Review of the Withings ScanWatch, Which is the Best Health-tracking Hybrid Smartwatch that Money Can Buy

Withings ScanWatch Overall Score: 8/10

Design Score: 8.0/10

Ease of Usability Score: 8.0/10

Use of Information Score: 8.0/10

Value for Money Score: 8.0/10

Advantages:

  • Health functions of the highest caliber
  • Beautiful, classy, modest, robust
  • It is extremely simple to use.
  • Long run time on the battery
  • Excellent mobile application

Disadvantages:

  • There is no built-in GPS.
  • It is not possible to couple an HR chest strap.

Withings, a company located in France, has just recently started selling its long-awaited ScanWatch in Europe after obtaining CE regulatory approval for the device. Until recently, the clock could only be obtained through an exclusive insider program.

The hybrid has a few distinctive characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the competition. A medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor and the capacity to identify issues relating to the heart’s health are two of these. In addition to the standard fitness monitoring sensors, this timepiece also has a blood oxygen monitor, which enables users to keep track of their activity levels both throughout the day and during the night. And all of this is possible with an amazing battery life that can last up to a month.

However, the question is: Does ScanWatch achieve what it promises? During the past few weeks, I’ve been afforded the chance to put it through its paces. This is what I concluded from it.

Design Analysis of the Withings ScanWatch

  • A hybrid device with a digital screen and a digital crown to control it.
  • Choose between a variant with a 38mm or a 42mm diameter.
  • With typical use, the battery will last for one month.

Withings is an industry veteran when it comes to the production of hybrids. It all began in 2015 with the Activité, when it all first got started. This was the first watch to combine the modern conveniences of smart technology with the classic aesthetic of an analog watch. After that came a series of other hybrids, such as three more iterations of Activité, then three iterations of Steel, and ultimately Move and Move ECG. Quite a lengthy list, as the vast majority of people would agree.

It is clear that each generation is an improvement on the one that came before it, both in terms of its aesthetics and its practicality. Still, Withings has kept a mostly consistent look over the years.

The ScanWatch has the most refined appearance of all the available options. To get the full benefit of its elegance, you really need to be able to feel it in your hand. One of the best things about it is undeniably how well it is made, along with the fact that it can track your health in a sophisticated way.

The sapphire cover glass of the water-resistant hybrid watch with a rating of 5 ATM (water resistance to a depth of 50 meters) is protected from scratches by the stainless steel case it is housed in. In addition to this, it features a guilloche subdial, applied chrome indexes, and chrome hands on a brass lacquered dial. The whole thing looks and feels like a regular watch, even though it’s a really nice one.

I would describe the design of the Scanwatch as stunning, elegant, unobtrusive, and robust, all rolled into one. You get the sense that it will continue. I think I could slam it against a door without it getting damaged!

There is a diameter of 38 mm available, and there is also a diameter of 42 mm available. The first one is 58 grams in weight and has a thickness of 13.2 millimeters. The second one has dimensions of 13.7 millimeters and 86 grams.

After giving the larger model a try, I discovered that it offered a comfortable fit even on my average-sized wrists. However, I do wish that it was a little bit lighter. However, I understand that this is the price that must be paid for a superior build. I would recommend the 38mm model to women and men who have smaller wrists because it is more comfortable to wear.

The primary unit is fastened to a wristband made of a fluoroelastomer that is pliable and comfy. The smaller iteration corresponds to an 18mm version, while the larger one corresponds to a 20mm version. This comes equipped with quick-release pins, which allow the band to be changed out for one of a variety of different colors, styles, and materials.

I used ScanWatch for about a half dozen runs with the standard strap, and during any of those runs, I did not have any skin irritation. This is significant because some straps have the potential to cause rashes and irritation. Because everything is water resistant, it is simple to clean up after it becomes dirty.

When you look at the timepiece display itself, the large dials indicate the time, and the smaller sub-dial underneath them indicates how close you are to reaching your daily target. For instance, if you have set your objective to be 10,000 steps, the small dial that is located at 6 o’clock indicates that you have reached the halfway point toward achieving your goal. If you do it right, the dial will turn once more to show that you have finished another full cycle.

Because the glass is slightly glossy, it reflects light, which some people may find to be disturbing. However, I do not believe that that is a major issue.

You’ll find a more sophisticated 13.8mm PMOLED display in the upper half of the watch face. With just the slightest touch to the crown, you can bring it to life. When you turn the crown clockwise or counterclockwise, you may scroll through the time screen, as well as your heart rate, steps, distance, floors climbed, ECG, Spo2, exercises, clock, and settings.

The summaries of incoming calls, texts, and emails, as well as set reminders and alarms from your preferred applications are presented as notifications. A supporting vibration is there to get your attention in the best possible way.

Despite the relatively small size of the display, the texts scroll horizontally and are surprisingly easy to read. You can even manually browse through longer ones with the crown, which is a fantastic add-on for those who are obsessed with notifications. However, there is no background or anything similar to that. After they have been removed, the alerts can not be recovered.

Under the hood is where all the magic happens, and that’s true of every smartwatch. The device includes electrodes made of stainless steel, a high-accuracy MEMS 3-axis accelerometer, and a multi-wavelength photoplethysmography (PPG) heart rate sensor. Do not look for a GPS because there is none; it is not present. You are going to have to make do with connected GPS.

Battery life is another strength that the ScanWatch possesses. If you use your device normally, you will only have to connect it to a power source once every thirty days. That is longer than the average lifespan of most wearables. I didn’t use it for quite that long, so I can’t testify to its effectiveness, but I didn’t need to get more fuel for the two weeks that I used it.

Whether or not it continues for the whole thirty days depends heavily on the settings that you choose. Reduce it by turning on the choice to scan for indicators of atrial fibrillation, and it will go down. Nighttime respiratory scans will cut the expected battery life of your device even more if you do them often.

A USB cable can be attached to the rear of the device using magnets in order to facilitate the charging process. It takes the battery about an hour to reach 80% of its full capacity after being used up. It takes exactly two hours to go from 80% to 100%, from being empty to completely full.

You also have the choice to turn off the majority of the advanced functions in order to prolong the battery capacity. Time and fitness tracking are the only functions that may be monitored in the power reserve mode. You will gain an additional 20 days if you proceed in this manner.

A Review of the Withings ScanWatch - What’s all the buzz about?

Withings Since it was first introduced at CES 2020 at the beginning of this year, ScanWatch has been receiving a considerable amount of media attention. Why does this happen? Let’s take a look at two of its most distinctive capabilities.

AFib detection

  • In the background, there are monitors checking for abnormal heartbeats.
  • On-demand, medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • It creates PDF versions of medical reports.

The capacity to detect a serious form of abnormal heart rhythm that is a major risk factor for stroke and can lead to heart attacks is the standout feature that can be found in ScanWatch. Because AFib can exist without any noticeable symptoms in some patients, the illness is frequently misdiagnosed. Others may feel weakness, weariness, and dizziness. The first of these two categories is the one that is particularly vulnerable to the situation.

A PPG sensor, which can detect the issue, is built into the device in question. In the event that your heart rate is abnormally low, high, or irregular, the watch will notify you to get an electrocardiogram (ECG). When you have a heartbeat, an electrical impulse travels through your heart, and here is the representation of what that impulse looks like in scientific terms. Even though I did not receive any notifications, which is a blessing, I nevertheless took an electrocardiogram a few times just to be safe.

It is quite simple to do. Place your other arm on the table, and then use the crown to navigate the PMOLED display to the ECG page. While maintaining your hand over one of the watch’s sides, you should press on the crown to begin the reading. I discovered that all you need to do to make it operate is touch the sides with your fingers. A countdown will start in a moment. After thirty seconds, the watch will show you the results and let you know if any problems were found.

During the measurement, you will be required to remain seated and steady; if you do not, the recording will be halted. It will also stop if your hand or fingers are not in the right place or move at any point during the measuring time.

If you open the Health Mate app on your smartphone before taking the reading, you will see a larger parallel depiction of your electrocardiogram (ECG) as you are taking the measurement. Even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to access it at a later time, listen back to the recording, receive a summary evaluation, and view the average heart rate number that was recorded throughout the reading.

There is a cute little calendar that presents the number of occurrences of AFib on a monthly basis. Useful for recognizing trends.

You also have the option of sharing this assessment as a PDF with other people. The report appears to be like this overall.

Move ECG, a product made by Withings, incorporates comparable technologies. In spite of the fact that this watch may now be purchased in Europe, the French company is still waiting for the go-ahead from authorities in the United States. It would appear that Withings is having more success lobbying European regulators. In the U.S., ScanWatch has not yet been approved by the relevant regulatory agencies. However, it can be bought in Europe because it has received the required CE certification.

Detection of Breathing Irregularities as well as Sleep Apnea

  • Checks for breathing irregularities during the night.
  • Detection of Breathing Irregularities as well as Sleep Apnea
  • Detection of sleep apnea will become available in the coming months.

The identification of sleep apnea is another important feature that needs to be mentioned. According to Withings, one billion people experience symptoms of the illness to some degree. During sleep, it manifests as either pauses in breathing or episodes of shallow breathing for short periods of time. These episodes can range anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, and they occur multiple times throughout the night. Primary signs of sleep apnea include a slow heart rate and low oxygen levels.

The wristwatch is able to monitor the wearer’s respiration throughout the night and sound an alarm if it detects any irregularities. This is achieved through the utilization of a number of sensors, including a SpO2 sensor of medical grade, a heart rate monitor, and an accelerometer (for movement and breathing frequency). You have no choice but to put on the watch and then go to sleep because there is nothing else you can do.

Withings anticipates receiving permission for the detection of sleep apnea in the near future. Because the artificial intelligence uses the same mechanism as sleep disruption, the capability is already there. If they are used that way, the current results could be used as a first screening for the condition.

Even though you have the option to set it up to do so, the hybrid will not carry out a Respiratory Scan each night in order to save the life of its battery. In the settings, you have the choice to toggle this feature to “Always on,” schedule a scan for a specific night, or let Withings decide when it is time to take the reading.

The outcomes of breathing disruptions can be seen in the Health Mate app in the screenshot that can be found below. The French company that developed this product states that an upcoming revision to the software’s firmware will soon include a timeline graphic that will map exactly when the disturbances happened. As part of the nighttime check, the new update will also include alarms for a high or low heart rate as well as Spo2 levels.

Readings can also be obtained on the spot by employing the SpO2 sensor in its many configurations. It is sufficient to use the crown to navigate to the proper screen. You can turn it on by pressing the crown, and you should have your results in about a minute.

Because the sensor needs to be relatively flush against the skin of your wrist, I discovered that it is essential to ensure that the strap provides a snug fit on the wearer’s wrist. Otherwise, you can obtain a biased reading. You should probably also press on the display of the watch while you are getting a reading to assist the sensor. This is another action you should definitely perform.

When I compared the findings with those of a standard pulse oximeter, I discovered that there were hardly any deviations. Nevertheless, you want to check that the watch is being worn in the appropriate manner. The optimal range for oxygen levels in the blood is between 95 and 100 percent.

It is interesting to note that earlier this year, Withings conducted clinical trials of the Scanwatch device in hospitals located in France with patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19. L’Obs says that the patients have been using the equipment to check the oxygen levels in their blood at home and help with the research.

Infections caused by COVID-19 are frequently accompanied by respiratory issues that cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen that is present in the body. Because of the company’s efforts, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) has given Withings an exceptional exemption, which means the company can give the device to certain hospitals for free.

A Look at the Withings ScanWatch, a Fitness, and Sports Tracking Device

I was quite amazed by how simple it was to take ECG and SpO2 values. Clearly, ScanWatch was developed to fit in with the rest of your life without causing any disruptions. The concept is to wear something on your wrist that handles the functions of a smartwatch but does not seem like a wristwatch and requires very little involvement from the user.

Tracking One’s Fitness Level

  • Is skilled at tracking fundamental aspects of fitness
  • Comprehensive monitoring of sleep patterns
  • Outstanding mobile application

The fitness monitoring capabilities are almost identical to those found in other Withings hybrids, so it’s easy to compare the two. The watch records the user’s number of steps, distance traveled, calories burned, number of floors climbed, and amount of sleep. Because the manufacturer has been working on products like this for ten years, you may rest assured that the watch will fulfill its purpose well.

During the testing, I donned a Garmin Forerunner 945 on my left forearm and a ScanWatch on my right forearm so that I could make comparisons between the two. The steps were mostly the same, but the Garmin was more generous and usually hit 10,000 steps about 500 steps before the Withings.

In terms of sleep statistics, the disparities were far higher. However, this is to be anticipated. Due to the fact that technology has not advanced to such an extent, no two watches will display the same measurements. However, ScanWatch is really impressive in how much depth it goes into regarding one’s sleep.

You will receive a Sleep Score that summarizes, in a single number, the quality of sleep you had last night. This is determined by combining the amount of time spent sleeping, as well as its quality, consistency, and number of disruptions. If you click on any of these measures, you will be presented with additional in-depth analysis. On the chart, you’ll also be able to see the stages of sleep known as “awake,” “light sleep,” and “deep sleep.” For the time being, Withings is focusing its efforts on other features rather than REM.

Every bit of information regarding exercise and rest can be seen on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In terms of your heart rate, you will receive an average value for each day in addition to an average for your sleep. Although the app does not make any direct reference to the resting heart rate, I discovered that the number for the average amount of time spent sleeping is often identical to the figure for the resting heart rate that I get from other devices. The difference could be anything from two to three beats per minute, which is not a terrible amount.

On top of that, Scanwatch is pretty accurate when it comes to detecting naps, which is not something that can be said of Fitbit or Garmin devices. These, too, will be discussed at length throughout the presentation. However, despite the fact that this is quite helpful, I was disappointed to learn that naps are not counted against the total Sleep Score for the day. The same can be said about the Withings Sleep Analyzer, which I had the opportunity to try out earlier in the year.

My sleeping patterns are erratic, so in a typical 24-hour period, I might get anywhere from three to five short to medium naps. It would be more beneficial to have an overall Sleep Score that takes into account all of your daily sleep sessions, regardless of how long or how short they are. The vast majority of people are not going to have any issues with this, but those who don’t maintain a consistent sleep schedule might find that they do.

Monitoring of Activities

  • There is no built-in GPS.
  • Inaccurate heart rate measurement
  • Skilled at identifying routine auto-exercises

Your activities will be immediately recognized by ScanWatch and logged into the Health Mate program. This means you’ll get credit for everything you do, even if you don’t click any buttons.

When it comes to assertions of this nature, I have a tendency to be a little bit skeptical, and I much prefer to go the manual route, which means that I start my workout sessions manually from the watch display. When you play in this mode, you have a choice between five different sports. This is the maximum number of seconds that can be saved at any given moment for use in manually starting the watch. I did give the auto-recognition feature a try by running a distance of three kilometers on its own, and I was impressed by how accurate it was.

I also discovered that if I sprinted for a minute or two every day, for example, to catch a bus, the device would recognize this and enter it in as an activity in the timeline. This is something I noticed when I was wearing it. In the same vein, short bursts of rapid walking have the same effect.

There is no GPS receiver built in, so there are no stats. Therefore, if you want data that is more extensive and accurate for outdoor activity, you will need to rely on the location system of your smartphone. Those who are highly serious about running or cycling will find it to be an irritation.

First and foremost, ScanWatch is a wellness monitor; second, it is an activity and slumber monitor; and third, it is a sports timepiece. Therefore, if you truly want thorough data on your runs, purchasing a sports wearable would definitely be the best option for you to take at this point. If you want to get some exercise every now and then, ScanWatch will work just fine.

The GPS signal is reliable after the connection has been made. When it comes to quality, it depends a lot on how well your smartphone can get a signal from a satellite.

During my workouts, I found that the heart rate monitor would typically provide me with a greater average and peak heart rate than the Garmin would (which I connected to a Polar chest strap). Sometimes quite a bit. I have no idea why this occurred; it might be that my sweat causes interference with the sensor, or it could be that the band was not on tightly enough.

Having the capability to link to external heart rate monitors is at the top of my list of things I want. By itself, this would solve a significant number of the problems with exercise. We can only hope that it will be included in the next firmware upgrade. However, the Scanwatch is not primarily intended to be used as a wristwatch for the purpose of recording workouts and runs. Its capabilities excel in other areas.

The PMOLED display is useful indoors because the text can be easily read from it. The same is true when you are outside, but it can be difficult to read something on a display that is so small when you are in the middle of an activity like running. If, on the other hand, you have your heart set on a huge display, a hybrid is not the best choice for you.

The Conclusion of our Examination of the Withings ScanWatch

ScanWatch is designed for people who want a fitness tracker that doesn’t seem like a fitness tracker but still has all of the functionality of a fitness tracker. For individuals who desire powerful health tracking but also something with a little bit of flair. A wearable device that only needs a little contact from the user and can essentially be forgotten about when it comes to charging. The design can be summed up by saying that it is at once attractive, elegant, quiet, and strong.

Although it has some of the features and functions of a sports watch, Scanwatch is not intended to be used in place of a sports watch. Because it is not a smartwatch, the fact that it does not possess the same capabilities as a smartwatch is not a reason to discount it.

The hybrid’s capabilities lie in its ability to maintain tabs on the user’s health as well as their activity and sleep patterns. All of these monitoring techniques—on-demand electrocardiograms (ECGs), monitoring for heart abnormalities, breathing while sleeping, and blood oxygen saturation—are effective. There are not very many wearables that contain nearly as many health-tracking capabilities as this one does. Because some of these are still waiting for FDA approval in the United States, you can only buy ScanWatch in Europe right now.

In conclusion, this is a hybrid that satisfies both my need for comfort and a sense of style, and it is one that I will continue to wear for a long time to come. Its main selling points are that it is easy to use, has more health-related features, has a battery life of a month, and looks like a traditional watch.

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