The Withings Activité Steel looks and feels great, and I really do like the idea of a fitness tracker that is a watch first, tracker second. For a 24/7 device, I think this makes more sense for more people who don’t want to wear something that is obviously a gadget out in all settings. I always felt comfortable (in terms of style and physical comfort) wearing the Activité Steel with its black band. Fortunately, Withings now offers a total of 10 color choices for bands.
But, even though it’s a watch first and tracker second, the tracking functionality has to be there. While the step tracking isn’t too bad, it’s no more or less so than most other trackers on the market — unfortunately, the sleep tracking isn’t trustworthy. The Health Mate app is very simple, which is a mixed bag — while that’s probably a plus for the set that doesn’t want to engage that much with their trackers, it also means that it’s more difficult to figure out how to put that data to work. The most useful part of the Health Mate app is probably that you can compete directly with your friends for extra motivation, but that’s predicated on your friends also using the Withings Health Mate app.
Overall, the Activité Steel looks and feels great, however $170 might be a bit on the high side for a device that lacks both smartwatch functionality (e.g. notifications) and premium fitness tracking features like a heart rate sensor. That said, I really do love the design philosophy behind the Activité line, but the lack of premium features (for the price) are dissapointing. The exception would be if you’ve already bought into Withings’ other connected health devices (like their scales and heart rate monitors), in which case the Activité Steel fits in nicely and is a more budget-friendly alternative to the original, much more expensive Activité.
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The Good: Stylish appearance appropriate for multiple settings, waterproof, lightweight and comfortable, crazy long battery life and no need to charge, lots of band color choices.
The Bad: Somewhat pricey, Activity tracking not always accurate, sleep tracking questionable