What do you look for in an activity tracker? Long battery life? Easy to use? Ability to track sleep, steps, different types of exercise? Waterproof? Affordable? Available in multiple color options? If you answered yes to any, or all of the above then you may be interested in the new Withings Go activity tracker , which I recently had the opportunity to test. It is an affordable, waterproof activity and sleep tracker that has a long battery life and comes in 5 different colors. It is a circular tracker with an e-ink display that a little bigger than a quarter. It works with the Withings Health Mate app and can be worn in a variety of ways.
The Go can be carried in a pocket, worn on the wrist using the included wristband or clipped to your clothing with the included clip. My preferred way of using it is with the wristband. It is soft and comfortable and easy to adjust. If you want to switch to using the clip it only takes seconds to remove from the wristband and install in the clip, so it is very flexible. The Go itself is white and you can choose to have the background display white or black, but the wristband and clip come in a variety of color options. I tested out the simple black, but I like all the fun color options- pink, green, yellow and blue that add a splash of bright color.
To fully use the Go you need to install the free Withings Healthmate app and connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The screen of the Go has an E Ink display, similar to those on a Kindle, so it is permanently on and easy to read in a variety of light conditions (but not in the dark.) The screen shows a running man and lines appear around the periphery to show how far you have come in your daily steps goal (you can adjust your target steps via the app). Once you reach your goal the man is replaced by a star and it continues to record steps. A hard press on the center of the display switches it to time mode. The time is displayed in the style of an analog watch but without numbers, so it can be a little tricky to tell the difference between say 9.25 and 10.25. You can see your daily steps and the time directly on the Go, but for more detailed data you need to use the Healthmate app on your smartphone. You don’t need to keep it connected to your phone all the time, when you are unconnected the Go will store several days worth of data for the next time you synch. I found this very useful on camping trips, where to conserve my phone battery I keep Bluetooth off most of the time, but can still periodically check on my daily activity level. I have had trips where I have not connected for several days and still was able to download all my data when I got home and recharged my phone. On one camping trip I did discover that it is a good idea to remove the Go before applying DEET- based insect repellants, I accidentally splashed some on the screen and it left permanent marks.
Within the Healthmate app you can see steps taken, distance walked; time plus calories burned for each session of walking; as well as separate listing for running and swimming. For me personally I found the walking and running tracked well, but my swim stroke must not fit their algorithm as it does not recognize when I swim (which was the same for me with the Withings Activite Pop we previously reviewed.) The Go also tracks your sleep if you wear it during sleep. It measures light and deep sleep, awakenings and total time slept. It measures based on movement so it is not as accurate as dedicated sleep systems such as the Withings Aura. I did find it sometimes recorded me as sleeping when I was lying still reading or watching television, but it was still a useful reminder for me to see when I was getting an adequate amount of sleep and when I need to change habits to improve my sleep.
Through the Healthmate app it automatically integrates data from other Withings devices such as the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor and smart scales, it also allows you to manually log information such as weight and blood pressure. Healthmate also integrates with Apple Healthkit and many third party health and fitness apps. You can log your nutrition with My Fitness pal and use your favorite apps such Runkeeper and have the data integrated with Healthmate.
For me to regularly use a fitness tracker I find I need to take it off as little as possible- when I remove it is when I’m likely to forget to put it on again and miss tracking. For that reason I much prefer trackers that don’t need frequent charging and the Go is great for this- it runs on a regular button battery which should last up to 8 months (mine is still going strong after 2 months of use.) It is also water-resistant up to 50m which means I can leave it on when showering or swimming so again less opportunity to forget to put it on. Bring able to wear it in a variety of ways makes it flexible- I like to wear it on my wrist, but my husband prefers to clip on a waistband. It is affordably priced at $79.95. Unlike some more expensive trackers it doesn’t have an altimeter so cannot track elevation change, and it doesn’t measure heart rate.
I reviewed the Withings Activite Pop earlier in the year and still love it- the Go is not as stylish as the Activite Pop and although it does tell time it looks like an activity tracker rather than a watch. However the Go is less than half the price of the Activite Pop, so if you are looking for a budget friendly alternative the Go is definitely worth a look.
If you are looking for an affordable sleep and activity tracker the Withings Go is a good option. It is waterproof, has a long battery life, can be worn in a variety of ways, you can see your daily step count at a glance without your smartphone, and tracks steps, sleep, running and swimming. It integrates with many apps and devices via Withings Healthmate app all for under $80.
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).