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Withings Go Activity Tracker Review

Withings Go Activity Tracker – why is it here? There was more activity trackers on the market now, than than you can shake an active stick at. So after already having already produced two other activity trackers, why does Withings need a third unit? What can this offer we’ve not seen before – The Withings Go has an 8 MONTH battery life… from an touch sensitive E Ink screen…  Ok now I’m interested – so lets see what we get for that minuscule power draw

Withings Go Activity Tracker Review

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Withings has some very high end products – The Activite Activity tracker with the slightly more affordable Activite Pop, their sleep tracking uber device the Withings Aura (which I’m quite a fan of). So it is nice to see the very reasonably priced Go, coming in at £49.95,  merging a lot of the functionality of their more expensive products. Especially when it comes to sleep tracking.

Withings Go Activity Tracker is a very simple device in terms of monitoring, you’ve got steps, distance and calorie tracking on the one hand. Sleep tracking on the other, and if you are inclined to jump into a pool (or just have a long bath!) the unit can tell you how long you’ve been in the water for, and will attempt to give an idea of how many calories you’ve burnt thrashing about.

From a medical perspective, one of the things I like about the Withings Go, is its simple chuck-ability.

What I mean by that is that Infection Control…staff… at the hospitals, require your to be bare below the elbows… apart from a wedding ring (the virtue of which supposedly means it will repel evil, non-married bacteria – anyway…) So that leave a lot of activity trackers, which are wrist work, not suitable for the NHS.

Fitbit has the One, and the Tamagotchi esq Zip, but these are very much clothing based devices.TitaniumGeek fitbit-zip-one-xl Withings Go Activity Tracker Review Withings Go Activity Tracker withings review Go activity tracker

The different cases which come with the Withings Go, mean it can be attached to your wrist

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Clipped onto a pocket or belt, such as on a pair of scrubs

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Or thrown in the pocket as a stand alone puck

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Device Design

The typical white, Apple-esq box from Withings

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Inside we’ve the device, paperwork and the two different holders, and the key for opening the battery cover, in case you dont have a two pence piece in your pocket

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The Withings Go is a very simple, elegant design

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A round plastic puck, with the E-ink screen feeling slightly rough, in the same way as you’d find on an E-Reader

The back of the device, is smooth, and rounded. Containing the battery door.

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The plastic fob can be used to open the battery cover, to, well see/replace the battery. No big shocks here

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It’s actually quite a please device to drop in your pocket. I found my hands playing with it quite a bit. HOWEVER the scree does feel a little soft, so I’m not sure about Withings idea of attaching it to the key ring – I have a few marks on the screen now from normal, careful use

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When compared to other trackers, the wrist mounted band compared quite favourably size wise

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There is a simple pop-stud on the back of the strap to keep the unit on your wrist which I had no issues with.

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The silicon loop however is quite thin, and I do wonder what the longevity will be like? Especially as it stretches easily

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Occasionally when wearing the Withings Go, the strap would end up getting rubbed around, but that has been infrequent and not shown any signs of breaking

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Using the Withings Go

This is a little bit of a mixed bag

But first things first, you need to pair the Withings Go with the Withings Health mate app – iOS and Android available

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The first time you link the device to your phone, it also updates with the latest firmware

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During setup, and later from within the Withings App , you can choose whether to have a white, or black face to the unit. Personally I think I just preferred the black face

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It’s also important to identify how you will be wearing the device, for functionality recording

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The always on screen is nice, giving you the ability to quickly glance at your activity bar throughout the day

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Frankly I think Withings taking the option of E-Ink on the screen was a very good idea. You have ultimate readability in all outside conditions. There however isn’t a back light, so in terms of using the Withings Go as a watch at night you are out of luck.

The default display is your activity status. You can press the device to show your time, but this is only displayed for 15 seconds as analogue hands.

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My biggest gripe is that I would have liked to have seen a digital watch. Only for the issues orientating the circular Withings Go – or perhaps a couple of grip markers inside the various straps/holders to ensure that the device is always orientated correctly.

You can set what you want as the step tracking goal for the Withings Go Activity Tracker from within the app – makes sense doncha think!

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When you hit your step goal, you get a flash on the screen, showing your goal star, and the man in the middle gets replaced by the star, as the activity tracker starts it’s second count around the screen

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The app gives you the usual break down regarding steps, but will also detect when you have been running – assuming wrist mounted, and document this appropriately.

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The above activity being taken from recently running ToughMudder – which the Withings Go Activity Tracker had no issues with at all. Although it is worth noting the swimming sections didnt record.

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As the screen is E-Ink, when you pass over midnight, there is a little after image on the screen, but this disappears after a refresh, as with your kindle

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Sleep Tracking

Sleep tracking is always a big point with activity trackers. I tend to look towards the Withings Aura as the gold standard, merely due to the extra sensitivity of the mattress pad.

In order to get the sleep tracking functionality from the Withings Go, you must use the wrist strap. Thankfully using the Withings App, I’m please to say that the recording from the Withings Go is very comparable to that of the Aura.

Withings GO sleep tracking

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Withings Aura sleep tracking

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Unfortunately you dont get the added granularity of REM sleep with the Withings Go Activity Tracker, but the two sleep tracers do line up well.

Conclusion

The Withings Go Activity Tracker is a great device for the price. As a time piece it’s quite poor, and I’d happily sacrifice a months batter life at least to have a digital Ink watch there – just something where there isnt an orientation issue.

The sleep tracking is sleep tracking is very accurate, and combined with the mature Withings Health Mate app, makes a great SIMPLE fitness device. I’m not sure, given it’s “press the screen once” operation there is actually a simpler activity tracker out there!

There are a range of different coloured straps available if you want to spice things up. Which is also good, as I’ll be interested to see how the straps were over time.

Any questions – stick them in the comments below!!!

 

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James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. Feel free to drop me a line about sports tech, medicine, or frankly anything that you want to chat about!!