Health & Fitness
Withings Go Review – Activity & Sleeping Tracking
Go for Better
One of the fastest growing segment for personal electronics is in wearables. There are smartwatches, fitness trackers, and health trackers as well. These devices all come in different sizes and shapes. They also all come with their own apps. The Withings Go is one of the newer entries to the wearable market, and it is aiming for a safe price point.
The Withings Go is an entry-level low-cost fitness tracker. Although it is in the low-end of the market it is still a bit more expensive than other established models like the Misfit Flash and the Jawbone UP Move. Withings is a French company which also produces the Activite. Among other notable things, Withings was recently acquired by Nokia. Their latest product may have been under development for a while now, and it may not have anything to do with Nokia’s plans for the company. However, it can be seen as the last product from Withings without any input from Nokia.
Wearables is a diverse product line. There are differentiators across the board. For instance, the Withings Activite is a well-regarded fitness tracker. In contrast, its entry-level sibling, is less of a fitness tracker and more of a health tracker. The functionality of a fitness tracker does not exist or is lacking in the Go.
A lot can be said of the features, but sadly, there is a disconnect between what it should be doing and what it can do. Even the thing it should be doing continuously – telling the time – is not available all the time. You still need to tap the watch to see the time which can be tiring after a while.
Sold for close to $80, this is an expensive device compared to its competitors. The relatively limited functionality is also hindered by the display. It would be a lot better if the default display was the watch.
• Long battery life.
• Uses an e-ink display which is always on.
• Easy to use
• Water resistant to 50m.
• Bland design
• Does not show the time as the default display
• Lacking in functionality
• Expensive considering the feature set, and the competition.
In the inexpensive fitness tracker market, there is only so much that a wearable can do. The Go has an e-ink display and a long battery life. It has an app, as well. It is also water resistant and perfect for swimming.
In terms of functions, it has a watch, heartbeat monitor, blood pressure tracking, as well as a pedometer tracking both distance and time. It is rated water resistant at up to 50 meters. This means that you can wear this to the shower and even while swimming laps in a pool. If you want to track your progress while swimming, the only data it can capture is distance and time.
The sleep monitoring is also fairly rudimentary. If you stop moving, then it assumes that you have fallen asleep. Sleep monitoring on the Go only differentiates between light and heavy sleeping. Compared to other fitness trackers at the same price point, there is a difference in 30 minutes of sleep time recorded.
In terms of distance recording, the Go records distances a little off compared with higher priced brands and models. Distance running can be off by 100 to 150 meters. Since this is not for serious runners, the difference can be discounted. However, it is just one of many such instances where the technology lags.
In general, it is off by a significant amount in measuring distance for swimming, running or walking, as well as for time spent sleeping.
One outstanding feature of Withings Go is the battery life. However, this may be due to the short feature set on the Go. It also does not have a micro-USB port for recharging. The battery lasts for several months, after which you would have to change batteries.
The build quality seems flimsy. This is not an all metal construction. Rather, it has a plastic case which is tight enough to resist water. The band also looks like a soft build, and may not be durable or rugged. For users who would prefer to use a clip, they may be concerned with where to place this thing. It being water resistant, one not-so-obvious location is the shoe laces. As long as it holds it should be okay, even with mud and rain. Placing it on the shirt or jersey may be lead to it coming loose.
Withings Go tries to compete at the low end of the market, with less features and a slightly higher price. Considering that it is competing with established players, it would have done better if it had at least the functionality offered by other watches, and offered at the same price. However, Withings had to go out and price it at a slight premium. This is not the way to sell a fitness tracker priced below $100.
There are a lot of things that a fitness enthusiast would want from their own fitness tracker. For one, it should be able to record information for an extended amount of time. This is usually where the app comes in. For another, the device should at least display more than fitness information. The display is an always on E Ink screen. If anyone were to look at his wearable, he would be looking at it for a reason. In this case, it is usually for the time.
The main benefit from the Withings Go is the long battery life. This might not be compelling enough. In fact, if this was a watch, you would expect the battery life to be in years, not in months. People who use fitness trackers don’t mind charging their devices often.
Fitness trackers have always pushed for a compelling story. These are devices which are concerned with telling the user’s story. Things like how long was the exercise is just as important as knowing how intense was the it. The story being told by the Withings Go is not as detailed as other fitness trackers. This can be more useful for people who are concerned with their blood pressure.