I’ve always loved the idea of being able to track your fitness with a fitness tracker watch – but boy, there are some ugly ones on the market today! It’s like the majority have either been designed solely for a man’s wrist (big, bulky, black, rugged – all terms I would use to describe 85% of the fitness watches on the market today) or have been designed to look retro (think 90’s digital watch for aspiring teens).
Sure you get a few that are plain strapped varieties – sort of hiding between fitness tracker and bracelet, but those don’t really grab my attention either.
And then, I came across the Nokia Steel HR (formally the Withings fitness tracker) and all I could think was WOW! The look of this bad boy was phenomenal – is it a watch? Is it a fitness tracker? Does it count steps? How on earth is it so thin??
I was lucky enough to get gifted this watch for my birthday – so I quickly wanted to share my thoughts on it and do a quick review! I watched plenty of reviews and read plenty of blog posts on this watch – but most of them didn’t answer my main question. How did this watch perform against others and what was the overall experience of using the watch for more than 1 week (see a lot of these reviewers obv switched on the watch solely for their review and based their opinion off of one or two days use – not helpful!).
Look and feel
Besides being the cutest watch ever, from the silver rimmed face to the silicon strap, the overall feel of the Nokia Steel HR is well put together. The watch face itself is not overly bulky, and the 36mm version that I received sits well on my feminine arm. The watch feels solid, the clock face simple and functional, and the strap is easily interchangeable (tried and tested by yours truly!).
Ok, so here’s where things get interesting! I have tried other fitness trackers and I always find myself seriously let down by the application or by the syncing of the device. I was apprehensive and went in with super low expectations on the Nokia Steel HR. And honestly, I’ve been blown away at the overall user experience of the app. The app, Health Mate, shows everything in simply laid out screens – the timeline which displays key takeouts from each day out through to the dashboard highlighting the main achievements day to day. You can also easily deep dive into each measurement – so for instance, if you have a 45 minute walk pop up on your timeline you can easily click through to find your heart rate, distance and duration of your session.
The app also sends you an awesome weekly round up email with your progress for the week (Ok so I found this more nifty than it probably is but hey! It’s an extra touch on top of a fabulous product)
That leads me onto Automatic tracking
A neat little feature of the watch is its ability to automatically detect certain types of exercises – including just plain old walking. Forget to switch your watch to “workout” mode before a 30 minute stroll? Don’t stress, your watch has you covered and will automatically log this activity in your application.
The workout mode is easily accessible – by simply holding in the (only) button for 2 seconds you activate the mode. Once in this mode, your heart rate is monitored constantly and your activity is recorded. The display on your watch itself will only show your heart rate and your duration, however, once logged into your application, you will be able to see how your heart rate performed during your activity (and what heart rate zone you were sitting in for how long) as well as calories burnt, type of activity and duration. You can set the type of activity to what you were doing however, the watch will pick up and assign certain activities that it knows how to identify.
So how does it compare to other fitness watches??
Well the basics are definitely covered with this watch – your steps, your sleep, your heart rate and workouts can all be tracked. You also have the ability to set silent alarms (where your watch will vibrate) as well as set goals via your app. The subtle nature of the design has me head over heels – I don’t really want EVERYONE knowing that I am tracking my steps etc, and I’d ideally love something to wear daily (I am not a gym junky, and do generally wear normal clothing to work). The functionality that I’ve managed to figure out that is missing is altitude changes or steps climbed that other fitness trackers have – but honestly, for me this is no biggy.
I’ve been showing the watch off to a few of my friends and the feedback has all been similar to mine on the look – they love it! They feel the same way I do about fitness watches of today and are intrigued at how this one looks and functions.