The ScanWatch from Withings is a stylish, analog smartwatch – 9to5Mac

My Apple Watch is now a part of my life, so I don’t even notice that I’m applying it. Withings ScanWatch is a very Different types of smartwatches – because of which I thought it would be interesting to try one.

It is a more refined version of Withering’s Steel, and is now available in Europe, but awaits FDA approval to go on sale in the US. It is primarily an analog clock, with a small digital display. And unlike the Apple Watch’s 1-2 day battery life, it claims 30 days of battery life – with 20 days in reserve mode, where it switches the digital display to tell time and measure activity…

Differences and similarities

form factor

The primary difference between the two devices is, of course, the form-factor. The Apple Watch is fully digital. The ScanWatch is a very traditional looking analog clock. Most people don’t, I think, give it a second look. The only thing that when you look closely is a black circle, which is about 20% of the watch face.

It is a digital display, but as it is off by default, it does not immediately scream ‘smartwatch’ again. I personally think it is simple, stylish and understandable. I could definitely live with it on my wrist the whole time, and I think many of those who dislike screen-based smartwatches will like it. Certainly my girlfriend, who completely rejects the idea of ​​a screen on her wrist, said it was acceptable (although the 42mm version I tested was too big for her, she thinks she is 38 Mimi would be happy with one).

Activity monitoring

With GPS, altimeter, and accelerometer, Activity Monitoring provides a very similar capability to the Apple Watch. It provides workouts for 30 different types of exercise. For outsiders, it measures distance, speed, and altitude along with your route map. By default, it automatically tracks running, running, swimming, stair-climbing, distance, and calories.

Health tracking

ScanWatch is actually more capable here than the Apple Watch. It has the same heart rate monitoring, afferent detection and ECG function. But it also has a medical-grade oximeter to measure oxygen saturation (O2suits), as well as to detect breathing disturbances at bedtime.


Surprisingly, ScanWatch can display the same information as the Apple Watch, despite the smaller digital screen. I used it with Calendar, Messages and Phone on (and Mail off). I also switched to my main third-party application, such as CityMap.

Apple Ecosystem

The Apple Watch is undoubtedly a major advantage over any third-party smartwatch: it is part of the Apple ecosystem. Next on


Not being part of the Apple ecosystem is the single biggest flaw of ScanWatch compared to the Apple Watch. Three examples made themselves immediately clear.

First, my Apple Watch unlocks my Mac as soon as I wake it up; ScanWatch cannot do this.

Second, my watch is my primary method of paying for things. Contactless is ubiquitous in London, and I literally can’t remember the last time I took a card out of my wallet. ScanWatch can’t do that either, and he’s huge.

Third, there is no Siri access, of course. I use Siri to reply to messages because it is very quick and easy.

The display has the same pick-up feature as the Apple Watch. This is off by default, and is not as useful, as the only thing displayed in normal use is the date (although we can probably use a reminder of this in these lockdown days …). But it can be partially blocked by the hands of the watch, and it is less reliable than Apple’s implementation in any case, so I tried it but soon discontinued it.

Notifications are another important difference. Yes, ScanWatch can display them, but smaller displays mean messages have to scroll across the screen.

I have to say, Withings applies better than I expected it to. I was expecting the information to be all useless on that display, but the scroll speed is correct – fast enough to display information in a reasonable time, but readable. It automatically scrolls them twice, so if you didn’t quickly lift your wrist to see it the first time, you’d repeat.

Notifications work perfectly well for small things, such as calendar appointments and ‘getting to the next stop’ on CityMapper’s alerts. However, this is not very practical for text messages – it takes a lot of time to scroll even at high speed of use. I tried to use it for things like WhatsApp, and it just wasn’t practical so I disabled it.

The activity is similar to the Apple Watch in terms of data collected in the tracking app (which can be linked to Apple’s health app), but the Rings of the Apple Watch keeps a close eye on how you’re doing the movement, In exercise and standing hours, Scanwatch can only display one thing at a time.

The scanwatch has an analog dial at the 6 o’clock position, which would be a stopwatch on a conventional clock. On Scanwatch, it is an activity tracker, running from 0% to 100% of your target. By default, it displays the percentage of your phase target. However, it can measure any workout activity with a goal, but only when the workout is active.


However, ScanWatch has some advantages over Apple Watch.

The most obvious of these is battery life. With a 30-day claim. It sounds plausible: I was playing with it very Would be more specific, and it lasted exactly 21 days. The sheer convenience of being able to keep it for a few weeks and forget about it is a very Better experience than Apple Watch required for daily charge (two days at a push).

In particular, it makes sleep-tracking more practical. With the Apple Watch, you have to be very organized to use it to track your sleep: you need to take it off in the evening to charge before bed, which is a pain, or it should be done as soon as you wake up Then charge before you leave your home or start work. With ScanWatch, you leave it 24/7.

Speaking of sleep-tracking, Scanwatch is very Is better than Apple. We had a very bad mosquito problem one night, which I saw four times when it was bitten. Apple Watch not showing anyone Of these periods of awakening; ScanWatch specifically monitors for sleep interruptions and showed them all.

ScanWatch also clearly and reliably depicts periods of deep and mild sleep. Complete reports of sleep reflect awake, light and deep sleep segments; total duration; Rate of sleep depth; And provides an overall score.

in comparison with majority of Apple Watch models, the ability to see time without lifting your wrist is a minor benefit – though more for those around you! With relatively few people wearing watches all these days, it’s not uncommon to keep a friend’s eye on my wrist and ask me for time. With ScanWatch, they can see it for themselves.

When I want to know the time myself, I find my wrist to be 100% reliable on my Apple Watch Series 4, and of course the Series 5 is always on-display. However, we found that it comes at the cost of battery life, so the ScanWatch still has an edge here.

Finally, many consider the traditional watch to be of great benefit. Actually, this will be the primary selling point for him; More on that in a moment.

Scanwatch pricing and conclusions

When it goes on sale in the US, the Withings ScanWatch will cost $ 279 for the 38mm model and $ 299 for the 42mm I tested. Given that you can buy a Series 3 Apple Watch for $ 199 for $ 229 for 38mm or 42mm, that makes ScanWatch a relatively expensive purchase for (mostly) less-capable devices.

But I think that’s pretty much irrelevant: despite the substantial overlap in capabilities, these are different devices that appeal to different people.

I wore both the Apple Watch and Scanwatch for three weeks – one on each wrist. I have to say, I hoped I loved Scanwatch. I like to see it as the Apple Watch, and it was Scanwatch when I wanted to know the time. I looked up to see my step-count (or, rather, a symbolic look at the rough percentage – which I really want to know). I really miss wearing it.

For me, the lack of Apple Pay makes it a non-starter as a replacement for my Apple Watch. I use my Watch for 99% of purchases, with Express Transit making it particularly convenient for use on public transit services in London.

As much as I am a minimalist, who really likes Scanwatch’s clean design, I am also an information addict. The infographic face is the one I use almost all the time (with the occasional flirtation with the Siri one), and I like to use a look at things like the weather and my next calendar entry. It is also a very convenient way to work like messages read on mobile, and while Scanwatch Scroll works far better than expected, it is still better to be able to read the entire message at a glance in the same league. Is not in the form.

But if you are someone who rejects the idea of ​​a screen on your wrist, but would still appreciate the smartwatch capabilities, I think ScanWatch may appeal well. This is definitely the only other smartwatch I’ve seen so far that has inspired me enough to try it out. The ability to simply wear it and forget about charging it for a month will also give it a lot of appeal to non-technical people.

And even … if it was Apple Pay, I might choose to wear it instead of my Apple Watch some Of time. When dressing up, whether to do a posh night out or a tango dance, I can wear it well instead. I liked it very much.

Withings Scanwatch is now available in the UK and other European countries. It will arrive in the US after being certified by the FDA.

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