Back in 2014, the Withings Activité hybrid smartwatch set the standard for what's become one of the hottest segments of wearable tech. For many people, including fitness smarts inside a stylish analogue watch with a battery life that measures in months rather than days is a lot more useful and wearable than a traditional black plastic activity band.
The Withings Activité Steel ups the design game even further. With a 316L stainless steel case, it's the best-looking version of the Activité yet – until the Steel HR lands in 2017, at least.
But what does it do, and how can it help you lead a fitter, healthier life? We reveal all.
Withings Activité Steel: Design
When it comes to design, simplicity is the order of the day. Like classic wrist-watches, there are no buttons, LEDs or complicated controls cluttering the Withings Activité.
The dial itself just tells the time, but there's an interior sub-dial that's dedicated to your progress towards your daily step goal. It's marked as a percentage, so it doesn't matter whether your goal is 5,000 to 15,000 steps, you can quickly check your daily progress right from the wrist.
As the name suggests, the Activité Steel is adorned in 316L high-grade stainless steel, and comes with a soft silicone strap. You can opt for eight colour choices, in addition to the black offered as standard. There are options for green, raspberry, brown, yellow, mineral grey and white.
The silicone strap and steel design combine to make a tracker that's useable in the pool, thanks to a 5ATM water resistance – which equates to roughly 50 metres. It's an impressive addition to a range of fitness features, that put many traditional bands to shame.
And the battery life also shames its rivals, and Withings promises up to 8 months, after which you'll need to replace the singe coin cell in the back.
Withings Activité Steel: Fitness features
The Withings Activité Steel tracks three main fitness metrics: general activity and active minutes, sports activity and sleep. It's all achieved via an accelerometer built into the watch, so it's an estimation of your steps and effort. As well as steps, the Withings will track your distance walked throughout the day, and report on your calorie burn, too.
However, the Activité Steel features Connected Movement Technology, which means it's capable of automatically detecting walking, swimming and running. It will track the time and estimate the calories burned from these activities and adjust your daily goals accordingly.
And for those looking to track sleep, the Withings Activité Steel is one of the best wrist-based trackers on the market.
From the movement of your arm, it will the track time it takes for you to fall asleep, the duration of your sleep, as well as the period spent in light and deep sleep cycles. All of this is plotted on a graph each night within the Withings Health Mate app, alongside any interruptions to your slumber.
Aside from just fitness features, the Withings Activité Steel will automatically set itself to new time zones, thanks to its Bluetooth LE connection to your smartphone. What's more, the Steel has a silent alarm feature that wakes you up with a gentle vibration on the wrist, rather than a painfully annoying alarm. To check the alarm setting, tap three times on the glass and the hands will move accordingly, before springing back to the current time.
Withings Activité Steel: App
The Withings Activité Steel works with the Withings Health Mate app, which won Health Platform on the Year at the 2016 Wareable Tech Awards.
The app has four metrics that relate to your overall health: activity, sleep, weight and heart. The Withings Activité Steel enables you to track and maintain goals in the activity and sleep fields, by meeting step, active time and getting the requisite hours of kip.
The weight goal can be affected by simply entering your stats into the app, or using the Withings Smart Body Analyzer smart scales. The heart feature works with the Withings Blood Pressure monitor, which is available separately.
The Withings Health Mate dashboard keeps track of your stats and goals, and the Timeline feature shows a chronological view of your activity, sleep and steps, which can be delved into in greater detail by tapping an item. What's more, it hooks up to fitness apps like RunKeeper, which means that hardcore runners and cyclists can get credit for workouts and training sessions within the Health Mate ecosystem.
And the Withings Health Mate app doesn't just report from your wearable device. There's a manual food-tracking element in partnership with MyFitness Pal, to give you a better idea of your calories consumed and burned.
Get 30% off the Withings Activité Steel
Withings is offering Wareable readers 30% off the Withings Activité Steel. Head over to their store by clicking the link here.