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Why This Watch?
This is my first Withings product, and first higher-end activity watch, so keep that in mind during this review. While I lThis is my first Withings product and first higher-end activity watch, so keep that in mind during this review. While I love the tech specs of activity watches, none have piqued my interest enough to purchase one due to their really drab-looking designs. I already have one screen on my phone, and I don’t want another one on my watch. If you feel the same, please read on, friend.
Withings ScanWatch Pricing
This watch retails for around $280 to 300 USD. Compared to other higher-end activity watches from Samsung, Garmin & Apple, the price is reasonable even though it feels strange saying that a $300 USD activity watch is reasonable. The sapphire glass, medical-grade oximeter, and beautiful design help to put up with the price, though.
Technical Specs – 42 MM White Dial Version
✅ Reference/Model: HWA09
✅ Case Diameter: 42 mm
✅ Case Thickness: 13.7 mm
✅ Lug to Lug Height: 49 mm
✅ Anti-Reflective Domed Sapphire Glass
✅ Lacquered White Dial
✅ 316L Stainless Steel case
✅ Health Features: Electrocardiogram, oxygen saturation, heart rate, elevation, sleep tracking, step counter, etc.
✅ Battery Life: Up to 30 days (2 weeks based on my settings)
✅ Water Resistance: 165 feet deep (50 meters, 5 ATM)
✅ Fluoroelastomer wristband
In the box, you get a cloth carrying case, the magnetic charging base, which is USB powered, the ScanWatch and a quick-start manual.
The body is made of 316L stainless steel, which is resistant to rust. The back and sides of the watch have a brushed finished with a polished outer dial ring. The crown has a textured finish for easier gripping. The crown is used to navigate around the watch. It can be pressed in but cannot be pulled out. The only opening on the watch is the altimeter opening to measure elevation changes, which is located below the crown.
The watch band that comes with the white dial version of this watch is made of fluoroelastomer, which is like synthetic rubber. It is pretty soft and quite comfortable to wear. The watch band measures 22 mm and fits wrists as small as 6.4″ up to 9.4″ wide. The buckle is adorned with the Withings logo.
The front of the watch has an anti-reflective domed sapphire glass. I really love the domed element, and it makes the watch stand out a bit more. Unlike other domed watches that I’ve used, the readability is still quite good, even from side viewing angles.
The white dial has a matte finish and goes well with the polished hands. The hour hands, minute hands, and hour markers are nicely polished and reflect light nicely. The 3 PM hour marker is replaced with the Withings logo.
There are two subdials. The top subdial is a PMOLED screen, which allows you to browse all the health features such as BPM, steps tracked, etc. The pixel dimensions are 116 x 80 pixels, so while information is easily readable, the pixel density won’t win any awards.
The bottom subdial is an activity dial, which displays your daily step goal progress in a percentage. You can set daily step goals from 3,000 steps to 15,000 steps within the app. It may be hard to see on the photo, but the bottom subdial has concentric circles that radiate out (not found on the black 42 mm version).
Case Back Details
The case back houses all of the sensors, and has a slightly convex shape. The charging ports that connect with the magnetic charger are also found on the back of the watch. For a watch with such a large height, it is quite comfortable to wear, even on my smaller 6.4″ wrist.
The build quality and feel of this watch are premium all around. The watch looks great from all angles, but the domed sapphire glass is the standout feature for me. The watch comes in at about 83 grams, so it has a decent weight and feel, which is welcome.
Even coming in at 83 grams, with a 42 mm dial and almost 50 mm lug to lug height on my small 6.4″ wrist, this watch wears very comfortably. The watch has no sharp areas, so it doesn’t get snagged or hung up when sliding my hands in a jacket pocket. The watchband is quite comfortable too, but threading it through the buckle requires a bit of effort due to the rubber-like friction from the band rubbing against the buckle, a minor complaint.
Health & Tracking Features
Maybe the design is less important, and you’re more focused on the tech features and app data. To make full use of the watch and to even perform basic settings such as setting the time, you must download the Withings Healthmate app.
Here is what you can expect in terms of health tracking:
- Irregular beat detection – atrial fibrillation monitoring & On-demand ECG readings
- Breathing disturbances detection – via medical-grade oxygen saturation level (SpO2)
- Heart rate tracking
- Advanced sleep tracking
- Automatic 24/7 Activity tracking
Here are a few screenshots of the different screens and settings.
The home screen (pictured above) shows important data at a glance and also any trends or changes. The dashboard screen (pictured below) shows similar information to the home screen, so I usually skip this tab.
The watch did find five events of AFib on five separate days. Every time it detected AFib, I was using a mouse. I did immediately run a manual scan right after the AFib alert, and it always came back normal. I suspect that these are false positives, and I found mention of another user in the Withings Support forums with the same situation.
The devices tab (pictured below) allows you some quick settings, such as enabling calls, messages and app notifications. You can also set daily alarms on this screen.
To get into all your watch’s settings, you will have to go into the Settings area (pictured below). In the settings area, you can set the time, alarms, notifications, shortcut button, enable or disable certain health monitoring features periodically or constantly, set a daily step goal, update the watch software, etc.
The profile screen allows you to share a PDF health report with a healthcare provider. It also lets you see your fitness or health achievements and allows you to integrate with Google Fit, Samsung Fitness, IFTT, and more.
Withings is claiming a battery life of up to 30 days with this watch, which is unheard of for a smartwatch. However, to reach that 30-day battery life, you will have to live without continuous monitoring for some features, and you’ll also have to disable certain settings like quick-look. Here are the settings that Withings recommends to achieve 30 days of battery life.
I’ve completely disregarded the 30-day battery life settings, and I will end up at a little over two weeks of battery life. Keep in mind that I have played around heavily with the watch settings to experiment with it and get the watch tuned in how I like it. After the initial battery drain that comes with testing out all features, I expect to get longer than two weeks of battery life once I fully recharge the watch. Speaking of charging, it should only take 2 hours to charge it from 0%. The watch recharges to 80% after about 1 hour and 100% in around 2 hours.
Black & White Version Differences
If you’re trying to decide between the black or white dial in the 42 mm size, there are three key differences that I have noticed.
- Lume is applied to the hands for the black dial version, but not on the white dial version.
- UPDATE: After a software update (March 2022), the hands on the white dial version now jump to 10:10 pm.
The broader hands on the black dial jump to 10:10 PM to give an unobstructed view of the top subdial. Due to the narrow hands on the white version, the hands stay in place and may partially obstruct the top subdial.
- The activity subdial has a guilloche design on the white version, but not on the black 42 mm version.
I have been wearing this watch for around ten days, and my experience has been great. I’ve only taken it off for a few hours to make a video review and when taking showers, but I never turned it off. After around nine days, I am still at 39% battery life remaining, so I should easily hit two weeks without issue.
While this is a hybrid smartwatch and health watch, the main draw was the design. Since I’ve received it, none of my other watches have received wrist time. It is a clean and beautiful-looking watch that is hard to ignore. It does well with tracking steps and tracking my sleep. I do not have a history with activity watches, so take my results with a grain of salt. The ECG and oximeter readings are easy to complete and give peace of mind to see the readings within the normal ranges.
I debated getting the black and white dial, and I decided on the white dial because I prefer white dials. While it doesn’t have lume and the hands do not move out of the way, the look of the white dial version makes up for those shortcomings.
If there is anything that I missed in the review, or if you have any questions that I did not cover, please leave a comment below here or on my YouTube video.