Health gadget company Withings is back from the dead after being acquired by Nokia in 2016 and subsequently buying itself back late last year. To celebrate, the company has announced the Steel HR Sport, an update to one of my all-time favorite fitness trackers.
Like the original Steel HR, the Sport’s main selling point is its hybrid design – it looks like an analog smartwatch save for a small OLED complication that’s used to display information like your heart rate, steps, calories or elapsed distance. Meanwhile, an analog complication tracks an assignable goal. That lets you get an at-a-glance idea of, say, your burnt calories without having to scroll through the OLED
But it’s not just an aesthetic choice – the hybrid design allowed the original Steel HR to last up to 25 days on a charge with heart rate tracking. When the battery is running low, a power reserve mode will allow it to run for an extra 20 days without heart rate measurements. Compare that to the average smartwatch or fitness tracker, which rarely extends past a few days.
The Sports’ main new feature is GPS support, although it needs to paired to your smartphone. Still, that should make runners and cyclers happy, while also improving calorie tracking during long walks. There’s also a new Fitness Level assessment that uses the V02 sensor to judge how well your body is converting oxygen into energy. Notification support has been improved too with support for “over 100 apps,” although this will arrive on the original model via an update.
The Steel HR is available today with white and black watchfaces, along with a gray silicone wrist band. You can other official designs from Withings.com, but it accepts standard 20mm wristbands too.
Published September 18, 2018 — 17:30 UTC