An unexamined life is not worth living says Socrates. And thanks to all the examining made possible by the sprouting wearables, I wonder how worthy have I lived my life?
I bought a Withings Activité Pop on Amazon because my old watch died, but I realised there were so many questions I couldn’t find online before I bought. I’m one of those diligent consumers that ploughs through the net for reviews before I make my online purchases. Plus, no feminism here, why are tech reviews so male dominated? Hey ladies, we need your views too! So, I shall do my part for our Internet community, and share my experience of living with an Activité Pop. Hopefully, it gives you a better idea whether or not you should *kaching* your card for the USD$150 device. Or just spend it on a bike, or donate it, or simply save it.
Caif’s list of unanswered questions, with the answers I’ve found out.
1. Should I buy a wearable, and is Withings the one?
Why not? I needed a watch, with a preference for an analogue. A normal classic from Olivia Burton, Komono and DW easily cost USD$150. We are in the 21st century, how could I remain so dinosaur without trying a smart watch? Withing’s Pop was in the price range, it looks decent, and it tells the time.
2. How would I look in it? Does it match with my office wear?
I can imagine that the watch should look fine on guys regardless of what they wear, but how about on ladies? That silicon strap isn’t the most intuitively lady-like accessory. Google images didn’t provide me with the answer, so I shall sacrifice a few gangly pictures of myself for the girls to have a better idea how you might look while wearing it.
p.s OK. Pics can be quite embarrassing. What I realised, AFTER buying, was that Withings has an Instagram lookbook. This could be useful.
3. Can I change the silicone strap to a leather one which is NOT from Withings?
Yes, you may.
Withing’s engineers are very smart and considerate. They’ve engineered a strap notch which made it very very very easy to take off the strap and change it to another of their Withings wristbands. I was concerned if I’m stuck to having to buy their straps, which is USD$40 for 3 (it comes in 3, you must always buy 3). I’ve checked in with my neighbourhood watch shop. The boss told me that normal straps can fit the Withings. So if you would like to swap the strap to a leather one for more sophistication, you can just pop by a normal watch shop. Just don’t swim with that watch in its leather strap.
4. Will I exercise more?
I didn’t exercise more. From the watch, you can directly see from the smaller dial how close you are to the target you need to hit per day, but if you lack discipline in exercising, you lack discipline. I’m sorry.
Nonetheless, I must agree, I became more conscious to be active. I don’t mind walking a bit more or climbing the stairs instead of the escalator during peak hour. Besides, especially when the counter is close to hitting the daily target, I am more inclined to bring out the skipping rope before midnight to reach at least the 10,000 steps target, so as to let the mobile app praise me for my good work done. (You can set your own level of target.)
More useful things I found out after wearing one.
1.Tuning the time
By right, the watch syncs automatically to your mobile’s time. Mine wasn’t that accurate. When my mobile reads 11am, the watch will sync as 11.10am instead. No need to scramble for refund! When you’re calibrating the watch, the mobile app will tell you to shift the minute hand to 12 (makes sense). The trick is, don’t do that. Instead, on your watch, stop the minute hand 10minutes before 12. Voilà, nailed it!
2. Checking the alarm time on the watch
By right, tapping the screen of the watch twice will make the watch’s hands swirl to the alarm time. Mine didn’t really respond. Jus say’in. Well, the consolation is although this function sounds cool, it really doesn’t matter.
3. You wont wear it 24/7
By right, you need to wear it constantly to track all your activities from exercising to sleeping. I can’t. Sometimes, I take it off even when I’m exercising cause it’s more liberating. I don’t wear it to sleep everyday. It’s fun to wear it to sleep though, cause the next morning, you can synch to your app and see you how long you were in deep sleep or light sleep to understand your sleep quality.
4. Syncing of data
By right, it should sync efficiently. It did. I heard from fitbit users that if you don’t sync your fitbit for 3 days, it takes eons for your app to update accordingly. For the Pop, it synced pretty fast even when I update only after 3 days. I even tried syncing to the phone while the watch was 3m away, and the synching went per normal. Cool.
5. It’s fun
By right, it should make exercising a more happy thing. It kind of did it. The Withings team designed their Health Mate app (free on iTunes and Google Play) to encourage you to progressively unlock tokens. It also shames you if you were less active than last week.
One other thing. Withings doesn’t count calories of your intake (what you eat) compared to your output (how much you’ve moved). Fitbit tracks both intake (you’ve got to punch it in your handphone app) and output (tracked by Fitbit), but Withings only gives you an estimate of the calories burned based on the activities tracked. Still informative.
Buy, if you want an analogue watch to tell time AND try out an activity measuring gadget at the same time.
Will you get a wearable?
I’m not sponsored, if you need to know.
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