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Withings Pulse - Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

Michael Sawh

By Michael Sawh



  • Recommended by TR
Withings Pulse


Our Score:


Withings Pulse - Performance

The Pulse is extremely simple and easy to use. Testing the Pulse against the Fitbit One the data for tracking steps and elevation remained consistent throughout. The heart rate monitor works well but did occasionally struggle to take a reading. It’s usually rectified by moving the Pulse further along your finger.

The Pulse offers useful data on sleep activity via the apps and on the device itself. It’s really useful to see the sleep percentage as soon as you wake up and get an immediate idea of whether you are getting enough sleep. It does lack the silent alarm that the Fitbit One and the Jawbone Up include, but it’s not a major issue that it’s not there.

Running the Run detection mode against the Nike iOS app, readings for timing and distance covered showed very minor differences. That could be affected down by one of the devices being worn on the arm and the other in the pocket which can affect the performance of the accelerometer.

Overall, tracking is accurate and provides a useful amount of data to analyse later. It is worth noting that the screen is extremely difficult to see in sunlight and lacks the brightness of the OLED display on the Fitbit One.

Withings Pulse press images 1

Withings Pulse - Battery Life

The Pulse has a two week battery life which in theory beats the Fuelband and Fitbit’s one week claim. We only had to charge the Pulse once when we first took it out of the box and haven’t had to grab the charging cable more than a week later.

That’s another great thing about the Pulse, the micro USB charging. With the Fitbit especially you really need to keep an eye on the charging dock/cable. With the Pulse though, you can use the cable from your smartphone to power it up again.

There’s also a Power Save mode giving you an extra 24 hours of life when you’ve forgotten to charge. We didn’t have to dip into it, but it’s nice to know that there is that backup option.

Should I buy the Withings Pulse?

The Withings Pulse at £89.95 is more expensive than the Fitbit One (£79.95) but cheaper than the Jawbone UP (£99.99) and the Nike Fuelband (£129). For the price though, it’s smaller than other tracking monitors and offers more features. The web and smartphone and apps provide useful data as well.

The decision also comes down to whether you prefer to a wristband device or one that clamps onto the waistband of your jeans. The problem we found is that when you change those jeans, it’s easy to leave the Pulse behind.


The Withings Pulse packs a lot into such a small body. It’s so easy to use, has a great battery life and has the unique features that make it the best fitness tracking device to buy right now. Your move Fitbit and Jawbone…

Next, read our round-up of the best headphones for running

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 9
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 9

Matthew Thompson

July 22, 2013, 10:39 am

Guys - the Withings website states this is $99/€99 - far from free/subscription.

Avivben Menachem

July 22, 2013, 11:50 am

Aviv ben menachem The customer service is outstanding: Thank
you so much for all you've contributed to our community. Whenever you'd like to
write another review,
we'd love to hear from you.

Craig Herberg

July 22, 2013, 12:22 pm

This sounds like a nice additional choice for consumers. Some of its shortcomings may be dealbreakers for some, but it will likely improve in the next version.

Julien Gautier

July 22, 2013, 1:28 pm

Hello, I'm Julien, Community Manager at Withings. I just read through the (very nice!) review and I wanted to clarify a point: it is perfectly possible to display the activity data for the current day in the mobile app, there seems to be a confusion in the review in that regard. Also as Matthew points out, and as the review mentions in the last paragraph, the product indeed retails at £89.95, $99.95 or €99.95.

Michael Sawh

July 22, 2013, 4:07 pm

Hey Julien, thanks for your response. I'm not sure why I was having the problems checking the current data on the app. As mentioned, the £89.95 price has now been added to the top of the article as well.

Jon Souter

July 22, 2013, 4:58 pm

Interesting product. Can anyone offer comments on how and/or whether the pedometer feature is sensitive enough to register leg strokes when cycling, skating, etc?

Grateful for any hands-on experiences with activities other than walking and running.

Paul Schinder

July 24, 2013, 5:48 pm

No, it's not that sensitive. I got mine last Monday and took it on a mountain bike ride the next day, carrying it in a cycling jersey pocket. It knew something was up, but didn't track distance, elevation gain, or calorie burn at all well (compared to my Garmin Edge 800). The next day I took it on a road ride, and it barely registered anything. It's definitely for "feet impacting on ground" type activities. Now I simply leave it at home when I'm either mountain or road biking.

Jeremy Low

August 10, 2013, 9:15 am

Just got mine about a week ago! The step counts is quite accurate, compared it to my Fitbit One. Heart rate monitoring is a big plus, especially for me since I do not have to wear a heart rate strap which I hate!! for my workouts. just a note, it will not be able to take continuous heart rate reading.

FYI, I got it from http://www.hrmdiscount.com/... , Amazon seems to be taking pre-orders at the moment.


May 11, 2014, 5:33 pm

Here is the result after using "Withing Pulse" during 5 nights (sleeping mode) : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/...

"Catastrophique" !!! :-(


May 14, 2014, 5:18 pm

“Withings” is going to analyse my “Withings Pulse” in order to find what’s wrong about it.


September 22, 2015, 2:43 am

I've given up on my second Withings Pulse. Each charge cycle on both of my Pulses got slightly shorter. At about one year, my Pulses were nearly unusable and the battery cannot be replaced. Try using a sleep/daytime activity monitor that quits 24-36 hours after a full charge.

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