Be honest – when you read the title, your first thought was something along the lines of, Another smartwatch? Just what the world needs. And, to be fair, we don’t blame you. The wearables market is saturated with smartwatches, all claiming to provide unparalleled performance and innovative features. But none of them earn the ‘Sport’ moniker quite like the Steel HR Sport hybrid smartwatch.
The first wearable manufactured by Withings since the buyback from Nokia earlier this year, this stunning minimalist watch resembles the Steel HR, the company’s original hybrid smartwatch. But the similarities end on the cosmetic level. Under the hood, the new product boasts several major updates, such as VO2 Max estimates for advanced performance metrics, and connected GPS location capabilities. The French company left no stone unturned to distinguish the new product from the competition, adding a slew of advanced activity tracking features. After all, what is a hybrid smartwatch without its fitness features!
The earlier flagship model from Withings added heart rate monitoring and that makes a comeback in the new Steel HR Sport, along with sleep monitoring, step tracking, and an impressive battery life of up to 25 days. Water resistant up to 50m, the watch won’t sustain any damage from light swimming and other water-related activities.
Unlike other fitness-related smartwatches, the Steel HR Sport resembles a watch more than a fitness tracker. Press the single right facing control button to light up the secondary LED smart screen and access its smart functionality. Not only does the screen display the time, but other important details like incoming notifications and heart rate are all visible. Press longer to open the sports menu, where you can cycle through the different activities to track.
You can easily scroll through basic details like current heart rate and step count. Incoming messages are kept short and sweet, displaying only the sender or the app it’s from. To help you focus on your workout, Withings has disabled quick reply settings.
The bottom of the steel smartwatch features the same PPG heart rate monitor present on the first version of Steel HR. When you’re not exercising, the sensor monitors your heart rate every few minutes to conserve battery.
The build quality and design make the watch quite comfortable to wear both in and out of the gym. Right now, the company has made a single size available – the 40 mm case made of 316L stainless steel. The company offers white and black watch faces, and both feature a gray drilled silicone strap. The customer is free to add additional leather or silicone options.
The Steel HR Sport hybrid smartwatch excels at sports tracking with the ability to track more than 30 workouts out of the box. These range from running, cycling, swimming, and other staples to more unusual workouts, like Zumba, boxing, and snowboarding. The sheer volume of tracking choices puts other high-priced trackers to shame.
Although the lack of in-built GPS is regrettable, the inclusion of connected GPS more than makes up for it. You can get more accurate distance measurements and store the activity routes you take regularly. However, you need to pair the product with a smartphone to fully benefit from this feature.
The VO2 Max is a thoughtful addition for gauging performance improvements. However, keep in mind that VO2 Max estimates are highly hit-and-miss, and getting an accurate measurement requires suitable lap equipment along with controlled settings. So, what you’re getting is a vague approximation.
The heart rate monitor works well and remains uniform along with the calorie and step counting features. The watch also performs an admirable job when it comes to sleep tracking, and you can check the overall amount of light and deep sleep you get each day from the app.
Like past Withings models, you must download the free Health Mate application, available for both iOS and Android, to unlock the full potential of these hybrid smartwatches. The watch is also compatible with a set of third-party apps, including Google Fit, Apple Health, or MyFitnessPal.
The Steel HR Sport boasts one of the best battery life in the industry with a whopping 25 days. In fact, you can extend the life a further 20 days if you put the product in power serve mode. The tracking abilities of the device are not just limited to your waking hours, but also studies the quality of sleep you’re getting along with the length. Smart Wake-up can be enabled on the watch so that you are woken up with vibration alarms at the most optimal times of your sleep cycle. You even have a Sleep Smarter program that you can turn on via the app, which consists of eight weeks of recommendations for enhancing your sleep patterns.
- Materials: 40mm stainless steel case withengraved bezel, color accented matte metallic hands, mineral glass, and a soft silicone wristband
- Diameter: 1.6 inches
- Thickness: 0.51 inches
- Wristband width: 0.79 inches
- Wristband circumference: 9.1 inches
- Weight (watch only): 49g (1.73 oz.)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy
- Sensor: PPG
- Charging time: 2 hours (approx.) to 100%
With a price tag of $199.95, the Steel HR Sport is a solid addition to your wardrobe, irrespective of whether or not you’re an exercise nut. You can order the watch from Amazon, withings.com, and other selected retailers. Available in two variants – the black and white face – both come with a grey silicone band. You can head over to withings.com if you wish to purchase more exchangeable wristbands. The stainless steel smartwatch is supported by Android 6 or higher and iOS 10 and higher. Remember that you cannot set up the watch from a computer.
What Will You Get When You Buy the Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch?
Any casual jogger or gym goer seeking a discrete tracker instead of a blocky, rubbery wearable will be pleased with the upgrades Withings has made to the Steel HR Sport smartwatches. The VO2 Max capabilities will be appreciated by newbie runners. The OLED smartwatch screen and analog watch face impart a classy feel that is not found in most dedicated trackers. Sporty individuals will appreciate the powerful battery life, different tracking options, and easy-to-navigate app and menu. Even if you’re semi-serious about working out or are a fashion-conscious techie, the Steel HR Sport smartwatch is one of the best hybrid smartwatch pieces money can buy.