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The Withings Pulse HR is a great looking fitness tracker with a decent feature-set for casual exercisers. It also has potentially excellent battery life.
It felt like a crying shame the battery meter was so erratic in our time with the tracker, though Withings has confirmed an upcoming update will fix the issue, we'll update this review when it drops.
Everything else came together really well; It’s lightweight, sleek and is combined with an easy to navigate, albeit basic UI and app.
Even the battery itself didn’t die in our time with it. With a reading of 38% when we got the device, it was still going strong after seven days of normal use and a couple of workouts - impressive in itself.
Exercise tracking is relatively basic and there aren’t many customizations you can apply to workout goals, but with a connected GPS you can still access basic information, like distance, on your wrist mid-run.
It definitely isn’t cheap, but it looks the part and could be worth every penny for a certain type of more casual user, someone who wants to up awareness of their health and habits without signing up for a marathon or triathlon.
Provided Withings fixes its patchy battery meter therefore, the Pulse HR could well be another fantastic device in its wellness portfolio.
Who’s this for?
The Withings Pulse HR is for people who are prepared to pay a premium for a great looking fitness tracker that does the basics and doesn’t need a daily - or even weekly charge.
Should you buy it?
You can get more for less in the likes of the Huawei Band 2 Pro, but nothing balances looks and battery life quite like the Withings HR Pulse. If you’re prepared to pay extra for that combination, then absolutely.
First reviewed: December 2018
Don't think this Withings tracker is the one for you? Below we've put together a selection of trackers that may suit you better.
Huawei Band 2 Pro
Serving up the most bang for buck on the wearable scene, the Huawei Band 2 Pro sports a GPS, up to 21-day battery life and can be had for under £50 if you shop around.
It doesn’t look as good as the Withings HR Pulse, the band or in-hand feel isn't as premium and the Huawei Health app is significantly clunkier than Withings’ Healthmate.
Read our Huawei Band 2 Pro review
Fitbit Alta HR
It’s been around for a while so can be picked up for a lot less than the Withings Pulse HR, the Fitbit Alta benefits from a more comprehensive app, but a less comprehensive feature-set with no connected GPS in sight.
It also has worse battery than the Pulse HR and less premium design, but if you are happy charging a bit more often and tracking your runs on your phone, the Alta HR can save you a fair bit of cash while still tracking your days and nights.
Read our Fitbit Alta HR review
Fitbit Charge 3
Bigger and pricier, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a step above the Pulse HR in terms of standalone functionality. It offers things like stopwatches and timers, in addition to breathing guides and more.
Once again, paired with the Fitbit app, the Charge 3 is also a bit more comprehensive when you’re on your smartphone too, though the Pulse HR still looks both more elegant premium.
Read our Fitbit Charge 3 review
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Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel TechEdit.