Withings Pulse Ox
- - Incredible battery life
- - Automatic sync
- - Array of trackers
- - Sleek profile
- - Not waterproof
- - Display underperforms outdoors
More and more tech companies are focusing on meeting people’s health and fitness needs to try and make the world become more active. Now, more than ever, people are more focused on what they eat and how to keep healthy and stay fit. And one form of tech that has come out of this new era of health and fitness are activity trackers. These are designed to help you to understand how active you are during the day and some even help you to track your sleep at night.
Essentially, fitness trackers all do the same thing but they come in different shapes and sizes with some coming with features that their competition does not provide. Withings recently sent us the Pulse Ox and we’ve been using it as a daily fitness tracker for a while. In this review, you’ll get an insight as to how it performed and our general thoughts on it.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”We’ve never seen an activity tracker this versatile”[/pullquote]
The actual design of this fitness tracker is quite unique. We’ve never seen an activity tracker this versatile from other manufacturers so this is quite refreshing. As time passed we really enjoyed using this product. The actual device itself is in the form of a rectangular shaped device – which is pretty small compared to other fitness trackers. However, even though it is a little smaller than other fitness trackers we were more than happy with the results. It’s small and lightweight so you hardly ever notice that you have it on you. You can just get on with your day and let the device do all the work.
Pulse Ox is available in black or blue
The Pulse Ox comes in a blue and black variant for people to choose from; both colours look incredible but really depend on your personal taste. However, these colour options are only for the accessories (the strap and clip), the actual device itself is black with the Withings logo displayed up top with the only button on the device. The charging port is located at the bottom and the heart rate monitor is at the back of the device.
Due to it’s small size and the fact that it’s not attached to anything, you can use the Pulse Ox in two different ways. What we liked about this device is that it ships with two different accessories to suit your needs. First there is the option to wear the device around your wrist, like many other fitness trackers. To do this you just slide the Pulse Ox into the band provided and put it on as if it were a watch. The strap was very comfortable when we tested it as the bands are made out of a rubbery material and the actual housing of where the Pulse slides into is a metal structure to keep it in place.
The Pulse Ox can also be clipped on to your clothes
However, you also have the option to use the Pulse Ox as a clip-on tracker with the clip provided in the box. You simply place the Pulse Ox into the case and clip on the tracker to your clothes. The interchangeability is incredibly useful because on a daily routine it’s nice to have the Pulse around your arm for you to be able to see it quickly. But when you’re out for a run, it’s nice to have the option to clip it onto your clothes so you’re not having to look at it constantly.
Both options were comfortable and easy to use. It only takes a couple of seconds for you to change between each option so you will always have the choice of which method you prefer.
Although the design and accessories of the device were something that we appreciated, there was one thing that we feel was missed out when Withings designed the Pulse Ox. We feel the device would have been much more convenient if it was water resistant. Although for us there were no problems when it was raining and we were wearing the device, with an exposed port, if water was to get in it could cause some serious damage to the device. So taking it off when having a shower or going for a swim is something to take note of.
The Pulse’s screen is not like the normal screens on many other fitness trackers. It is an OLED touch screen that stays off for most the time and comes on when you press the button so you can see your data. Although the touch screen works with swipes being recognised and changing the screens, the main problem with the screen is the visibility.
Indoors, it is very easy to make out what the screen is showing as it is bright and the OLED screen contrasts with the black bezels to make it very visible. However, once you take the device outside this is when it starts to suffer. This is because in direct sunlight it is not bright enough for you to be able to see your step count. When outside, you can just about make out what is on the screen so this is something where there is room for improvement.
By swiping on the screen you can see different data that the fitness tracker picks up. For example, the main screen will show the number of steps that you have walked. This is then followed by a screen for elevation, which counts the feet you climb. The third screen will show you distance travelled and the final screen shows you how many calories you have burnt.
Another feature that the device has that makes it stand out from some of its rivals, is seeing 10 days of data history. This means that on the device itself you can see how many calories you walked off in the past days so you can compare this to your current day. We love this feature as for people who are serious about fitness they may have goals and being able to see previous data on the device is much more convenient than pulling out your smartphone to check whilst on the go.
From steps to sleep
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”the Pulse Ox is one of the most informative fitness trackers currently on the market.”[/pullquote]
The Pulse Ox comes with an array of different features. One of the main features which is found on almost every fitness tracker is the step counter. This was something that the device was very good at keeping track of. The steps recorded by the device were, for the most part, accurate and we had a good indication as to how many steps we had taken but we also had other information such as distance travelled which was useful.
The device also comes with a sleep tracker. This tracks and records your sleep pattern so that you can review this on the app on your phone. Similar to the steps tracker, this was also accurate. The graph even noted areas where you were awake which could have been because you were turning trying to get into a comfortable position. It can also detect when you are awake and automatically stop recording your sleep pattern.
One feature that would have been useful is if the device could automatically detect when you were about to go to sleep. This would have been a much better way to record sleep patterns. Unfortunately, on the Pulse Ox, this is something that has to be done manually. You have to swipe on the screen and select the sleep mode to tell the device that you are going to sleep. This could be something that you often forget to do, especially if you are tired, which is why it would have been better for the device to detect this automatically.
It is also important to note that the Pulse Ox also comes with a heart rate monitor. This allows you to check your heart rate, which may be something you want to do before and after a workout. As well as checking your heart rate, it can also check the level of oxygen in your blood which is an informative piece of info, as well as something that makes it stand out from its rivals.
Overall, in terms of functionality and capability, the Pulse Ox is one of the most informative fitness trackers currently on the market. It tracks steps, sleep, heart rate, oxygen, and a lot more which makes it the perfect companion for health-conscious people who want to know this crucial information.
Charging & battery
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”The best thing, by far, about the Pulse Ox is the battery life”[/pullquote]
The device comes with a Micro USB cable that you can use to charge the device. As it charges via USB, you can plug the cable into laptops, TV’s, and many other USB-compatible devices to charge the device. This makes charging very convenient and actually charging the device is simple and fast to do; unlike other devices that have awkward charging ports that are difficult to get to.
The best thing, by far, about the Pulse Ox is the battery life. Compared to other fitness trackers, the Pulse Ox performs much better when it comes to battery. With other fitness trackers you may be required to charge them on a daily basis or maybe even after a couple of days. But the Pulse Ox’s battery can last well over a week, in fact, we were able to get just under 2 weeks of use before having to charge the device again.
App & Sync
The Pulse Ox, like most fitness trackers, comes with a companion app.
Pulse Ox App
The Pulse connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the device will sync the data to the app automatically – without you having to do anything. This was something we liked as it means information is always readily available. You won’t need to manually sync information and then wait for it to become available which can be time-consuming and inconvenient.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#108ad6″ class=”” size=””]”Information is always readily available…”[/pullquote]
The app itself was something we really enjoyed using. It was clean, simple and easy to navigate around. As well as using data from the Pulse, the app also allows you to insert data manually – such as your weight, height, etc. This allows you to get a more well-rounded summary of your body and health.
The presentation of information was also good as different information is presented to you in various ways for you to easily asses your health and fitness. In the app, there is a small graph that shows you your activity, sleep patterns and your heart rate recordings.
There is also an option to tap on ‘timeline’, which allows you to view all your data and compare it to previous days. At the top of the page is your goal and a percentage which indicates how much of your goal you have achieved. You have simple graphs to show you the sleep patterns and step counts over time and clicking on them gives a more detailed view. For example, clicking on the sleep section will allow you to see how long you slept for and what periods in the night you were awake. Similarly, the step count graph shows you what time of day you were most active.
In summary, we have to say that this is an activity tracker we really enjoyed using. It’s versatile and has a wide array of features. More importantly, its cheaper than others in its range – which means that it is certainly better value for money. One of the downfalls however, was that the Pulse is possibly not the most precise for tracking. However, although it may not be as precise as some top end activity trackers which have additional characteristics such as being water-resistant and slightly better design – it’s still a fantastic product.
It has incredible functionality, great design, a beautiful display and accurate tracking – which is then presented in a great format.
If you’re looking to get your first fitness tracker or you’re just somone who wants something reliable that gets the job done, you can’t go wrong with the Withings Pulse Ox.
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