The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

My new fitness watch: Withings Activite Pop

I just got my new fitness watch: the Withings Activite' Pop.

It replaces the Basis B1 watch and Jawbone UP that I have been wearing together, one on each wrist. I got the Basis in October 2013, and the Jawbone UP in November 2014. Replacing them because they died after being soaked in rinse water with my wetsuit. :-(

I considered getting a new Basis watch and a new Jawbone UP, since the combination worked well, except for the large UP being a bit tight.

But I decided to switch to the Withings Activite Pop, mainly because it was one of the few activity monitors that can automatically track swimming as well as walking.

This blog to track experience.


Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

The dial is not illuminated. I can't see the time in the dark; nor my steps. Which is a pain because I usually exercise early morning and late at night.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I really liked the vibrating alarm on my Jawbone UP. The Withings has a vibrating alarm, but only one, whereas I used all six on my UP.

Also, the UP's alarms are smart, looking for a good time to wake you up. We will see how much of a difference this makes.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Hour and minute only. No date.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

No idle alert - but I seldom paid attention to the UP's idle alert.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Sweaty plastic wristband. I have already ordered leather replacement.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I really like the quick release pins on the watch strap.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Well, the vibrating alarm did NOT wake me up this morning.

Or should I say the single, non-smart, vibrating alarm. On the watch that cannot be read in the dark?

This reminds me: the big reason that I got the Jawbone UP, when I had already been using the Basis B1 for a year, was the multiple, vibrating, smart alarms. I remember feeling hugely less stressed after I started using them.

I had almost forgotten, since it turned out that I liked the Jawbone's app so much better that the Basis app that I started wearing both. The Basis mainly became a watch for time, and a step counter that I could look at on the fly with its display.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

The Pop's sleep monitoring features look pretty typical, although it may be more sensitive than my previous. Pity I can't compare.

But, wow!!! In a bad sense: I have the Withings syncing with Apple Health, and hence to the Jawbone app, and instead of intervals of heavy and light sleep, I see many short intervals: asleep 9 minutes, 11, 9, 11...

Apparently what Apple Health receives is not heavy/light, but interprets them all as just "asleep". AH only reports totals, but it forwards the undistinguished intervals to Jawbone.


Not sure if this is a Withings or an Apple bug. But it is bad!

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I keep looking at my wrist for today's date. :-(

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Walking steps count okay.

Although I miss the confirmation of being able to look at my watch and see the individual steps incrementing. Although with the Basis, much of the time it was not counting.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Does not count steps on my treadmill desk. :-(

Does not count steps on my favorite elliptical, the Precor AMT 100i 100i.

Swimming got counted - or at least timed (minutes), with a calorie estimate.  But no count of strokes, lengths, or anything else. Certainly no SWOLF score, like you get on a real swimming fitness monitor. No real time feedback, so I cannot tell if it is just counting time in water, or if it is able to take into account different exertion level of the different strokes.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

The Withings reported 14 minutes swimming, when I was actually swimming for 32 minutes, as timed by my conventional swimming lap counter / timer. However, I was doing freestyle for circa 16 minutes, and breastroke / side stroke the rest. It appears that the Withings may not count all strokes.

Hard to investigate this, since there is no realtime feedback: can only see the results once uploaded.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I am requesting a refund from Withings. I ordered this device August 24, and received it on the 27th, so I am well within the 30 day return window.

I am saddened by this: my Withings scale has been quite satisfactory, and the Withings software (iPhone and Android apps, and website) is better than most.

I am by no means making an anti-recommendation of the Withings: it is an elegant device. It is unfortunate that it does not work for my exercise routine. If it works for your exercise routine - e.g. if it counts your steps while walking or running, on whatever surface or exercise machines you use, and for swimming strokes - and of you don't need to use it in the dark, it is worth considering.

Unfortunately, it does not work for me.