One of the main goals of wearable tech designers was to make these devices as different from conventional watches as possible. Lately, however, there has been a trend in the opposite directions with smartwatches being indistinguishable from their older counterparts.
A great example of how older designs influenced modern devices is the Withings Activité fitness tracker, an intelligent wearable that hides in the body of a conventional watch. Or at least that’s what it seems at a first glance, as the leather wristband and the classic dial are very inconspicuous.
Withings Activité looks at first as a simplified chronograph encased in a domed sapphire glass that measures 1.3-inch in diameter. Most of the magic happens inside the case, where the replaceable battery and the electronics are found.
One thing that bothered some users is the one-size strap, which is supposed to fit all kinds of wrists. That doesn’t seem to really be the case, as the watch fits loosely even when the strap is adjusted to the smallest size.
The smaller dial should give users an idea about their activity levels, as its hand goes from 1 to 100 percent. People who are getting themselves a fitness tracker encased in premium materials might want a few more details about their daily workouts. And this is where the Withings Health Mate app comes in place. The companion app receives all the data it needs from the smartwatch via Bluetooth.
For the time being, the companion app is available only on the iPhone, but the manufacturer promises that an Android version will be available by the end of February. Setting alarms and calibrating the device is also done via the app, that that isn’t a great inconvenience, really. This is the functionality users have to trade for having a classical watch around their wrist.
In case you’re willing to spend $450 on an activity tracker, you can buy the Withings Activité from the manufacturer’s website as soon as it becomes available. In case you’re not willing to spend that kind of money on a fitness tracker, you can always opt for the Activité Pop, which may look identical to its more expensive brother, but carries a very important difference. The Pop version is not made from the same premium materials, so it may require additional care.
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