Withings HR – Finally the right compromise for a smart health connected watch?

Withings Steel HR Sport – Finally the right compromise for a smart health connected watch?

If you like modernity, you won’t be disappointed with the Withings HR smartwatch, which is one of our top smartwatches for health & sports. Retaining its fundamentals, you will find a new range with additional features that perfectly match your sporting expectations. It’s very simple, from the moment you try the Steel HR model from Withings, you won’t be able to do without it and you will have only one desire, to discover the many possibilities available to you. in sports activities.

Withings HR smart watch

Withings Steel HR

The Withings Steel HR is what we have seen closest to an everyday watch with a heart rate monitoring function. But unfortunately it is not as good as it looks.
The Withings Steel is not a smartwatch like the Apple Watch or Samsung’s Gear S3 are. It’s a watch with analog hands and a physical dial but behaves like an activity bracelet with a heart rate sensor. And its autonomy is excellent.

Design: a (almost) normal watch

If you like the concept of the fitness bracelet that looks like a normal watch, there is no shortage of choice. Garmin, Fossil, and other brands have similar products that can count steps and monitor sleep. Simple products that can be effective. Withings was one of the first to launch this concept with the Activity. The manufacturer has just been acquired by Nokia but the products remain the same.
The Steel HR (190 euros) is an advanced version with a heart rate sensor and a small Led screen inserted into its classic-looking dial. It sports an elegant design in a case available in 36 mm or 40 mm (200 euros). It’s actually an Activity with an added heart rate monitor. We would have liked the latter to be more efficient because, apart from that, the concept of this watch seduced us.

Features and performance: mixed results

The circular LED display shows the number of steps, distance traveled, heart rate, time and date. When you keep the push button pressed, you activate a training mode with a stopwatch and continuous heart rate.
The Steel HR counts steps, measures sleep and heart rate automatically. It can also follow swimming sessions (it is waterproof and can be submerged up to 50 meters deep) but we have not tried this feature.
Unfortunately, the heartbeat detection did not perform as well as we had hoped. The accuracy of the readings is quite random and the calculation of the number of steps somewhat imprecise. However, it is possible to use the Withings application to obtain a pulse much closer to reality. Same observation with sleep monitoring: the data collected is not always accurate.
Reading on the screen is slightly difficult when moving around, as the display is both small and dull and the curved glass of the watch is prone to glare. If you agree to cut back on the autonomy of the watch, you can however increase its brightness to improve readability.
This Led screen can also receive notifications from the smartphone, but they are quite limited: calendar and SMS alerts, incoming calls. The information is only partial, you cannot read an SMS or take a call. This remains practical, but you must be careful not to close the Withings application (it can run in the background but be careful not to close it with the task manager), otherwise the watch will disconnect and no longer to receve notifications.

Autonomy: more than 3 weeks

On the other hand, one of the major strengths of the Steel HR is its autonomy. Unlike previous models which were battery operated, this one has a rechargeable battery that lasts a little over three weeks in real conditions with average brightness.
Withings assures that it can even last three weeks longer if you turn off the heart rate monitor and the LED display. We haven’t kept the watch long enough to verify this. But this is typically the kind of tocante to take on a long trip.
The Steel HR comes with a magnetic charging cable which is a bit difficult to attach and doesn’t hold as tightly as other models we’ve tested. But it works well.

The strong points

Among the advantages of the Withings Steel HR watch, we can highlight the ergonomics and the particularly successful interface. There are no faults to report on this side with the Health Mate app or the Body scale which works wonderfully with the watch.
Another particularly noteworthy element is the possibility of analyzing your sleep automatically. Indeed, the 25 days of autonomy of the watch will allow you a much more detailed analysis of your sleep. You just have to wear the watch with you to get results and greatly improve your sleep. The better you sleep, the easier it will be to achieve your various goals in terms of physical fitness but also by lowering your blood pressure.
If such a rendering is possible, it is thanks to the presence of an accelerometer and a heart rate recorder that will allow you to obtain very detailed information. These data are directly analyzed by an artificial intelligence developed in a laboratory in Manheim, basing its technology on the principle of polysomnography.
In addition to perfectly fulfilling the functions mentioned above, Smartphone notifications are directly displayed on the digital screen, once again configuring the alerts you wish to receive or not.

The weak spots

However, a few negative elements temper the excellent functionality of the Withings Steel HR watch. For example, the vibrations are a little too low when a notification arrives, but it is primarily a matter of feeling. Although the digital screen is good, a larger size would have been more appreciable. Too bad a GPS chip is not integrated into the watch for better tracking on the move.


We like the fitness application that Withings offers. We have used it personally for years to manage our weight and blood pressure. But it will not appeal to Fitbit users because it is very m

Withings Steel HR Sport

Withings Steel HR Sport Hybrid Smartwatch (40mm) - Activity, Sleep, Fitness and Heart Rate Tracker with Connected GPS, Smart Notifications, Water Resistant with 25-Day Battery Life

$193.99  in stock
7 new from $189.95
20 used from $133.47
Free shipping
as of November 11, 2021 9:15 am


  • DAY & OVERNIGHT HEART RATE - Enjoy heart rate tracking day & night plus continuous tracking during workouts.
  • DAILY ACTIVITY TRACKING - Automatically counts steps, calories and distance.
  • AUTOMATIC SLEEP MONITORING - Wake to a Sleep Score based on light & deep sleep cycles, interruptions, depth & regularity.
  • MULTISPORT TRACKING -Delivers Fitness Level via VO2 max estimation | Tracks 30+ sports and maps your session with distance, elevation, and pace via connected GPS
  • RECORD BATTERY LIFE - Spend more time moving and less time charging with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 25 days.

For many years, Withings (Ex Nokia after the Finnish brand has bought the French box – go understand) has found the right vein in terms of smart health connected watches: combine hi-tech and classical design, classy way, daddy analog watches. Review confirmed, the brand offers a real alternative to FitBit, Apple Watch and other Galaxy Watch.

The Withings Steel HR Sport offers a nice combination of technology and has a box in stainless steel 40mm in diameter. It comes with a racy sport bracelet, the same type as the Apple Watch Nike. By cons, if you want a leather strap, it will go through the box and let go 49 € extra to look good in a little more formal meetings.

Buzz loud trumpets, sound trumpets, the French manufacturer announces a record autonomy of 25 days. If you are lost at the bottom of the Belgian Ardennes forest, to eat wild boar suffering from African swine fever, you will be able to extend its duration by 20 additional days by activating the “Energy saving” mode, transforming it into a good old Rodania of modern times.

Aside from an analog dial, the Steel HR Sport allows you to track your physical activity close to nothing, your caloric expenses (no, it will not measure the number of calories eaten in the day, with a big shot of Doritos and Chimay Blue) as well as your heart rate. For this, a small screen is present in the dial, which will also be used to receive your nice notifications from your smartphone, smart health connected in Bluetooth, of course.

Apart from sport, the Steel HR makes it possible take care of the quality of your sleep and will detect the moment you pass on the other side, completely stupefied by the Jupiler locker that you just baked with your friends, watching season 2 Ozark, excellent series available on Netflix.

Finally, know that it can also enjoy the GPS of your smartphone, to record courses. For the integration of GPS internally (and you spend your cumbersome smartphone 6 inches), it will be necessary to go back in a few months for the next version. On the side of the App, everything is controlled via the App Health Mate, the friend Nokia (We remain correct, even after the divorce and we continue the guard alternately).

Sold at the same price as the Fitbit Versa, this Steel HR Sport will appeal to people who do not want to go through the box every three or four days, just like those who want a real watch, which displays the time in a classic way, without have around the wrist a hi-tech brol that will be exceeded in just two years.

Come on, I’ll leave you, I have to get expensive watchmaker replace the battery of my watch … More info on Withings.


Art B Zen ( Art for well being) health home & BUILDING REVIEW

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