Withings returns with Steel HR Sport after buying back company from Nokia

Withings has returned to the digital health market with a new hybrid smartwatch after buying the company back from Nokia earlier in the year.

Featuring heart rate monitoring, connected GPS, and Fitness Level based on VO2 max measurement, the Steel HR Sport is a multi-sport hybrid smartwatch which offers heart rate monitoring, connected GPS tracking and Fitness Level analytics.

The device which boasts an unprecedented 25-day battery life joins the product portfolio of connected health devices that encompass activity trackers, blood pressure monitors, smart scales, thermometers and sleep tracking devices.  

The launch of Steel HR Sport marks a new chapter in the Withings story, which has seen its original cofounder, Eric Carreel, buy back the business he sold to Nokia Technologies in 2016.  

The Steel HR Sport features 316L stainless steel and a 40mm case that is water resistant up to 50M (5ATM). Available in both white and black face variants, the analogue face of Steel HR shows the time as well as a sub-dial that shows the percentage of daily activity goals achieved.

Goals are set and managed within the Health Mate app. The device’s discrete OLED display shows important health and sports data such as daily steps, calories, distance and heart rate and can be navigated with a push of a button. The display also shows smartphone notifications, which appear automatically along with a discrete vibration.  

Workout ready

Steel HR Sport offers dedicated multi-sport tracking for over 30 different activities from yoga, volleyball and rowing to boxing, skiing and ice hockey. Users select the chosen activity on the watch display to start their workout session.

During workout sessions, Steel HR Sport continuously tracks and displays heart rate and the duration of the workout directly on the watch screen. After the session, users can understand the intensity of their workout with heart rate zones and calories spent based on the specific activity selected.

Steel HR Sport is the first product within the Steel HR range to feature GPS connectivity. Once paired with a smartphone, users can track their pace, distance, elevation and map their workouts while walking, running or cycling. Pace, distance and continuous heart rate are displayed on the watch face screen and can be tracked live on the user’s phone. After a session, the user’s workout route can also be viewed in the Health Mate app.

The device is the first Withings product to offer Fitness Level assessments of its user. The fitness indicator, called VO2 max, measures the heart and muscles ability to convert oxygen into energy during physical exercise.

The fitter the individual, the higher the VO2 max. Following running sessions, Steel HR Sport calculates the user’s personal Fitness Level using pace, heart rate and morphological data (age, weight, gender). This fitness metric is designed to help users to optimise their training, increase performance and achieve long-term fitness objectives.

With a promised battery life of 25 days that can be extended for a further 20 days in a power reserve mode, Steel HR Sport is able to track fitness, activity and sleep patterns around the clock.

The device’s tracking ability is not limited to the waking hours. Steel HR Sport also features a sleep tracker, detecting length and quality of sleep and providing an overall Sleep Score in the Health Mate app that is based on sleep duration, depth regularity and interruptions. Steel HR Sport has capabilities such as Smart Wake-upTM that will wake users with vibration alarms at the most optimal times during their sleep cycle. The app even offers a Sleep Smarter Program, consisting of eight weeks of recommendations to improve sleep patterns.

During waking hours, Steel HR Sport helps users keep on top of their daily communications. Both Steel HR Sport as well the existing Steel HR product will benefit from enhanced notification capabilities, allowing a multitude of app notifications to be displayed on the digital screen. Previously limited to calls, text messages and events, the Steel HR line is now compatible with notifications from over 100 apps.

Says Eric Carreel, CEO of Withings: 

 “With its advanced sport and health tracking capabilities, Steel HR Sport is a perfect example of how Withings is delivering against its original mission to help better manage health. The public reaction to the return of Withings is extraordinary and renews my belief that elegantly designed devices with health tracking abilities can dramatically improve individual and society’s health.”

Priced £189.95, Steel HR Sport is available from today (September 18, 2018) from www.withings.com, Amazon and selected retailers. It is available in both a white and black face variant with each coming with a grey silicone band. Additional exchangeable wristbands can be purchased exclusively on withings.com.

Steel HR Sport connects with the free Health Mate app, available both on Android and iOS. Health Mate also connects with a range of third party apps such as Apple Health, Google Fit, or MyFitnessPal.


Chris Price