Smart gadget company Withings, known largely for its popular smart scale, just launched a wristband activity tracker that looks far more like a watch than others we’ve seen to date. In fact, the wearable is — dare we say it? — beautiful.
The Withings Activité is a Swiss-made timepiece that monitors steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled and sleep patterns. It doesn’t come with the technology found in a typical smartwatch (like notifications and text messages), but it’s a smart device with a traditional watch face. And sure, fitness trackers are neither new nor unique these days, but its design is something worth appreciating.
The device comes in two colors (silver and black), while the watch case is made of stainless steel. It also features a crystal of unbreakable sapphire glass that includes touchscreen capabilities to tap between modes. The (real) leather strap comes from one of France’s most successful tanneries used by various prestigious French design houses. For the times you want to take it to the gym or even a pool, you can use an interchangeable plastic strap.
Unlike many fitness trackers and smartwatches today (we’re looking at you, Fitbit, Samsung and Pebble), Activité has a classic round face and traditional analog display. It features two hand dials, one showing the time and a sub dial with a percentage highlighting activity targets such as steps or sleep. Fashion watches tend to have circular faces as well as an analog display, so Activité’s design by nature is far more fashionable than the square-shaped smart models on the market.
Overall, connected wristband devices have developed a reputation for being clunky; many have displays that are arguably too large, while the bands are often rubber and the interface can look childish. Most aren’t something you’d want to put on to go to a fancy dinner. But Activité is a tracker you could dress up or down, depending on the occasion.
True to many smart wearables available now, it connects to iOS devices via Bluetooth and works with a corresponding app, Withings Health Mate. The app lets users develop personal activity plans and provides feedback to help them achieve goals along the way. It’s not available for Android just yet.
But a combination of beauty and brains doesn’t come lightly. The Activité device will cost $390 when it goes on sale this fall.