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Withings Go review: A fine e-ink fitness tracker, but it should have been a better watch

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MSRP: $79.95
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The Good Months-long battery life; always-on e-ink display; comes with band and clip accessories; easy to use and set up. Water resistant for swimming.

The Bad Chunky design and unattractive band; no extra watch faces or ways to see health data on the Go screen; can't be set to show the time as the always-on display.

The Bottom Line Long battery life, water resistance and an always-on screen are the best features of the Withings Go, but for its price you can find better overall fitness trackers.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Battery 8
  • Performance 7
  • Software 7
  • Features 7

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It's hard to come up with a new spin on the basic fitness tracker. The Withings Go, with a few key changes, could have been a nearly perfect budget fitness band. Instead, the Go -- available for $80 or £50 (equivalent to AU$100) -- is a cute little fitness button that doesn't quite add up to something I'd want wear. It's got an e-ink display that's always on. But it doesn't make good use of it.

Withings, the French connected-wellness company that was just acquired by Nokia, makes a few fitness trackers -- notably, the analog watch-like Activite Pop. That watch earned my love by being an easy-to-use everyday watch with long battery life and basic tracking. Imagine that watch but in a chunky plastic body with wrist and clip accessories plus a digital e-ink screen, and you have the Go. I wore one for about a week, and...it's pretty bare-bones. And, unfortunately, it's nowhere near as good a watch as the Activite.

flwithingsgo.jpg

An e-ink screen stays on all the time, and can even be clicked (but doesn't do much).

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Go is white, but comes with two packed-in accessories in one of five colors (black, blue, green, red or yellow): a rubbery wristband and a plastic belt clip that doubles as a keychain fob. It runs off a coin battery, lasting an estimated eight months. It can be worn while swimming, too. It feels durable, but also clunky.

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