Wellograph puts a luxury twist on activity-tracking wristbands (or is it a smartwatch?)

wellograph beauty
Credit: Image: Wellograph

Most wrist-worn activity trackers err toward sporty styling at best and gauche aesthetics at worst. This leaves a wide-open hole in the market for a wellness tracker-cum-smartwatch like the Wellograph. It’s available for pre-order Thursday at the dear, dear price of $350, and attempts to bring a bit of civilized grace to wearable-tech fashion.

Does it succeed? I’m not Joan Rivers, so check out the images here and judge for yourself. Personally, I think the Wellograph does look like an expensive chunk of industrial design. It’s got a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a posh-looking aluminum body that’s nicely machined with subtle, curvy, elegant lines.

dramatic shot Image: Wellograph

Notice the precision-fit buttons.

Also notice the two machined side buttons. They appear to fit inside the body with zero-tolerance precision. It’s a slick look.

There are only 10,000 Wellographs available for an “exclusive” first-round pre-order. If you’re game to throw down, you can choose between a Silver Satin design, or a limited-edition Black Chrome look. If you choose the former, you get a brown leather strap. If you choose the latter, your strap comes in black. Sophisticated? Sure. This is not a disposable trinket.

mans arm Image: Wellograph

Sure, you can wear this to the tennis club, and not get branded a nerd.

But the screen bezel is quite wide. And while the 168x144 e-paper display uses the same core tech as the well-received Pebble smartwatch, it’s still, well... a digital display on a very rectangular watch. No one will ever mistake the Wellograph for a traditional luxury timepiece—because those are usually round and have moving hands. 

What I find truly interesting is that the Wellograph is by all measures an activity tracker that’s designed to look like a smartwatch. But it doesn’t have a camera, it doesn’t provide smartphone notifications, and it doesn’t run apps. It does, however, come with a 9-axis motion sensor and an LED-based heart-rate sensor to feed data to a bunch of health-tracking functions.

wellographmodes

Data, and plenty of it. But we’d still like to know more about the science behind Wellograph’s wellness platform.

Via retro-cool infographics exposed directly on the watchface—they’re sort of Mad Men in their stark, mainframe-era minimalism—you can check out a variety of health reports. You get the day’s total activity time; a plethora of calorie-burn metrics; various real-time and historical heart rate stats; and murkier, less transparent data points like your “exercise score” and “fitness age.” All these numbers (and more) can also be viewed via Bluetooth-paired iOS and Android apps. But while the Wellograph also reports basic step numbers and includes a stopwatch, it won’t reveal sleep data.

If heart-rate data is your thing, then you now have a much more handsome alternative to the Basis B1 Band, which has a bleak design and very dim display. But where Basis puts its science front-and-center, explaining its advanced body sensors and algorithms with a bit of reassuring detail, we really don’t know how the Wellograph works, and why we should trust its bio reports. For a wearable aimed squarely at quantified-selfers, that’s a bit concerning.

wg silver and black Image: Wellograph

Available for pre-order now, the Wellograph comes in light and dark color schemes.

But the proof will be in the pudding once we test Wellograph for ourselves. I’m also interested to see if the device can last two weeks on a charge as advertised. Pre-ordered Wellographs are set to ship this summer. I hope I’m in the first batch of users to give this interesting wearable a spin.

This story, "Wellograph puts a luxury twist on activity-tracking wristbands (or is it a smartwatch?)" was originally published by TechHive.

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