Here at CES 2015 Withings announced the Activité Pop, a low-cost version of its gorgeous fitness tracking wristwatch. I just spent some time with the device, and it's a fun, colorful alternative to its big brother — and the $149.95 asking price isn't too bad, either.
Functionally, the new watch is the same as the original Activité; it's a regular old watch with 8-month battery life that uses motion tracking to track your steps, when you're sleeping, and other basic functions. The difference here is price, materials, and looks. The Pop uses PVD-coated metal for the body, making for three different color variants: blue, black, and a pale tan. Withings is also making alternate bands as separate accessories, with one alternative band designed for each watch body (in a nice touch, the name "Activité Pop" on the watch face itself is rendered in the same color as the alternate band, creating a cohesive whole when using the matching band or the alternative).
The silicone strap was nice and grippy on my wrist while still remaining light, but there was a decent amount of give as well — making we worry briefly that I could punch a hole through the band when adjusting it to a different size. Readability was also an issue; the Pop does not use the same sapphire front as the original Activité, and it seemed very prone to picking up reflections. Granted, the floor of CES Unveiled is potentially the least friendly environment in the galaxy for those kind of impressions, but it's something to be mindful of.
In our review of the original watch, we also had an issue with the thickness. That's true here as well, with the Pop raising up off the wrist just a bit more than you'd expect. It's surprising partially due to the clever design — the underside of the watch swoops down, giving it a thinner appearance — but the watch gives off such a playful Swatch vibe I found myself wanting to take one home nevertheless.
Anyone inclined to do so is in luck, as the watch is available in select Best Buy locations starting today. It will be coming to online outlets — including Withings' own online store — in the weeks ahead.