Withings ScanWatch Nova review: analog looks with exceptional digital brains

Smartwatches have turn into ubiquitous in society. Actually spearheaded by the arrival of the Apple Watch, you now can’t go wherever with out seeing a digital show on somebody’s wrist. It could possibly be argued that till we had the smartwatch, we didn’t know we wanted it and we have been completely content material with a traditional analog wrist watch to easily inform the time. 

Withings has championed a mixture of previous and current with all of its watch releases – one thing it has dubbed as a ‘hybrid’ design – and the ScanWatch Nova is the most recent mannequin (alongside the ScanWatch 2) that mixes analog appears, well being and health monitoring and some smartwatch niceties into one elegant package deal.

Utilizing the earlier ScanWatch Horizon as its beginning base, the ScanWatch Nova takes what we thought-about to be a successful formulation, and makes aesthetic and technological enhancements to make this one of many greatest smartwatches for individuals who want traditional appears, however who’re additionally intrigued by sensors to trace their general well being.

As with its predecessor, a fast look on the ScanWatch Nova doesn’t instantly give away the actual fact it has digital sensors for a mind as an alternative of a standard watch motion. Its polished chrome physique, analog fingers with glow-in-the-dark LumiNova coating and rotating crown, give the impression this could possibly be one thing straight out of Switzerland.

Look a bit of nearer although, and as an alternative of a standard chronometer or seconds-hand ticker, you’ll discover a small OLED show at 12 o’clock and a second dial at 6 o’clock that shows your progress in the direction of your well being objective within the type of 0 to 100%. The earlier ScanWatch Horizon exhibited primarily the identical design, however Withings says the decision of the OLED show has been improved this time round and the watch itself is sleeker in design.

I’d need to agree. Having worn each (and nonetheless proudly owning the Horizon) the Nova’s case has extra rounded edges and the lug across the crown has been diminished. When sporting the Horizon, I discovered it may sometimes dig into my wrist after I bent my hand, however with the Nova, that’s been resolved. The show is certainly a tad sharper as properly, and scrolling textual content throughout the show strikes at a readable velocity and is clearly legible.

On the rear is a quartet of sensors to trace your coronary heart price, 24/7 temperature, ECG and blood oxygen ranges. As earlier than, interacting with the crown doesn’t alter the time or date, however as an alternative brings the OLED show to life, whereby you may then scroll by the assorted menus and knowledge.

Within the ScanWatch Nova, Withings is as soon as once more placing a agency focus in your well being. You should utilize it to trace exercises and it’ll show notifications out of your smartphone apps, however this can be a watch that finally desires to maintain an correct file of how your physique is performing and all knowledge is offered within the thoughtfully designed HealthMate companion app. It can be exported to (and imported from) your cellphone’s native well being app.

Battery life is as soon as once more wonderful with Withings precisely claiming 30 days of use, and what I significantly love about this new mannequin is the charger. The charger that got here with the ScanWatch Horizon was horrible; it didn’t magnetically connect to the watch which meant it may simply fall off. The brand new charger is sort of a cradle it’s a must to bodily insert the ScanWatch Nova into, the place it’s held in place.

As my US colleague Lance Ulanoff stated of the ScanWatch Horizon, the ScanWatch Nova is the proper smartwatch for individuals who don’t need one, or who a minimum of wish to be extra inconspicuous in proudly owning one. It collects an unlimited quantity of information with accuracy, presents it properly in a companion app and lasts ceaselessly on a single cost. For me it’s the proper smartwatch and so I encourage everybody to present it a attempt.

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Worth & availability

The Withings ScanWatch Nova launched on December 5, 2023 and was accessible from Withings within the US and UK immediately on the identical date for $599.95 / £549.95. It arrived in Australia in March 2024 for AU$799 at third-party retailers.

This does make it costlier than the Apple Watch Sequence 9 and never an enormous quantity cheaper than the Apple Watch Extremely as compared. iPhone customers will get extra use from the Apple Watch and there’s an enormous quantity extra in the best way of customizing the way it appears, however the Apple Watch’s battery doesn’t final practically as lengthy.

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Worth $599.95 / £549.95 / $799
Dimensions 42 x 12.8mm (diameter x thickness)
Show 0.63-inch, 282ppi
Battery life As much as 30 days

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Design

  • Slimmer than earlier ScanWatch Horizon
  • Improved show decision
  • Seems to be and seems like a standard diver’s watch

The Withings ScanWatch Nova employs a 42mm watch face and a design harking back to conventional diver’s watches. If you happen to’ve all the time checked out different smartwatches however haven’t admired their use of all-digital shows then a hybrid smartwatch such because the Nova is good. I’m personally on this camp myself.

I used to personal an Apple Watch Sequence 3 about 5 years in the past, however stopped sporting it as a result of I wasn’t utilizing it to its full potential, and most well-liked to put on a standard watch as an alternative. As a result of the Withings ScanWatch Nova combines this conventional look with health-tracking capabilities, it makes it the proper smartwatch in my view.

Whereas the Nova employs an analogous design to the Horizon, Withings has made some notable enhancements. It’s slimmer within the physique (and 1mm narrower on the watch face) and has gone on a weight reduction kick, shaving its weight down from 72g to 52.6g. This makes an enormous distinction for on a regular basis put on. The ScanWatch Horizon didn’t essentially really feel heavy, however as compared it’s like sporting an anvil tied to your wrist in comparison with the featherweight nature of the ScanWatch Nova. The lighter design additionally makes it extra comfy to put on to mattress at evening, which is one thing you need to do, since it may possibly observe your sleep and current you with a sleep efficiency rating the subsequent morning (extra on that later). Withings ScanWatch Nova in box with accessories

Withings ships the ScanWatch Nova with every part you must get the proper match too, together with spare hyperlinks for the oyster metallic bracelet ought to you must make it bigger, and a plastic holder and metallic hammer that will help you in including or eradicating hyperlinks as required. Discovering the proper match is paramount to making sure the ScanWatch Nova information correct knowledge. After we reviewed the ScanWatch Horizon we discovered this difficult to do, particularly with the metallic bracelet. I don’t suppose anybody ought to have an excessive amount of subject getting a very good match with the Nova although as you’re capable of take away full-size or half-size hyperlinks from the bracelet.

There’s additionally a fluoroelastomer sport model included which matches the colour of the dial – it’s accessible in black, inexperienced and blue – which is tender and versatile and will present a safer match for those who wrestle with the oyster metallic bracelet. Each wristbands have a fast launch perform to make switching straightforward, though I discovered them simpler to take away than to place again on, since they require you to compress some tiny pins that my chubby fingers had a little bit of hassle with. Within the UK and US you may select from quite a lot of different sports activities and leather-based wristbands when shopping for immediately from Withings, however prospects in Australia are restricted to only the 2 that come within the field.Withings ScanWatch Nova

At 12 o’clock you’ll discover a 0.63-inch digital show which is the clearest indicator that this isn’t a standard analog watch. It’s barely bigger than the Horizon’s 0.5-inch display screen and Withings says it has elevated the decision to enhance legibility too. I’ve to agree, as evaluating the 2 aspect by aspect does reveal a transparent enchancment within the Nova’s show. Textual content is that little bit clearer, sharper and extra legible. I definitely had no points studying the show and due to an ambient gentle sensor, it is going to mechanically alter the brightness when required. If you wish to view the show however the fingers are overlaying it, a press of the crown will see them each instantly transfer out the best way and settle on the 10 and a pair of positions. If neither of the fingers are overlaying the show, they’ll stay the place they’re whenever you press the crown.

The way in which you work together with the ScanWatch Nova is just like how you’ll an Apple Watch in the truth that you scroll the crown to cycle by menus. However there’s no touchscreen choice right here and the menus are black and white solely. I like this extra fundamental strategy, I discovered it to be extremely intuitive and there’s no danger of choosing the flawed app or choice.

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Options

  • Sensors to trace a spread of well being metrics
  • Automated sleep and exercise detection
  • Single-line app notifications

There are 4 sensors on the again of the ScanWatch Nova for coronary heart price, SpO2, electrocardiogram (ECG) and a brand new TempTech24/7 module which is the principle improve over the earlier ScanWatch Horizon. You’ll discover the identical set of sensors on the lately launched ScanWatch 2 as properly. The primary distinction between the ScanWatch 2 and the ScanWatch Nova is their design, with the previous taking over a extra costume watch model look.

Utilizing these sensors and acquiring knowledge is extremely straightforward and whenever you first join the ScanWatch Nova to your cellphone and the companion HealthMate app, you’re offered with tutorials for every to get you on top of things.

Your coronary heart price and 24/7 temperature run constantly within the background and also you solely must scroll to both of them within the menu to view the present studying. For SpO2 and ECG readings, you must cowl the watch face along with your different hand for 30 seconds for the reason that watch face doubles up as a sensor. Naturally, you’re not going to have the ability to see when the 30 seconds is up, so the ScanWatch Nova supplies a relatively beautiful vibration to let the time is up. As quickly as a studying is taken, you’ll get a pop-up notification in your cellphone directing you to view the outcomes. Withings ScanWatch Nova

I had no points acquiring an ECG end result (mine was regular) however on the primary few tries the Nova wasn’t capable of file an SpO2 studying. I’ve to place this right down to me not placing my hand on the watch face appropriately (by some means) as on the third attempt it labored advantageous (and I used to be regular, once more).

The Withings ScanWatch Nova isn’t the one smartwatch to supply this performance after all – though it’s the first well being wearable to supply the 24/7 temperature monitoring – but it surely is without doubt one of the few that’s clinically evaluated and developed in collaboration with medical doctors and well being professionals (Withings does say the SpO2 sensor is non-medical grade). Withings claims the 24/7 temperature monitoring, which supplies “baseline fluctuations of day and evening physique temperature,” can assist to point the onset of an sickness or different well being situations. You too can share your well being studies immediately with medical doctors through the HealthMate app.

Extra options are due in 2024 together with irregular coronary heart rhythm notifications and your respiratory price.

Information recorded is displayed clearly within the HealthMate app though it by some means recorded two units of sleep knowledge on the primary evening I wore it to mattress. One gave a sleep rating of 20 and the opposite a rating of 89. I’m taking the latter as being the extra correct. The ScanWatch Nova mechanically detects whenever you fall asleep by the best way, so no must activate any settings earlier than you nod off.Withings ScanWatch Nova

If you wish to use the ScanWatch Nova to its full potential then it may possibly additionally observe a spread of exercises. Your choices are restricted to operating, strolling, swimming, biking and “different”. New for the Nova is the flexibility to mechanically detect exercises – one thing the Horizon couldn’t do – but when for no matter purpose it doesn’t, you’ll must navigate to the exercise kind and press the crown to start. A protracted press of the crown will pause the exercise and an extra lengthy pause will restart, or you may scroll to the sq. cease icon on the display screen and lengthy press to finish.

If you begin a exercise, you’ll additionally discover begin and cease actions, together with dwell knowledge within the app. The ScanWatch Nova doesn’t have built-in GPS both, however can use the GPS capabilities of your cellphone to precisely observe your exercises. This after all means you may’t go away your cellphone at dwelling, however for those who exercise with music, you’ll probably have your cellphone with you anyway.

I don’t thoughts this stripped again strategy, not least as a result of I’m not precisely the exercise kind however as a result of after I see different health trackers providing help for issues like yoga and pilates, I’ve to surprise precisely what they’re monitoring. However, it will be truthful to say that the ScanWatch Nova is a well being tracker first and a health tracker second. If you happen to’re a triathlete or extremely marathon runner, then this probably received’t be the look ahead to you, though you’ll little question profit from the correct and insightful well being knowledge.

Lastly, as a result of it’s also a smartwatch, the Withings ScanWatch Nova will show messages and notifications from apps put in in your cellphone. You may select which apps you do and don’t obtain notifications from throughout the HealthMate app. I personally simply saved notifications from messaging apps turned on and every part else turned off. After I obtain a message, it’s displayed on the small OLED display screen, with textual content scrolling throughout in a single line.

Some folks might want to see a complete message and likewise to have the ability to reply to messages from their watch. That’s not potential with the ScanWatch Nova, however once more for me, I prefer it. My opinion in the direction of smartwatches is that they’re merely an extension to a cellphone, not a substitute for one. If I see a message come by on my watch, my first intuition is to then get my cellphone out of my pocket to learn it totally and reply, I’m not going to be somebody who speaks into their watch to dictate a message. It may properly be this interplay, or lack thereof, that can persuade somebody to purchase the Withings ScanWatch Nova. It’s a completely totally different product to one thing just like the Apple Watch, which does provide much more when it comes to interactivity.

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Efficiency

  • Correct measurements from sensors
  • Impeccable battery life
  • A couple of niggles with automated sleep and exercise detection

In relation to its health monitoring capabilities, the Withings ScanWatch does an excellent job of recording correct measurements when you choose a exercise in addition to mechanically recording whenever you fall asleep. I say excellent, relatively than nice, as a result of there are a few niggles.

Beginning with sleep, normally the Nova does certainly discover after I’ve gone into full sleep mode and the morning after it shows the assorted levels of sleep within the HealthMate app. Nonetheless, the evening earlier than scripting this part, I occurred to get very fortunate and go to sleep at 4.30pm. I wakened at round 12.30am earlier than managing to get again to sleep for an additional few hours. Following on from my preliminary observations earlier, the ScanWatch Nova as soon as once more solely tracked the primary interval of sleep however for some purpose didn’t choose up the second stage. The latest tracked sleep falls underneath a “Final Evening” banner, versus the day of the week it occurred, so I’ve to surprise if it solely assumes there might be one interval of “Final Evening’s” sleep.

With reference to exercises, the ScanWatch Nova does mechanically detect whenever you’re performing an exercise, though after I regarded within the app to view knowledge, it had detected seven biking classes which is unusual, since I don’t even personal a motorbike, not to mention cycle. All it may present was the length of time and the day they occurred. No distance or velocity. That is, nevertheless, probably as a result of on the time I didn’t have GPS enabled on my cellphone.

The morning of scripting this part of the overview I made a decision to stroll to work, since I used to be feeling so refreshed from the 16 hours or so of sleep from the evening earlier than. To make sure it will precisely file my strolling knowledge, I chosen ‘Strolling’ from the exercise menu on the watch itself and enabled GPS. When you may have a exercise mode enabled, the screens you scroll by change from the default choices. The primary display screen nonetheless exhibits the time in digital format, however beneath you’re additionally proven the space travelled.

Withings HealthMate app screenshots

Curiously, the map knowledge recorded throughout the app confirmed a black display screen with the route I took. Deciding on it did deliver up a view inside Apple Maps and my strolling exercise knowledge overlayed, so I’ll put this right down to an app subject. Additionally apparently, strolling knowledge recorded later the identical day by automated detection did not present any GPS map route. It appears the one time you may see that sort of knowledge is whenever you really choose a exercise on the watch.

If you scroll, you may view your coronary heart price, tempo and physique temperature. After all, on one thing like an Apple Watch, you may view a number of metrics of information on one display screen which is able to undoubtedly be extra helpful for actual health fanatics. However for somebody like me who doesn’t pour blood, sweat and tears into holding match, I used to be nonetheless grateful for the correct monitoring.

As for well being monitoring, all recorded knowledge is offered neatly and effectively within the companion app. Understanding that the typical individual is unlikely to know what a very good or dangerous ECG or oxygen saturation studying is, the app offers a inexperienced tick of approval for those who’re in fine condition.

Producing knowledge is straightforward too, as each the watch itself and the app provide you with directions for the best way to file an ECG and SpO2 studying. You’re required to place your hand over the watch face, since this doubles up as a sensor, and the watch will give off a vibration when the 30 second recording interval is up.Withings ScanWatch Nova

Together with selecting which apps you wish to show notifications, you may also customise different points of the watch from throughout the app, such because the order of exercise choices or the order of screens that present up whenever you scroll by with the crown. I selected to maneuver Strolling to the highest of the record, since this was the one I used to be going to be utilizing essentially the most.

The app additionally lets you understand how a lot battery the ScanWatch Nova has left – after sporting it virtually continually for every week, I nonetheless have 54% on the time of writing – and you may also set an alarm to wake you up within the morning. What you may’t do with the app or the ScanWatch Nova, is activate any sort of Discover My function. This implies for those who lose the Nova someplace, or just overlook the place you place it at dwelling, you may’t allow it to play any sounds that will help you find it. Whereas it could possibly be truthful to imagine that Withings expects the ScanWatch Nova might be in your wrist virtually 24/7 (particularly if you wish to continually observe sleep) the actual fact stays you’ll probably take it off every so often.

Lastly, switching the wrist straps round is an easy affair and I did finally discover the fluoroelastomer sport band to be the extra comfy of the 2, particularly for sporting to mattress at evening. With this strap hooked up, coupled with the light-weight construct of the ScanWatch Nova, I barely observed it was on my wrist, it was that comfy.

Withings ScanWatch Nova: Scorecard

Class Remark Rating
Worth Not too dissimilar to pricing for a traditional diver’s watch, but it surely’s largest competitor might be picked up for much less 3.5/5
Design Traditional watch appears with well being monitoring smarts is a win in my guide, however may not be everybody’s cup of tea 4.5/5
Options If you need a smartwatch that tracks fundamental health disciplines, well being knowledge and exhibits you cellphone notifications, the ScanWatch Nova ticks all containers 5/5
Efficiency Loads of properly offered knowledge within the app, however couple of auto-tracking flaws hold it from high marks 4.5/5


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