By Antonio Malara
ScanWatch is the third Withings product I buy after Body Cardio and Sleep. In my previous reviews of those products, I explained how initially I was a bit skeptical about the functions that both the scale and the sleep meter promised to do. To my surprise, I discovered that the two devices are very reliable, therefore products with good technology that is beginning to be mature to monitor something very important like health. Withings has different types of watches with sensors to monitor the various physical activities we carry out, from simple steps to the most advanced ECG measurement. These watches can also interface with phones to receive notifications and view them more comfortably without taking the phone in hand. It was this feature that prompted me to buy the first generation of Apple Watch in 2015. At the time this device was revolutionary and being in the Apple ecosystem with several devices, I bought it with great enthusiasm. The installation was long and boring but once interfaced it did everything it promised but with a little slowness. I remember that in Turkey and Japan several people stopped me on the street asking me if that was the Apple watch. Unfortunately, in a few years the Apple Watch has become super popular but at the same time it has evolved a lot in terms of functions and performance. However, the design has remained almost identical and it was one of the things I have never particularly loved. Personally I ended up using the Apple Watch just to look at the time and nothing more and if I continued to use it it was only for the comfort of the Milanese loop. Once I was looking for a new watch, I excluded the Apple device immediately and at the same time I kept an eye on the Withings watches. Initially I was interested in the model Steel HR Sport but then later when the more advanced ScanWatch was presented, I put this on my wishlist. The reason for choosing ScanWatch was its design, although it is a full-fledged Smart Watch, it has the design of a traditional watch, a mixture of classic and sporty. I bought ScanWatch at the price of 299 € with the double strap, the basic one in silicone and the one in black calfskin. Aware of its functions, I bought the watch for an aesthetic question and a classic use in the hope that at least the notifications were fluid and leaving the more advanced functions as something to be experimented in the future. However, once I opened the box and started using the watch, the ease of use and the simplicity of its functions led me to play with the technological part of the device with incredible curiosity.
Withings Scanwatch is available in two sizes, 38 and 42, with two dials of different colors; black and white. Basically it comes with a silicone strap but there’s the chance to configure it also with leather and metal straps, unfortunately the 42 model has less choice of straps than the 38 which sees much more possible configurations. Personally I chose the 42 model, with a black leather strap and the same color dial. After using it a couple of times, I must say that the 42 model is even too big, if I had to buy it now, I would have chosen the 38. As I said before, the watch comes with a silicone strap, the leather one was included in the bundle free for a limited time only. This means that once I opened ScanWatch I had to replace the band. The operation that I thought would be complex actually turned out to be very simple thanks to a small but useful detail. In fact, in the small piston of the strap there was a small lever that serves to trigger the piston mechanism without going crazy, just insert it on one side and then move the lever inwards and the strap fits automatically. Already from this small detail I understood that the watch was designed by emphasizing simplicity. Same thing for the configuration; given that I already had the Withings app on my phone, in this case it was enough to open the Bluetooth, go to the "add device" section and after a few steps ScanWatch was configured. Clearly, for those who do not have the app, they must go and download it, then make an account. Also from the app you can first configure and then use all the functions of the watch, for me, who was already using the app, everything was easy and intuitive but in general it is very simple to understand and use. The first thing I configured were the notifications relating to the phone, you can decide with simplicity what you want to notify on the watch, I personally chose only the calls and a couple of messaging platforms. On the classic display besides the hour and minute hands, there are two other small round displays; an analog one that serves to display the goals we have set ourselves on a scale from 0 to 100. I only set the goal of the steps at 10,000 per day. On the other digital display you can view everything else, from notifications to all other functions. These are controlled by the crown on the side; with the rotary movement you navigate between the functions and by keeping it pressed inwards you select. For some functions such as the "stop" or for resets, you have to hold down a little longer. It must be said that any function can also be controlled with the app but with a little practice it is simple even using the crown. A nice thing about the hour and minute hands is that they are automatically shifted to 10:10 am so they don't cover the digital display. Once you have read the notification and finished using a function, the hands automatically return to the correct time.
Regarding the health functions, ScanWatch measures the heartbeat automatically, then there is the possibility of measuring the oxygenation of the blood and the ECG, these are operations that must be done while sitting and placing the hand on the clock in the part of the crown. Another measurement I want to mention but haven't used is that of sleep. I already have Sleep that performs this operation in an excellent way and in any case I would never be able of going to bed with the watch so I don't know if it works well and in any case I don't think it's comfortable. In addition to these functions there are also "activities" such as walking, running or cycling. Personally I have only used and experienced walking. Once started, a stopwatch starts on the small display, every thirty minutes it vibrates to make us understand how much time has passed, when our activity is finished and the session is closed we have all the results. These can be viewed in an essential way on the watch and in more detail on the app, where there is not only the map but a series of parameters that once known always lead us to improve performance. One positive thing I noticed compared to the Apple Watch is that ScanWatch does not mute the phone when the devices are interfaced. If someone calls me, the watch vibrates and the information of who is calling me appears on the display, at the same time the phone rings regularly.
For a device I bought to essentially use as a simple watch, ScanWatch is proving to be a very simple and fun device to use. The purchase proved to be very useful and its use goes beyond the control of time and aesthetic beauty. So far I have used it about four times monitoring the walk and the battery that marked 40% just configured, has dropped to 31%. Withings promise one month of use on a full charge and I believe it is true. This was another reason that led me to choose this watch over the apple one or a traditional watch where changing the battery is always complex. So far I’m more than satisfied with ScanWatch and to be honest I have only found two minor flaws. One is related to the strap; I find it difficult to fasten it because the leather creates a bit of grip. The other defect is related to the crown which, being threaded, created a small redness on the back of my hand. Nothing serious, the redness goes away shortly after removing the watch and is probably also due to the size of the same which, as I said before, it’s a little bigger for my wrist. In conclusion, I can say that Withings products they are fully satisfying me, I bought them all with skepticism and they turned out to be much more performing than I thought. Congratulations to this company and I hope they continue with the great work they are doing.
Pictures: Antonio Malara