Reviews coming in April: Nokia Steel HR, Matrix Powerwatch, Fitbit Versa

As March winds down and I continue to wait for spring to finally find and settle down in Illinois I’m looking forward to April being a busy month of new fitness tracker and smartwatch reviews.  I just hope I don’t have to review them in the snow.  Come on spring!

On the list first is the Nokia Steel HR.  This is a hybrid smartwatch that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time and it will be be the first hybrid I’ve tested out.

Hybrid smartwatches are are a great option because they combine many of the best features of traditional analog watches, including their classic style and longer battery life, with the added smartwatch features such as fitness tracking and notifications.

Probably the most popular hybrid smartwatch right now is the Nokia Steel HR (View on Amazon).  It has that classic analog watch look and steel casing but also has a small digital screen for viewing date/time, heart rate, steps, distance, calories, alarm, continuous heart rate (when you’re working out) and a chronometer.

Notifications also pop up in the little screen.

The Steel HR can automatically detect a number of activities and I’m eager to see how well it does.

The Nokia Steel HR on Amazon

What sold me on the Nokia were several positive reviews and I love the look and size of it.  I’ll be reviewing the 36mm version and it’s been a long time since I’ve wore a smartwatch with that small of a diameter.

Most smartwatches are in the 43-45mm diameter range.  The strap for the 36mm is also only 18mm wide while everything else I have is 20-22mm wide, so I’m expecting the Nokia to look and feel more like a traditional watch in both style and size.

I was also considering the Garmin Vivomove HR, another popular hybrid smartwatch, but I just preferred the style, features, and price of the Steel HR.

Quick Specs of the Nokia Steel HR:

  • Available in 36mm and 40mm sizes
  • Automatic walk, run, swim, sleep tracking
  • Over 10 activities recognized for fitness tracking
  • Calculates calories burned and distance (no built-in or connected GPS)
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Battery life up to 25 days

 

Matrix Powerwatch

The Watch that Uses Body Heat to Charge It

I have had the Matrix Powerwatch for a couple months now but I’ve been waiting for all the features to be enabled through a final firmware update before the watch is unleashed to wider masses.

This is a watch that uses body heat to charge its battery and there’s no other watch out there that does this, so there’s no need to ever plug it.  Instead, wearing it on your wrist will do the job.

The remaining features that I’m waiting for are automatic sleep detection, the ability to choose different watch faces, and other usability enhancements. Hopefully all of this will be enabled by the end of April or so.

This watch was partially funded through crowdfunding and it’s still in the prototype stage but as soon as it is ready I will be reviewing it.  So far, I’m impressed with the build quality. If you’re a geek about new gadgets and technology, this watch will probably be right up your alley.

 

Fitbit Versa

And of course, I’ll be reviewing the Fitbit Versa next month.  Yes, the big dogs have already had their paws on the watch but I’ll be getting it when it is released to consumers on April 16th.  I’m eager to try this new smartwatch/fitness tracker out because I haven’t been this excited about a Fitbit device since, well, forever.  I’ve been a Samsung and Garmin fan for a long time so this is Fitbit’s chance to win me over.  We’ll see if they can with the Versa!

Fitbit Versa in Black on Amazon