It's hard to keep up with the Withings brand. The company made fitness trackers and other health related products like smart scales from 2008 until 2016, when the company was bought out by Nokia and its range was rebranded as Nokia Health.
Earlier in 2018, the company was bought back from Nokia by Éric Carreel, who originally owned the company and switched it all back to the Withings name.
The first product released since that relaunch is remarkably similar to other trackers we’ve seen in the line before – it’s called the Withings Steel HR Sport.
It's a reworking of the existing Nokia Steel and Nokia Steel HR products, but thanks to connected GPS and the ability to estimate VO2 max, this new watch may be the closest the company has got to an impressive running companion.
Withings Steel HR Sport price and release date
- It'll cost $195.95 / £189.95 (about AU$350)
- You can buy it now in the US and UK
You can buy the Withings Steel HR Sport from the brand's website, Amazon and a variety of other third-party retailers in the US and UK now. Those in Australia probably won't be able to buy it anytime soon, as the brand has yet to break into that country.
It costs $195.95 / £189.95 (about AU$350) and you can buy it with a white or black face and a silicone strap.
You can also opt for an extra strap (in leather or silicone), but these cost extra and we’ve yet to use them. The silicone strap is $29.95 / £29.95 while if you want the leather one you’ll be spending more at $49.95 / £44.95.
Design and display
- A slim and light hybrid watch design
- Features a small display above the main watch
- Comes with sporty band that's perforated
If you've seen the Nokia Steel or Nokia Steel HR before, you'll know what you're getting here with the Steel HR Sport. It's a similar design, which means it's a slim and small hybrid watch that won't take up lots of space on your wrist.
The watch has a 40mm case that's made of stainless steel with a black bezel around the outside and the choice of a white or black watch face in the center. It feels premium to the touch, and it doesn't look like a big, blingy smartwatch.
Instead this is much more understated, even when compared to some other hybrid smartwatches on the market.
The watch face has numbers around the outside, as you'd expect, but there are two smaller circles inside the watch face that provide other information. There's a small display in the top one of these circles, and this is where you'll find all your stats.
This is a small black and white screen that lets you cycle through the date and a digital clock, your heart rate, step count, distance traveled, calories burned, alarms and battery life.
To move through those features you'll press a button on the right hand edge of the watch, which is designed to look like a crown. This does rotate, but doing so doesn’t offer any extra functionality to the watch, so you’ll find yourself just using it as a button.
The whole design of the Withings Steel HR Sport makes this look like a small and feature-less watch, but it's actually quite smart on the inside.
Your step count permanently appears in a small dial at the bottom of the watch face. It works on a percentage, so if you set your daily step goal as 12,000 rather than the normal 10,000 default, you'll then find it will hit the 50% mark when you reach 6,000 rather than 5,000 steps.
The strap itself is much sportier than we've seen on previous Withings (or Nokia) products as it is made of silicone and comes with breathable holes throughout. Some previous watches from the brand come with silicone straps, but not with breathable holes.
If you’ve seen the Apple Watch Nike range before, you’ll know the kind of effect that Withings is opting for here. It does make this much more comfortable while exercising, but it doesn’t offer the premium look of the leather bands that cost extra.
It's comfortable to wear throughout the day too, and it’s hard not to get excited by the size of the watch. It’s so small that it almost disappears at the end of your wrist, so if you want something you’ll forget you’re wearing but still looks good, the Withings Steel HR Sport may be built just for you.