Simple and minimalistic in design, the stylish and sleek Withings Pulse HR fitness tracker is perfect for the casual user looking to track and work on their fitness with an effortless-to-use affordable fitness tracker.
With its extraordinary 20-day battery life, heart rate monitor, tracking support…. This is definitely one to consider.
It’s not all good though. Lacking a standalone GPS, the Pulse HR solely relies on a connected GPS and your smartphone. There’s also a small range of workouts available to track.
A Design Breakdown & Analysis:
The Pulse has a sophisticated design that makes it look slimmer than it actually is. The strap is made of ultra-smooth black rubber and the body is hardened plastic and mixed metals. This does resist scratching and should be very durable. The Pulse is light weight, at only 45g, which is much thinner than competitors such as the Fitbit Charge 3.
Underneath the Pulse HR lies the high-precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer, the hotoplethysmography (PPG) and light sensor. All sophisticated technologies designed for accurate measurements of heart-rate, distance/direction travelled and more. Water resistant down to 50m makes this fitness tracker primed and ready for pool and shower use.
Is The Screen Any Good?
The screen is where the Pulse HR’s quality begins to waver. With the OLED display of only 0.75 inches, the screen covers just 30% of the total surface area of the face. This is a real disappointment for users looking for a bigger and more detailed display. Icons are very clearly pixelated and quite blurry.
To keep the device user-friendly and easy to use, it sacrifices a colour screen for a minimal and simplistic display. The digital clock is set as the default screen. Easy to activate with a simple raise of the wrist. Below the clock lies a progress bar indicating how far away you are from reaching your set goal. Unfortunately, there is no way to customise any of the display features. This makes the device easy to use, but boring for users who want a fun and customisable design.
In order to increase the convenience of the device and improve user experience, the Pulse HR has an ambient brightness sensor. This automatically adjusts the brightness to allow reading regardless of light levels.
A Performance & Software Breakdown:
The performance of the Withings Pulse HR can be summed up in two words – very basic. It tracks basic exercises such as running, swimming, cycling or ‘other’. A multi-sport option adds some depth to user experience. Accessed by a long press of the right hand button to gain enter the exercise tracking menu. However, it doesn’t compare to other devices of a similar price.
Data shown includes current heart rate, calories burned, steps counted, and distance travelled. Ideal for a casual jogger and so on, but not for users seeking an advanced fitness experience. The Health Mate App, on the user’s phone, displays a summary of daily activity, data on sleep and also maps cycling/running routes.
Sleep tracking is quite impressive and users are able to wake up to a sleep score. Calculated based on light and deep sleep cycles and the amount of interruptions over the night. A nice vibrating alarm is also included.
Overall, the screen is very simple and easy to navigate – the instruction manual will rarely be required. The 20 day battery life significantly reduces downtime for charging. However, the weak magnetic pull when charging the device means that it can easily dislodge from its charger.
If you’re a professional athlete or you’re looking for a fitness tracker that provides an in-depth and sophisticated analysis of fitness data, then the this is probably not for you. However, if you’re a casual user wanting a simple fitness tracker, then the Pulse HR is definitely worth considering.
Stylish and non-intrusive. It’s perfect for all-day use no matter what the occasion and the battery life is an impressive feature. Costing £120 ($150), this is a viable choice for a casual user looking for a simple and affordable fitness tracker.