Looking more like a Swatch watch than a fitness tracker, Withings Steel HR Hybrid smartwatch is a straightforward, aesthetically pleasing and well-rounded wearable fitness tech in the market. But is it as effective a fitness tracker as it claims? Let’s wade past the hype and look closer to find out.
My Verdict: Even though the Withings Smartwatch doesn’t seem like an ordinary activity tracker at first, rest assured that it is capable of handling most of your tracking needs with ease. With style in mind, the company managed to create a product that started a trend of trackers slowly replacing everyday watches by featuring a 2-in-1 design and functionality. The only drawbacks here are the price tag and the lack of display which would otherwise give you much more information.
Overview & Features
At first sight of the Withings Steel HR, your first thought would be “elegance” and “heck, how is this a fitness tracker?” Styled as a classic watch, the device marries traditional aesthetics with modern functionalities. Like its predecessor, it has an extra dial on its watch face that shows your progress from 0 to 100% towards your pre-set goal.
While the original Activite visual highlights have been dropped from the HR, such as the calf-leather strap, sapphire crystal bezel and the stainless-steel body, it still looks pretty awesome, and looks like how a Withings smartwatch should look like. The overall design lends a no fuss, no frills, more every day feel and look to the 33mm-wide case, making it a tracking watch that can be used by both men and women.
For fashionistas, there three color options—dark blue, black and sand. If you are more discerning and “extravagant”, there is a selection of vibrantly colored straps offered by Withings.
As for features, the Steel HR doesn’t fall short. You get the usual collection of data metrics, such as sleep monitoring, steps taken, running metrics, and calories burned.
It is waterproof and can be submerged down to 165 feet (50 m), you can also keep tables of your goals during water-based activities such as swimming, water polo, kayaking, or surfing.
Note—It is best not to expose the HR hybrid smartwatch too long in salt water. Rinse it with fresh water after your salt water activity.
Because it is designed to track user activity and its Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, the Withings Steel HR chassis is slightly deeper than your traditional watches. What’s surprising, though, is it is not unsightly or bulky.
One of the best things we like about the Steel HR is its amazing battery life; it keeps on tracking for 8 months on one coin cell battery!
You won’t need to worry about recharging, proprietary chargers and battery management, the usual problems that users have to contend with when using other smartwatches.
The Steel HR is not just all style—it has substance, too! Not only does it look great, its performance is seamless, as well. Steel HR provides the most accurate and detailed data capture among its contemporaries in the market. It is too accurate, though, that there are small inconsistencies, such as adding 1,500 steps to your daily results after clapping vigorously or moving your hands wildly.
Some results are askew, as well, such as when you walk with your hands in your pocket, or when carrying your shopping bags. The data can be distorted, but then again, this same issue happens to any wrist-based activity tracker.
All that is negated by the fact that this tracker doesn’t require you to turn it on or push a button. It automatically tracks all of your activity throughout your day and night.
One new addition to the Steel HR is the small OLED screen integrated on the analog watchface. It can provide you with a variety of tasks including steps, distance travelled, HR, alarms, times, and much more.
All that can be controlled via the smartphone app. Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of owning this hybrid tracker!
With all the features aside, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons that make this one of the most stylish fitness trackers out there…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Elegant watch-like design
- Durable construction
- Offers 24/7 tracking
- Long-lasting battery life
- Works with smartphone notifications
- You get detailed training information in the watch app
- The lack of display limits the amount of information you can see at a given time
- The design might not fit everyone’s criteria for a fitness tracker
Conclusion and Rating
Yes, the Withings Steel HR is worth the buy. In fact, it can be one of your best fitness tracker options if you are looking for a competent, beautiful and high-performing wearable activity tracker.
It can be used by just about anyone, on almost all occasions; it is stylish enough that you can wear it to a job interview or a party night. It is not too sporty like its competitors, which sets it apart.
To summarize our Withings Steel HR – Activity and Sleep Tracking Hybrid Watch, this model is smarter that many smartwatches, making it an ideal waterproof activity tracker offering a nice balance of visual refinement and excellent performance. Thanks to its elegance and variety of tracking features we gave it a four and a half out of five stars rating.[/su_box]