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The $180 Nokia Steel HR hybrid smartwatch is back, but numbers are limited

Nokia Steel HR
Remember Withings? The French health and fitness technology company was acquired by Nokia in 2016, and at the beginning of this year the decision was made to get rid of the Withings name in favor of a complete Nokia rebrand. The reason, Nokia said, is that its name is better known around the world. On the list of products it would rebrand was the Withings Steel HR hybrid smartwatch, but the device itself was held back from release after a number failed quality control checks.

Nokia has apparently cured the problems, and the Steel HR with Nokia branding is available for pre-order through Nokia’s own website. It costs $180, or 170 British pounds, but if you want one this year, we suggest you don’t think too long about buying one. Nokia warns the pre-order supplies are limited, without going into detail about how long they’re expected to last, or if any particular models are more plentiful than others.

The Steel HR is the more technically capable sister watch to the Nokia Steel, a rebranded version of the Withings Activité Steel. The primary difference is the inclusion of a heart rate monitor, and an accompanying digital display on the watch face. The heart rate tracker provides continuous monitoring while exercising, and at-a-glance data is shown on the small display. It also shows other fitness-related data, including calories burned and distance traveled, plus certain notifications sent from the Bluetooth-linked smartphone.

All these metrics were previously only visible in the Nokia Health Mate app, which has also been upgraded for use with the Steel HR watch, showing more comprehensive workout data based on your heart rate. In addition to fitness, the Steel HR will track your sleep if you wear it at night, and has a smart alarm to wake you up during a light sleep stage. The internal battery returns 25 days of use before needing a recharge, and the device has water resistance to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming.

Nokia offers a choice of white and black body colors, and in either 36mm or 40mm watch sizes, plus you can choose between leather, silicone, or woven straps in several colors. If you pre-order now, and are lucky to get one of the first models, it should arrive in December.

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