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'Withings Activité' review: A fitness tracker in disguise

The company launched a range of products in India & among them is the Activité. This is a smart watch that tracks your daily activity & exercise.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 10, 2016, 10.50 AM IST
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The company has launched a range of products in India and among them is the Activité. This is a smart watch that tracks your daily activity, exercise and sleep.
The company has launched a range of products in India and among them is the Activité. This is a smart watch that tracks your daily activity, exercise and sleep.
There’s one very big reason why smartwatches aren’t catching on as fast as their makers want — battery life! A lot of people don’t want another smart gadget that they have to charge every day. Wouldn’t it be great if your smart wearable had the same battery life as a regular watch?

Well this is possible and a couple of brands have tried this approach before. For instance, Garmin’s Vivofit 2 (Rs 6,499) is a fitness band with always-on digital display with backlight and roughly a year of battery life.

Timex has the Metropolitan + (Rs 9,995) which offers a claimed 18 months of battery life and also includes the company’s signature Indiglo light. Note that both of these still have Bluetooth despite the long battery life.

And now it’s the turn of Withings: a company that specialises in connected health smart products. The company has launched a range of products in India and among them is the Activité. This is a smart watch that tracks your daily activity, exercise and sleep.

It’s water resistant up to 50 meters and is available in three variants: Pop (Rs 14,999), Steel (Rs 17,999) and Sapphire (Rs 34,999). Pop has a more colourful design (available in 4 colours), Steel is stainless steel and chrome while the Sapphire has scratch-proof sapphire glass, a leather strap and is Swiss made.

We received the Steel version — it comes in either black or white dial, has a 316L stainless steel case, chrome hands and double-domed glass. The box includes a soft silicone sport band and there are 9 colours to choose from. The straps can be easily swapped out thanks to the quick remove spring-loaded clips.

The Activité has a main dial with two hands (hours + minutes) and a sub dial with a single hand that shows you how much (as a percentage) of your daily activity goal you have completed. The design is very simple, almost plain.

It’s also very lightweight and you could almost call it dainty. You might like to know that it’s designed in Paris — the global capital of fashion. However, fans of large, chunky watches will not like this.

It’ll appeal to those who like simpler, easier-to-read designs — a smart wearable in disguise, if you will! You might also notice that there is no crown, buttons and neither is it a touchscreen.

So how do you control it or set the time you ask? It’s all done on the app. The Withings Health Mate app (Android and iOS) takes you through the initial setup process for the watch.

You have to press the reset button under the watch case using the supplied tool (and it can only be pressed using this metal tool) and place it close to the phone while it pairs and updates to the latest firmware.

After that you do the usual height/weight/age/steps goal calibration and you’re good to go. The watch uses the phone’s time to set time automatically — an advantage of this is if you travel, the watch automatically adjusts itself to a new time zone as soon as your phone does.

Most of the metrics (including sleep stats) will be visible on the app There’s also a silent alarm that can wake you with a light vibration. We quite like the Activité — it’s a no-nonsense fitness tracker that will appeal to anyone who prefers simplicity and elegance.
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