The trials and tribulations of Withings are well documented. The once-independent hardware startup known for creating stylish, functional wearables, released a number of impressive products under the Activité and Steel lines back through 2016 — until it was acquired by newly phone-free Nokia.
Nokia, like Intel and many larger companies that struggled to integrate wearables into their long-term focus, ended up releasing minor iterations of Withings' existing products until it reached a deal in mid-2018 to sell the firm back to its original founders.
Newly independent once again, Withings is back at CES 2019 with a new lineup of products led by the Move and Move ECG wearables. Both are analog watches that measure steps and sleep and accrue workout metrics automatically from walking, running, swimming, and cycling.
The Move, available in early February for $70, is interesting because of Withings' long-term strategy for the line. While there will be five colors available at launch, including delightful aqua-and-white and red-and-white options, the company says it will release new colors on a monthly basis. And by year's end, Withings will allow users to completely customize every aspect of the watch, from the shade of the aluminum body to the strap to the color of the dials.
With an 18-month battery, the Move series will likely be the more universal and interesting of Withings' CES announcements, but it's not the only one worth noting.
The Move ECG has the same basic design as its cheaper counterpart, but adds three electrodes that facilitate the measurement of one's heart rhythm. In late 2017, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 4 with the ability to measure heart rhythm, mainly with the intention of diagnosing — or getting as close to as possible without a hospital visit — Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib.
Because there's no screen, the Move ECG records on the watch and synchronizes the metrics with an iOS or Android app. Withings says that the ECG functionality is currently under review by the FDA.
Because of its additional functionality, the Move ECG only has a 12-month battery life, but both can easily be replaced using a standard watch cell.
Move ships February 5 for $69.95, while Move ECG comes a few weeks later, sometime in Q2, for $129.95.
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