Unlike the Activité Pop, which proved difficult to extract from its packaging, the Activité’s packaging was far more accessible. This device comes in an elongated box featuring a pull-out drawer-like compartment that holds the product and various accessories located beneath the watch. These accessories include a spare watch strap, button battery and a tool for resetting and opening the watch back cover plus a small Quick Start Guide.
With its Activité product Withings has opted to go with French design style with Swiss watch making expertise. The Activité conception took place in Paris while the product’s fruition as a fully working product occurred in Switzerland this allowing the stainless alloy steel casing to bear the Swiss made label.
Fully waterproof up to a depth of 50 meters (or so Withings inform me as my underwater skills are somewhat lacking), the Swiss developed movements are protected from the elements by domed unbreakable, scratch-proof sapphire glass. The watch face offers a fairly standard analogue hour and minutes display with accents rather than numerals. Located in the lower right section of the watch face is a separate dial which might give the unsuspecting user the idea that it is a second hand but this is not so. This second dial provides feedback as to have much progress you have made towards your daily targets which tend to be limited to the number of steps taken during the day.
Providing the means of attaching the Activité to a wrist is a stitched strap made of soft grain high quality Barenia leather in a choice of black or tawny from Haas Tanneries. While blending in nicely with the watch casing, the length of this leather strap was not particularly generous. I have hands and wrists that are not large yet I was reduced to using the next-to-the end hole for fastening the strap. It was noticeable that the replacement plastic strap, for use during periods of exercise, was 15mm longer while the strap supplied with the Activité Pop was 20mm longer allowing for greater flexibility when attaching this watch to the wrist.
Unlike some of the competition in the area of watch activity tracker devices, the Activité family of products do not require regular rechargeable sessions for the internal battery. Instead the Withings device uses a standard CR2025 button battery. Not only do you get an approximate eight months of us from this battery but Withings has included a spare battery in the pack. One possible reason why this battery is able to offer such generous life expediency is that this watch does not feature a back light facility for when you need to check the time in the dark.
The Activité works in conjunction with a free downloadable Health Mate app. Initially this Activité app was just available for iOS but there is now an Android version for those who prefer this platform. Providing you with a free account, this app leads the user through the setting up process for the watch involving the use of a supplied circular tool. A link, using Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, will be set up between the Health Mate app and the Activité device.
The app allows the user to switch between views designated as Timeline, Dashboard, Leaderboard and Profile with the latter containing personal details such as weight, height and age plus an optional picture. Automatic synching between the Activité and the app will transfer the collected data which can then be displayed by the app. This data covers different aspects relating to health issues. It will include the number of steps taken and distance covered on different days plus the amount of calories burned as a result of this type of exercise. The Activité can recognise activities such as running and swimming but not cycling.
As well as exercise, the Activité checks the user’s sleep pattern. It will record the time it takes to fall asleep, sleep cycles and interruptions plus the duration of the user’s sleep time. The Activité does have an alarm function. This is a silent alarm that announces its presence with a vibration. Unfortunately the level of this fixed vibration was such that it failed to awaken me. Even when I was awake, the vibration was just about detectable. A double tap on the watch face will reveal the time set for the alarm.
While the app can show details of the user’s weight, blood pressure and heart rate. But this is not collected automatically by the Activité watch. It has to be manually entered by the user as conditions change.
Withings has priced the Activité at £320 which seems to have more to do with the product’s stylish appearance rather than the Activité’s functionality. While lacking the Activité’s stylish appearance, the Activité Pop offers a similar function set and is more attractively priced at around a third of that being asked for the Activité.
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