Withings Move review

A bargain of a hybrid smartwatch, but with some drawbacks

Withings Move
Image Credit; TechRadar

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The Withings Move is a great first step into the world of wearable tech and hybrid smartwatches. It may lack the bells and whistles of its more expensive relatives - the lack of a heart rate monitor may be a deal-breaker for some - but at this price point you can hardly complain.

Despite its low price, the Move retains the classy house style Withings has become famous for. It doesn’t look like a smartwatch, or even a piece of technology at all, yet still delivers the basics in terms of step counting, an alarm, and exercise tracking.

We encountered some inconsistencies with the sleep tracking, but this is usually the least reliable aspect of any wearable, and especially one which is relying purely on movement to work out what’s going on. We wonder if a future software update might help improve this aspect of the Move’s abilities.

Who's this for?

The Withings Move is for someone who is looking for their first hybrid smartwatch and their first fitness tracker. A Move buyer is on a tight budget but still wants a device which offers a great design, a wide range of color options, looks subtle, and can be fitted to any regular watch strap.

In that sense alone the Move ticks a lot of boxes. Its step tracking is accurate, and the fitness features are easy to use, with the system literally taking one press of the watch’s single button to start and stop.

The Move also serves as a great gateway to the rest of the Withings portfolio. After using the Move for a few weeks or months you might be interested in a smart scale, which slots right into the Health Mate app.

After this, you may opt for the Withings Sleep device for more accurate sleep tracking, or a second Withings watch to give you more options while still keeping track of your activity.

It is unlikely that someone who already owns a hybrid smartwatch or a fitness tracker will want to invest in the Move, unless they specifically want a device with a simpler level of functionality. For most current owners of this tech, the Move may well feel like a downgrade.

However, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the data collected by something like a Fitbit, then maybe a step down to the simpler Move is right for you.

Should you buy it?

The Withings Move gets a lot right. It has a classy design, is offered in a good range of colors, accepts any industry-standard strap, and taps neatly into the HealthMate app.

At $70/£60 (around AU$110) the Move is almost in impulse-purchase territory, so will likely be an easy buy for many consumers wanting an entry-level hybrid watch.

That said, it isn’t without its faults. The plastic front and case seem to scratch easily (at least compared to the metal and glass or sapphire crystal of other watches) and we found the sleep tracking to be somewhat wayward, missing several hours from a couple of our nights with the Move.

The lack of a heart rate monitor may also be a reason for some consumers to skip the Move and spend more on a Withings Steel HR instead.

However, if $70/£60 is your budget then the Move gets you into a strong ecosystem via a smartwatch and a fitness tracker which manages to neatly not look like either. And for some readers, we’re sure that’s exactly what you’ll want.

First reviewed: January 2019

Image Credit; TechRadar

Alistair Charlton

Alistair Charlton is a freelance technology and automotive journalist based in London. His career began with a stint of work experience at TechRadar back in 2010, before gaining a journalism degree and working in the industry ever since. A lifelong car and tech enthusiast, Alistair writes for a wide range of publications across the consumer technology and automotive sectors. As well as reviewing dash cams for TechRadar, he also has bylines at Wired, T3, Forbes, Stuff, The Independent, SlashGear and Grand Designs Magazine, among others.