Weighing a mere .28 ounces, the Withings Pulse measures 1.69”x.87”x.31”, about the size of a compact thumb drive. Its 128×32 pixel touchscreen can be navigated with a swipe of the finger or push of a button. The screen does display time, but without a stopwatch or alarm. With a charge lasting up to two weeks, the Withings Pulse also comes with a micro-USB charger, a 1.5” wide fabric sleep band, and a silicone-metal clip with rubber casing for the unit. Clips come in orange, blue and green, but we could only find the unit for sale in black.
The Withings Pulse is made to be worn in the clip. Although a wristband is included, the band is primarily for sleeping. Since the band is made of fabric, it would likely absorb sweat, so it may become uncomfortable during daily activity. Besides this, the fitness tracker would more accurately count your activity if it were worn in the clip. Furthermore, since the pulse must be taken with a finger, wearing it on the wrist could actually make measuring pulse less convenient.
The main functions of the water-resistant Withings Pulse fitness tracker are to track number of steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned based on the user’s height and weight and elevation of steps. It also tracks heart rate, but the usefulness of this data is entirely dependent on how often you take your heart rate throughout the day. The unit is not GPS enabled, so distance travelled is not as accurate as those units that do use GPS. It is accurate enough to give you a good idea of how far you’ve gone though.
The free Withings Health Mate app syncs the fitness tracker with your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth 4.0. The user-friendly interface tells you what your heart rate should be and how much of your activity is considered good activity. Although the app does let you know how many calories you have burned and how close to your goals you are, the downside is that heart rate is not actively monitored, only spot checked by you. This means that the total calories burned doesn’t take into account ongoing heart rate.
The Withings Pulse also tracks your sleep. Simply place the unit in the holder on the armband and set it to sleep mode. Withings Pulse will track how long it took you to fall asleep and how much deep sleep and light sleep you got. It will also show when and if you wake during the night, all displayed on easy-to-read bar graphs.One slight disadvantage is that if you forget to tap the button to track activity after sleeping, it will not track your activity for the day.
It would be nice if clip on fitness trackers such as the Withings Pulse came with calorie counters. Withings seems to be working on that though, recently having partnered with BetterLife in order to expand functionality of its products even more.
At £79, the Withings Pulse fitness tracker does more and costs less than other clip-on fitness trackers on the market.It is more fairly priced for what it does and is easy to use. Overall, this fitness tracker is a great value.