Sunday, January 24, 2021

What Time Is It?

I know you know what this is: 
It's a watch. Obviously. But it's also a heart rate monitor, step counter, sleep tracker, and activity tracker, and it does silent, smart alarms, too (smart: if you set the option, it will trigger its alarm based on your sleep pattern and state to attempt to wake you at the optimal point in your sleep cycle within your smart alarm window). It also has notifications from your phone (text message, caller, date, watch info like steps and alarms and heart rate, etc.) in the small upper window (which is a tiny, monochrome LCD), as well as noting the percent toward your defined step goal in the lower small circle (yeah, I'm a bit deficient in my steps today; I could say I'm over, but I don't want to lie to you, my faithful reader). 

Big deal, you say. My Fitbit does all that, or my Apple watch or Galaxy watch does that and more, with a larger screen. But, I ask you, how often do you have to charge your watch? Every five days (Fitbit), every day (Apple or Android watch)? Not me... I only have to charge my watch once every three weeks or so (and it doesn't require any particularly long recharge time). Granted, the heart rate tracking isn't continuous (it can be, if you're working out, but throughout the day it's intermittently doing heart rate tracking). And, it looks like "just another nice looking watch" rather than either a fitness device or a high-tech wearable. Which I kind of like, and it doesn't really tie me to my device like some of those others might. Withings Steel HR (I have the 40mm version). 

But, oh, that battery life. Oh, and they fit standard 18mm or 20mm watch bands (depending on the watch face size), not some custom band connector.

And it's about to get better: Withings (the company that makes this watch) will soon release the Scanwatch, which will include ECG and blood oxygen saturation monitors, and will do respiratory monitoring as well. Still with an "up to 30-day battery life" (I get 3+ weeks on mine; I don't think I get quite 30 days out of it, although the current Steel HR information only shows to have a 25-day battery life, so I think I'm on track with that). Withings also offers an ECG watch/activity tracker called the Move ECG which uses a standard, replaceable watch battery to provide a year of operation without having to charge, ever.

I think I'm get the Scanwatch when it's released. 

I also have to say, customer support from Withings has been really good. I bought one of the first release Steel HR, which had a problem with the watch face fogging up. I had contacted Withings customer support, and they reassured me that the watch was still waterproof, and it should clear on  its own. It never really did, and I'd contacted them a few other times, both before and after Nokia bought the company (the second release of the watch changed the branding from Withings to Nokia). Then the founder of Withings bought the company back from Nokia, and I contacted them once more. They said that without a receipt, they would have to go from the device production date, which unfortunately made it out of warranty, but they did offer a 25% discount on a new one. But when I mentioned that I'd contacted them within the first year of ownership, the rep said that made it a claim under warranty (I'd already sent them a picture of the cloudiness in the face), and if I'd send back the current one they'd send me a new one. Which they did. About two years after I'd originally purchased it, and after the company had been sold and bought back. What great customer support!

I like Withings, and I like my watch, and thought maybe you'd want to know.

Tomorrow starts week two of my cardiac rehab, week two of getting up much earlier than I'm used to. Week two of the evil machine. I may not write much tomorrow. See you in a few days!


Ninfa said...

That really was a good purchase and the customer service was fantastic! Given your recent health issues it is definitely a good idea to get the new version when it comes out!

burtmet said...

I've been looking for one of those . Where did you get it and how much?

Tony M said...

You can find all the current Withings watches at their website:

The black version of the Steel HR (similar to mine) is on sale at Amazon:

And there's and older, non rechargeable (replaceable watch battery) step  tracking watch (no heart rate monitor) available at Best Buy: