Withings Ac­tiv­ité Pop

Eight-month bat­tery and a third of the price of the Ap­ple Watch

Mac Format - - KIT RATED -

£119 Man­u­fac­turer Withings, withings.com

Re­quires iPhone 4s or later, iPod touch 5th gen­er­a­tion or later

Now that the Ap­ple Watch is out you might think the time is up for any other smart­watch maker. But there’s room for more than one ap­proach and Withings’ Ac­tiv­ité Pop is one of our favourites. In­deed, in many ways, the Ac­tiv­ité Pop is a far, far bet­ter op­tion than an Ap­ple Watch for some.

It looks for all the world like a regular watch. (It also comes in blue and beige, both of which look ter­rific.) But be­hind the dial are some smarts that track your ac­tiv­ity and sleep, and com­mu­ni­cate with your iPhone over Blue­tooth 4.0, to let you mon­i­tor them, get ad­vice and en­cour­age­ment and, if you like, com­pete vir­tu­ally with friends.

Be­cause it uses Blue­tooth 4.0, it has to be paired with a re­cent de­vice, but its power-ef­fi­ciency means there’s no per­ceiv­able im­pact on the iPhone’s bat­tery life. Data is sent in the back­ground when cer­tain con­di­tions are met.

This power-ef­fi­ciency also means Withings claims the Pop can run for up to eight months on a sin­gle CR2025 watch bat­tery – quite a con­trast to the Ap­ple Watch’s sin­gle- day bat­tery life. It’s also fully wa­ter­proof (un­like the Watch) and will soon be able to track swim­ming. Ac­tiv­ity data is shown in the ex­cel­lent ac­com­pa­ny­ing app. It’s es­pe­cially great if you use other Withings track­ers, but it also feeds data into Ap­ple’s Health app.

It vi­brates sub­tly on your wrist to wake you in the morn­ing. There’s au­di­ble noise, but it’s qui­eter than other ‘si­lent’ alarms we’ve tried. Be­cause the dis­play is com­prised of phys­i­cal hands rather than a dig­i­tal face, the time is al­ways vis­i­ble – and so is the dial show­ing your ac­tiv­ity, mo­ti­vat­ing you to move more of­ten.

You could buy its big brother, the Ac­tiv­ité (£320), but apart from dif­fer­ent styling, the only dif­fer­ences are that the pricier model has a sap­phire (not glass) screen, a leather strap and is made in Switzer­land. Christo­pher Phin

The small inset dial shows progress to­wards your ac­tiv­ity goal.

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