Monday, December 05, 2016

Getting Fit for 2017: Withings Activité Pop

Withings Activite Pop

There is a huge market now for fitness trackers, counting our steps, working out the calories we are burning and even seeing how much (or little) sleep we get is big business and it's no surprise that there are a number of companies out there bringing new products to the market that do just that.

I was kindly sent the Activité POP activity tracking watch from Withings (Nokia group) to review and it came at a pretty perfect time having been set the task to lose a whopping 5 stone by my GP. I'd not heard of the brand or product, so had a totally open mind, zero expectations and a lot of excitement for something that looked a little different from the norm.

The first thought abut the POP even before its arrival was that it wasn't your typical tracker watch, this one is much more 'watch' like, it looks nice and has a much less obvious 'I'm trying to lose my wobbly bits' look about it. The POP looks nice, it looks smart and has a normal every day function - yes telling the time... I liked the choice of classic colours and having the opportunity of both a time piece, but also a good looking way to monitor my activity as I strive to get back on track with my weight loss and fitness efforts. Oh, and no charging? Hallelujah. 


When my product arrived, I was pleased to see I was sent my favourite colour choice which is the blue, and that it was a really decent size - not too big, not too small and fantastic quality. I love the subtle text and double dials. The watch comes in it's own little display box and I couldn't wait to try it on.

The box includes the watch, a tool and the instruction leaflet. Everything felt nicely put together, though I was a little cautious of how complicated set up would be, I needn't have been.

Setting up

I had to download the Withings HealthMate app, and once connected (which was very easy) I felt the watch buzz into action. I really do love the way this just looks like a watch and a nice one at that. The app was easy to use, I managed to connect it first time by just using the little tool that comes in the box and had no problems linking everything up. Once connected I just had to sign up with a few details about my height, weight etc and watch it all connect. When it connects the hands magically move to the correct time fed from your device - very cool!

Key features

  • No charging
  • Waterproof to 50m
  • Recognition of activity speed
  • Silent alarm function
  • Records sleep
  • Automatically changes time zones
  • Syncs to smart phone
  • Health mate app with reminders and activity insights
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Analog feedback loop


This watch has so many great features. The fact that you can record distance and calories burnt from running and walking is one thing, but to be able to use whilst swimming too is just brilliant. Swimming for me is the most comfortable of exercises with a bad back so I love that I can now track this too. 

Not having to keep track of yet another charging cable is a huge plus point. The Activité Pop takes one little watch battery that lasts for around 8 months, making this far more likely to be used long term as I get so sick of charging everything constantly and have a drawer FULL of cables of all shapes and sizes already. I guess for some, the idea of having to change a battery may be off putting but it lasts so long and really it's so nice to not have to charge something these days.

The Activité Pop is really clever as it can detect a surge of energy and therefore calculate calories for running instead of walking and also detect when you are asleep, recording the quality of your sleep both light and deep as well as any waking time in the night. I was really shocked to see that some nights I had just 1,5 hours of deep sleep and around the same of light sleep, its no wonder I feel terrible most days. This is definitely something I need to work on and I am really pleased to have an easy way of keeping track of it all.

The Analog feedback loop is the smaller dial on the face and gives you a rough idea of where you are with your goal (0-100%). You can set your daily targets and it will show with the clock hand what percentage of your target you are at throughout the day. I love this feature as it means I don't need to keep checking my phone to see how I'm doing and can easily step things up if I am lagging. In actual fact looking at my phone less all round is a pro point seeing as I can see the time at a glance now too.

The watch and strap itself is genuinely the most comfortable I've worn. The silicon is super soft and it has a generous length strap so plenty of room for chubbier wrists like mine. I absolutely adore this watch. You need the app and a compatible Android/iOS device for this to be of use, which for most of us is no issue. It's actually really handy because the app works away in the background and is also able to capture steps etc if you forgot to wear your watch one day. I haven't worn a watch for years so I needed to get used to the feeling of wearing one, but if you already wear one this will be no problem at all.

For me, the Activité Pop is perfect. I'm not training for any marathons or Olympics, I'm simply trying to get fitter, keep track of my calories burnt during my day and any exercise I do. This would make an amazing present for someone on a similar journey to mine with maybe some weight to lose and a venture into a more active lifestyle. The app is easy to use, it's super simple to sync and after a couple of weeks of use I haven't got bored of it at all and I am enjoying beating my own personal bests and earning badges on the app to show my progress. I'm not amazingly sociable but if I was I could also compete with friends via the app.

Image result for withings pop screenshots app

Having used another big brand tracker in the past, the look and feel of this is much better, it works better by recording data more efficiently and seems to help keep you motivated with goal setting. I like little features like the alarm and being able to watch the hands tun automatically. Lots of small features making what I think is a great product. The colours are pretty gender neutral as is the size and design, a good all rounder. I'm not 100% sure it fully tracked all my steps when I was pushing a pushchair, carrying a bag or holding hands with the wee one, but my step counts were still high so can't imagine it was too 'out'. That's me trying to find a negative, so really it's actually pretty perfect for me.

Big thumbs up for the Activité Pop!

Disclosure: I was sent a sample product in exchange for an honest review. All words and thoughts are my own - I'm really pleased with it.