Withings ScanWatch Horizon review: Luxury looks and clinically validated health data


Last year I tested the Withings ScanWatch and although it couldn’t serve as a full-fledged GPS sports watch or smartwatch, I couldn’t resist wearing it due to its fantastic design and high quality and high performance health functions. Hybrid watches look like standard watches with a few health and wellness elements inside.

Following on from the Withings ScanWatch, we have the ScanWatch Horizon which provides the same essentials of the ScanWatch in a luxury dive watch form factor. It’s a sleek and lovely watch available in green or blue for $499.95. We have been testing a blue model for a few days and are once again struck by its look and its well-being performance.

To like

  • Design of luxury diving watches
  • Metal and rubber watch straps
  • Up to 30 days of battery life
  • Comprehensive Health Mate smartphone app
  • Smart alarm clock support

Do not like

  • No REM or HRV measurements during sleep
  • A little expensive


  • Materials: Stainless steel case, stainless steel bracelet, sapphire crystal and fluoroelastomer bracelet
  • Wireless: Bluetooth LE
  • Water resistance: Up to 100m
  • Sensors: High-precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer, exclusive multi-wavelength PPG heart rate/SpO2 sensor, stainless steel electrodes for ECG
  • Battery life: Up to 30 days in normal use, plus 20 days in power reserve mode (time and activity tracking only, no sleep or other advanced metrics). Two hours to full charge, one hour to 80%.
  • Bracelet: 20mm wide
  • Dimensions: 43mm wide in diameter for 13.28mm thick, weight 72g (watch without strap)
  • Colors: Blue and green

I like to wear my Citizen Blue Angels Skyhawk Eco-Drive watch when my wife and I go out, but I like to track and analyze data captured by a fitness watch. The new Withings ScanWatch Horizon brings a luxury experience to your wrist with clinically validated medical technology so you can enjoy 24/7 tracking while wearing a watch that doesn’t look like a fitness tracker.

As well: Best fitness tracker: Improve your health


The ScanWatch Horizon arrives with a stainless steel strap fitted to the watch. The blue or green color appears on the bezel, watch face and fluoroelastomer strap. The retail package includes both the stainless steel strap and the fluoroelastomer strap, a loading washer, a metal hammer, a pin punch, a watch strap holder and three additional links for the metal bracelet. To fit my wrist, I had to add two of the links back, and it was great to have the full link management kit included in the retail package.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The bezel has laser etched markings for diver support and the bezel even rotates counterclockwise so you can use it as a diver watch as well. The watch face is covered with a flat sapphire crystal that blends seamlessly into the rotating bezel. Luminova hollow watch hands glow in the dark, along with five-minute indicators.

In the center of the top half of the watch face is a small round PMOLED display that displays digital time, date, notifications, heart rate, SpO2 readings, EKG, steps, floors climbed, distance traveled, calories, workouts, work of breathing, Strava weekly distance, and metrics. Clock options also include an alarm, stopwatch, and timer.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

There’s a single button on the right, center side of the watch that doubles as a digital crown that rotates to scroll through the small digital display. Press the crown to select an option with another setting that supports a long press on the crown. I configured it to open the workout widget. The watch case is made of stainless steel and on the back there are three charging pins, second and third ECG electrodes and three openings for the multi-wavelength PPG sensor. The first ECG electrode is located around the bezel of the watch.

To activate the echocardiogram or SpO2 meter, select the appropriate option on the digital display, then place your fingers on the right side of the watch and on the bezel. Stand still for 30 seconds and watch the countdown on the watch as the measurement is taken. The ScanWatch Horizon will vibrate when the reading is complete, then the smartphone app will show you the results.

Your ScanWatch can also be used to perform respiratory analyzes while you sleep using the PPG sensor and accelerometer. This data can be shared with your doctor, and if there are any disturbances recorded, then the data can help diagnose issues such as sleep apnea. You can set breath scans to always on, automatic (three nights in a row once a quarter), and off. Setting it to always on will impact your battery life.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The metal band has two quick-release pins on each end that attach to the watch body. The fluoroelastomer band has a single quick release pin on each end. Both securely attach the bands to the watch body.

Compared to the ScanWatch, the ScanWatch Horizon has twice the water resistance. Other specifications and functions are the same between the two watches.

As well: Withings ScanWatch review: Medical-grade health tracking hidden in a cute hybrid watch

Withings Health Mate smartphone app

The Withings Health Mate app is used to collect data from all Withings health products, including the ScanWatch Horizon. After testing the original ScanWatch, I bought the Withings BPM Connect to monitor my daily blood pressure, and I love the seamless integration into the Health Mate app. I’m disappointed that Fitbit, Garmin, and others don’t support manual entry of basic health data like blood pressure.

After logging into your Withings account, tap the Devices tab to connect to the ScanWatch Horizon. The Devices tab will then show you ScanWatch battery life, notifications, alarms, display options, health features, and other watch settings that can be managed on your phone.

One feature I haven’t seen on any other wearable is the smart alarm with a customizable time band for when the watch can wake you up. Some Fitbit wearables support smart alarms, but these have a long 30-minute window to wake you up from light sleep, and that’s just too long to be practical for me. With ScanWatch Horizon you can set this window to be as short as one minute from the time you need to wake up, but I set it to 15 minutes to increase the likelihood of getting into the right area before you wake up.

The app’s Home tab includes your latest metrics, timeline, programs, and trends. Tap the plus in the upper right corner to manually enter health information such as weight, blood pressure, nutrition, etc. When you tap on the nutrition option, a notice pops up saying that Withings and MyFitnessPal have teamed up to provide a comprehensive food tracking experience.


Matthew Miller/ZDNet

ZDNet recommends

The best GPS sports watches

The best GPS sports watches

These watches provide more data, offer customizable options, track performance and inspire improvement.

When you tap on any of the measurement categories on the homepage, you are taken to another section of the app which provides many more details, historical information and the option to view by day, week or month .

The Dashboard tab shows you unique values ​​for your latest data in a number of categories. These include fitness level (VO2 Max), floors climbed, steps, BMI, weight, ECG, oxygen saturation, and more.

From the Profile tab, you can generate a PDF health report to share with your doctor, family members, or others interested in your health and progress. You can also connect the ScanWatch to apps like Samsung Health, Google Fit, Strava, Apple Health, etc.

The ScanWatch Horizon can be used to track over 30 activities, including the ability to automatically recognize walking, running and swimming if you forget to start training mode. Over time, ScanWatch will even use your body movements to recognize and track other supported activities you regularly participate in.

You can pause and resume workout tracking by pressing the Digital Crown once. You need to long press the Digital Crown to end a workout and save the data. There’s very little information displayed during your workout, but afterwards the smartphone app will show you the duration, calories burned, elevation, and more. If your smartphone’s GPS is connected, you’ll also see a GPS track of your workout.

Daily use and conclusions

I’m a fan of the original ScanWatch which launched last fall and the ScanWatch Horizon builds on that solid foundation with a watch that adds class and style to your wrist. The watch is not too big so it can be comfortably worn in bed to track your sleep details.

The ScanWatch Horizon subtly delivers key health and fitness information to the small screen only when you want to see it. The time is displayed all the time, like a standard watch. The 30-day battery life is also a major advantage over a smartwatch or GPS sports watch and makes the watch something that’s more likely to be worn all the time.

Withings continues to excel in the hybrid watch category. The ScanWatch Horizon costs a few hundred dollars more than the ScanWatch, so it clearly targets those who want a more sophisticated look and feel in their watch. Although it is rather expensive for a fitness tracker, it is cheaper than many standard dive watches, so the price may not be a deterrent to the segment looking for these types of watches.


Comments are closed.