Nokia Steel HR

A sleek, fashionable smart-watch with heart-rate monitoring from Nokia Health.
[Update: The Nokia Steel range was previously made Withings which was acquired by Nokia in 2016. See also our Nokia Sleep review]

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At a glance

The Steel HR is a wearable activity and sleep tracker, a hybrid smart watch designed for people who prefer classic watch styling, rather than sporting the futuristic look of a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.

The Steel HR features a built-in heart-rate sensor. It also boasts an OLED display, which can cycle through various readouts including step count, heart-rate, phone notifications and more.


Design + Ergonomics

The watch comes in two sizes – 40mm, and 36mm if you prefer a smaller profile. You get a choice of black or white models. It comes with a smooth, quick-release silicon strap, which is suitable for normal use and for exercising. You can also buy additional straps including leather if you prefer even more of a classic feel.

The main body of the watch, is, no surprises here, made of steel and the whole thing weighs 29g/39g respectively. The larger 40mm model features a larger bezel with engraved numbers around the edges.

There are two sub-dials inside the watch bezel. At the tops sits the small monochrome OLED display, whilst directly above the 6 o’clock position there’s an analogue activity tracking dial, which gives a percentage readout of your daily fitness progress.

The OLED display is activated by pressing the single watch button. The display is slightly hidden on the black model but stands out on the white version. The watch is also waterproof to a depth of 50m should you want to wear it swimming or in the shower.


Activity tracking

The Nokia Steel HR features automatic sleep and activity tracking, supporting walking, running, swimming and a bunch of other sports. In basic mode you set a daily activity goal (ie 10,000 steps) and the analogue dial will tell you how you’re doing.

On the OLED display you can set your personal preferences via the Withings app to show or hide any of the following: current heart-rate, step count, calories burned, distance travelled, time, date, alarm clock and battery life.

Heart-rate monitor

The biggest selling point of the Steel HR is the built-in optical heart-rate monitor. This works in two ways. In standard mode, it takes a reading of your heart rate every few minutes throughout the day. But if you press and hold the watch button the Steel HR kicks into workout mode and gives you near-continuous heart-rate tracking (every second) until you press the button again.

Sleep tracking

Like all activity functions on the Steel HR, sleep tracking is completely automatic. It can track a number of sleep metrics; time to fall asleep, time in bed, time asleep, time awake, duration of light and deep sleep, sleep score, resting heart rate and a heart-rate graph through the night.

Battery Life

One of the awesome things about the Nokia Steel HR is the battery life. At around 25 days this currently makes it the best battery life of any heart-rate tracker on the market.


As part of the Nokia Health ecosystem, the Steel HR automatically syncs to the Health Mate platform, a comprehensive suite of apps that encompass activity tracking, diet, weight management, sleep and more.

The colourful smartphone app, available for Android or iOS, is mirrored in a web interface which enables you to view your health data in even more detail.

[amazon box = “B0711LKZKX”]

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