Two months after its official return as a brand, the French consumer electronics company Withings is continuing what’s turned into something of an extended comeback. Nokia had acquired the company almost two years ago, but the company recently bought itself back and reintroduced itself to the public thanks to a new logo, website and stylish new product in the form of the Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch and fitness tracker.
And today, the company is announcing its second new device since moving ownership away from Nokia. It’s the Pulse HR, a water-resistant fitness tracker that comes with features like connected GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, smartphone notifications and 20-day battery life.
According to the company, this is a revival of the classic design of the Withings Pulse, which was the first tracker the company launched back in 2013. It continues an expansion of the company’s line of wearables and includes a black soft silicone wristband as part of the design, which users can exchange for different color options to suit their personal taste (additional wristband colors are coming in January). Also part of the design is a reinforced black polycarbonate surface within a stainless steel casing.
A PPG (photoplethysmography) heart rate sensor is built into the device and measures the user’s pulse in 10-minute intervals throughout the day and night, as well as providing continuous heart rate measurements during workouts. That heart rate feature also gives users a breakdown of their workout session, showing how their heart rate fluctuated from workout to workout.
In terms of usage, all the user needs to do is raise their wrist or press a button on the tracker to see and scroll through information on the OLED display — data that ranges from calories burned to the day and time, as well as progress toward daily health goals.
This all follows Withings’ launch of the Steel HR Sport two months ago, a tracker that was the first from Withings to offer Fitness Level assessments. Steel HR Sport users are measured on their heart’s and the muscles’ ability to convert oxygen into energy during physical exercise. The fitter you are, the higher that score will be.
“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 Withings president Eric Carreel. “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.”
Among the Pulse HR’s other features:
You get dedicated multisport tracking for activities that range from volleyball to yoga. Thanks to the heart rate tracking, you can get a look at the intensity of your workouts, including calories spent, and the device also offers automatic activity recognition for basic activities like walking, running and swimming. Speaking of the latter, the device is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It also functions as a sleep tracker, studying patterns and offering up analysis of your sleep behavior, like length and quality of sleep.
Regarding sleep, the device even goes farther there. A Smart Wake feature means the Pulse HR can wake you up with a vibration at the right time during your sleep cycle, and the device will also offer a “Sleep Smarter Program” — steps you can take over the course of eight weeks to improve your sleep.
There are also smart notifications for things like texts, calls and emails, and the notifications can be personalized in the Health Mate app, available on iOS and Android.