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Withings Scanwatch 2 review

This is my full review of the all new Withings Scanwatch 2. This is a smartwatch for people who do want the health tracking and convenience of a smartwatch, but don’t want the smartwatch look. As you can read in my previous review here I’ve been using the Withings Scanwatch Horizon for the last 6 months. That watch is based on the previous generation ScanWatch-tech, so I am very interested in the next generation and the improvements it offers. In this review I’ll tell you all about it and I will compare it to my Horizon and the other smartwatches I’ve used in the past.

Scanwatch 2 review

For this review I tested the 42mm version of the Scanwatch 2 with the black dial. There is also a white dial that is only available from Withings directly in their own webshop here. The regular black version is also available from other dealers. There is also a smaller 38mm version that has a more rounded and subtle design. But the technology is the same as the Scanwatch 2 in 42mm.

Scanwatch 2 improvements

The previous generation of the Withings Scanwatch was already a very impressive piece of health and activity tracking technology. I think it was one of the first watches that offered a ECG function that was clinically verified and did that while looking like a ‘normal’ stylish watch. But Withings has gone above and beyond to improve on an already very impressive watch. The most important changes compared to the previous generation are:

  • Improved OLED screen with higher resolution and grayscales
  • Temperature tracking, day/ night and during exercise
  • Improved sleep tracking
  • Sapphire glass standard on both the 38 and 42mm version of the Scanwatch 2
  • 5 ATM waterproof
  • New software
  • Improved charging dock

This is of course on top of the functionality the older Scanwatches already have:

  • 30 days battery life
  • ECG functionality
  • SPo2 measurement
  • Step- and activity counter
  • Phone messages displayed on the watch

Scanwatch 2 look

If you are reading this review you are probably interested in the ‘traditional’ watch look of the Scanwatch 2. And even with all the impressive tech that is packed in this watch I think the looks are the most impressive feature of the Scanwatch 2. It looks very good! It is a stylish dress watch that can be dressed up by adding a nice leather strap or made more sporty by using the silicone strap. Most of the body is brushed matte steel with a few polished surfaces that improve the stylish looks. The fit and finish is very good and can compete with ‘normal’ watches in this price range.

Scanwatch 2 review


The front glass of the Scanwatch is made of durable sapphire glass. This is a big upgrade compared to the older Scanwatches because sapphire glass is much more scratch resistant than regular glass. This is a big plus, especially for people that are as clumsy as I am. My old Apple Watch looked like it was ran over by a train after 4 weeks. My Withings Scanwatch Horizon that also has Sapphire glass still looks as good as new after 6 months of daily use. And I don’t go easy on my watches, I bang them in to doorposts and walls almost on a daily basis.

On the back of the watch is the array of sensors that do all the health tracking and the new temperature sensor. The Scanwatch Horizon has 3 distinct small sensors, the new Scanwatch 2 has no less than seven sensors.

Scanwatch 2 review
A new sensor array with more sensors add functionality

On the right of the watch is the Digital Crown. While it looks like the crown on a normal watch this isn’t used for setting the time or winding the watch, but it is the controller to navigate the menus. The crown has a very nice ribbed finish for more grip. You can turn and push it and it gives very nice feedback.

Dial and strap choices for the Scanwatch 2

I’m reviewing the watch with the black dial, which I think looks very nice. This is the regular version that is widely available. There is also a the white dial version that is only available in the official Withings shop.

Both the black and white dial versions look very stylish. The white version comes with a light grey silicone strap. The black dial comes with the same strap in black. The silicone strap is very high quality and feels very nice to wear. It is supple and forms to your wrists easily. The buckle is made of brushed stainless steel, that matches the watches body.

Scanwatch 2 review
The black dial has a beautiful sunburst finish

Besides the standard straps you can also buy extra straps from Withings. There are many models available in leather, woven PET or steel. Leather straps are available in many colours. I’ve got 3 leather straps from Withings in black, brown and green and really like the quality of them. They are made of real leather, have a soft leather inside and are very supple. They also seem to hold up well over time. The leather straps are available for 50 euro, which seems a fair price for the quality. Withings regularly has discounts on straps in their own store, check here to see if they have a promotion right now.

Scanwatch 2 review
Swapping the standard silicone strap for a nice leather one can make the watch more luxurious

Size & weight

I really like the more rugged look of my Scanwatch Horizon, but that watch is big, bulky and bold. That makes that it isn’t a good fit for everyone. If you need a more stylish watch, have smaller wrists or don’t like the dive-watch look of the Horizon this a very good alternative.

Specs say the bigger version of the Scanwatch 2 is 42mm, which doesn’t seem a big difference compared to the 43mm Scanwatch Horizon. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story: the Scanwatch 2 is significantly less thick and because of the design feels a lot smaller and it is also lighter. Where the horizon weight 73 grams without a strap, this weighs about 30% less at 52 grams. It is also more comfortable to wear because of that. I hardly feel that I’m wearing this watch.

Scanwatch 2 review
Despite being just 1mm difference between the 43mm Horizon and 42mm Scanwatch 2 is quite big when wearing them

The new screen

The Scantwatch 2 has an improved, higher resolution OLED screen. This can show more information, looks better and is easier to read. It can now show grayscales that make the widgets look better and more refined. Not that the older screen was bad, but this is clearly better. It seems to be brighter as well and because of the higher resolution Withings could make the font bigger while showing the same amount of information. That helps a lot to improve legibility, certainly when your eyes are aging.

Scanwatch 2 review
The new screen is easier to read with a bigger font and more widgets

The higher resolution also makes it possible to use more symbols in the menus. This feels a bit more sophisticated, but doesn’t make too big of difference in day to day use.

Health and activity tracking with the Scanwatch 2

One of the most advanced functionality of the Scanwatch 2 is all the health and activity tracking you can do with the watch. You can use the watch for:

  • Tracking steps and stairs
  • Tracking your heart rate
  • Calculate blood oxygen levels
  • Make an ECG
  • Temperature tracking
  • Tracking your sleep
  • Tracking about 30 different kinds of sports activities
  • Showing notifications of your phone

Steps and activity

Since I’m not an active sporter I can’t really test the watch for intense sport activities. But I did try it to track some walking and bike riding. The watch has an automatic activity detection, so it will show the activity in the app even without any inputs from the user. This is limited though, since it only shows the duration, a guesstimate of the distance traveled, calories burnt and the kind of activity.

Scanwatch 2 review
This second dial shows your progress towards your step goal (from 0-100%)

If you want to use the watch to track your activity with full hearth rate monitoring and GPS for outdoor activity you have to activate that yourself in the menus. Luckily that is very easy and takes just a few clicks and rotations of the crown. There is no GPS in the watch, so it needs the GPS of your phone to track the location and other information. So you can’t leave your phone at home.

Because of the light weight and comfortable silicone strap this seems a good option for sports tracking, better than the bulkier and heavier Scanwatch Horizon for instance.

Scanwatch 2 review
Scanwatch 2 (on the right) is quite a bit slimmer than the Scanwatch Horizon (left)

Of course the watch also tracks your steps throughout the day. Same as with my Scanwatch Horizon the step tracking is a little less generous than other watches I’ve used. I have found out it is very precise, perhaps more precise than other watches. The difference is that many step counters also count steps when you are moving around your kitchen or when you walk from the couch to the toilet. The Scanwatch seems to ignore these steps and only counts steps when you are really moving and going somewhere.

Blood Oxygen and ECG

The watch has the possibility to measure your blood oxygen level. It measures that by looking at the color of the blood and the difference between high oxygen and low oxygen blood. This is a tricky process and you have to wear the watch on your wrist just right and have to keep still to get a successful reading. So it does result in inconclusive results from time to time. 

Scanwatch 2 review
ECG functionality included

The ECG functionality is great to keep an eye on the health of your heart. Especially when you may already have some pre-existing heart problems. But you have to keep in mind that it is just a first measurement and the app also warns you that the ECG functionality can’t detect a heart attack or other conditions. Making the ECG is a piece of cake (for the user). Just select the option in the menu and keep your hand on the watch face so it can act as the second electrode to take the measurement. The measurement takes 30 seconds and the watch counts down for you and gives you a signal when it is done. After that you get a result, ‘normal’ when everything is okay or a message to check with a doctor if any anomaly is found.

You can check the measurement in the app and you can even playback the ECG. And you can share it with your doctor in a PDF if you have any concerns.

Temperature tracking

Temperature tracking is a new function of the Scanwatch 2. A sensor will keep track of changes in your temperature and notify you if there are any trend changes. This is also used while tracking workouts, giving you warnings to prevent overheating that can affect your workout effectivity. And it will give you insight in the speed of your recovery after a workout. Changes in body temperature can also be a sign of onset illness.

Scanwatch 2 review
Temperature tracking shows deviations from you normal temperature

The temp sensor can’t show your actual temperature, so it can’t show you that you have a fever or how high it is. But it will show that your temperature is rising.

Sleep tracking

The 30-day battery life is perfect for using sleep tracking. Many smartwatches you have to charge every day, so it is most convenient to charge them overnight. But since that isn’t necessary with the Scanwatch 2 you can just keep it on your wrist and let it track your sleep. The watch will keep track of your sleep by measuring the following metrics:

  • Duration of sleep
  • Depth (REM/ deep sleep vs. light sleep)
  • How regular your sleep schedule is
  • How many interruptions you’ve had
  • Average heart rate during the night

This cumulates to a sleep score from 0-100, where 100 is the best sleep possible. It will also give you tips to improve your sleep. For instance, when you have less than 45% deep/ REM sleep the app will advise you to go to bed earlier, keep a more regular sleep schedule, workout and to not use your smartphone before bed.

The graph shows deep or light sleep and interruptions

From time to time the watch will also track your blood oxygen during the night to check for apnea. You can set it to do that every night or let the watch choose how many times it plans this. A nice extra feature to check for health issues you normally don’t notice yourself.


On the Scanwatch 2 you can also show notifications from your phone. The watch vibrates as a messages comes in and when the hands are covering the screen they move out of the way so you can read the message better. This works quite well but has its limitations. 

It still is small screen. It shows notifications, but they scroll over the screen in a ticker style. So they are quite literally no-ti-fi-cat-ions. That makes them great for a quick glance and to see if you need to grab your phone, but you don’t want to be reading long messages on the screen. You can however rotate the crown to scroll through the message and go back and forwards to re-read a part of the message.

Scanwatch 2 review

The other limitation is that you still can’t see if you have missed any notifications. This was the same with the Scanwatch 1, and I hoped they would have improved this on the new model. So there still is no signal like the small red dot on the Apple Watch, and there is no option to re-read messages that you didn’t see while they came in. You have to read the messages as they come in, otherwise you can only see them on your phone and not on the watch any more. I hope they will add some kind of message log to make this function more convenient.


One thing to keep in mind is that there is no way to reply to messages. You don’t have a microphone or any form of keyboard function. The watch can only show information but you can’t interact with it. There is also no added functionality like music controls, payment function like Apple Pay or any way to customize the look of the Home Screen. This is a health tracking tool first, and smartwatch second. And that may just be one of the best functions of the watch, it just doesn’t bother or distract you anymore than it needs to. I like that a lot.

Battery life and charging

One of the drawbacks of using a modern smartwatch is the battery life. If you have an Apple Watch you are probably charging every day or every other day. And on something like a Garmin it will be a weekly task. None of that for the Scanwatch 2: up to 30 days! Of course that depends on your use. If you use activity and heart rate tracking on a daily basis it will be less. But for regular use getting to 20-25 days is no problem at all. To be honest I can never remember the last time I charged my watch, the battery life is that good.

Scanwatch 2 review
30 days battery life: impressive!

A big improvement on the new generation is the charging dock. The older Scanwatches use a magnetic system to line-up the watch with the small contact points to charge it. That is sensitive and even when putting down the watch it will sometimes come loose. The Scanwatch 2 uses a new dock that is much more secure. You just drop the watch in and it will line-up perfectly every time without any effort. I’m very happy with that, since it is a very big improvement. Even while you just have to use it every 3-4 weeks, the improved convenience is great.


The Withings Scantwatch 2 is certainly an improvement over de the original Scanwatch or Scanwatch Horizon. There are small and bigger changes that make the watch more powerful and easier to use. Withings has done that without compromising the strong points of the previous generation, like the simple and clean look, the long battery life and impressive health tracking.

If you own a Scanwatch 1 or Scanwatch Horizon, in my opinion there is no need to run to the stores to get the new version. The older models are still impressive watches that will do most of what the new Scanwatch 2 does. But the sapphire glass, temperature tracking and improvements in health- and sleep tracking are worth getting the new Scanwatch 2 over the old models if you wan’t to buy a new watch right now.

Scanwatch 2 review
A comfortable, beautiful looking watch

If you like the new Scanwatch’s functionality but want the more rugged look of the Scanwatch Horizon: no problem. Whihtings just released the all new Scanwatch Nova. A mix of the Scanwatch Horizon look and size with the Scanwatch 2 technology. Personally I’m very interested in that watch, since I’m a fan of the look of the Horizon but also really like the improvements made in the new Scanwatch 2.

Compared to the Scanwatch Horizon

I really like my Scanwatch Horizon, and even after more than six months of daily use I havent thought about buying something else. That is strange for me, since most Smartwatches I’ve had before had some big or small niggles that made me think about buying something better or newer after some time. But the Withings watches feel more like real watches, that also makes them less prone to getting outdated for me. This is the same thing I feel about the new Scanwatch 2. It’s just a beautiful watch that I love to have next to my Scanwatch Horizon.

Scanwatch 2 review
Both stylish and durable watches, but very different styles

The big and heavy Horizon with its more bold design doesn’t fit all situations. The Scanwatch 2 is more of a chameleon. This watch is lighter, smaller and more comfortable to wear and fits a smaller wrist as well. So you hardly notice that you are wearing it. What I also like is the versatility of the look. Slap on a nice leather strap and this watch looks perfectly at home when wearing a nice suit. Put on the silicone strap and you don’t look out of place at the fitness center. That combined with the health and activity tracking, the durable design and smart functionality can make this a smart watch that will suit most people.

Scanwatch 2 review
The new watch has more sensors (Scanwatch Horizon on the left, Scanwatch 2 on the right)

Want to buy this watch: check out the official Whitings store here. If you use this link I will get a small commission. That helps me keep this blog online and it doesn’t cost you any extra money.

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