The lesson of the Activité is how trivially easy it is to add these data-collection tools to a wristwatch. Sure, it decreases the battery life, but certainly not enough to be an issue; it definitely doesn’t require any real design compromise. It’s an almost exclusively additive process, making the thing you wear on your wrist more than just a device for telling the time.
It is a watch, a beautiful watch, a Swiss Made™ watch. Buy it because it looks beautiful as a watch. What is awesome about it though is that it can track your steps, your activities and your sleep. Taking this approach, David Pierce, who wrote the review, actually has an interesting idea for high-end watches:
If it’s a smartwatch, it’s the least capable smartwatch I’ve ever seen. What the Activité actually represents is the new table stakes for a watch, the new minimum for a device that looks like this and costs this much. Watches can already blare sound to wake you up in the morning, so why can’t they buzz quietly? Why can’t I swap bands before I get in the pool and have it track my splits? It’s all clearly possible, and I don’t think it’ll be long before those features are as commonplace as a sweeping second-hand. Rolex, Timex, and Bulgari have all already done the hard part: building a beautiful watch. So did Withings. And it proved that the other half, the technological half, doesn’t require sacrifice.