Withings Pulse HR marks a new step into fitness bands

Withings is not just making stainless steel analog watches with health-tracking features — it’s making its first attempt at a wrist-worn fitness tracker in 5 years with the new Pulse HR.

Evolving from 2013’s Pulse tracker, the Pulse HR adds the eponymous optical heart rate monitor which can track pulse six times an hour or continuously in workout mode. The sensor, along with GPS and what’s touted to be a “category-leading” 20-day battery, are encased in reinforced polycarbonate and 316L stainless steel with a black silicone band — good for swimming with up to 5 ATM resistance.

While the mechanics sound pretty mundane for a fitness tracker, one of the software features might intrigue health watchers: the Pulse HR can not only track sleep, but determine when in the user’s sleep cycle is best to set off a vibration alarm. The vibration motor is also used for notifications.

Not much is said for the minimalistic monochrome display, but it does the job of basic information conveyance — more details and charts on fitness, health and sleep metrics can be seen on the complementary Health Mate app.

Amazon and Withings are offering pre-orders for the Pulse HR at $129.95 with shipments beginning December 5. Black is the only color on showcase now, but more bands will be added in January.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.