- Excellent battery life
- Unobtrusive design
- Clear display
- Simple operation
- Poor watch functionality
- Tricky wrist strap clasp
- No backlight
- No GPS
Withings Go review: There are a slew of activity trackers on the market today, but the new Withings Go might be the one that strikes the best balance so far.
As a rule of thumb when it comes to wearable design, simplicity is key. You need such products to be versatile enough to suit a host of different environments and complement an array of outfits or be able to be worn without being on show. From a functionality standpoint, you want to access desired features, safe in the knowledge that it won’t require a 14-button combination to pull off as well.
Thankfully on first encounter with the Go, you’ll realise that it can competently meet all these criteria. It’s small, smooth plastic body takes up around the same volume as two £2 coins stacked on top of each other. That makes it pretty unobtrusive if you want to keep it hidden away in a pocket, but you don’t have to.
Withings has also bundled the Go with two additional accessories, a clip case, that lets you slip it over clothing, such as a pocket or belt (or loop it to your keychain) and a silicone wrist strap, so you can glance at it like a conventional watch.
The cases and straps come in a range of five colours; from an understated black (pictured above) to a punchy yellow, giving you the option to turn the Go into a statement piece of functional fashion if you choose. The minimalist aesthetics of the cases, straps and the tracker itself are decidedly more contemporary than some might like, which is one of the few drawbacks to the Go’s otherwise intelligent design.
Slotting the tracker loose into a pocket is arguably the easiest way to wear it. Provided there’s nothing sharp (i.e. keys) sharing the same space, it’s unlikely to mark anything else you slot in there and its size, paired to its circular shape and rounded edges mean that you’ll seldom notice it moving around.
Placing it in the clip case makes it more accessible, whilst the silicon band is thin and comfortable enough to wear 24/7. However, the pin and notch design to wrap the strap around your wrist is a little tricky to close up and has the potential to pop open should you catch it on something if you’re not careful too.
Functionality and performance
For such a simple looking tracker, the Go offers an impressive spread of functionality, mainly with regards to what it can track. General activity is logged and displayed as a circular progress bar across the device’s always-on E Ink screen, so it’s easily glanceable even in bright sunlight, letting you keep tabs on how far from your daily goal you still have to go.
Pressing hard (until you feel it click, something we didn’t initially realise, aggressively tapping, expecting a response) on the Go’s screen switches out the tracker’s progress bar for an analogue watch face. There are no numbers and no option on the Go itself or from its companion app to change the style of the face, which is a little frustrating as it can be tricky to read, not least because the tracker itself tends to shift and twist in the wrist strap over time, meaning the top point where 12 o’clock should be and where it actually is, don’t always align.
Hit your activity goal for the day and the centre icon of the tracker’s face will change from a walking figure to a star, so you know you’re making genuine progress in your fitness regime.
By wearing the Go on your wrist, it’s also a competent sleep tracker, logging light and deep sleep states as well as being able to monitor your swimming sessions. Being able to handle the wet stuff (up to 50 metres) is a massive advantage over similarly specced and priced trackers that would fizzle out when exposed to anything more than a little sweat, as it means you can truly wear it everywhere – whilst in the shower, washing your hands, in the rain, in the gym and of course, the pool.
As those who’ve dipped their toes into the activity tracking market will already know, it’s a crowded space, but few seem to have managed to combine the usability of the Go, along with its versatility, exceptional 8-month battery life and a sub £50 price tag (£49.95).
If you’re looking for a tracker that can help you keep tabs on your movements all day and all night, whether you’re running in the park or swimming lengths in the pool, the Withings Go has all the essential functionality you could ask for.
|Screen size||1-inch (circular)|
|OS||Android and iOS|
|Bonus features||Sleep tracking, swim tracking, achievements, water resistance, E Ink display|