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Steel HR died suddenly

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  • Official comment
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    Soha

    Hello Everyone,

    We apologize for the inconvenience you are having with your Steel HR not lighting up. Please refer to this help center article in which we ask you to leave the Steel HR on the charger for 12 hours:

    https://support.withings.com/hc/en-us/articles/360031652673

    Please reach out to our customer support if the issue is not resolved: https://within.gs/help 

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    cri347x

    Some good news.

    Today the support asked me to confirm that the display didn't turn on by putting the watch on charge, nor by pressing the button, I could do nothing but confirm. Not even half an hour and I had to rectify, the watch miraculously came back to life.

    I reiterate that when it apparently died, it still had the 73% of battery and that I tried to put him in charge for an hour, on Sunday, so potentially it was at 100%.
    After having confirmed to the support that it was dead, I tried again for the umpteenth time to hold down the side button and this time magically the display turned on and the word "Low battery" appeared. So I put the watch on charge and it turned on and synchronized as if nothing had happened. Now I have it on my wrist and it is working regularly.

    My hypothesis is that: in these two days, even if it didn't show signs of life and it didn't connect to the smartphone, the watch was active. Fortunately (or unfortunately, it depends on your point of view), it drained the whole battery in just over 24 hours and turned off. This forced shutdown allowed the firmware to restart normally and work around the error, as a sort of soft reset.

    If that is really the case, my argument is further supported by the fact that a firmware bug caused the apparent death of the watch.

    I mentioned these reflections to support, as well as that on the same day and in the same way there was another case, linking this discussion. They replied that they will keep everything present, even for other cases.

    I propose everything here, also in the hope that the staff will investigate the matter and that if it's a firmware failure, they will update it as soon as possible.

    @Ioannekliphuis try to get the watch completely discharged, trying every so often to hold down the side button, maybe it will work out for you too.

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    nmgyrl

    I am so relieved to have found this thread! My Steel HR, purchased in early May, just did this yesterday. It is completely unresponsive to button presses/holds, charging, etc. The Health Mate app shows that it was at 17% battery as of 7:20am. I noticed at 5:30pm that the hands had stopped a couple of hours before, but as it had lasted over 30 days from the previous full charge(!), it should not have died so suddenly. It seats itself nicely on the original charger, which I used before with no problems when plugged into my PC, but remains dead.

    One thought: my Galaxy S8 phone updated to Android 9 (Pie) a little over a week ago and has given me some problems (especially phone battery life). This OS update has been rolling out to different phones/carriers over the past 6 months. Is it possible there is some incompatibility? The comments I have read here and on a newer thread don't seem to mention anything about the "host" phones. The Steel HR is at firmware version 5971 and the Health Mate app at 4.3.4. There are slightly newer versions of both available. I have just updated the app to 4.4 (which by itself of course has not done anything), but the Withings page for Steel HR firmware says:

       "Version 6131 - June 18th, 2019 (Steel HR only)

    • Bug fixes

         Note that this firmware has only been deployed to new Steel HR installations."

    so it's not clear that it will be downloaded to existing watches. If that's true, what's to prevent this annoying freeze happening again? Can anyone verify that their watch has indeed updated its firmware as Withings support told an earlier poster that it would?

    I will submit a proper support ticket as well as this comment. Thank you all for being here!

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    jamesfsteele

    My 24 hours came up after the initial blackening of screen and downtime, and then exactly as johnsmithwally above ... I did not wash or rinse as instructed, i just let it be ... Firmware is 5971.  Everything is 'annoyingly normal' as noted above, lol. 

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    zozivanor

    Hello here!

    Same worked in my case: I just waited until next morning. Clicked the button and my watch said 'Hello' and showed 0% of battery. I put it on the charger, charged the watch to 55% and went to work. NOTE: no reset was needed. It's just working fine now. All I needed to do is to set the time. So the watch run out the power from 75% to 0% less than 24 hours.


    @ccr.campbell if my watch do it again, I will you know here (this forum).

    Thank you All for keeping the forum up-to-date.
    Also want to thank Withings to keep this forum on their site. As a forum on official sites always looks safe. And it would be great if Withings Support leaves some comments to let the customers feel more or less comfortable and safe 
    We all learn on mistakes and it's just fine. I hope Withings developers will find the fix soon.

    Keep calm and take care.

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    cri347x

    @Ioannekliphuis it’s very strange, our watches died in the same day and in the same way.
    A few days ago I received the last firmware, version 5971, could it be the cause? Yours has been updated?

    At the moment the support didn’t help me, they didn’t understand that the watch is not showing signs of life and they suggested me to start with the calibration of the hands. I clarified the problem better, let's wait...

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    loannekliphuis

    @cri347x thanks for your updates! Similar to your findings, my watch has shown some signs of life again.

    The support team also asked me to try the button and charging it again. And somehow it did respond tonight. (While being in the charger this weekend for a couple of hours without responding).

    Anyway tonight it did respond on the charger, with ‘0%’ and later on ‘power reserve’. After disconnecting and connecting to the charger again it looks like it charges again.

    I checked the app as well, and the battery was 100% before dying in the middle of the night last weekend. So something drained the battery very quickly or it crashed for some other reason??

    Hopefully the watch is going to work normally again after fully charged. I’m still curious what the root cause is tho..

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    cri347x

    Three of us had the same problem, it's very strange.
    @raneemelwelily try to turn on the watch tomorrow of the day after tomorrow it will probably restart and ask you to charge the battery.
    Mine hasn't given any problems until today.
    Also contact the support via email, so they will have another case to investigate and maybe they will issue a final update.

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    glasstastic2k

    My Steel HR died about an hour ago while I was sitting at my desk at work. It had 95% charge left when I synced it earlier in the day.

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    glasstastic2k

    Per the comments before mine, I left my watch off of the charger overnight for the battery to drain. This morning when I placed it on the charger the screen displayed the “Hello” message and showed 0% charge. I let it charge for about an hour to about 60% charge and it’s been working fine since.
    While I am happy that the watch recovered, I am concerned that it will happen again if Withings doesn’t address the issue. My job requires me to travel a lot and I count on the watch to hold a charge for 2-3 weeks at a time so that I don’t have to remember to pack and not subsequently lose the charger. If this were to happen while I was traveling, the device would be useless until I returned home.

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    borland.south

    same problem mine quit 2 hours ago 23% left. I'll wait as well to try to charge  and see what happens - never had this happen before either!

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    ab

    So I've got mine recovered: put it off the charger, for fully charged one it was more than 24 hours, then try to wake it up by long press on the button. If it shows you 'Hello' and 'Power reserve' and then dies again, put it in charger, then it will wake up. I needed to reset the watch afterwards but so far it works.

    What doesn't work is Withings support team. Not only they ignored what I told them after following their own suggestions, they also completely messed up the responses. One of the support engineers wrote a response to me, then another one took that response as if I responded myself. He took the facts/suggestions from that previous Withings' support engineer responses and responded to them with other suggestions to me, also keeping me called by the name of that engineer. Perhaps, this was one of the most unprofessional support exchanges I had in quite a number of years.

    Finally, they admitted this is an issue their engineering team is looking into.

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    rynier50

    I will wait until tomorrow, l;eaving it off the charger and update my progress... I have raised a ticket too.

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    chris.warne

    Same fix seems have worked for me as well. Left overnight, this morning it was telling the correct time and "power reserve" displayed when the button was pressed. It's now on the charger and seems to be charging normally.

    As there have been a glut of recent reports of this issue I wonder whether a recent software (firmware) update has introduced a bug.

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    chris.warne

    I had this problem a few days ago and the "discharge for 24 hours" fix seems to have worked. However, I notice that several days later my watch is still showing 100% charge. I would normally expect it to use a few percent a day so I wonder if this is another, related bug. Does anyone else have this persistent 100% charge reading?

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    nmgyrl

    Apparently it isn't enough to reference this forum in the ticket query. Here is what Withings support told me today:

       I appreciate the forum link you've provided, however, we have no known issue for the unresponsive Steel HR.

    <sigh> So the reps still aren't aware of the problem generally, despite the number of reports, and somehow it is not filed in a way that makes it easy to find.

    If you feel it's appropriate, could someone who got a response recognizing that it is a problem please post the ticket number? It's difficult to get anywhere if support is not properly linking all these reports as being the same bug.

    BTW, I did not see any low battery status on my Steel HR (wasn't here to look at it the entire time), but when I put it on the charger again after about 30 hours, this time it did display the charging icon. So hopefully it will now charge and then be recovered. But I am concerned about it happening again in the future.

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    johnsmithwally

    Mine has just died tonight, leaving it to discharge, hopefully will be back in action in a day or two. Thanks for everyone sharing on this thread. I'll raise a ticket.

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    nmgyrl

    Here's the latest response I received from the Withings CSR assigned to my ticket:

    "Since the release of the firmware 6131, the watch was trying to refresh and needed the batteries to be drained before your Steel HR receives the firmware update. Since the updates are received by batch, please check for any notifications for updates soon."

    This seems odd. Has anyone else discovered that their watch has updated to 6131? Mine has not, and the Withings Web page on firmware versions for the Steel HR says that 6131 is only being sent out with new devices.

    Anyway, I gave her both of the other ticket numbers provided in this thread, where Withings acknowledged that there is a bug. I also wrote the note below in my response to her. Perhaps the "bug" is actually that this is how they intended to do things? If so, <grrrrr>.

    ------ my comments -------

    Re the explanation about the behavior being deliberately caused by having to refresh the firmware, I'm afraid I'm skeptical of that for several reasons:

     1. There was no indication of any firmware update being available or being applied to the watch,
         and indeed Health Mate shows that it is still at 5971. So no firmware update has happened.

     2. Two days ago you said that the latest version, 6131, had not yet been made available to my watch.
         That was after the behavior occurred. How could that update have triggered any activity before it
         was even available?
     
     3. VERY IMPORTANT!!! When a firmware update is available, Health Mate should offer it to me so
         that I can select a convenient time to install it, rather than suddenly, and without any notification,
         putting the watch into a state where it appears to be dead for at least 24 hours: no response to the
         button, no response to charging, and no communication with the app. Not only does this brute-force
         approach seem unnecessary, but from a customer perspective it is utterly unacceptable. If in fact
         the watch battery has to be drained in order to initiate such an update, the Health Mate app should
         first announce that an update is available, and provide clear instructions with a warning of what to expect.
     
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    lucy_walker89

    Same problem - will raise a ticket and cite this thread. Thank you

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    vitor.matias

    Mine just stopped completely this night... Does not respond to charging as well.

    Last sync with my phone says battery was at 61% and firmware version was 5971.

    Will wait until tomorrow to try to recharge again.

     

    Thank you.

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    johnsmithwally

    After leaving my watch for 24hrs it responded as predicted to the push button with a "power reserve" message. On charging it resumed normal operation as if nothing had happened. I didn't have to reset it, it automatically connected back up to Health Mate, it reset it's own time and was annoyingly normal. My ticket had two responses, one identical to another post about washing and drying and charging again, but when I replied the second response was more positive and questioning. The solution suggested " to leave the battery to run flat, and then allow the watch to restart and recharge".

    Maybe someone has finally read the thread.

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    nmgyrl

    @carlux3: The battery drain rate while the watch is in this state is much higher than during normal operation. Someone in an earlier post here suggested it might be in a "tight loop", i.e. its little CPU is 100% busy on something to the exclusion of anything such as button input, display, and communication. That sounds like a reasonable explanation - it might even be some code specifically intended to drain the battery as quickly as possible - but whether or not that's correct, it will not take anywhere near the normal length of time to get to 0%. (I think there was someone here who said theirs was at 95% and it took a bit longer than 24 hours to drain, but it wasn't days or anything.)

    You should be able to tell whether it has finished by pressing the button and/or putting it on the charger after leaving it off for at least the 24 hours. If it's done, the button press should get you a message like "Power Reserve" or similar; putting it on the charger should result in the little initial vibration followed by the display showing % battery level.

    If neither of those things is happening, it's "not dead yet!" ;)

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    chr.seyfarth

    @nmgyrl

    No, number one failed three weeks before number two. Number one took almost three days to drain the akku, number two was back after almost 24 hours last Saturday morning. Both run with 5971 - 6131 have not yet been offered in the app.

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    nmgyrl

    So here's what "escalation" looks like:

    My name is <xxxx>, and your case has been escalated to me. I'm very sorry to hear of the problems you are having with your Steel HR, and I really apologize for the inconvenience caused.

    May I ask if you could please try charging the device for significant amount of time such as 10 hours? Please let me know if the issue is now resolved. I look forward to your response, and wish you a pleasant day.

    Disappointing. Not only did this person not bother to read the previous correspondence, in which I described the procedure here and said that it had revived after that, but they're suggesting 10 hours of *charging*. This answer is like a stab in the dark instead of anything resembling investigation. <sigh>

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    nmgyrl

    @hugo: Your photos provide a data point for the scope of the problem. Your watch is the older Steel HR which was Nokia branded. I have a newer one which is Withings branded. Someone also mentioned having a Steel HR Sport, which is newer still. So it appears to affect all the models in this line.

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    willems84

    I had the same issue with my Nokia steel HR.  Thanks to this forum, I was able to resolve it in the similar way as others did.  However, in case I didn't find this information here, I would probably ask NOKIA and/or Withings to ensure my consumer rights and replace my watch as it is still under warranty (< 2 years). 

    I'm thinking about all those customers who will not find this information on this forum.  After several months it is getting time that NOKIA/Withings make information on this problem available on their website (FAQ, knowledgde database,...), so that their customers can keep on using this product.

     

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    nmgyrl

    The community forums are not an official means of contacting Withings support. Many companies do monitor such forums and sometimes post responses. However, despite several of us pointing them at this thread specifically, I have seen no sign - either in these posts or in the correspondence on the support ticket I submitted - that anyone from Withings customer service has looked here (which does not mean they haven't, only that they are keeping mum about it if so).

    A Withings support rep told me that only a few people have been affected by this problem, yet this forum thread now has over 70 different customers reporting the behavior, and there are almost certainly more who have not found the forum. I encourage anyone who has experienced this bug to submit a proper support ticket if you haven't already. Use the "Contact Us" link at the upper right of this page, select "Product" as your topic, then the "Steel HR", and "I have a question". After the resulting list of FAQs, there is a "Send us an email" link.

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    and.f.silv

    Same thing happened to me this week. Left the watch alone for 24 hours and then it entered power reserve mode. At that moment I was able to charge it and turn it back on.

    I encourage everyone to contact the official Withings support via email.

    This has reached a point where it should be considered a known issue with the current software version and be pointed out clearly in the support page to avoid unneeded anxiety.

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    otapi

    To ones who have no charger at hand (like me who was on a 2 weeks travel) when the watch dies: no worries, I put back on the charger after a week and it worked again.

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    zozivanor

    @nmgyrl: yes. it is 6131.
    Also my phone says that the last synchro was at 08:31am. Watch shows (stuck) the time 9:36am.

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