Nokia Steel Hybrid Smartwatch Review

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Nokia Steel Hybrid Smartwatch Review

So you want to count your steps, but every fitness tracker worships at the altar of brutalist design with a laundry list of features the average person doesn't care about. The Nokia Steel is here for you, your wrists, and normal person workouts.

We recommend the Nokia Steel because it has a great minimalist design, tracks activity well, and it's waterproof.

What Works

Unlike some hybrid smartwatches, the Nokia Steel doesn't overwhelm you with numbers and dials. The minimalist design makes the watch easy to read and adds to its streamlined look. Plus, you can easily swap out the band for another one that suits your style.

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The activity and sleep tracking is better than its closest competitor, the Garmin Vivomove. The Steel can track more than 10 activities and shows your progress toward your daily goal on the inset dial. The Health Mate app is easy to use and sync to the watch.

You can wear it to bed to monitor the quality of your sleep or just tuck it underneath your pillow. It can also vibrate to wake you, but this will shorten the battery life.

Speaking of battery life, the watch's coin/button cell battery (the typical battery size for analog watches) lasts for up to eight months and replacement batteries are generally less than $10.

The Nokia Steel also has 5 ATM water resistance, so it can be used while swimming and in the shower. You'll want to get the battery replaced by a jeweler if you want to maintain the seal.

What Could Be Better

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The watch doesn't support smartphone notifications and there's no heart rate monitor. We think that notifications are a perk on hybrid smartwatches, since there's no screen. The lack of heart monitoring, however, can be a dealbreaker for people who really like health data and people who need to monitor their heart rate.

If these features are important to you, the Nokia Steel HR is another great option that also rocks an inset screen (with much shorter battery life and a $180 price tag).

There are mixed reports from users on how accurately it tracks swimming and other water sports. Since most hybrid smartwatches rely solely on an accelerometer (like the one in your smartphone) for data, there's bound to be a margin of error with certain activities. If the data is way off the mark, we recommend reaching out to customer support for a replacement.

Warranty & Customer Support

The Steel can be returned within 30 days and has a one year warranty. 

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The Gizmos Team