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Withings Activité Pop could be the fitness tracker for analog watch fans

Tom Morgan
5 Jan 2015
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We strap on the latest fitness tracker from Withings - but the Activité Pop looks just like an analogue watch

Smartwatches and fitness trackers certainly aren't for everyone, particularly if they prefer analogue hands and dials to digital displays and constant recharging. Withings understood that not everyone wants a bulky, eye-catching device on their wrist when it introduced the Activité, but that launch subsequently proved that not everyone was willing to spend $450 on an alternative. The Activité Pop is a compromise that significantly reduces the price, but retains the classic Swiss styling of its bigger brother.

At first glance, the Activité Pop looks like a traditional analogue watch, with a second, smaller dial beneath the hour and minute hands. Withings has understandably made compromises to reduce the price, with the sapphire glass found in the original Activité replaced with a less expensive, and arguably more reflective glass, while the leather strap has been exchanged for a rubberised plastic one. It still looks slick, however, with watch and wristband available in a range of subtle pastel shades.

According to Withings, people often stop wearing a fitness tracker after a few months because they don't like wearing one in addition to a traditional watch, but at the same time can't bring themselves to replace their timepiece with a modern gadget. The company hopes the Activité Pop can earn a permanent home on your wrist because it's effectively a regular watch until you pair it with a smartphone app.

Once you do, the second dial can track your daily steps, activity total or measure your sleeping patterns. It syncs via Bluetooth to your handset, and simply saves you from having to load up the companion app every time you want a quick reference as to how you're performing throughout the day. Aside from the silent alarm function, that's pretty much as smart as this watch gets, but there's no denying it's a thing of beauty. The hands rotate smoothly in a way that only Swiss made watches can, and it won't draw attention like a smartwatch with a digital display will.

You won't need to worry about charging the watch, as Withings says it has an eight month battery life. It takes a standard watch battery, which you simply swap out when the installed one reaches the end of its life.

On the wrist, the Activité Pop is incredibly light; it weighs less than 30 grams so you won't feel weighed down once you strap it on. It sticks out more than you might imagine, as the underside bulges out slightly to make room for all the smart internals, but it should still slide under a shirt cuff comfortably. We preferred the brighter colours to the more subtle black and tan, but it's great to have any colour options at all - we're looking at you, Moto 360.

Withings expects the Activité Pop to go on sale in the UK from February onwards, with prices starting from around £120 - a significant amount less than the original Activité and roughly the same as other fitness trackers. If you're looking for a more subtle way to track your exercise throughout the day, it could be one to watch out for when it arrives later in the Spring.

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