Withings Activité Steel review: This stylish $170 watch is an clandestine …

November 24, 2015 - running watch

Some aptness bands demeanour like corpulent rubber bracelets with tiny screens that peep numbers during you. They’re quite utilitarian. On a other finish of a spectrum, there are activity trackers masked as pieces of jewelry. They don’t lane most over your daily step count, yet they’re distant some-more fashion-forward than a Fitbit. Then we have watches that are personally aptness bands, like Withings’s line of Activité activity trackers, that demeanour like analog timepieces yet feed a lot of information to a company’s analogous smartphone app.

The latest Withings watch, a $170 Activité Steel, isn’t a outrageous depart from a predecessors, a $450 Activité and a $150 Activité Pop. It’s not scarcely as luxe as a Activité, that also has a immaculate steel case, yet comes with a leather rope and turquoise potion safeguarding a face. But a Steel trades a Pop’s PVD-coated box and mod tone schemes (the watch comes in blue, black, beige, and coral) for a steel, a black watch face, chrome hands, and black silicone strap. Withings calls it “masculine,” if we cruise black and steel to be a “masculine” combo (which we don’t). My boss, Jon Phillips, attempted a Activité Steel and found it too small. At 36.3mm in diameter, it’s smaller than a smallest Apple Watch, that is because it didn’t seem oversized to me.

I haven’t used a Activité, yet we attempted a Pop and didn’t adore it. For a $150 smartwatch, it felt a tiny cheap, and a silicone tag on a coral chronicle done my skin itch, generally while running. we spent some-more time with a Activité Steel to see if a $20 cost burst creates a large difference—and it does.

Tracking your moves behind a scenes

You can’t tell by looking during it, yet this watch is tracking each pierce we make. It knows when you’re walking, running, or swimming, and how many miles we shelve up. But when we demeanour during a face, all we can see is chrome hands ticking mins away. There’s a tiny sub-dial on a face that shows a commission of swell you’ve done toward your daily step goal, yet it doesn’t pass a watch’s categorical purpose, that is to tell time.

You can’t tell that your watch is tracking all of this information until we sync it with a Health Mate app.

All of Withings’ Activité smartwatches are designed to be watches first, aptness trackers second. That’s why, aside from a step idea percentage, all of your information is stored in a Withings Health Mate app instead of accessible during a peek on your wrist. You even use a Health Mate app to set adult a watch, including environment a time and picking your daily step count goal. If we wish your information immediately viewable, afterwards a Apple Watch, iOS-compatible Android Wear watches, or a run-of-the-mill aptness rope is your best bet.

The Activité Steel is also not a regulating watch, and a Health Mate app isn’t a deputy for regulating apps like Runtastic, Runkeeper, or Strava. The watch has no sensors, so it can’t magnitude your heart rate, and it can’t mangle down your gait per mile. It can, however, lane your altogether run time and mileage, as good as count steps, lane dives adult to 50 meters deep, and guard your sleep. You can’t take a Apple Watch swimming, and it customarily needs to be charged overnight, anyway. (The Activité Steel lasts adult to 8 months on a customary watch battery it comes with.)

I took a watch for a few 3-mile runs to exam a comfort and accuracy. I’m accustomed to regulating an Apple Watch as a aptness tracker, yet a dual can’t be compared—they’re aiming for wholly opposite markets. we do wish Withings would adopt a some-more gentle element for a band, something same to a Apple Watch Sport’s fluoroelastomer material, yet a silicone tag that came with my Activité Steel wasn’t as unbending as a Pop’s rope and didn’t eagerness during all. The Steel’s cost indicate apparently wouldn’t lend itself to a high-quality band, yet Withings could sell leather bands or couple bracelets alone for easy swaps. Currently, a association customarily sells silicone bands separately.

Watching we sleep

The Activité Steel reassured me that we am a plain sleeper.

I even wore a Steel to bed to unequivocally put a comfort to a test. we cite to nap yet valuables on, out of fear that I’ll blemish my face or get something tangled in my hair, so we was wavering to yield into bed with a Activité Steel still firmly strapped to my wrist. But we did, each night final week, and found a watch’s moving alarm a good wake-up call. we customarily arise to a honeyed sounds of an NYC-area DJ cheering about a morning’s news, that tends to give me a jar we need to get out of bed, yet a pointed quivering of a watch during 6:30 a.m. was a most reduction differing approach to arise up. (I had a shouty DJ prepped to go off as a backup plan, though.)

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