With clinically validated ECG and PPG sensors, this is one of the most health-focused wearable devices we’ve ever used. This is our Withings ScanWatch test.
Withings ScanWatch Review: a watch after your heart
Years ago, we would have been lucky if a smartwatch tracked more than basic activity metrics. Recently, however, companies like Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, and Withings have taken the risk. sound cliché: pushing the boundaries of what wearable technology can be.
The Withings ScanWatch embodies this idea. It offers a medical ECG and pulse oximeter to help users track their daily health stats and educate them about possible warning signs of AFib and sleep apnea.
You might be too quick to think of the Withings ScanWatch as a “specialized wearable” device, but I encourage you to reconsider this notion. It has been one of my favorite portable devices over the past few years and an essential device for those who may suffer from serious illnesses. Read our full Withings ScanWatch review to find out why.
We’ve updated our Withings ScanWatch review with details on US pricing and software updates.
Why should you care about the ScanWatch?
Sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation (AFib) affect millions of people every year. These silent killers often go undiagnosed. The symptoms of these problems have been found to be difficult for the consumer to identify with conventional portable devices, especially if they are not present at the time of the doctor’s visit.
If you are concerned about breathing problems or atrial fibrillation, the first thing you should see is a doctor. Then, consider buying a Withings connected watch. Inform users of the signs of atrial fibrillation and breathing problems at night. It has received CE medical certification in Europe for the detection of AFib (via ECG and PPG sensors) and the measurement of SpO2. EU approval for sleep apnea screening is expected to pass in 2020 but appears to have been delayed. Received FDA approval for the detection of sleep apnea using an ECG in October 2021.
TL; DR is more than your average hybrid smartwatch. This is a notable advance over previous Withings offers like the Steel HR. Add a medical ECG monitor, pulse oximeter, 24/7 heart rate monitoring and a month of battery life.
Design: This build quality is hard to beat
Hybrid smartwatches have the advantage of incorporating more than traditional smartwatches, and without the occasional display lighting most people would think of it as an ordinary analog watch.
The Withings ScanWatch is awesome. Everything – the included FKM bracelet, the stainless steel case, the minimal design language – looks and feels incredibly high quality. It is the most important Withings device I have ever used and the most comfortable hybrid smartwatch I can remember.
Withings did well. Some of their previous hybrid watches look great, even though they were made from cheaper materials. However, the ScanWatch is made of 316L stainless steel and has a sapphire crystal display, which makes it difficult to scratch. Materials, I wasn’t as concerned about cracks or scratches on the ScanWatch during exercise as I was with previous Withings devices.
It is available in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm. I use the 42mm model which fits well on my average size wrist. It’s a lot harder than I expected. I had a hard time getting used to the 83g weight at first, but now I barely notice the watch on my wrist.
Compared to other devices such as the Steel HR, the ScanWatch has a larger and brighter PMOLED display. It is monochrome and low resolution, but sufficient for simple notifications or to review ECG measurements in real time. I would like it to be a little lighter; may be difficult to see in direct sunlight.
There is an ambient light sensor on board and the screen has an alarm function. However, I would like to be able to increase the sensitivity. The screen likes to go off every now and then if I don’t move my wrist firmly enough during exercise or at my desk.
The ScanWatch also has a rotating crown on the right side of the case. It’s also pleasant to the touch and a good replacement for the missing touchscreen.
Withings announces an autonomy of 30 days for the ScanWatch. It’s entirely possible to get 30 days on a single charge, but you have to be careful about what features you activate. Turn it on, the respiratory sweep set to automatic and six follow-up exercises, and I had about 11 pounds left after 10 days. Granted, this was my first week of using the device, so I checked the settings and fine-tuned the device a lot more than I normally would. Hope the battery life improves a bit over time; However, it is still a long way from the advertised battery life of one month.
Fortunately, the power saving mode is activated when the battery is empty. You can then use your ScanWatch for an additional 20 days.