Withings Activite Hands-On: A Fashion-first Fitness Watch – Tom’s Guide

Known for its more pedestrian fitness products such as the Pulse and the Smart Body Analyzer, Withings is going upscale with the Activite, a fashion-forward watch that also tracks your steps, movement and sleep. But at $390, will the Activite be too heavy a price for consumers looking to lighten their load? We went hands-on with the Activite to find out.

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We’ll say this: The Activite (pronounced Activi-TAY) is the most elegant fitness device we’ve yet seen. If we didn’t know better, we’d say it’s made by the same company who came out with the Misfit Shine. The face is protected by sapphire, while the bezel is a polished stainless steel and the band is a soft leather. The Activite will come in two colors: A white face with a tan strap, and a black face with a black strap. It’s as rugged as it is stylish, as the watch is water-resistant to five atmospheres.

The face of the Activite has two dials, the larger of which tells the time, and the smaller one that shows your progress towards your fitness goals. Tap on the face, and the smaller hand will turn to show you how far you’ve come on each metric.

The Activite, which has a built-in accelerometer, connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and relays information about your movement and sleep to the Withings app, but the connection goes both ways. For example, the Activite will automatically change the time when you move into a new time zone, as detected by your phone. Also, you can set the Activite to gently vibrate on your wrist to wake you up in the morning. 

Powered by a coin-cell battery, Withings says the Activite will last up to a year on a charge.

In all, the Activite is a gorgeous piece of hardware that eschews the sporty look of most fitness trackers for something much more high-end. We especially like the fact that it shows the time at a glance, a feature we wish was on all wrist-based devices. But at $390, the Activite is nearly $100 more than fully featured smartwatches such as the Samsung Gear 2, which will undoubtedly limit its appeal to those with plenty of disposable income. Maybe that’s the point, though. If the Activite is intended as a high-end watch that just happens to also track your fitness, than Withings may know something about what makes its customers tick.

Withings Activite Hands-On: A Fashion-first Fitness Watch – Tom’s Guide

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