-touch feel and I’ve had no skin irritation what-so-ever.

In regards to accuracy of the measurements, I wore both a Jawbone Up Move (on my belt) and the Withings Activité (on my wrist) to compare steps for a few days.

  • Day 1: Jawbone (5,233 Steps) vs. Activité (5,989 Steps)
  • Day 2: Jawbone (1,177 Steps) vs. Activité (1,394 Steps)
  • Day 3: Jawbone (3,666 Steps) vs. Activité (4,419 Steps)

On all three days I recorded more steps with the Activité which I presume to be because I swing my arms more than I swing my hips. The hip movement is probably a more accurate measurement, but as long as you meet your “goal” every day I wouldn’t worry too much about the differences.

Withings Activité

The vibrating alarm is strong and jarring if you’re in a light sleep or already awake. However, I did sleep through the alarm on two different occasions which was disappointing. Additionally, you cannot turn the buzzing off… it will buzz 12 times then stop. Double tapping the screen will show you the alarm time you’ve set (which always gets a wow factor when I demo the watch) but I wish double tapping the screen turned off the alarm in the morning as well.

The automatic time-zone change is amazing if you travel often. I tested it out on a trip to San Antonio this month and it just worked out of the box. It’s very cool to not have to worry about changing the time of your wristwatch.

All-in-All, I highly recommend the Withings Activité watch. The sapphire glass with swiss made parts along with the French calf leather band unequivocally make it a high-end product that I hope will last for years… or at least until the Apple Watch is released in April.


One thought on “Hello, Withings

  1. Very concise to my questions.
    While I prefer the Withings ACTIVITÉ for the quality and style (Sapphire glass, leather band, etc.), I will most likely be purchasing the POP. Given I start most days with a Boot Camp workout followed with a swim, the leather would not last and I would not want to remove it (what’s the point) or swap bands. Mostly, I don’t have that kind of coin(450) to drop for a fitness tracker.

    Thanks for the Post

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