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Withings ScanWatch Horizon Review: The Only Smartwatch I’ll Ever Wear

"I honestly cannot see a reason why you wouldn't want to get one too."

Withings ScanWatch Horizon Review: The Only Smartwatch I’ll Ever Wear

Smartwatches as we know them, have only really been a thing since the arrival of the Apple Watch. Since then, we’ve become accustomed to wearing our phone our wrist, being able to view messages, make and receive calls and gain access to a plethora of apps all promising to make our lives that little bit more convenient.

But how much of all that extra gumpf is actually essential? In my opinion, not much.

Which is why, for me, the Withings ScanWatch Horizon is the only smartwatch I’d wear. Let me explain why.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

VERDICT: An underrated smartwatch that’s geared toward better health but it’s not perfect.


  • Steps? Yes. Heart rate? You betcha. GPS data from workouts? Absolutely.
  • Still a fantastic looking watch


  • Prefer the previous model’s looks.
  • Charger doesn’t magnetically connect to the rear of the watch.
  • Doesn’t have option for setting a seconds counter style wallpaper.
  • Withings ScanWatch Horizon doesn’t support apps that many smartwatch owners have

It looks like a regular watch

To be honest, this is perhaps the biggest draw for me. I like wearing conventional watches and can usually be found with a Seiko on my wrist. The look of them, feel of them and heritage of a conventional watch is something I’ve found myself to have fallen in love with.

I have previously owned an Apple Watch (the Series 3 way back when) and sure, I liked it. But now, having grown up, I no longer want to have a fully digital display on my wrist. It’s just not for me. But with the Withings ScanWatch Horizon, you get what the company calls a ‘hybrid design’, i.e. one that cleverly combines the best of analogue and digital, into one rather attractive final product.

Withings has long been championing the hybrid design. Take a loot at the company’s other models and you’ll immediately see there’s no digital display presented front and centre in sight. Instead, the company pieces together a traditional watch face with a smaller digital display where you would normally find a seconds counter or chronometer.

You can find a similar effect on something like a TAG Heuer Connected, but ultimately, the ‘analogue’ watch face is all digital, and is just displayed on a screen.

I do find the company’s previous models attractive, but the latest ScanWatch Horizon, for my money, is their best yet. From a distance, I honestly don’t believe anybody would be able to tell that this isn’t a watch that can’t have its ancestry traced back to the likes of Switzerland or Japan, it’s that convincing. This alone accounts for at least 50 percent of my reasoning for only wanting to wear the Withings if I want to go down the smartwatch route.

It does everything you need

Steps? Yes. Heart rate? You betcha. GPS data from workouts? Absolutely.

And, for those who use third-party apps during their workouts, such as Strava, MyFitnessPal or RunKeeper, you can sync any captured workout data from the Withings ScanWatch Horizon to these, so any friends you may have on those apps can still view your progress.

Depending on which operating system your phone has – iOS or Android – you can also export data to your phone’s default health app, too.

The ScanWatch Horizon only gives you the notifications you need.

The Withings ScanWatch Horizon doesn’t support apps that many smartwatch owners have likely become accustomed to, such as guided meditations or doubling up as your own personal trainer. But, as my colleague Jamie recently said in an article where he traded his mechanical watch for a smartwatch, a mechanical can be just as, if not more, beneficial for one’s health.

He admitted that a smartwatch will undoubtedly be more accurate than a mechanical. In the case of Withings, because it uses your phone’s time to set its hands, this immediately makes it more accurate than a mechanical watch, too. He also said that the constant buzzing of notifications was a turn off, and the more silent nature of a mechanical watch is actually more soothing and calming compared to anything the mental health apps could provide.

A negative for him of using a smartwatch, is that he couldn’t subtly look at the time, instead having to raise his wrist to his face to force the screen to light up. Again, not a problem for the Withings ScanWatch Horizon, because the analogue hands are there for you to quickly glance at.

I honestly cannot see a reason why you wouldn’t want to get one too.

Notifications are clear

The small digital display at 12 o’clock will notify you of any incoming messages, calls, emails or other app notifications (you can choose which apps you want to be notified from within the companion HealthMate app). I chose to have iMessages, Instagram and WhatsApp messages to be connected, and whenever a new message did come through, it was clear to read thanks to the scrolling text, which moved along at a moderate pace.

There are two colours to choose from

I think green is best. The other is blue.

RELATED: Green Dials Are The Next Big Thing In Watches

It can track your swims

Thanks to 10 ATM/100m water resistance.

The battery lasts longer than most others

Up to 30 days in between charges? That’s much more appealing than the regular overnight charges my Apple Watch used to require.

It will tell you how well (or not so well) you slept

Using various data points to determine what stage of sleep you’re in during the night, Withings will return a Sleep Score when you wake up. To be honest, I didn’t use this feature too much, more so because I just didn’t quite like the feel of the watch on my wrist when going to sleep at night.

While I didn’t try it out with the included and more lightweight sports band, I have no doubt this would provide a more comfortable night’s sleep.

A whole world of customisation

Withings includes a separate sport band in the box, making the ScanWatch even more water-friendly.

You can’t modify the Withings ScanWatch Horizon in the same way you can a Seiko 5 or SKX, for example, but Withings not only includes a Fluoroelastomer Sport Band in the box (and a link remover tool, which is incredibly handy), but you can select and buy from a huge range of additional straps including leather and recycled woven PET.

A couple of niggles

I think it’s fair to say that no product can truly be called perfect. And in the case of the ScanWatch Horizon, there were a couple of things I found to be a tiny bit annoying. Firstly, the included USB charger, which is a familiar-looking puck shape, doesn’t magnetically connect to the rear of the watch quite as strongly as I would have hoped.

If you leave it on your desk, or side table and don’t touch it, then it’s fine. But I did find it can become disconnected pretty easily.

I would also have liked the option of setting a seconds counter style wallpaper in the digital display. You can set the display to show the time when you raise your wrist, but if your wrist is down and you don’t have notifications coming in, the display is left blank. I feel like this could be a slightly missed opportunity by Withings, as the whole point of the watch is to imitate a traditional time teller.

It’s not a deal breaker in the slightest, more, constructive criticism.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon Specs

Metrics TrackedHeart Rate
Breathing Disturbances
Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Oxygen Saturation Level (Sp02)
Steps & distance
Fitness Level
Dimensions43mm Diameter
13.28mm Thickness
20mm Wristband Width
72g (Watch Only)
Battery LifeUp to 30 days in normal use
+20 additional days in power reserve mode
Charing TimeApproximately 2 hours to 100%. Approximate 1 hour to 80%

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