Nokia Steel HR Review: Hybrid Smartwatch With Classic Timepiece Flair

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Nokia Steel HR Software and Nokia HealthMate App

One way in which the Steel HR device and Nokia HealthMate App shine, is that they are both very user-friendly. The Steel HR is compatible with devices running Android 5.0 or higher, the iPhone 4S, the iPod touch 5th generation, the iPad 3rd generation, and all more recent Apple devices. The Steel HR is not compatible with Windows smartphones and a few Android devices like the Kindle Fire or Huawei Honor line.

The Steel HR setup was quite smooth. Users will first need to download the Nokia HealthMate app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and create Nokia account. The app will then walk the user through a simple set-up process. They will need to choose their type of device from the app’s selection and tap install. Next, a press of the button on the side of the Steel HR and a tap for “Next” and “Install” on the watch’s notification screen will set things in motion. The user will be prompted to type in a code that appears on the notification screen and enter it into their app. Once these steps are completed, it should take mere seconds for the devices to pair. The user will then be asked to adjust a few settings such as the app’s notifications. This process was in general much quicker than other smartwatch set-up’s we have tested.

nokia steel hr ss install device

The displays that appear on Steel HR’s notification sub-dial can be enabled or disabled in the HealthMate app. You can choose to see the date, your heart rate, steps, distance, calories burned, your battery level, and the next alarm. The Steel HR’s settings can also be adjusted in the app. Users are able to set alarms, enable notifications, and adjust the screen brightness of the notification sub-dial. Any changes made the mobile app were quickly reflected on the device. One will need to have their smartphone and Steel HR within the Bluetooth BLE range to synchronize their devices, but the synchronization itself occurred in a matter of seconds.

Overall, we found the Steel HR’s step, distance, and heart rate tracker to be quite accurate. Both the Steel HR and our Google Fit agreed during one workout that we had with a 2.1 mile run. There was a small discrepancy over the number of calories burned, but this is quite typical of these kinds of apps and devices.

nokia steel hr ss my devices

The Steel HR is also capable of tracking a user’s sleep patterns. This information seemed to be as accurate as other comparable devices. One downside is that the user can only access their sleep information through the app. On the plus side, this data can be easily viewed and compared on a multi-week timeline.

One potential drawback of the Steel HR is that the device offers a limited number of notifications. You will not be able to access your email, preview social media alerts, or receive notifications from other apps. The Steel HR also does not include any music or media options. Users will need to bring their smartphone or other device if they want to crank some tunes during a workout session.

nokia steel hr ss screen customization

The Nokia HealthMate App offers a number of features that round out a user’s Steel HR experience. You are able to track information like your step count, average heart rate, blood pressure, and BMI on your “Dashboard”. They are also able to add a variety of activities, ranging from badminton to zumba. There are currently only 36 activities to choose from, but Nokia appears to be consistently be adding new ones. Users will also be able to adjust the intensity of their workout form “Didn’t break a sweat” to “Took it to the max”. You can see a history of your steps, activity, and average heart rates on your “Timeline” page. You can tap the individual days to get a more complete idea of the intensity and duration of their physical activity. If the Steel HR for whatever reason does not track your activity, steps, or heart rate, you can also add your data to both the current and past dates.

You are able participate in a number of programs that have been created by medical professionals. The programs range from 8 to 44 weeks and cover topics such pregnancy, better sleep, and weight loss/gain. The programs offer daily tips and reminders that help users monitor their progress. This a great option for those with specific health goals or for those who want to build better habits.

You can also add friends to your “Leaderboard” to see who gets the most steps in each week. Friends not need to own a Nokia device, but they do need to have the HealthMate app. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a good resource for those who are inspired by friends and competitors.

The Nokia HealthMate app is compatible Google Fit (Android only), Samsung Health, RunKeeper, Nest, IFTTT, and MyFitnessPal. Most of these apps complement existing HealthMate features, but the MyFitnessPal app is the only way you will be able to track your consumed calories. Many users have complained that the calories recorded in MyFitnessPal do not match those noted in HealthMate. Nokia claims that this difference exists because MyFitnessPal records average values, while HealthMate relies on a user’s “actual data”. This is a minor irritation, but one for potential customers to consider if they are concerned about accurately and conveniently recording their calories.

A user may also be drawn to the Steel HR if they already own other Nokia/Withing devices. The HealthMate app syncs with a variety of scales, blood pressure monitors, sleep trackers and systems, and smart thermometers. When Nokia purchased Withing, they also acquired the rights to products like Withing’s award-winning smart thermometer “Thermo”. These products can all be added to the HealthMate app and provide additional helpful health-related information such as a user’s blood pressure.

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