Withings has a long story of creating stylish wearable devices and in the last few years has been creating a series of healthcare electronics that are really great pieces of design and engineering.
The latest Withings Move ECG is an analog watch that doubles as an activity tracker, sleep monitor and allows you to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) at any time. Add to this a very long battery life and it is hard to look past this fine piece of design.
My first experience with Withings was the original Withings Activité Sapphire - I still use it to this day, thanks to its great white face, simple design with a single complication that shows the progress percentage towards your steps goal for the day.
The Withings Move ECG is not much different in design from the original. Unlike other sport versions, it does not have a LCD. It goes back to having a single complication on its face, moved just a bit higher - and the branding Withings moved from the 12 o'clock position to the 9 o'clock. It has printed numbers instead of raised bars. Another thing you will notice is the body - it has a plastic case with bottom and bezel in stainless steel instead of being 100% metal like the Withings Activité Sapphire.
At 38mm diametre and fitting an 18mm wristband, the Withings Move ECG weights 32g only - I mean, compared with the 250g of my Omega Seamaster, this is almost nothing.
Activity tracking is an essential part - and heritage - of the Withings Move ECG. It automatically tracks your steps, run, swim and more without having to open the app. You can long-press the button to mark the start of activity but for the most part the watch will recognise the different motions and record the data automatically. New with this version of the watch is the integrated altimeter, so it also measures floors climbed in meters/feet and have this reported as well.
It seems very accurate - at least it shows numbers similar to other trackers I've tried at the same time for accuracy testing.
On top of that, it is waterproof to up to 50 metres (5 ATM) - and since it comes with a silicone wristband you can just as easily measure your water exercise.
The sleep tracking feature will record your sleep - including duration of different sleep cycles, times awake and how regular your cycles are. As a result, you can see the quality of sleep you are getting including a score assigned to each night. And if you use Withings Move ECG as an alarm clock, the smart wakeup feature will buzz on your wrist at the best time within your light sleep to get up so you are still feeling fresh when it's time to get up.
The most interesting feature on the Withings Move ECG is undoubtedly the electrocardiogram on-demand - from wherever you are. The company claims this is the world's first analog watch to record an electrocardiogram (ECG) on-demand and detect atrial fibrillation (AFib) via the Health Mate app. AFib is a form of irregular heart rhythm, known to be a major risk factor for stroke.
Recording an ECG is very simple - and the reason why the case is not 100% metal. You start the ECG with a short push of the button on the side of the watch. You then touch the top metal bezel with two fingers (one on each side). What happens here is that a small electric pulse will travel from the metal bottom of the watch, through your body, to the other arm and through your fingers to close the circuit. The exercise indicator will start a 30-second countdown and the watch will then record your heart's rhythm over that time.
ECGs can detect a range of conditions, from angina to severe heart attacks. Withings Move ECG focuses on detecting atrial fibrillation.
Now the cool part... If you have the Health Mate app open you can see this data being collected and at the end, you get an instant result - including your heart rate and if you have signs of atrial fibrillation. The app will show you the ECG chart and also make it available as a PDF that you can download or email to your doctor.
The Withings Move ECG works in sync with your smartphone. The Health Mate app makes sure your watch software is updated, time is correct and synchronises activity, ECG and sleep data from your watch to the cloud. It also gives you important information about your health, based on the collected data. The watch itself has enough memory to store up to five days of data so you don't have to keep the devices constantly connected - but since Bluetooth on my smartphone is always on, this process is completely transparent.
Having your watch connected is also important if you want to track location data for your exercise as it uses your smartphone's GPS to track positioning and pair that information with your exercise data.
The silicone wristband uses a quick release system so it's pretty easy to replace with something different in case you want to make it a bit more personal (as I have done with my original Withings Activité).
Like its predecessors, the Withings Move ECG is an exceptional value for the - ever-increasing - features it offers.