Withings Steel Hr Review: A Minimalist Fitness Tracker

One of the quality smartwatches from Withings is the Withings Steel Hr. Read on to know the features and possible drawbacks of this hybrid watch.

Withings is one of the new smartwatch brands making waves in the industry. Since its first hybrid watch came out in 2015, it proceeded to dole out numerous top quality smartwatches. One of these watches is the Withings Steel Hr.

Combining an analog watch design with smart features such as a heart rate monitor, the Withings Steel Hr is an innovative hybrid watch. There are many features on the Withings Steel Hr that make it suitable for daily and smart uses.

This article will review these features and some other ones. We will also discuss some possible drawbacks noticed in the hybrid watch.


Our verdict

Rating: 6 out of 10

This timepiece is more of a hybrid watch rather than a smartwatch. The Withings Steel Hr allows you to enjoy the best of two words by incorporating the smart features into an analog watch design. It is lightweight and blends perfectly on your wrist as a normal watch would.

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to use
  • Waterproof

Why we hate it:

  • Not very appealing design

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Design

  • The watch has two different casing size
  • It comes with silicone straps
  • You can change the straps from silicone to other types

Withings Design

On the first look, you see the predominant analog designs on the Withings Steel Hr. The watch has hash marks surrounding the edges of a classic round face. The purpose of these hash marks is to show the hours. You will also see one button by the side of the watch and two hands around the edges of the watch.

However, apart from these analog designs are other intricate design features possessed by the Withings Steel Hr. An example of this is a small dial located around the 6 o'clock hand, with its hash marks and hour hands counting up to 100. This small dial is a fitness tracker that helps you track your fitness goals as set on a companion app(more on this later).

There is also a digital screen by the 12 O'clock hand. This screen comes on when you press the side button and shows the date, time, and other metrics. You can also see the notifications set on the watch.

This small digital screen uses the OLED screen technology, which is one of the smart features possessed by the Withings Steel Hr.

Despite these tech features, the Withings Steel Hr maintains a typical watch look, which we think is cool. The watch doesn't look too techy, futuristic, geeky, or bulky on your hands. From afar, what everybody sees on your wrist is a normal watch.

The Withings Steel Hr comes with a silicone strap. This type of strap is comfortable. However, you can change the strap if you wish to.

withings verity

There are twelve different strap options with the Withings Steel Hr. These include seven silicone straps, four leather straps, and one metal Milanese strap. All of these straps come in different colors.

Also, the process of changing the strap is quite easy. There is a pin mechanism dedicated to the purpose. While the strap changing process requires patience and caution, it is so easy you should get it done in about ten minutes.

The casing for the Withings Steel Hr comes in two different sizes and colors. There are the 40mm or 36mm options for the size, and a rose gold or silver option for the color. The watch's face could also be white or black.

Fitness Features

  • It has a heart rate monitor
  • Suggests and record different workout activities
  • It has a sleep tracking feature

Withings Fitness Image

There are many fitness features on this hybrid watch. The first and the most conspicuous is the heart rate monitor. This monitor tracks your heart rate for 24 hours non-stop.

Apart from the heart monitor, the Withings Steel Hr possesses features that recognize and track different sporting activities. These activities include running, swimming, and many more. You can also add up to thirty more activities such as pilates, soccer, and others for tracking.

You can start the activity tracking by pressing the side button for a long time. The Withings Steel Hr will start recording the duration of your activities and start the heart rate monitoring too. The watch will then use both of these metrics to compute the number of calories burned and other health metrics.

The Withings Steel Hr also uses the GPS on your smartphone (through a companion app) to determine the distance you walked or ran, the location of your exercise, and the elevation of the location.

When you are done with your exercise, the watch, through the companion app, gives a post-workout report of your heart rate during the exercise. It shows how long you were in each heart zone (peak, light, intense, and moderate). There is also an overview map report for your fitness activities.

The Withings Steel Hr also provides sleep tracking features. The hybrid watch combines with the HealthMate App to give you a SleepScore. A SleepScore measures how much light or deep sleep you had by considering your heart rate during sleep and the number of interruptions you had during sleep.

Finally, there is a silent alarm that wakes you up at a set time, using the buzz.

Smart Features

  • It has a notification feature that allows you to connect and receive notifications from numerous apps and devices.
  • The companion app that comes with the hybrid watch is also easy to use.

Withings Steel Hr battery life

One of the smart features in the Withings Steel Hr is the notifications feature. The Withings Steel Hr allows you to receive notifications from different applications and devices connected to the watch. You can connect and receive notifications from as many as 100 apps on the watch. These apps include fitness apps like Run Keeper, Runtastic Fitbit, and many more.

You can also receive notifications from third party apps like Whatsapp, Uber, Facebook, and the likes.

However, the notification feature makes a dent in battery life. Thus, the more the notification, the faster the battery dissipates.

The Withings Steel Hr buzzes when a notification comes on, and the OLED screen displays the title or content of the message. This is against most smartwatches' notification feature, where all you get is a buzz to notify you of a message or call.

Another smart feature is the companion app that comes with this hybrid watch, the Health Mate app. Firstly, the app is easy to use and has a simple but impressive interface. You will also find this companion app very useful as it allows you to get the best from the Withings Steel Hr.

You get the stats and post-workout summary from this app. Whenever you open, you get a welcome message informing you of the steps you've taken that day, your proximity to your daily fitness goal, and other metrics regarding your heart or weight.

After these welcome stats, you can then access the major metrics from the past few days. These metrics are under specific tabs; clicking on these tabs will show you the metrics' full information.
The statistics about the heart are taken every thirty minutes. This means that you will get detailed and near-accurate data on your heart rate.

Withings Wath Good Feature

The app will work with most iOS and Android devices. If your phone came out recently, like two years ago, then it should be compatible with the app and the watch itself. The watch can only connect to an iOS device running on iOS 8 or any higher version. For Android devices, the Withings Steel Hr connects with devices running on Android 6 (Marshmallow) and higher versions.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can learn more about smartphones that do not follow the rules on the Withings website. Nonetheless, the companion app is not compatible with Windows and Blackberry devices.

Battery Life

  • The battery is rechargeable, meaning you need not buy extra batteries
  • It lasts for about one month on a single charge
  • The battery life is relatively poor when compared to other Withing Watches

Withings Wath Smart Feature

With this hybrid watch's reduced functionality, the Withings Steel Hr's battery lasts for about 25 days with a single recharge. This is not surprising as the battery only powers a small digital screen and the watch's hour markers.

As said earlier, the features that dissipate the battery includes the notification feature and heart monitor. Thus, if you keep these features off, you could possibly enjoy the battery for a longer period.

As a plus, the Withings Steel Hr comes with a rechargeable battery and a charging port. This is an advantage over many smartwatches, including some Withings smartwatches. This rechargeable battery means that you don't need to worry about replacing the battery, as long as you charge it when it is down.

However, the charging port is a bit problematic, as the charger keeps sliding off the port. Thus, you need to keep an eye on the charger while charging to ensure that the Withings Steel Hr charges very well.

Finally, it takes about one hour to get the battery fully charged. Compared to other smartwatches, the charging duration is fast and allows for efficient charging.

Who is this for?

The Withings Steel Hr is a hybrid watch for everybody. It's functionality suits people of every age, gender, and race.However, based on uses and features, there are some set of people who will enjoy this hybrid watch better. These include those who don't like the techy design that comes with most fitness trackers. If you are looking for a fitness tracker that looks as conventional as possible, the Withings Steel Hr may be your best bet.

Withings best for all

If you are a fitness fanatic who is really into fitness tracking, the design and some fitness features of this hybrid watch may not appeal to you. If, on the other hand, you simply want to see the basic stats about your fitness, you will like the Withings Steel Hr.


Competition

Few watches offer similar or better features than the Withings Steel Hr. in this section, we will discuss some of these alternatives and competitions of the Withings Steel Hr.

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As the name suggests, this watch is another quality timepiece from Withings. In fact, it has almost similar designs and features to the Withings Steel Hr. Some of the similar features include the use of the companion app, Health Mate. The Withings Steel Hr sport also has a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking features.

However, there are some differences between the two Withings products. The Withings Steel Hr Sport comes with a 40mm steel case. This means it is larger than the Withings Steel Hr. Also, there is an advanced fitness feature on this Withings Steel Hr Sport known as Fitness Score.

This fitness score aims to get users an overall summary of their health and fitness status.

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This is another worthy alternative that offers better features and uses than the Withings Steel Hr. The Fitbit Charge 3 is a complete fitness tracker. Should you be looking for a smartwatch that offers better fitness features than the Withings Steel Hr, the Fitbit Charge 3 is your best bet.

Some of these smartwatch features include notification features and a full-blown fitness suite, equipped with lots of fitness features.

One of this smartwatch's primary downsides is the inability to download and use third-party apps as enabled by other Fitbit smartwatches, such as Versa and Ionic.

Click here to read the review of the Fitbit Charge 3

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This is another smartwatch made by Withings. Just like other Withings products, there are no excellent fitness features in this smartwatch. Among the features of the Withings Activite Pop are the step and swimming tracking. There is also a sleeping tracking feature on this watch.

However, the watch doesn't have a heart rate monitor or any other advanced fitness features, for that matter.
If you are looking to simply have your steps and sleep measured, the Withings Activite Pop is one of the best options available.


Conclusion

With the features reviewed in this article, it is safe to say that the Withings Steel Hr is an impressive hybrid watch. It possesses features that help with basic fitness and activity tracking. Its smart features also make it useful to a large extent. Except you are really invested in fitness tracking, the Withings Steel Hr is perfect for you.


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