Withings Go bets on E-Ink, 8-month battery, simplicity for $69 health tracker

Simplicity sells, particularly when it comes to wearable devices. That's the premise behind the new Withings Go, which captures and shows health tracking basics on low-power display.

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Withings has always relied on simplicity for its health wearables and the new Withings Go is no exception: The $69 tracker uses a low-power display combined with intelligence to automatically measure exercise, sleep, steps and swimming.

By using a round E-Ink touchscreen and low-cost button cell battery found in traditional watches, Withings says the new Go will last for 8 months before needing a new battery.

Don't expect tons of detailed data on that display though. There are 88 graphics segments representing progress towards activities: Hit your daily health goals and you'll light them all up around the edge of the circular device. An icon in the middle of the display shows the various activities tracked and hitting your goal turns that icon into a star. Essentially, this is a glanceable dashboard tied to your own personal health goals.

Inside, sensors can help the Withings Go distinguish between different activities, making it even simpler to use. When walking or running, the Go measures progress towards steps, distance, run duration and calories, for example. In the pool - the Withings Go is water-resistant - it shows duration and calories. And at night, the device will track sleep patterns between light and deep sleep cycles.

All of the data syncs to the Withings Health Mate app for Android and iOS, so you're not limited to 88 graphical bars of data; you can get details within the app.

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What about when you're not walking around, swimming to sleeping?

Touch the Go's screen and it displays a traditional watch face on the low power E-Ink display. No, you won't get more than that - there are no smartphone notifications, for example - but if you're going to wear something like the Go all the time, you'll likely want to see the time.

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The Withings Go, available later this quarter, can be clipped on to your clothes, put in a pocket or be worn like a standard watch: The device clips into a compatible watch band of those wanting it on their wrist.