HMD Global might already be doing a lot to reinvigorate the Nokia brand with a trio of new Android smartphones and a modern twist to the 3310. But now, the brand appears to be making its way to smartwatches.
Back in May 2016, Nokia acquired the French tech company Withings along with all of its smartwatch portfolio. This past Sunday during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia confirmed that all existing Withings products will be rebranded starting this summer.
The Withings Steel HR fitness tracker/smartwatch shown at MWC 2017 carrying the Nokia logo. Photo: Wareable
During MWC, Nokia already showed off the Withings Steel HR smartwatch with the Nokia logo right on its watch face. Unlike most recent smartwatches, the Steel HR is mostly a fitness tracker with a classic/traditional watch design. It’s able to track heart rate, steps and distance traveled, and can be paired with an iPhone or most Android devices through its companion app.
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suuri said that it will not be competing with standard smartwatches, and that they will focus on “medical grade devices,” according to CNET. As part of the Withings acquisition, the Nokia Health Mate app will be upgraded, while Nokia’s Patient Care Platform is set to debut soon.
Cédric Hutchings, Nokia’s head of digital health division, was asked recently if they plan on making entirely new products besides Withings’ existing portfolio. “You should [expect more watches from Nokia], yes,” Hutchings told Wareable.
Hutchings said that Nokia’s digital health division has been growing significantly, and that consumers should expect more announcements later this year. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of coming out with a new smartwatch with an AMOLED display. However, Nokia is currently focused on delivering long battery life for its rebranded Withings products.
“We love our watch for the simplicity and also for the battery life. If you offer me a technology where you have the screen and the battery life, both, why not?” Hutchings said. Aside from long battery life, he also emphasized that most smartwatch users focus more on fitness tracking and notifications.
Nokia appears to be cautious when it comes to smartwatches, but it does seem like the company is preparing for all possibilities.
The Withings Steel HR fitness tracker. Photo: Withings
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