​Withings Steel HR review : Smart compromise

Withings has made a watch that walks the line between smartwatch and analogue timepiece with impressive skill. As a fitness tracker it’s among the most feature-packed and best looking; as a running watch it’s still quite pared down, despite a heart rate monitor that works like a charm. Withings has made a smart analogue watch that looks gorgeous and doesn’t spread itself too thin, and comes out as one of the best hybrids out there right now.

Withings Steel HR

2016 was the year we saw the hybrid smartwatch flourish, and in 2017, the Withings Steel HR wants to prove that smart analogue watches can also pack a real fitness-tracking punch.

An upgrade to the Activité Steel, the big new feature is the optical heart rate monitor, which aims to make the watch a better, more useful day-to-day fitness tracker.

It’s trying to go beyond the basic step and sleep tracking that you’ll find on other hybrid smartwatches like the Misfit Phase or Fossil’s legion of designer connected timepieces. But it’s also trying to provide a better solution for smartwatch notifications where space for a screen is limited.

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