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Apple Watch Users Take Note, Because The Withings Steel HR is a Legit Contender

A new smartwatch I’m testing feels light as a feather. It’s a smart upgrade for me because my normal watch fees like someone strapped a brick around my wrist.

The Withings Steel HR packs in a boatload of features including heart-rate tracking, a steps counter, notifications, and a sleep tracker on a watch that weight a hair over two ounces. That’s an important specification since many smartwatches are bulky and big, and they can be a pain to wear all day for every activity. I strongly prefer a smartwatch that can do double-duty as a fitness tracker and a real watch, one that looks like something you’d wear to both the gym and a business meeting. The Steel HR excels at both.

First, about fitness tracking: It’s incredibly well integrated. There’s a small display that shows you stats. For the heart-rate,  you can see a real-time count but also view summaries from the day and your heart-rate while you slept. The data the watch collects is all available in the app where you can monitor your progress.

One example: I just started using a new rowing machine. With the Steel HR set to track my heart-rate, I rowed for a while and then exerted myself a bit more to raise my heart-rate. I then slowed down later and watched my heart-rate go down, glancing at the display. What impressed me about all of this is that, after my workout, I wore the same watch to a meeting with a business associate for coffee. It really serves two purposes.

Another major perk is that the Steel HR lasts about 25 days on a charge. That surprised me given all of the features and functions and also how small and light it is. (It means the battery is also tiny.) You can even swim with one although we’re not talking about deep-sea diving here, more like lap swimming or lounging in a pool. I also how the wake-up alarm works. You feel a gradual pulsing that helps you stir from your slumber.

Overall, the Steel HR offers the best of both worlds — it looks like a business watch and makes a fashion statement, but is an actual fitness device. 

Withings Steel HR Smartwatch

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