Best ac­tiv­ity tracker that looks like a watch

Withings Steel HR Price: £179 from

iPad&iPhone user - - BUYING GUIDE -

Withings up­graded its el­e­gant ac­tiv­ity-track­ing watch with an op­ti­cal heart rate sen­sor and dig­i­tal dis­play. It’s worth buy­ing, but built-in GPS would make it even bet­ter. I test a lot of fit­ness-track­ing de­vices for my job, most of which have com­pa­ra­ble fea­tures in sim­i­lar-look­ing pack­ages. Most ac­tiv­ity bands look very ob­vi­ously like ac­tiv­ity bands. But a new genre of fit­ness gear tracks your steps and sleep with­out be­ing so ob­vi­ous about it. Some of th­ese new bands look like jewellery, but oth­ers, like the Withings Ac­tiv­ité Steel HR, look like ana­logue watches. I rec­om­mend the Ac­tiv­ité Steel HR to ev­ery­one who wants the look of a clas­sic watch but all the fea­tures of a high­pow­ered ac­tiv­ity tracker.

At first glance, the watch looks just like a, well, watch. But the Steel HR has a sub­dial that dis­plays at a

glance the progress you’ve made to­ward your daily step goal. In a de­par­ture from pre­vi­ous Withings Ac­tiv­ité mod­els, the Steel HR puts a small round dig­i­tal screen at the top of the watch face to show you other snip­pets of info, in­clud­ing your heart rate. That’s where the Steel HR shines – it puts an op­ti­cal heart-rate sen­sor in a watch-like pack­age at a moder­ate price tag.

The Withings Health Mate app does a lot of the be­hind-the-scenes work – that’s where you set up your goals, and also where you see your work­out stats and sleep anal­y­sis. If you want all of that vis­i­ble at a glance, the Ac­tiv­ité Steel HR isn’t the fit­ness tracker you need. But the watch ac­cu­rately tracks steps, run­ning mileage, and even swims – the Ac­tiv­ité Steel HR is water

re­sis­tant up to 50m. With con­tin­u­ous heart-rate track­ing and 25-day bat­tery life, the Ac­tiv­ité Steel HR is one of the best un­der-the-radar fit­ness track­ers you can buy.

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