There’s no denying that fitness trackers have a certain sporty look. Usually featuring black rubber bands and digital displays that scream stats at you in unsightly fonts, most are a reminder that wearable companies are born from the tech world. This wouldn’t be an issue if fitness trackers were designed solely for exercising, but that’s only half the story.
Enter our midrange winner: the Withings Steel HR, which has all the functionality of a fitness tracker but can pass itself off as a classy, everyday timepiece. At first glance, the Steel HR looks like your standard watch (available in 36mm and 40mm sizing), featuring an analog clock with hour and minute hands, but that pretty face also houses a heart rate sensor.
Our testers were fond of how unobtrusively the Withings Steel HR displays data and health metrics, even though a few docked points for readability. Every stat you might want to check can be viewed through the small digital display on the watch face. While the circular display is indeed tiny, pressing the side button navigates to stats like steps, heart rate, calories burned, and distance walked.
Holding the same button longer activates the Steel HR’s workout mode, which allows you to cycle through activities like walking, running, cycling, swimming, or “other.” All in all, the Steel HR can track up to 30 activities, which can be programmed via the app. Launching into a workout activates the Steel HR’s continuous heart rate mode, which means it’s taking measurements every second. Otherwise, for day-to-day readings, it’s important to note that the Steel HR measures heart rate every 10 minutes and sends updates to the HealthMate app every half hour.