Nokia Steel Smartwatch review

Nokia Steel Smartwatch review

Smartwatches have had a problem since day one of hitting the stores. The task of putting a full-fledged computer on your wrist turned out not to be that easy.
This led to clunky solutions that were far from elegant and required constant charging. Today we’re reviewing the Nokia Steel smartwatch.

In 2014 a company called Withings came out with their take on smartwatch and called it Activité. Their watch didn’t look like any other smartwatch, it was gorgeous, had several months battery life and was still pretty smart. The only downside seemed to be the $450 price tag. Few years later Nokia bought Withings and is now offering us Nokia Steel, which is the next version of Activité.

There’s still a lot to like – it still looks as clean and classy as it did, several software quirks have been ironed out, quality is still top notch and price has dropped a lot. Currently sitting at just $129. They do also have another version with a heart rate monitor, which adds an extra screen to the watch. This looks like an afterthought (it clearly is), doesn’t look good and has kind of Fiat Multipla vibe to it. We recommend keeping to the base model.

Nokia Steel
Nokia Steel

What sets it apart

Health Mate app
Health Mate app

Traditional smartwatches are similar to smartphones. They have apps running on them and you need to charge them daily. This is not true for Steel. There are zero buttons, there is no digital display and all the heavy lifting is done on your phone in Health Mate app that comes with the watch. This means to get the newest features you have to upgrade your app not your watch, which just gathers the data and makes it accessible. Why this is not copied yet by Apple and others I have no idea because it’s ingenious.

The watch is also smart enough to detect your activities, be it walking, running, swimming (of course it’s fully waterproof) or sleeping. All these results are visualised in the Health Mate app and you can see general progress on the watchface.

Competition

Moto 360
Moto 360

The number of smartwatch manufacturers is huge, but there aren’t many who don’t produce clunky boxes. One of these is Motorola with their 360. Also an oldie, the second version of 360 is improved in a number of ways and is still one of the few smartwatches with a rounded face like a watch should be.

However there’s the “flat tire” at the bottom of screen, battery life is short and it still falls back in the looks department as well when compared against the Steel. Steel is the clear forerunner here and with it’s new bargain price there are no good reasons for not getting it.

BUY IT