Nokia Steel hybrid smartwatch has set the standard for seamlessly blending health tracking and stylish design into one device. For many people, fitness smarts inside a stylish analogue watch with a battery life that measures in months rather than days is a lot more useful and wearable than a traditional black plastic activity band.
Nokia Steel ups the design game even further. With a 316L stainless steel case, it's the best-looking version of the company's hybrid smartwatches to date, with a svelte, slender build and minimal design ethic.
But what does it do, and how can it help you lead a fitter, healthier life? We reveal all.
Nokia Steel: Design
When it comes to design, simplicity is the order of the day. Like classic wrist-watches, there are no buttons, LEDs or complicated controls cluttering Nokia Steel.
The dial itself just tells the time, but there's an interior sub-dial that's dedicated to your progress towards your daily step goal. It's marked as a percentage, so it doesn't matter whether your goal is 5,000 to 15,000 steps, you can quickly check your daily progress right from the wrist.
As the name suggests, Nokia Steel is adorned in 316L high-grade stainless steel, and comes with a soft silicone strap. You can opt for six colour choices, in addition to the black offered as standard there are options for a brown and black combo, deep blue, raspberry, grey and white.
The silicone strap and steel design combine to make a tracker that's useable in the pool, thanks to a 5ATM water resistance – which equates to roughly 50 metres. It's an impressive addition to a range of fitness features, that put many traditional bands to shame.
And the battery life also shames its rivals, and Nokia promises up to 8 months, after which you'll need to replace the singe coin cell in the back.
Nokia Steel: Fitness features
Nokia Steel tracks three main fitness metrics: general activity and active minutes, sports activity and sleep. It's all achieved via an accelerometer built into the watch, so it's an estimation of your steps and effort. As well as steps, Nokia Steel will track your distance walked throughout the day, and report on your calorie burn, too.
However, Nokia Steel features Connected Movement Technology, and Nokia Steel is now capable of tracking more than 10 activities including run, walk, swim, or dancing. It will track the time and estimate the calories burned from these activities and adjust your daily goals accordingly.
And for those looking to track sleep, Nokia Steel is one of the best wrist-based trackers on the market. From the movement of your arm, it will track time it takes for you to fall asleep, the duration of your sleep, as well as the period spent in light and deep sleep cycles. All of this is plotted on a graph each night within the Nokia Health Mate app, alongside any interruptions to your slumber.
Aside from just fitness features, Nokia Steel will automatically set itself to new time zones, thanks to its Bluetooth LE connection to your smartphone. What's more, Nokia Steel has a silent alarm feature that wakes you up with a gentle vibration on the wrist, rather than a painfully annoying alarm. To check the alarm setting, tap three times on the glass and the hands will move accordingly, before springing back to the current time.
What's more, Nokia has added Smart Wake Up TM, a brand new feature that detects and wakes you during the lightest part of your sleep cycle. The aim is to help you stir feeling rested, rather than being jolted awake from deep sleep.
Nokia Steel: App
Nokia Steel works with Nokia Health Mate app, which won Health Platform on the Year at the 2016 Wareable Tech Awards.
The all-new app tracks all the metrics that relate to your overall health, in an easy-to-view way. Progress towards step goals and checking you're getting enough sleep are key elements of the Nokia Health Mate app, and weight goals, blood pressure history and heart health are all measured – if used with appropriate Nokia Health devices.
Nokia Health Mate dashboard keeps track of your stats and goals, and the Timeline feature shows a chronological view of your activity, sleep and steps, which can be delved into in greater detail by tapping an item. What's more, it hooks up to fitness apps like RunKeeper, which means that hardcore runners and cyclists can get credit for workouts and training sessions within the Health Mate ecosystem.
New additions also include Wellness Programs, which are programmed health kicks that require you to follow steps to focus on goals like Sleep Smarter, Better Body, Healthier Heart as well as pregnancy tracking and social leaderboards.
And the Nokia Health Mate app doesn't just report from your wearable device. There's a manual food-tracking element in partnership with MyFitness Pal, to give you a better idea of your calories consumed and burned.
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