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Nokia Steel HR: analog good looks with a digitally-driven heart
by Seth L.
ANALOG GOOD LOOKS WITH A DIGITALLY-DRIVEN HEART

Boy oh boy, we must say the Nokia Steel HR is one sexy hybrid watch. It looks more like a premium analog watch than a modern digital wearable. It is a stylish amalgamation of distinctive classic looks and a subtle digital touch.

If the Nokia Steel HR looks familiar to some of you, you would already know that the hybrid watch is a direct rebrand of the Withings Steel HR that was originally manufactured by the French health and fitness tech company of the same name, which was acquired by Nokia back in 2016.

In terms of design and looks the watch cuts a look that is totally similar to Withing’s Steel HR; an uncluttered minimalist watch face with a cut-out digital OLED display window and percentage tracker but minus the etched numbers around the bezel, which we think makes the Nokia Steel HR look so much sleeker and stylish.

The Nokia Steel HR has only one input on its body: a non-windable push button type input that is made to look like a crown, for you to cycle through the digital OLED display menus. The digital OLED display is easy to read, with each press of the push button input cycling you through the time, heart rate, steps, distance, alarm and battery life displays. The percentage dial below the digital OLED display is a tracker for you to keep track your goals via a percentage completed style. Despite the digital display and the percentage dial taking up a big part of the watch face, the hybrid watch is easy to read.

The 5ATM water resistance is still there, allowing you to take this beauty for a dip into the bath or pool without worries

Lest you forget, the Nokia Steel HR is also a smartwatch. There is a vibrate motor that notifies you of SMS, calls, appointments and events along with a prompt on the digital OLED screen. Unfortunately you cannot sync notification from messenger applications like Whatsapp or Wechat, which we think Nokia should fix ASAP. Pfft, get with the times Nokia, seriously who uses SMS anymore nowadays…

Battery life is truly where the Nokia Steel HR is impressive. The hybrid watch is touted to have a 25 days of battery life before you need to slap it back on its dock to recharge it.

Nokia Steel HR comes in two watch sizes, 36mm and 40mm with two choices for the watch face color which are black or white and 11 colors spread out amongst 3 different wristband materials: leather, woven and silicone.

VERDICT

The Nokia Steel HR is still technically the Withings Steel HR at heart. The watch may be a bit on the pricey side when it comes to smart wearables but with its stylish analogue looks and digital-driven smarts, it could be a great choice if you don't want one of those other toy-like smartwatches or gimmicky-looking fitness trackers. The price for the Nokia Steel HR starts from around RM900, with watch size, watch face color and wristband options pushing the price up further.

If you are interested, you can order the Nokia Steel HR from https://health.nokia.com/es/en/steel-hr but there seems to be a waiting list the last we checked.

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