Combining fitness & style has never looked so good, but is the latest offering from Withings able to stand up to around-the-clock usage?
+ Beautiful design
+ Battery life
+ User experience
+ Compatibility with IOS & Android devices
– Morning alarm vibration weakness
– Small size might not suit all
Keeping fit during the COVID has been easy, like riding a bike… only backwards and downhill. So, if anyone is feeling a little less enthusiastic than usual to get out and pound the pavement there is some new wearable tech that might just help you out.
Introducing the new Steel HR hybrid sports watch from Withings. Hidden behind a sleek and lightweight exterior is a fitness tracker that can rival the best of them. Withings has quite cleverly looked at the features and durability of a conventional fitness tracker and combined them with the versatility of a traditional wristwatch. You need to download the Health Mate app to access the device dashboard which includes alarm setting, activity goal, screens and customization.
First and foremost, what needs to be noted is the battery life. After a week of wearing the Steel HR Sport day and night, the battery still was not even halfway drained off the initial charge. As a long-standing smartwatch user this was a revelation. No more waking up having forgotten to charge my watch and my wrist going ‘naked’ for a day. In order to achieve this Withings utilises a much smaller window on the face of the watch rather than the whole surface. Instead you can access the functions by pressing the watch button, which is disguised as a standard bevel. Via this you can scroll through the data — date, heart rate, steps, distance, calories burned, and alarm time with phone notifications can be previewed as they are incoming.
The Steel HR is also an accurate and accessible fitness tracker. Gone are the days of estimates, in just seconds the watch can track almost any activity you plan on doing. Users can track heart rate during workouts to optimize training and monitor daily and night heart rate to improve health over time. Just starting workout mode will activate the connected GPS feature and give post-workout access to distance, pace, and elevation. Workout mode also activates the Fitness Level assessment when running.
For those who are looking at using the Steel HR Sport as their only morning alarm, a word of warning for heavy sleepers. This writer set a morning alarm and unfortunately the gentle vibrations did not do the trick, luckily the night before I had set an alarm on my phone to go off a few minutes after. On the topic of sleep, through the Health Mate app you can check out your sleeping patterns, with a ‘sleep score’ awarded each morning based on depth, duration and interruptions throughout the night. It becomes rewarding to go to bed a little earlier just to get a better score!
So, whether your walking, running, swimming or sleeping your way through iso-life or even looking for the perfect gift for a fitness lover, the Withings Steel HR is an interesting and worthwhile alternative.
Withings Steel HR
Online: withings.com, amazon.com.au
In Store: JB Hifi