Withings ScanWatch Review


The Withings ScanWatch is a gorgeous wearable with the most extended battery life that may take FDA-approved ECG readings; however, it’s kind of heavy and requires approval from a physician to make use of.


  • ECG readings and doable detection of AFib
  • Fashionable analog watch design
  • 30-day battery life
  • It consists of an enticing journey case


  • Physician required to make use of ECG characteristic
  • Tough to get usable ECG readings in testing
  • Cumbersome


Show SortAnalog with PMOLED Inset
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS
Coronary heart Charge MonitorSure
Sleep TrackerSure
Battery LifeAs much as 30 days

Withings’ ScanWatch ($279.99) is a consumer-grade well-being and fitness device that does way over simply rely on steps and encourages you to maneuver. The watch, which the FDA lately accredited to be used within the US, can learn electrocardiograms (ECGs) and doubtlessly detect coronary heart issues corresponding to atrial fibrillation (AFib). Its long battery life and analog aesthetics impress; however, we discovered it a bit cumbersome, and it took a while to find ways to get usable ECG readings in testing. And in contrast to the Apple Watch ($399.99), you want a prescription to make use of the ScanWatch’s ECG options. So whereas the ScanWatch is among the many extra enticing health wearables we’ve examined, you’ll seemingly get additional benefit out of the Apple Watch and even Fitbit’s $179.95 Charge 5.

Fashionable However Hefty

The swatch differs dramatically from the Apple Watch in fashion. It’s straightforward to identify the Apple Watch from a distance; as a result, it appears to be like a tech product; however, throughout the ScanWatch sports activities, I feel an understated, stylish design. The bigger variant (42mm in diameter) prices $299.99, whereas the smaller model (38mm in diameter) is $279.99. Withings despatched me the bigger mannequin of the watch to test. It appears to be like and feels large, weighing in at 2.9 ounces. My wrists are hardly petite; however, I might need to be higher off with the smaller model that weighs 2 ounces.

Withings ScanWatch styles

The watch’s crystal face is fabricated from sturdy, just about scratch-proof sapphire glass. You’ll be able to select between a silver case with a white or black look or a rose gold case with a white or darkish blue face. The increased gold color choices are solely out there within the smaller dimension, nonetheless. The outer fringe of the watch case features a sensor; you press it together with your reverse hand to take ECG and SpO2 measurements.

Withings says the ScanWatch ought to final a few months on battery with regular use. After five days of testing it, the storm was nonetheless at 96%, so that you should not cost it for several weeks at a time. The lengthy battery life is vital as a result of it permits the watch to scan your critical indicators periodically and without frequent interruptions. In the event you considerably pare down the watch features by placing it into energy reserve mode (which helps the time and exercise monitoring solely), you will get an additional 20 days of battery life. Recharging the watch from a useless battery solely takes about two hours.

The swatch doesn’t embody built-in GPS performance, so it is advisable to use it alongside your cellphone any time you need to observe doors actions corresponding to bike rides and runs, with probably the most accuracy. As a result of GPS performance tends to attract a significant quantity of energy from different health trackers and running watches, the ScanWatch’s battery life might profit from its absence.

A water resistance score of as much as 5ATM means the watch ought to survive swimming, snorkeling, and different primary water actions. Simply do not take it on any deep dives. It additionally will not fare nicely in excessive chilly or warmth; the working temperature vary is 14F to 113F.

Withings ScanWatch with ECG reading on watch face

The watch comes with a swappable fluoroelastomer wristband; its materials feel just like silicone. You’ll be able to pay further for a leather-based, metallic, or woven PET (comprised of recycled supplies) band in varied colors. You get a magnetic disc-style USB-A charger, a fast begin information, and a beautiful grey felt pouch for storage and journey within the field.

What’s on the Watch Face?

As a result of the ScanWatch appears to be like a traditional watch; it does not have a vibrant, digital show. As an alternative, two round insets sit behind the two arms that present the time.

The highest one appears to be mere as a black circle till you press the crown; then, the PMOLED show lights as much as present your well-being and health information, in addition to any notifications out of your cellphone. Flip the crown dial to rotate by way of the choices, corresponding to time and date; current coronary heart price; step rely upon; distance; and flooring climbed. In the event you proceed to scroll by way of the choices, you’ll be able to take an ECG or SpO2 studying, plus file an exercise.

Withings ScanWatch with notification in PMOLED circle

The second inset is a single-arm analog dial that is helpful for shortly glancing at your everyday step rely upon without having to push the crown. The arm slowly circles the dial all through the day as you progress and reveals your step rely upon as a proportion. For instance, if the arm reaches the three o’clock place, you have hit 25% of your everyday step aim. The dial marks the 50% and 100% positions for readability.

Setup Requires a Cellphone and a Physician

To get going with the ScanWatch, you first must obtain Withings’ Healthmate app (out there for Android and iOS). You can not arrange the watch from a pc. The app is free and does not bombard you with any upsells, or premium subscriptions gives. While you launch the app and create or log in to your Healthmate account, step one is to pair your cellphone with the watch. Then, merely comply with the remainder of the on-screen setup directions.

As I discussed earlier, you want a physician to learn your first ECG and approve you to make use of that characteristic. The method is digital, and Withings facilitates it free. Some states might require you to get on the cellphone with a physician earlier than getting approval. However, neither the physician nor Withings will invoice you for that decision. For extra data, take a look at Withings’ assets on the doctor approval process of your ECG.

The corporate set me up with a model of the app that did not require that step; however, the method is pretty straightforward for anybody else within the US. When the app prompts you to take your first ECG studying, it reveals illustrations on learning how to maintain and place the watch. Nonetheless, the directions might higher clarify that the watch casing doubles as a sensor (once you contact it, you full a circuit that permits the ECG to proceed).

Withings Healthmate app screens explaining ECG policy

As soon as you’re taking a suitable studying, the Healthmate app sends the information to medical doctors at Heartbeat Wellbeing, which assessment your outcomes within 48 hours. Heartbeat Wellbeing is an independent healthcare know-how firm that Withings uses to learn and validate the results of your first ECG and concern the prescription that permits you to use the ECG characteristic of the watch. Together with the preliminary studying, you could agree, so ship some private data (your identity, date of start, and call data) to Heartbeat Wellbeing, too. Till Heartbeat Wellbeing opinions your information and points the prescription, you’ll be able to see the outcomes of your ECG studying within the app; they continue to be hidden till you get physician approval.

If everything goes quickly and you get approval to make use of the ECG, you’ll be able to take as many subsequent readings as your coronary heart needs. ECG outcomes seem within the app, and you may export them to share with a physician. Along with the ECG, SpO2, and health monitoring capabilities, I clarify that the app may help carry out a VO2Max evaluation and log your weight over time.

Finicky ECG Readings

Though they’re the ScanWatch’s primary draw, some nonetheless question the usefulness of on-demand ECG readings. One argument is that the kind of individual more than likely to purchase an expensive fitness-tracking smartwatch is not prone to be somebody who would profit from standard ECG screenings. However, should you would benefit as a consequence of specific threat components or age, then this know-how can legitimately provide help to monitor your well-being. Simply know that pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillator implants may cause inconclusive ECG information and that you simply have to be 22 years or older to make use of this characteristic. The age restriction is a result of FDA’s coverage that youngsters, which means folks 12 to 21 years outdated, should not use non-pediatric medical units due to considerations over security and effectiveness. Withings says it complies with this coverage.

Person with Withings ScanWatch taking an ECG reading

Taking an ECG studying at the proper time is way extra helpful than randomly performing these measurements. The swatch periodically reads your coronary heart price all through the day and evening. It alerts you if it detects a doable irregular heartbeat and, in that very same alert in your watch and cellphone, prompts you to take an ECG. Ideally, you must take an ECG studying as quickly as you’ll be able to. You might also need to take an ECG should you discover that your coronary heart is thrashing irregularly. As talked about, you’ll be able to export your ECG readings and ship them to your physician. You’ll even be able to play against video of your ECG correctly within the app.

Notably, the swatch doesn’t detect coronary heart assaults or different coronary heart episodes. The app informs you of several instances that should you assume you have a coronary heart assault, you must search for medical consideration.

In testing, I could not constantly take an ECG studying. Out of each ten attempts, I needed to throw out roughly eight readings. Most of them have been mere “too noisy,” whereas just a few others failed halfway by way of. Noise, in this context, might be something from electrical interference to muscle motion or speaking—something that forestalls a transparent ECG studying from happening.

I might need to be had higher success if the directions within the app higher defined that I wanted to touch the highest metallic part of the watch’s case with my fingers to finish a circuit. Without that data, I did not know whether or not I wanted to press firmly to get good contact between the rear of the watch (the place there’s one other sensor) and my pores and skin, or if there was another function for holding the watch as proven within the directions. A help page on Withings’ site reveals just a few dos and dont’s for positioning your hand while taking the ECG, although it does not clarify clearly that you simply need not place a lot of stress on the watch. I did ultimately get the grasp of it and was in a position to get extra conclusive readings. Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless a particular course.

SpO2 Testing Is Simpler

SpO2 is an oxygen saturation study that the ScanWatch and other health trackers now provide. One significant cause to learn your oxygen ranges is when you have a respiratory sickness, together with COVID-19; a low rating might point out that you must search for medical consideration. If you do not need a personal finger-cup pulse oximeter, the usual instrument for measuring blood oxygen saturation, the ScanWatch is a handy difference.

Optionally, the ScanWatch can take SpO2 readings all through the evening to detect disturbances in your respiration when you sleep. As well, the app tracks deep and lightweight sleep, in addition to sleep interruptions. It does not inform you about REM phases, nonetheless. 

Withings Healthmate app screens showing health readings, heart rate graph, and sleep tracking

Whereas these information factors are considerably superior metrics, the one characteristic distinctive to the ScanWatch is its respiration disturbance alert. Many different units, such as the Garmin Venu and the Fitbit Cost 5, merely inform you if your oxygen saturation degree dips at any level throughout the evening and spotlight that information level on a graph. All of them convey identical data; however, Withings attracts your consideration to it.

Simply as with an ECG studying, you’ll be able to take an oxygen saturation study on the fly. The method is just like taking an ECG; however, I had a lot better success price right here in testing.

All-Day Health Monitoring

The swatch covers all the identical metrics as different health units, together with step rely upon, elevation, energy burned, sleep monitoring, and so forth. It routinely tracks actions, too, corresponding to once you’re working or swimming.

Like many different present health trackers, the ScanWatch additionally integrates respiration workouts. After you point out how lengthy you need to carry out some gradual inhales and exhales, slight vibrations, and a visible indicator, coach you thru them.

I wore the ScanWatch concurrently with a Garmin Venu Sq—just like the Garmin Venu 2—to check the step counts. The swatch constantly reported considerably fewer steps per day and per stroll (generally 20% fewer) compared to the Venu. It is troublesome to say which watch is extra correct; however steps I’ve excessive confidence within the Garmin system because I’ve worn it for several months without incident.

An Enticing Look ahead to an Area of interest Market

The Withings ScanWatch’s FDA-approved ECG characteristic is the principal cause to buy it. In the event you’re somebody who may profit from common at-home ECG readings (and discover ways to take the measurements appropriately), then the ScanWatch might be legitimately helpful. I am not a physician or medical skilled, nonetheless, so you must seek the advice of your doctor earlier than shopping for the ScanWatch. Except for the SpO2 and fitness-tracking capabilities, we additionally just like the watch’s analog appears to be like and lengthy battery life. However, given the considerably finicky nature of taking ECG readings and the watch’s cumbersome design, the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Cost 5 are more robust options. In the event you like Withings’ design language and don’t must take ECG readings, in the meantime, it can save you some cash by choosing the older Withings Steel HR.

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