Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Withing's new Steel HR Sport is a hybrid fitness watch with Global Positioning System

Withing's new Steel HR Sport is a hybrid fitness watch with Global Positioning System

The journey of Withings has been complicated over the past few years.

That squeezed fitness tracking into an elegant analog watch body, kickstarting the trend of hybrid watches and setting sky-high expectations for battery life in the process.

Once again there's really good battery life, with 25 days promised for general use. Now, Withings' cofounder Eric Carreel has brought the business back.

Fret not if youre now wearing the Steel HR, as Withings support site states that it will be bringing out the multi-sport feature and connected Global Positioning System to all Steel HR watches. "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". Back in 2014 the company launched its first fitness wearable that looked more like an analog watch, the Activité, and this follows pretty close in its footsteps, but with some obvious improvements.

That said, while we haven't had a chance to test this thing out for real, the Steel HR Sport's design and specs look the part, and that's an important first step for a company entering the second phase of its independence.

The watch itself is 40mm in size and comes with either a black or white face depending on your preference. Matte metallic hands with a color accent sit on either a white or black watch face, protected by mineral glass. 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 HR Sport offers multisport tracking for more than 30 different activities, everything from yoga to boxing and ice hockey.

"During waking hours", the company says by way of wrapping up its announcement, "Steel HR Sport helps you keep on top of your daily communications". After the session, users can understand the intensity of their workout with heart rate zones and calories spent based on the specific activity selected.

A single side-mounted button is in charge of UI navigation, while the Steel HR Sport is also billed as the first product "within the Steel HR range" to offer Global Positioning System support. It also records pace, elevation, and overall route. There details on VO2 max are stored, too, with a Fitness Level assessment available. The fitness indicator, called VO2 max, measures the heart and muscles ability to convert oxygen into energy during physical exercise. Heart rate can be tracked live on a connected smartphone, and the device's new fitness metric can help you optimize training and, the company hopes, better achieve long-term goals. Because of all that, you'll also be able to track your sleep, detecting length and quality of sleep and giving you a sleep score in the companion Health Mate app. Even when set to power reserve, the watch still tracks fitness, activity, and sleep patterns. Both Steel HR Sport as well as the existing Steel HR now benefit from enhanced notification capabilities, allowing 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.

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