An honest Nokia Activité Steel watch review. Definitely worth it, but has some kinks.
I’ve been using the Nokia Activité Steel watch day and night, dry and wet, for about 60 days now. I’ve learned the ins, the outs, and basically that the name “steel” is completely appropriate — it’s a near indestructible activity tracker that looks and feels like a regular watch. And you don’t need to babysit it. I’ll share the pros and cons, but if you’re looking for a long story short Nokia Activité Steel watch review: yes, you should buy it, but don’t expect it to be flawless.
If you’ve seen the watch advertised by the name “Withings Activité Steel” at other retailers, but don’t be fooled, it’s an older model — Nokia acquired Withings in 2016 and fully transitioned the brand to Nokia. If your watch doesn’t say Nokia, it’s simply not new stock.
I found the white and silver option here for under $130 + free shipping, and here at Amazon.
It’s lightweight and design-friendly
The watch itself functions like any other watch might as a sleek accessory that’ll tell time and add a little something extra to your ensemble. Even if you’re not a fitness buff, trying to lose weight, or looking to track your every step, the Nokia Steel is a good and price-friendly watch option.
You can do just about anything with it
I purposely wore my Nokia Steel into the ocean, at least 100 showers and/or baths, spa saunas, and rough-terrain workouts to see if it would survive. It did, and nicely.
You never have to charge it
This is, by far and away, the most important part of my Nokia Activité Steel watch review, because it’s the main selling point of this analog watch activity tracker if you ask me. I’ve had Fitbits, Jawbones, and everything else in between over the course of the last several years, and while those might’ve functioned nicely or looked cute, they were Hell on Earth with the constant need for charging. I can’t even count how many Jawbone chargers I’ve lost in my life, and sure, the Jawbone starts out cheap, but every $8 charger replacement from Amazon adds up at some point. The Nokia Steel operates on a regular watch battery that needs to be changed almost never, and it’s glorious. Imagine all the time and hassle a person could save by NOT charging another device?
I would suggest buying this watch over any Fitbit or Jawbone for this alone. Do not even look at competing bands if you’re the type to lose chargers.
The app is easy to navigate
If you can read, you can handle opening and operating the Nokia Activité Steel app, which is simply called “Health Mate.” It tracks steps, sleep, weight, and all the other stuff. It’ll subtly shame you into being a better person, too. Here’s a copy of my most recent sleep report, which likely explains my need to binge on things like pumpkin spice Triscuits and desk naps.
It also showed me how lazy I was in the hours before I wrote this. I should walk more before I take screenshots of my activity logs, don’t you think? But hey, Sundays were meant to be lazy, otherwise brunch wouldn’t be a thing.
This is all very positive, because frankly, I have apps to tell me all the things I can’t tell myself — and that’s everything from how many steps I took that day to who viewed my Facebook profile. I love technology.
Some unfortunate downsides, but they’re minor
Occasionally the watch will display the wrong time. When this happens, you’re forced to open the app and sync your phone to your watch. It only takes a minute it’s occasional at best (maybe once a week for me), but it’s annoying and a consideration. The most updated stats are also sometimes slow to load after a long period of sleep or non-movement like a Netflix binge, but that’s okay too.
Why you should buy it, summed up
My Nokia Activité Steel watch review leaves you with these parting thoughts:
It’s roughly the same price as a Fitbit, but requires no charging, looks and acts as a regular watch, is lightweight, and is nearly impossibly to lose. Here’s to hoping the next generation works out the very minor kinks, but I’ll keep loving this one in the meantime. It’s a sort of gentle, constant reminder to keep moving, and after 60 days of wearing it, I’ve dropped roughly two pounds. Is that a lot? No, but it is meaningful when you think of the cumulative effect of a longer period of time, and proves that it encourages movement and decent lifestyle choices.
It makes the most sense to buy it directly from Amazon if you’re a Prime member.
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