Withings has shored up the only major complaint I had with its Activité fitness and activity tracker/watch: The price. The French health accessory maker has revealed the Activité Pop, which is a version of its flagship Activité that costs only $149.95 rather than $450, and it goes on sale tomorrow, at Best Buy’s website in a limited initial batch, with wider availability starting in March 2015.
The Activité Pop offers PVD-coating on its case, which allow it to come in three different colors, including a grey, blue and beige tone. The PVD coating should help it stand up to scratches and dings, and it has a step-counting hand which reveals how far along you are to meeting your activity goal for the day, as tracked by steps taken.
The Pop has very similar styling to the Activité, but without the “Swiss Made” status symbol, and with a solo silicone color-matched strap, rather than both a leather and a rubber version. It’s also water resistant to only 30 m, rather than 50 for the original version.
The Pop is a great option for more budget-concious consumers, however, as it offers an identical feature set to the Activité in terms of tracking not only activity, but also sleep quality. It offers a silent, vibration-only alert when you reach your step goal for the day, or to wake you up when you reach your desired amount of rest if worn at night.
Withings has done exactly what it needed to with the Activité with this new low-cost version – the higher end edition is still a nicer watch overall for traditional wristwatch fans, who will also appreciate the Swiss craftmsanship it sports. The Pop offers few compromises, and should be plenty popular with those who don’t care so much about where their watch is made, and are more focused on getting a fun, good-looking watch that doubles as an activity tracker with a long-lived eight-month battery life.
At launch, it’s iOS-only, but Withings says Android compatibility is coming soon. Bluetooth connectivity not only helps it report back activity to the Withings companion app, but also means it’ll sync automatically when you switch time zones. This looks like a strong contender for a device to finally make activity trackers a little more mass market, and hopefully it’s something we get a closer look at during this year’s CES show.