Withings releases first smartwatch after buying itself back from Nokia

Less than two years after Nokia bought the French digital health startup Withings, it was decided that the business was struggling to “meet its growth expectations,” leading to Withings reacquiring itself from Nokia this past May. Now the company is back with a new logo and a new fitness tracker. The Steel HR Sport smartwatch features GPS-connectivity, oxygen intake sensors, and most importantly, it’s released under Withings’ own brand.

The Steel HR Sport shares a lot of the same features as the Steel HR smartwatch released under Nokia in 2016: the 25-day battery life, heart rate monitor, and smartphone notifications. The GPS connectivity is new — paired with a smartphone, users can track their walking, running, or cycling workouts and view their routes afterward in the Health Mate app (available for both Android and iOS). There’s also a slightly updated analog watchface on the embedded digital screen that shows your health data and app notifications, plus a new silicon wristband.

Aesthetically, the Steel HR Sport is a little bit of a departure from Withings’ previous smartwatches. The sport band looks out of place when paired with the analog watchface, which looked chic with the Steel HR’s original leather watchband. We know Withings can make stylish fitness watches, judging from the colorful Activité Pop line, so this one feels like a bit of a miss.

You can set goals through the app like how many step counts you’d like to hit, or work on improving your Sleep Score, which measures the quality of sleep you’re getting based on duration and interruptions. The watch can also wake up the user with vibration alarms at optimal times during their sleep cycles.

Smartphone notification features have improved, as they’re no longer limited to just calls, texts, and events. Now the watch can show notifications from over 100 apps, including breaking news, flight alerts, or messages from social apps. These features are expanding to the original Steel HR as well.

The Steel HR Sport comes in a black or white watchface, with a standard grey silicone band. It will be available September 18th for $199.95, through the Withings website or Amazon


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