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The Activité Pop takes the form of an analogue wristwatch. The watch has a certain retro look to it with its round face and plastic strap. Instead of numbers the watch face is divided into sections, each covering a five minute period. Anybody who has a wrist thicker than mine might well struggle a little to attach this watch to their wrist due to the length of the strap. Fortunately the strap is easily replaced if needs must with one that is longer and maybe more decorative.
Along with the standard minute and hour hands, the watch also features what might initially be taken to be a second hand with its own inlaid face. However this feature serves another purpose which I will return to later.
Included in the packaging with the Activité Pop device is a small Quick Start Guide and a tool for use when setting up the watch and when you need to replace the CR2025 button battery that is already fitted within the device. As there are no control options on the watch, it is obvious that some other means will be required for controlling this unit. In order for this watch-like activity tracker to perform its various tasks, you need to log onto the go-withings.com website to download and install the Withings Health Mate app on a smartphone or tablet from the appropriate store.
With the app installed, you will be presented with a series of instructions that need to be followed as you create a free Withings account and set up the Activité Pop device. This set-up process is meant to be straightforward but, in my case, there was a hiccup. Using the provided tool, you need to activate the watch by pressing on a small contact point on the rear of the watch. The watch vibrates to signal that it is activated and ready to pair with the smartphone or tablet hosting the Health Mate app.
Unlike standard Bluetooth pairing, this process can take several minutes as the Activité Pop is recognised and then synched to the mobile device through Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. As part of the process, a small circle appears on the smartphone/tablet showing the percentage completed. On the completion of the process, the Health Mate app should have displayed the Activité Pop as a connected device.
However when I checked, the only device listed was that of a Withings Pulse O2 which I had reviewed last year. I had to delete the reference to the Pulse O2 and then run the set-up process again before the Activité Pop was displayed as a recognised device by the Health Mate app.
I did encounter one further problem regarding the set-up process but this was due entirely to my own actions. While waiting for the set-up procedure to run its course, I had placed the Activité Pop on top of my smartphone. Unbeknown to me at the time, the set up procedure concludes by asking for the watch to be line up with an on-screen diagram which, of course, due to my inadvertently positioning of the watch on the screen, was not in alignment. Fortunately there is an option to replay this action which then helps set the correct time on the watch.
As mentioned earlier, there is what appears to be a second hand with its own mini face. However this element has nothing to do with time. Instead it provides feedback as to how well you are currently performing with your daily objectives. The hand shows the percentage you have completed.
Your personal details, such as height, weight and age, can be stored in a profile. This profile can be linked to Google Fit and partner apps that include MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper and BodyMedia. As well as your weight measurements, the profile keeps a record of the distance travelled, how you have performed on your best day and the badges you have been awarded for achieving targets.
Switching to a Timeline view you are presented with graphs relating to weight, steps and sleep pattern. I was pleased to note that the Activité Pop had picked up when my cat decided it was time for me to get up and perform the task of serving his breakfast. The sleep feature has an alarm option which can be set for a specific time on designated days. The alarm consists of a vibration on your wrist to wake you up. I have to state that this feature did not always manage to awaken me.
Once set up the Activité Pop performed reasonably well although there were a couple of occasions when it lost contact with the Health Mate app but then re-established the connection without any interference on my part. Currently this product is being advertised at £126.06 on Amazon.co.uk.
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