Nokia Steel review

A fitness tracker for those after a pretty watch above all else

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The appeal of the Nokia Steel relies on its pretty design, great comfort and long battery life. Its tech cred is limited, with minimal features beyond auto-tracking of a few different kinds of exercise.

However, it is perfect for those who primarily want a good-looking watch. And like the idea of trying out all-day step tracking. 

It may not offer any new features over the old Withings model, but we’re not convinced a watch like this really needs them.

Who’s this for?

The Nokia Steel is for those who want a low-key fitness tracker that looks like a watch. But the main question to as yourself is: do you like how it looks? You’re buying a watch as much as a fitness tracker here.

Should you buy it?

Ask yourself: are you going to be happy with little more than step counting? If the answer is yes, the Steel is one of your better-looking, most comfortable options. 

However, it’s not particularly good for athletes in training, harvesting just the thinnest slice of metrics.


Below you can see the products we think you may want to pick up if you're not convinced by the Nokia Steel.

Garmin Vivomove

The Garmin Vivomove concept is similar to the Nokia Steel, but has a slightly more masculine design. Your steps are displayed as a white progress bar on the right, and the Vivomove has an extra red bar to the right of the clock arms. This is a “move” bar. When it fills up, it’s time to get off your backside and start moving.

It doesn’t have an alarm, as there’s no vibrate feature, but battery life of up to one year is impressive.

Skagen Hybrid

Skagen’s latest hybrid watch gets rid of the classic step-counter dial. However, it does more than the Nokia Steel. There are three buttons on the side, and a press of one will make the watch dial head to the upper left of the face, which features discreet numbers telling you how close you are to your steps goal.

Little coloured pips do the same for notifications — you program the watch arm to head to specific pips for specific apps. It’s not the full notification experience, but is a solid way to stop you getting phone from pocket with every message you receive.

Nokia Steel HR

The Nokia Steel HR is the Steel’s more advanced brother. It has a heart rate sensor and a display, capable of displaying basic SMS and call notifications. But not those from apps.

Nokia has managed to add a screen without ruining the design too, although the look is obviously more “techy”. The extra features also affect the battery style. Instead of using a replaceable coin battery, the Steel HR has a rechargeable lithium-ion unit that lasts for four days with constant HR tracking, or around three weeks in basic watch mode.

First reviewed: January 2018

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.