Withings Move vs Apple Watch Series 4: Which should you buy?

The Withings Move and Apple Watch Series 4 are ultimately two very different products. The Move is an analog watch with activity tracking features. The Apple Watch is a smartwatch that tracks your activity, allows you to use apps, and more. The Move is great if you like analog watches (and saving money), and want one that offers some activity and sleep tracking. However, if you want a smartwatch, the Apple Watch is the better bet.

What really sets the Withings Move and Apple Watch apart

As I've noted, the Withings Move and Apple Watch Series 4 are very different products, but there are some similarities. For instance, at their core, both products are watches, and tell the time. The Move is generally going to be the winner here, as it's an analog watch that doesn't have an OLED display that you have to wait for -- you just look at the time. The only exception is going to be when you're without a source of light. The Apple Watch's display, which lights up on its own, will be quite handy.

They also both track your general activity, such as steps taken. Both feature automatic activity tracking for walking, running, swimming, and more. The Move will also track sleeping, but you can also achieve this on the Apple Watch with third-party apps.

That being said, there's a lot that sets these two devices apart. The Withings Move is an analog watch with some fitness tracking capabilities that shows your status on a special dial on its face. The Apple Watch is a smartwatch; a dynamic device on which you can track fitness, use apps, communicate with both voice and text, and more. The Apple Watch Series 4 is also the more advanced fitness tracker of the two. It features both a heart rate monitor and an ECG, which the standard version of the Move lacks. You can also use the watch to record your workout data into your favorite third-party fitness app. And of course, the Apple Watch integrates seamlessly with your iPhone and various Apple devices.

Of course, for all that functionality in the Apple Watch, you pay a premium. Even at its lowest prices right now, the Apple Watch is priced at over $300 more than the Withings Move, which makes sense. The Move's functionality is fairly basic. If you're just getting into fitness and activity tracking, then check out the Move. Additionally, the Move's battery life is going to be a lot longer than the Apple Watch. At around 18 months, you'll only need to worry about the battery every so often. Plus, that battery is a replaceable, standard coin-type cell, and as such, you also don't have to charge the Move as you do the Apple Watch.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Withings MoveApple Watch Series 4
Battery LifeUp to 18 monthsUp to 18 hours
Activity trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesThrough third-party apps
Heart rate monitorNoYes
BluetoothBluetooth Low Energy (Version unspecified)Bluetooth 5.0
Third-party appsNoYes
On-board storageNoYes

Despite some surface similarities, these devices are very different. The only thing the Move does better than the Apple Watch is tell time, and that's only because it takes any amount of time at all for the Apple Watch's display to turn on. It doesn't track your activity as well, and it doesn't have the versatility of the Apple Watch.

But...the Withings Move is more than $300 cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 4. If all you want is a watch that will track some activity, a timepiece that'll do a bit more, and you don't care about any of the other features of the Apple Watch or don't have the money for an Apple Watch, this is easy: get the Move and save your money. Also, you have a lot of default color combination options, and if you buy through the Withings site, you can customize everything from the watch face to the activity tracking dial. Also, if you don't own an iPhone, you're not going to be able to set up your Apple Watch, so that'll make your decision for you, too.

But if you have an iPhone and can afford the Apple Watch, get the Apple Watch. It's more capable overall, and does most of what the Move does, only better. Get the Apple Watch. Yes, you have to charge it. Yes, you have to wait half a second for the display to come on so you can tell time. It's just a much more capable device in every capacity. It goes well beyond fitness. It works with third-party apps, lets you store music, podcasts, and other audio, and connects to headphones! So, you can go workout and listen to music using only your watch and leave your iPhone behind.

Sure, maybe you don't actually want a device that's constant vibrating your wrist with notifications, but at least you have an option for them, and can turn them off as you'd like.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.