Thursday, January 26, 2017

Withings Activite Steel HR Fitness Tracker Review

I'm going to start with a little history.  I've been a Fitbit fan for quite some time. My first activity tracker was the Fitbit One.  I loved how it would give me a step count, stair count, and it's vibrating alarms.  I thought it was awesome but one day, after a couple of years, I lost it. I was bummed.  I liked it a lot but I decided that I wanted something that wouldn't fall off. I looked at the Microsoft Band but, at the time, it was sold out so I couldn't buy it.  A couple of months later, Fitbit came out with the Charge HR. So I moved to the Fitbit that wouldn't fall off and told me my heart rate. It replaced my watch and has been a good tracker for the past couple of years. However, it had a couple of defects. I couldn't read its display in bright sunlight and sometimes I couldn't get the display to turn on immediately. So it worked great as an activity tracker but, in my opinion, it wasn't a very good watch. So, when it started falling apart a couple months ago -  hey, after two years of constant use, things wear out, I decided to replace it.  Just so you know, I was able to superglue it back together, but I still decided it was time to replace it.. I started looking for an upgrade. 

I decided that I wanted an analog watch so that I could always tell the time.  I wanted something waterproof (I do a lot of swimming). I also wanted to keep the silent alarms and activity tracking that I loved in my Fitbit.

I looked at Fitbit first but the new Charge 2 isn't waterproof.  I looked at Garmin but their analog watch has no alarms. I looked a some Android watches from Timex and Fossil but their watches weren't waterproof. Then a friend at work told me about Withings so I checked it out.

I looked at the Activite Steel and liked what I saw. Analog watch, silent alarms, activity tracking, waterproof, and a battery that lasts for months - awesome - but no display other than time and a dial that showed how close I was to my step goal. I wasn't sure I wanted to be tethered to my phone for most tracking information.  While I was considering, I saw the info for the Steel HR. Everything in the Steel plus a display, a heart rate monitor, and phone, text, and calendar notifications. It looked awesome so I preordered it.

I've had it for about a month now and it's great! I've only had to charge it twice which gives it roughly two weeks per charge. Granted it says 25 day battery life but with alarms and notifications on, it's less - I also didn't wait until it was almost dead. I'm not really complaining though, I mean compared to my Fitbit where I was happy to get 2 days out of a charge, that's huge!

I like the analog display and the option of the digital display for time, date, steps, distance, heart rate, alarm, etc.  It's got everything on my list.  However, it's not quite perfect.  There are a couple of cons:
  1. In the wrong lighting, the watch hands can be difficult to see so I occasionally have trouble telling the time. This is my biggest disappointment but it's not really that bad.
  2. Occasionally, it gets out of sync with my Android phone (Nexus 5x) and doesn't notify for a call or text. This also isn't a big deal and it's been better than my Fitbit Charge HR was.

Overall it's great! It looks like a classy watch with activity tracking and notifications built in. Its battery lasts weeks and it's waterproof. It's not huge like a lot of smart watches (which is good because I have small wrists) but it sure packs a lot in.  So now I'm wearing a watch again, a real watch and I sure do enjoy it!

1 comment:

Varun Reddy said...

This newly launched wearable tech is a cool concept & enables the user to perform various functions of Smart Phones through the Wrist Band. Smart watches co-operate with an app in Smart Phones paired through Bluetooth mainly 4.0 version. These are especially designed with multiple features which release your arms from stressing.