Health-focused wearables company Withings returns today with its second new product since cofounder Éric Carreel bought his company back from Nokia earlier this year.
We called Withings’ first new product, the $200 Steel HR Sport smartwatch that launched in September, a slick watch and activity tracker. Today, Withings launches the $129.95 Pulse HR fitness tracker.
The story so far
As things stand, Withings sells smartwatches; general health tracking devices, such as blood pressure monitors; and connected scales. In its pre-Nokia life, the company also developed a line of Pulse-branded activity trackers, and Withings is carrying on from there with the Pulse HR.
At first glance, the wearable seems akin to the Fitbit Charge 3 activity tracker, though Withings’ incarnation doesn’t have a touchscreen.
As its name suggests, the Pulse HR sports a heart-rate monitor similar to its Pulse predecessors, but there are other notable differentiators this time around.
As you can see in the photo below, both the Withings Pulse (2013) and Withings Pulse O2 (2015) could be removed from their respective waist- and wrist-worn containers and placed inside other straps or holders.
The Withings Pulse HR, on the other hand, is more like a watch, insofar as it is permanently attached to its straps. But the differences only begin here.
The Pulse HR is water-resistant to 50 meters, meaning you can now go swimming. And it also features connected GPS tracking, which gives you location-based smarts, though you will need to have your phone near you at all times.
In terms of body, it sports a black polycarbonate surface inside a stainless steel casing, with a black silicone wristband that can be switched out for other colors.
Same device, different body
In many ways, the Pulse HR is like the Steel HR smartwatch in a different body — it has many of the same features, aside from the aforementioned heart-rate monitoring and connected GPS. It also allows you to track a multitude of different sports, for example, and it shows your calories burned, percentage progress toward a pre-set number of daily steps, quality of sleep, and even notifications from your smartphone. The Pulse HR also promises battery life similar to that of the Steel HR — around 20 days.
“With Pulse HR, we wanted to give people a new form factor from our Steel and Steel HR range that still offers the same wearability, quality design, and best in class battery life,” said Carreel, who now serves as president of Withings. “The band is the perfect fit for anyone who wants a device that offers important tracking features like heart rate monitoring at an affordable rate.”
Pulse HR preorders open today through Withings.com and Amazon, and the company said it will start to ship the device around December 5.
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