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stevehutch
Posts: 125
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Registered: ‎12-02-2012

My Experience with the Withings Pulse

I thought I would make a short (well, kind of) post about my experience with the Withings Pulse. My UP band died last weekend. I called Jawbone and my replacement band is on it's way, though it took too long to actually get it in the mail and won't be here until next week. While waiting for my new UP, I decided to give the Withings Pulse Activity Tracker a try.

 

The device is much like the Fitbit One, a small pod to be placed in a pocket or clipped onto clothing. I will admit it was nice to have a display to view my current stats, but as those stats were inconsistent and un-calibratable (is that a word?), it really didn't matter. You can read more about the Pulse's features on the Withings website. I wanted to mainly talk about the data.

 

I thought I was missing something. Was I supposed to calibrate the device to my personal profile? Evidently, this isn't possible. The Pulse is supposed to measure your daily activity, recording steps, stairs, and pulse and calculating calories and distance. The first thing I noticed was how erratic the Pulse measure my steps. I was stepping while sitting at my desk and while driving. The Pulse seems to be too sensitive to movement. I wish I had my UP to compare the two.

 

The next thing I noticed was the altitude tracking. I climbed my basement stairs 4 times one morning and the Pulse only recorded 9 ft. of altitude. Later that day at work, with no stairs, it increase to 22 ft. As with the Fitbit One (which I used for a month in December of last year), the altitude sensor just doesn't work. Surprisingly, the pulse checker was the best thing about the Pulse. It was almost 100% accurate every time I used it.

 

Yes, the Pulse is Bluetooth enabled, and will transmit Pulse data to your smartphone, but only at long spaced (no user preference) intervals, 6 hours I think. You can force it to sync easily, but the process takes a few minutes to complete. The Withings app is informative, displaying a detailed dashboard of all of your stats from the Pulse and also any connected devices (scale, blood pressure) and third-party apps.

 

And that is another issue. The Pulse only estimates calories burned based on your activity. It does not estimate calories burned based on your BMR (thus the lack of need for your personal statistics). So if you are using the Pulse display to monitor your calories, you will be disappointed to see only a few hundred calories burned after half a day of 'living'. To me, this issue alone makes the Pulse more of an exercise monitor than a lifestyle monitor. In order to pull in BMR data, you must subscribe and connect with MyFitnessPal (your only option). This is necessary for any and all food tracking too. The Withings app has no native food tracking itself.  The dashboard widget for food tracking simply opens the MyFitnessPal app on your smartphone. Only basic data is stored and displayed in the Withings app. The Withings app integrates with only four third-party apps; RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, BodyMedia and Zeo. Jawbone has them beat hands-down on this!

 

The Pulse also monitors sleep, almost exactly like the UP band. In fact, the graph looks exactly like the UP graph, recording light and deep sleep as well as time to fall asleep and awakenings. For sleep data, the Pulse and UP are almost exactly the same.

 

The Pulse incorporates your weight as part of it's dashboard, which I know most of us hope to see in the Up app VERY SOON (Alex, are you listening ;-). The app also incorporates some kind of data sharing by email. I didn't use the Pulse long enough to explore the sharing feature.

 

In conclusion, it didn't take me long to realize I was returning the Pulse and picking up another UP band to tide me over until my replacement arrives. Jawbone's UP is still the best LIFESTYLE monitor for me. I look forward to Jawbone enhancing the UP app to include data such as weight. But for now I am content using the Withings app (already feeding data to my UP app) to monitor my weight, and I may even look into purchasing their other devices such as the Body Scale and blood pressure monitor.

 

PS: I have tried to make this review as thorough and factual as possible. Please consult the Withings website for complete details about the Pulse. And please do post your thoughts and experience with the Withings Pulse.

 

Steve

Living UP since December, 2012! It's getting better all the time!
Run2BeHealthy
Posts: 45
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Registered: ‎05-22-2013
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

First off thanks for posting your review :smileyhappy:

 

Always glad to see someone else enjoying the band! Do you mind if I tweet your review? 

 

Also, in case you did not know you can track your weight in the UP app by going to:

 

Settings

   User Settings

      Weight

 

This will sync your band with the new Weight and then you can go into Trends and set one of the Trends to weight and you can see it that way :smileyhappy:

Twitter: @Run2BHealthy
UP Username: Run 2BeHealthy
Website: run2bhealthy.wordpress.com
stevehutch
Posts: 125
Topics: 10
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Registered: ‎12-02-2012
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

Thanks R2BH! And I have no problem with you tweeting my review, as I am not that socially connected yet :smileywink:

 

And thanks for the weight tracking info. I've tried that in the past, but don't like having to sync my band just to save my weight entry. This method seems to be a crude workaround at best.

 

I'm still threatening to abandon the UP App Food Log and use a 2nd app to track food as well as weight and other stats. I've fought tooth and nail to try and make the UP App the only app I need. It just depends on how I'm going to continue to use the data. Unfortunately, the UP App makes it very hard to learn from your history, besides reviewing every entry manually.

 

Sorry, kind of got of on a tangent there!

 

Steve

Living UP since December, 2012! It's getting better all the time!
Run2BeHealthy
Posts: 45
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Registered: ‎05-22-2013
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

Well if you ask me I believe the UP food log was taken straight from the page of The Eatery. *Former app launched by the Massive Health Team*

While I like it, I actually use MyFitnessPal synced with UP to get the full use out of it. I understand the need for 1 app to do it all, but then again I'd love to be called JawboneJason as well :smileytongue:

My hunch is we'll be seeing some sort of proper weight tracking in the future. Jawbone and those reading the forums are always improving products and if my gut is 100% right I have a feeling it might tied along with a new product launch with the newly acquired companies down the road :smileyvery-happy:

It is all one big guess, but Jawbone has far to much talent, hardware and tech to not be coming up with something even more amazing :smileyhappy:
Twitter: @Run2BHealthy
UP Username: Run 2BeHealthy
Website: run2bhealthy.wordpress.com
Jawbone Apprentice
droozel
Posts: 132
Registered: ‎06-04-2012
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

I hope so...
Jawbone Newbie
TonyWoo
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-28-2013
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

I picked up a Pulse hoping to replace the UP because I use the Withings wifi scales for weight tracking. Unfortunately it's hopelessly inaccurate. It consistently reported around 30% more steps than my UP (which is bang on - I've checked it) and logged a 4 mile walk as 7.04 miles. Sleep tracking is also not accurate - the UP consistently picks up on my insomnia while the Pulse logged my periods of sleeplessness as light sleep. The UP is still the best and most accurate tracker I've come across narrowly beating the Fitbit Flex (horrible app and equally horrible wristband).

CodeMonkeyCodes
Posts: 327
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Registered: ‎11-21-2011
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse


TonyWoo wrote:

I picked up a Pulse hoping to replace the UP because I use the Withings wifi scales for weight tracking. Unfortunately it's hopelessly inaccurate. It consistently reported around 30% more steps than my UP (which is bang on - I've checked it) and logged a 4 mile walk as 7.04 miles. Sleep tracking is also not accurate - the UP consistently picks up on my insomnia while the Pulse logged my periods of sleeplessness as light sleep. The UP is still the best and most accurate tracker I've come across narrowly beating the Fitbit Flex (horrible app and equally horrible wristband).


Steve, thanks for your Pluse review. I've been hoping that someone would get one and do some kind of comparison. I really am looking forward to a band that will track pluse & skin temp ( for a reasonable price ). I've used an Up ( and still do ), I've used a Flex ( and still do ). 

 

In my opinion, the UP & Flex are pretty equal in terms of their accuracy ( I see at most a 5% difference by end of day ).  The Up beats the pants off the Flex when it comes to the app. The Up App is just amazing, where the Fitbit app is just lacking.  That gets swapped around for a web interface as the Fitbit has one & the Up doesn't ( existence trumps lack of :smileywink: ).

 

The next device I'm looking forward to trying is the Amiigo (http://www.amiigo.co/) as it looks really interesting.

Jawbone Newbie
shouldaknown
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-13-2014
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Re: My Experience with the Withings Pulse

I found the same discrepancy between the UP and the Withings Pulse.  But I discovered that moving my arm was causing the Pulse to record steps. I was afraid of losing the pulse and it seemed easy just to leave the pulse in the wrist band.  When I took the Pulse out of the Sleep Band and began using the Pulse with the clip or placed it in my pocket, both monitors are almost exactly alike.