Withings Steel HR Sport Smartwatch Review

Name: Steel HR Sport

Brand: Withings (formerly owned by Nokia) – For direct link, click here.

Release date: September 2018

Price: $159.96 USD

Cheapest Place to buy: Amazon


If you haven’t heard about Withings in the past, you are missing something! The French consumer electronics company has been founded in the late 2000s by two brilliant executives from the technology and telecommunications industry, who first created the first Wi-Fi body scale (launched in 2009) with the ability to tweet your own weight loss. After reacquiring his brand name from the giant, Nokia Corporation in 2016, Whitings comes back with a new wearable that focuses on connected health and : The Steel HR Sport smartwatch, a multisport hybrid smartwatch with awesome battery life for the sport fanatic.

Can we compare this wearable with the brands like Fossil or Samsung? With an affordable price tag of $159.99, does the quality and technology was left aside? Our review about the Withing Steel HR Sport will give you the answer! Let’s take a look!

The Mindset Behind the Watch

Two years ago, Withings was an entity of Nokia but the deal didn’t go well at all. Maybe the mentality behind Nokia wasn’t what Withings expected and in May 2018, Eric Carrell bought back the health tech business and brought back the same mentality as before with a strengthened focus on connected health.

It only took a couple of months until they launched their new product called the Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch that tracks up to 30 activities with heart rate sensor, ability to connect to a phone for GPS tracking and some nice in-depth fitness analytics to improve your health and get better.

”With it’s advanced sport and health tracking capabilities, Steel HR Sport is a perfect example of how Withings is delivering against its original mission to help better manage health” – Eric Carrell, CEO of Withings.

Eric and his team has truly made some magic to build a great looking nice quality smartwatch in less than 6 months!

What’s In The Box?

Beautiful and elegant design

Made with 316L stainless steel and 40 mm case, the watch is available in black or white face color. Both colors looks beautiful on the wrist and can be wear on different types of occasions. You will look classy during an important meeting or sporty when stepping at the gym due to the leather (2 models) and silicon (5 models) straps available to fit your personality.

Note: The straps are easily removable due to the release button, similar to the Fossil smartwatches. The watch comes by default with the silicon strap. The watch is ATM5 (50m) water-resistant, meaning that you can wear it even if you take a shower or go for a swim. A must in my opinion.

Discrete OLED display for your fitness data

Withings kept the same type of display has the Steel HR model to show health and sports data: a small circular OLED display on top of the watch that shows steps, distance, calories, activities phone notifications and alarm settings. The bottom display (called sub dial) give you in percentage (%) the progress so far of your daily activity goal.

Navigation using the side button

The navigation between menus is all done with the side button with a quick press. If you press and hold the button, you can start logging a workout/sport right away. Your health and fitness data will display in real-time.

Magnetic charging cable

Inside the box, the Steel HR Sport comes with his own proprietary charging cable that charges the integrated Li-Ion battery in about 2 hours. The connection with the charging dock and the watch is easy to do.

Charging Cradle Dock

Stunning Battery Life

The company says that battery can last up to 25 days. I was skeptical at first about their statement but not anymore. I found out that the battery was still at 100% after almost 5 days of operation! We can confirm this statement by looking at some comments from Amazon buyers:

Credit: Amazon.com

That being said, we can confirm that the watch has even exceeded his battery life expectations by far. For what I know, there’s no other smartwatch that can live up for a month with a single charge. By example, if you have read my post about the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, you know that battery last only 24 hours (operation mode) and 2-3 days in battery saving mode. This is truly a great advancement for the Steel HR Sport.

You will go beyond a month if you activate the power reserve mode (time and activity tracking only). If you plan to use the watch intensively for workouts, it will give you around 5 days of operation. This is great for people who love to stay active most of the time and hate to charge his wearable too often (count me in!).

Finally, Some GPS Connectivity

The Steel HR Sport is the first device from Withings that allows GPS connectivity once paired with smartphone. We would love to have a built-in GPS module but I am sure that the batter life would be decreased by half (if not more). At least, the ability to connect to your Android/iOS phone let you track your pace and distance and map out your course after a walking, running or cycling session using the Health Mate app.

The heart rate, pace and distance are displayed on the digital display of the watch and the app.

Fitness Features And Even More…

Beside the standard fitness features (heart rate, steps, calories, distance), the watch comes with 30 different activities that can be started with the side button. After your workout its done, you can visualize the heart rate zones and calories burned specific to the sport/activity selected.

VO2 Max

The VO2 Max feature is getting more popular these days due to his function: it measures the heart and muscles ability to convert oxygen into energy during a sport or exercise. Increasing the VO2 Max Level will at the same time make you more fit and increase your performance during training or competitions. This is a great feature to have.

Sleep Tracking

The Steel HR Sport comes with a sophisticated sleep tracker that detects sleeping patterns when you are sleeping like a baby. Having your sleep quality and the length of your sleep it will generate you a Sleep Score in the app. You can also see if you woke up during your sleep and if you were in deep or light sleep. This will help the user see if the body has recovered enough or not. Not having enough sleep will tarnish your fitness results long term.

100+ Compatible Apps And Great Companion App

Smartphone notifications

The Steel HR Sport (and all the Steel HR line) has now been improved notifications capabilities. That means that over 100 apps are now compatible so you can receive app notifications that are displayed on the digital screen. Before, you were only able to get calls, text messages and events.

Health Mate app 

The Health Mate app (available for iOS and Android) is where you’ll find all your data, extra motivation, and personalized programs. You can also set your own goals within the app and also check your Fitness Level. The Fitness Level is calculated by using different factors (pace, heart rate, age, weight and gender), that will motivate you to get better and fitter.

Withings’s blog 

The French company has created a blog to interact with other users. You can also find great health information (articles) that will help you use your watch more intelligently to get healthier and lose weight.

Is It Worth Buying?

The Steel HR Sport Smartwatch is a wearable that worth checking out. There’s not many smartwatches that can add-up beautiful design, advanced fitness features and long-lasting battery in the same wearable. Beside not having a huge digital display and no built-in GPS, there’s not much on the ”bad” list.

At that price, the Withings Steel HR Sport is a great junction between look, quality and affordability. It is a great replacement if you compare it to the expensive smartwatches like the Apple Watch 4 or the Fossil Gen 4, just to name a few.

So, what are you waiting for? Christmas is coming really fast…Would you be tempted to purchase the Steel HR Sport?

Are you looking for a nice looking smartwatch with great features for less than $200?

Please comment below and I will be happy to engage with you!

Have a good one.

Al

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About Alvaro ''Al'' Paez

I am a passionate fitness/wearable enthusiastic person who loves to share to the world, news and reviews about what I call fitness wearables. Ive been using wearables since many years and I found they can be a useful tool to improve your health, increase your fitness level and lose weight. There's a fitness wearable for every person. Let me show you the good path! Alvaro ''Al'' Paez.

View all posts by Alvaro ''Al'' Paez →

14 Comments on “Withings Steel HR Sport Smartwatch Review”

  1. I must say that I enjoyed reading this article as I am a big fan of watches and I think that this staff are very powerful and in some hand helpful. What I like the most about this brand is that it has sleep tracking, it can help me to see if I has a quality sleep. Will definitely order one.

    1. Hi Daniel, this wearable is a great discovery for me too! Sleep tracking is becoming more and more popular since it will help you with recovery. There’s a lot of users that doesnt get high results due to lack of sleep or bad sleep. With the Health Mate app, you are in good hands. Regards, Al 

  2. These are the most stylish smart watch-type models I have seen so far – the other smart watch and health watches seem to be a bit overkill to me – a bit too ‘space age’ in appearance! 

    I’m a runner, 5 miles a day, and I’m wondering how durable the HR Sport is, because it does look a little flimsy and too fashionable – will it withstand rainfall during a heavy run session?

    1. Hi Chris, 

      The look of the Withings Steel HR is one of the best out there. Let’s not forget about his affordable price! You shouldnt have any problems if you use it during rainfall since it is water resistance up to ATM 5 (50 meters). The only bad thing for you would be that this watch doesnt include an built-in GPS to track your runs. Still, this smartwatch is packed with a lot of features that will make a lot of users happy! 

      All the best. Alvaro

  3. I’m in the market for a smartwatch and this post is very timely for me.  This particular smart watch definitely seems like the one for me as the battery life appears to be super human.

    I prefer things with a longer battery life as having to charge things constantly gets to be annoying!

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Barry. 

      No doubt about the battery life. Same thing for me. Battery life, waterproof and GPS built-in are the three big features that I must have in my smartwatch. Stay tuned, I will do a video review in a couple of weeks about this smartwatch. It is really a great and affordable competitor in the smartwatch market. You can be sure that you will be pleased with your purchase. All the best, Al 

  4. Thank you for sharing with us this great review on Withings Steel HR Sport Smartwatch.I am interested in watches but it is my first time to hear about this this type of watch.

    It looks expensive but I like the way its battery life which is the attractive point it has.

    I will recommend it to my brother because he is a fan of smartwatches.

    1. Hi Julienne, 

      You are right, the price is a little bit high but that’s what you will pay these days to have a good smartwatch that last long and is packed with great technology. If it is too expensive, you should maybe go for a activity tracker like the Huawei Band 3 Pro that is less expensive but is packed with great features and nice battery life. Regards, Al. 

  5. My son is a huge fan of watches and on Christmas he told me about exactly this watch and was so enthusiastic but, I didn’t understand one bit what was he talking about.

    Today, by doing some research on this watch since my son’s birthday this month is coming up, I stumbled over your article and for the first time get to understand what this watch is all about.

    My son is a fitness rebel and he loves his gadgets too. Therefore I will buy this for his birthday for sure and I do appreciate that you have mentioned Amazon to be cheaper than the rest of the retailers.

    I do thank you so much for this great review and have made someone, like me, understand it 🙂

    1. Hey Sylvia, 

      Your son will be one happy fellow! For the affordability, style and battery life, this watch is a great contender if you want to are a serious fitness geek. It’s display is smaller than others but at the same time that’s what makes it different from others. Having a smaller digital display increase the battery life. Thanks for commenting! Happy purchase! Al 

  6. Hey Alvaro,

    Wow, this Withings Steel HR Sports Smartwatch is beautifully designed with advanced fitness features and long-lasting battery. I have been looking for a smartwatch under $200 and this one perfectly fits my requirements and budget. For sure l will definitely order one for myself.

    Thank you for introducing such a great smartwatch.

    Nax

    1. Hi Nax! 

      I am happy to see that the Withings Steel HR Sport will fit you right! I’m on the same boat. This product a a little gem compare to others big boys like the Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch 4 that cost twice as much. Thank you for the comment my friend. Al

  7. I am a big fan of watches, I love them for all occasions. I feel inspired to buy this one and see how it will work for me. I love the functions and the fact that it can last so long without recharging. I have quiet a busy schedule apart from that I don’t like charging devices too often.  That is definitely a smartwatch for me to buy.

    1. Hi Euphrasia, 

      If you hate charging your wearables (like I do), then you will pleased with this one. Most of the smartwatch last a week or less with internal battery, unless it is not a rechargeable battery. You are looking for more than 3 weeks of charge with this one. It can be a great option since other options (like Fossil, Apple or Samsung) cost more than $300! Al 

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