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Withings ScanWatch 2 hands-on: New hybrid smartwatch comes with 24/7 temperature tracking

Withings ScanWatch 2 ECG

Withings’ stylish hybrid smartwatch gets a subtle redesign and new temperature sensor

Hybrid smartwatches are nothing particularly new, but Withings’ new wearables are a breed apart. The Withings ScanWatch 2 and Withings ScanWatch Light combine advanced activity and health monitoring with physical timekeeping hardware in a design that looks much more stylish than your average Apple Watch.

The two new watches – Withings’ first for a few years – look absolutely stunning in the metal. I’ve just been to have a look at them on the Withings stand at the IFA 2023 tech show, and they look ideal for those who prefer the look of a traditional watch but still desire the tracking smarts of a decent smartwatch.

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Withings ScanWatch 2 and ScanWatch Light hands-on: Specifications, price and release date

ScanWatch 2

  • 38mm and 42mm watch case sizes
  • 24/7 temperature tracking
  • Altimeter, multi-wave PPG, accelerometer
  • 0.63in monochrome OLED display
  • Stainless steel case
  • Sapphire Crystal glass lens
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • 30-day battery life
  • Price: £320
  • Availability: October 2023

ScanWatch Light

  • 37mm watch case
  • Multi-wave PPG, accelerometer
  • 0.63in monochrome OLED display
  • Stainless steel case
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • 30-day battery life

Withings ScanWatch 2 and Light hands-on: New features and first impressions

The ScanWatch 2’s key new features include “a host of new sensors” and a subtle redesign, which takes the already sleek looks of the original ScanWatch and sharpens it up.

This is a watch that really looks the part with a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass lens, colour matched leather straps and unfussy controls comprising just a single rotating crown on the watch case’s right hand side.

It’s available in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm – and two case colours: chrome and gold. The smarts, meanwhile, are displayed on a small, inset 0.63in monochrome OLED display. This sticks to the basics but you can dig deeper into your stats in the accompanying Withings smartphone app.

Withings ScanWatch 2

The big new features are temperature monitoring via a new “Techtemp24/7” module and a more accurate “multiwave PPG sensor” that also adds new metrics to the ScanWatch’s toolbox.

The temperature sensing capability is the most interesting new development. It isn’t used to detect changes in the menstrual cycle, though, as it is in the Apple Watch and other wearables. There is female cycle tracking here but the watch won’t do automatic detection – you have to log it manually.

Instead, it’s principally employed to track variations in your “baseline body temperature” day and night, and will alert you if it spots any abnormalities that could be an indication that you’re getting sick. The temperature monitoring also extends to displaying body temperature zones during workouts, although I’m not too sure how useful this will be for your training.

Withings ScanWatch Light

Aside from the new temperature-tracking feature, the ScanWatch 2 can now also track heart-rate variability, while upgraded accelerometer tech allows it to automatically detect more than 40 different activities.

This builds on the ScanWatch’s existing capabilities, which include atrial fibrillation detection, ECG heart-rate tracking and SpO2 blood oxygen saturation measurements, plus all the usual metrics, from step counting to sleep-quality monitoring.

The one key feature it’s missing is GPS, but it at least compensates for this with impressive battery life. Both the ScanWatch 2 and Light are quoted at an impressive 30 days per charge (don’t lose your charger cable) and the ScanWatch 2 has a new feature that can tell when the watch has been removed from the wrist, so it doesn’t drain the battery unnecessarily.

The 37mm ScanWatch Light is slimmer and smaller than the ScanWatch 2. It’s cheaper, too, at £230 but it lacks some of the larger watch’s more advanced features. There’s no temperature sensing, ECG or SpO2 blood oxygen level tracking here. And the construction is less luxurious as well, with only Gorilla Glass on the front.

Withings ScanWatch 2 hands-on: Early verdict

Withings’ two new wearables are good-looking hybrid smartwatches that track a broad range of health metrics. It’s impossible to tell how accurately they do that at this stage. I’ll have to wait until I’ve had one on my wrist and fully tested it before we can say for sure.

But I can say that the watches look and feel very nice indeed. If you prefer the look of a traditional watch over a regular smartwatch with an OLED display, the Withings ScanWatch 2 and ScanWatch Light will be available in the UK from October 2023 at £320 for the ScanWatch 2 and £230 for the ScanWatch Light.

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First Look