Welcome to my review of the Withings Activite Steel watch. The key features are –
– Automatic activity tracking – Steps, runs, swims (water resistant – 50m) and calories burned
– Sleep monitoring – Sleep cycle analysis (light and deep sleep) plus silent vibrating alarm
– Automatic synchronisation – Visualise trends and data on your smartphone with the free Health Mate app available on iOS and android
– Premium materials – Stainless steel, chrome hands, silicon sport strap
– No charging – Up to 8-month battery life
The Withings Activite Steel smartwatch is a breeze to setup. You download the Health Mate app, and follow the simple instructions. I was all setup within 5 mins. Syncing is done periodically during the day using Bluetooth Low Energy. This is an analogue, swiss style watch. The watch strap is easily removable with a built in slide pin. Withings sell leather straps made from quality Barenia leather from Haas Tanneries, the supplier of the finest French Haute Couture houses. Choice of black or tawny brown colours. A single leather strap is £100. The silcone strap is also replaceable with other colour straps. Withings sell a 3 pack of coloured silicone straps for £25. The colours are orange, plum and teal.
The watch has a dial for the hands and minute hands. The other dial moves from 0 to 100% of step target. On the app you set how many steps is you goal. The Health Mate app displays a whole range of data.
The Health Mate app is elegantly designed, displays all your data, auto tracks exercises and shows the data for that exercise. GPS is not included.
You can share your data, get competitive with friends and view different stats over various time periods.
The first thing I noticed is the comfort of the strap. Next the watch size is much smaller than expected. In fact, I decided it was too small to look at on my wrist and lost interest in wearing it. In my mind a watch that is meant to look like a watch, needs to look cool and smart first. However, I think changing the strap for orange or black leather would be a better choice. I cannot believe this doesn’t need charging and lasts 8 months. This takes all the pain out of charging a tracker. In fact it never needs charging. It uses a standard watch battery which you replace after 8 months. Again, my main issue is the watch costs around £139 but just doesn’t look expensive enough. There is a Sapphire version which does look smarter. Some people will prefer the smaller size watch face. The strap is 18mm.
Despite its size, it is a wonderful activity / sleep tracker. I love how the analogue dial moves round showing you the percentage of your goal. Your step goal is set in the app. This is the first tracker that I didn’t feel the need to know my actual number of steps. This is shown when you open the app. I also like the simplicity of the watch. One last option is a silent alarm. Notifications are not possible.
For me the negatives were its small watch face and strap which made it look wrong on my wrist. For others this could be ok. As a tracking it worked well.