I blogged about this back at the beginning of the year here, but after reading that the Health App now supports multiple trackers, and Withings offered a great Black Friday deal, I’m now rocking an HR Steel again.

Withings HR Steel

The Black Friday deal was even better than the deal I bought the one that went back on. That was an HR Steel at the RRP of £169.99 with a free leather strap, which they were selling for £44.99. I got this for 30% and 50% off respectively, so £144.41 and it was delivered 2 days later!

I’ve been using it for a few days now, and just like my Activite before this it’s a fantastically smart looking watch. The HR Steel looks even smarter now with a black metal strap from Fullmosa which I picked up on Amazon for just over £15!

While I like the idea of an Apple Watch and all the extra stuff you can do on one, it had a couple of major flaws, one of which has been resolved with the Series 5.

For me, the most basic function of a watch is to tell the time, and I need to be able to do that with a simple glance. No arm waving or wrist waggling. Just look down and I know the time. Earlier Apple Watches didn’t do this.

Secondly, I don’t expect to have to charge a watch like my phone, i.e. daily. It’s a watch and should be able to tell the time for months if not years. The Apple Watch still needs charging daily, which also means it’s not going to track my sleep (although how good that is I’ll never know).

All that said, I’ve just bought my partner an Apple Watch, to replace her Fitbit, for Christmas!

The HR Steel isn’t quite as good as my previous Activite on the battery front, as it now uses a rechargeable battery, instead of the Activite watch battery, that lasts well over 12 months. It’s still supposed to be good for 25 days, with another 20 where it doesn’t monitor your heart rate (the HR bit!) I’ve not had it long enough yet to know if this is accurate, although I can put up with charging every month.

After a couple of days of use, the main difference is the notifications and alarms. Initially, I’d set it to use the small circular screen to notify me of new mail, SMS, appointments and various other social media things. After less than a day I’d switched most of that off, and I’m now being notified of SMS, calendar events and phone calls. I receive too much spam e-mail to be notified about mail, or perhaps that was a Black Friday blip!

I do like the ‘silent’ alarms and my partner has benefited from me walking to a vibrating wrist, rather than my iPhone blasting out a tune. I seem to remember trying to use my Activite for that, but the alarm functionality was a bit limited (I wake up at different times each day, so need multiple alarms) but that’s changed now and I’m enjoying that. Otherwise, it’s very similar to my Activite but in black, so a different look. The fact I can switch between them as I please is the real selling point.

I’ll try and come back to this over Christmas, once I’ve done a couple of recharges, but I might get sidetracked by my new FreeNAS server build which you might have noticed me blogging about 🙂