What you will learn
After passing under the control of Nokia, the French manufacturer of smart health connected objects Withings has finally regained its independence at the end of 2018. To celebrate, it has launched a new version of its smart health connected watch Steel HR more oriented towards sport and logically baptized Withings Steel HR Sport. What is it worth? Read our Withings Steel HR Sport Review.
The new Steel HR Sport watch from Withings is clearly in line with the manufacturer’s previous watches. It thus takes again the concept of the Steel HR, released in 2016 with its system mixing real needles and clock, but also adds some novelties as well as a very slight redesign of the design. What seduce and justify the price of 200 euros.
Personally,we are the proud owner of a first-generation Steel HR, at the time when Withings had not yet been bought by Nokia and where fog was appearing behind the glass surface protecting the screen . So, I did not find myself particularly surprised by the design of the Steel HR Sport. It completely resumes the look of the two previous versions, whether it is the Withings Steel HR or the Nokia Steel HR (the same, but without steam and with a Nokia logo instead of the Withings logo place).
We end up with a very classic watch, with a main dial with two hands, for the hours and minutes and a second dial below, defaults your progress in your goal number of steps of the day, in percentage . On the upper part, a small monochrome screen will give you some useful information such as time, date, number of steps, distance or even a few notifications, we will come back. If the screen, lit in black by default, blends well into the dial of the dark gray version, it is unfortunately less the case for the white model. The template of the Sport version is also identical to the 40 mm model of the previous version. It has a diameter of 39.5 mm, with an indication of the minutes on the contour, a thickness of 13 mm, a weight of 49 grams and a bracelet of 20 mm wide.
Some differences, however, come to distinguish the Steel HR Sport. Thus, the stainless steel used is a darker color, a few points of red on the hands or the dial add a little color and the bracelet proposed by default, made of silicone, offers many perforations, officially to breathe the skin. Note, however, that the bracelet can be easily replaced since it uses a standard width of 20 mm and a system of bars to pump for the fastener.
The Withings smart health connected watch is useless as such. It is not equipped with 4G, no more than a GPS, and will necessarily work with a smartphone, smart health connected in Bluetooth LE. You will need to install the Health Mate app on your smartphone, whether it’s an Android device or an iPhone. Note however that the watch is capable of recording up to five days of data and can therefore transmit them to the smartphone a posteriori.
It is in the very heart of the application that you will be able to visualize all the data collected by the watch, whether it is the number of steps taken each day, your heart rate, your sleep or your route. after a sporty outing. It is also within the application that you can set notifications that can be displayed on the Steel HR Sport, sports practiced, the order of display of different screens or the next silent alarm.
Overall, given the amount of information, we will appreciate the simplicity of navigation offered by the Health Mate application. The information is classified into five tabs. The first, called “Journal”, displays your various data in an antechronological flow. The second one, “Dashboard”, indicates in an accessible way, the last measured data like the number of steps, the number of hours of sleep or your average heart rate. The third tab allows you to follow training programs or according to specific needs, the fourth allows you to control your devices and the fifth displays your profile, your personal goals or your badges.
The main advantage of a hybrid watch over a real watch smart health connected with LCD color screen undoubtedly lies in its autonomy.
This was the case with previous models and it is still the same with the Steel HR Sport: it can be worn for several weeks without any problem. With some measures of activity (we were not very sporty, we recognize it), we were able to hold for 23 days before the Withings watch fell into battery. However, during these three weeks, we used the watch smart health connected with the smartphone with the synchronization of notifications for several applications in addition to calls and SMS.
On the charging side, the Steel HR Sport is recharged using the cable supplied with USB-A on one side and a base on the other. Just put the watch on the base for the recharge starts, provided however to have a power supply sector to USB-A available, because it is unfortunately not supplied with the watch. In 30 minutes, the watch went from 0 to 40% battery. In one hour, it goes from 0 to 64%. Finally, it will take an hour and a half to go from 0 to 100% battery.
Like previous versions, the Withings Steel HR Sport is equipped with step-by-step motion sensors and a photoplethysmography sensor to measure heart rate by emitting green light into your wrist. If Withings communicates on the GPS compatibility of the watch, it is not equipped with a geolocation chip in itself. It is actually the application that will begin to follow your course with the GPS of the smartphone to allow you to find it a posteriori.
A more than welcome addition to the Steel HR Sport. Until now, I used my Steel HR to run to measure my heart rate, but I had to start another application, RunKeeper, to get a good measure of the distance traveled and of my race pace thanks to the GPS of the smartphone. It was not very practical. With the sport model, simply press and hold the button of the watch and go.
It is also via the application that we will be able to configure the different types of activity that we are likely to practice, via the “personalization of sports” menu. It is possible to select from 35 different sports in order to have direct access from the watch via a long press. So, depending on the type of sport chosen and your movements, the Steel HR Sport will be able to measure the calories burned more accurately.
Another novelty put forward by Withings on its Steel HR Sport is its ability to measure not only the heart rate, but also to estimate the V02 Max, that is to say the maximum oxygen volume that is consumed by the body during an effort. On the other hand, it is an estimate based on your heart rate, your weight or the intensity of your effort, not a real measure. As on previous models, it is difficult, unless you run with a heart rate monitoring, to measure the accuracy of the measured heart rate. Still, the watch was able to give us a good estimate of the times when, during our race, we arrived at a very high heart rate. It will be used more as an indicator than as a reliable measure.
The Steel HR screen can display measured data, but is also used for notifications. Like the previous models, it is possible to activate the display of incoming calls, received SMS or appointments of your agenda directly on the watch. In addition, Withings allows since September to all applications installed on your smartphone to send notifications on its watches.
Disabled by default, these notifications can be enabled on a case by case basis from the Health Mate app. Convenient if you want to know when you receive a message on Facebook Messenger, an urgent email or an audio call on Whatsapp. Because very frankly … who still uses voice calls or SMS?
Price, release date & alternatives
The Steel HR Sport watch from Withings is available for 199.95 euros. It is marketed in two versions, with a white dial or with a black dial. At this price, the watch faces other worlds mixing watchmaking and smart health connected technologies, such as the Garmin Vivomove HR or the Fossil Q Commuter, both sold at a similar price.
Where to buy the Steel HR Sport withings at the best price?
AB SMART HEALTH health home & BUILDING REVIEW
WITHINGS Steel HR Sport$139
Use / Getting Started8.0/10
Report price quality7.0/10
- Very discreet design
- GPS tracking in the application
- The discreet screen for the black version of the watch
- Notification Management
- A little expensive price
- basic bracelet provided with a particular look