Nokia Steel HR Review
Better known for their mobile phones, in recent years Nokia has been branching out into a range of fitness tech following the acquisition of French company Withings in 2006. One of their latest products to hit the market is the Nokia Steel HR which I got to try out last month.
Nokia Steel HR: Look and feel
If you are looking for a fitness tracker that has more of a look and feel of a regular watch then a hybrid watch like the Steel HR would be a great choice. This uber stylish watch could easily be worn in a professional environment without looking out of place. It comes in 36mm or 40mm sizes with a choice of black or white face. The smaller version also comes with an option for a rose gold casing.
The clock face itself has a regular analogue clock for telling the time. It has an hour and minute hand and despite other things on the face it’s really easy to read the time. A second dial at the bottom shows what percentage of the way you are to your daily goal. The third feature of the face is a digital display. On here you can cycle through the range of tracked metrics and get notifications from your phone.
By default the Steel HR comes with a silicone strap available in a range of colours. This is comfortable enough but Nokia also offers leather and woven options should you wish to change this. I wore the watch pretty much 24/7 to take advantage of the sleep tracking and found it to be comfortable to wear even with the silicone strap.
The Steel HR comes with one button on the right hand side of the case that looks like a traditional watch spinner. There though it’s simply a push button that cycles through the different information on the display.
Nokia Steel HR: Function
The Nokia Steel HR is capable of tracking a range of metrics that you would expect from a fitness watch. On a daily basis the Steel HR tracks the number of steps taken, distance covered as well as active and metabolic calorie expenditure. On a night the Steel HR can tell you how long it took you to get to sleep, how much sleep you got and the quality of sleep you had.
The Steel HR also auto detects when you are running or swimming and keeps track of those activities too. Other activities show up in the watching allowing you to select them and pick what the activity was. I found the auto-detect wasn’t always the best. One 30 minute run showed up as a 3 hour activity (I wish!).
All these functions are available on the cheaper Nokia Steel but what sets the Steel HR apart is the addition of heart rate tracking. The infrared monitor keeps an eye on your heart rate at regular intervals throughout the day.
Another extra feature you get with the Steel HR is notifications from your phone. The watch subtly vibrates and displays incoming messages and calls on the small digital display. You will still need to grab your phone to interact with the call or message but its handy for a quick glance, especially if you might be able to immediately grab your phone.
Nokia Steel HR: The App
Your activity is tracked using Nokia’s Health Mate app. The watch syncs data via Bluetooth so you can keep on top of your activity. Once set up the app is nice and simple to use. A timeline displays how you’ve done each day including all your activities, sleep, heart rate and progress towards goals.
As far as fitness apps go it is nice and easy to use and follow the data but some might find it lacking features compared to other apps.
Nokia Steel HR: Battery Life
The Steel HR boasts an impressive battery life compared to some other fitness trackers. I used it for my usual daily routine including a range of exercise activities and it still boasted 20% battery left after just under a month of use. Nokia claims 25 days so this was impressive. The more active you are the less you will get out of it. However the battery life is easily long enough to keep on for sleep tracking. When it comes to charging the Steel HR comes with its own charging cradle that plugs into a USB port. Charging time is around an hour so you won’t be without it for long.