Withings Scanwatch Horizon review: Impressive hybrid smartwatch

Smartwatch is always the same Smartwatch? No, there are differences. You can see that on the Garmin Vivomove Sport (test), which is equipped with many smartwatch functions but has a classic, round watch design. The same applies to the Withings Scanwatch Horizon, which has a much higher quality exterior. Anyone who wears this watch must be prepared to attract curious looks and have to answer inquisitive questions. Because at first glance, the Scanwatch Horizon could also be a high-quality chronograph from Citizen, Seiko or Casio.
Withings Scanwatch Horizon in the test: schedule time to start
Speaking of high quality: Even unpacking the Withings Scanwatch Horizon is a small experience. Because the wristwatch is delivered to the buyer in a comparatively large, elegant cardboard box. After opening, the next surprise reveals itself: What is that? Dentist accessories? No, of course not: Because the hybrid smartwatch is equipped with a metal bracelet as standard, a tool set for adjusting the length of the bracelet is included. With this set, you can place the watch in the included holder to extend the bracelet with up to three links, which are also included in the scope of delivery. Alternatively, of course, a reduction is also possible.
We also had to add a link to the bracelet for our test. And, contrary to expectations, this works well with the supplied accessories. Place the watch in the holder, use a small prick to push out the connecting pin on the desired bracelet link (note the direction of the arrow on the back) and the additional metal link can be inserted. All you have to do is tap the connecting pin back in place with the hammer provided, and you're done. Alternatively, you can also equip the watch with the additional bracelet made of fluoroelastomer (FKM / rubber) that is included in the scope of delivery.
Many accessories are included to shorten or extend the metal bracelet.

Setup: quick and intuitive

You don't have to worry about any big surprises when setting it up. For our test, we decided to pair it with an Apple iPhone. In order for the watch to be able to connect to the smartphone, the Withings app "Health Mate" must be installed on the cell phone. The coupling then takes place automatically, and an available update was also installed directly during the initial setup. And that, unlike the Xiaomi Watch S1 (test), for example, is really fast.
Finally, only a calibration of the analog brass hands is necessary (bring them to the exact 12 o'clock position) and the Withings Scanwatch Horizon is ready for use. Extensive instructions in the app for the available functions of the watch leave nothing to be desired in terms of setup. The fact that Withings also sends numerous e-mails that point out the usable watch functions in writing over several days may seem a bit intrusive to one or the other user. All in all, we found it to be more attentive and personable.

Processing at the highest level

In terms of workmanship, there is nothing to complain about with the Withings Scanwatch Horizon. The stainless steel case is complemented by a rotating stainless steel bezel. The surface of the bezel shines in either blue or green. Just like the dial of the watch model you chose when you bought it. The case is 43 millimeters in size, which corresponds to a diagonal measurement of 1.7 inches on the front. The dial, which is protected with sapphire glass, is a bit smaller because the bezel itself is about 5 millimeters wide. Turning the bezel is a bit too difficult for our taste, but on the other hand it has the advantage that there are no unwanted adjustments.
The Withings Scanwatch Horizon is kept quite small and is not too bulky.
Practical: Withings has integrated a second analog dial in the lower half of the dial. Here you can read the progress of the daily activity goal you have set as a percentage. Again in the upper half there is a PMOLED display that shows the time and date as soon as you press the crown on the right side. If the crown is then turned downwards, you end up in the smart displays of the watch. Then you can, for example, also see your current heart rate, the steps you have already taken and the distance covered over the course of the day, as well as the calorie consumption calculated by the watch. Important: The Withings Scanwatch Horizon calculates the total calorie consumption, not just those from active minutes.
But that's not all. If you keep turning the crown, you can also manually measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), do a relaxing breathing exercise, set an alarm, start a stopwatch and timer, and adjust some watch settings. For example the (de)activation of a please do not disturb mode or the quick look function. Turn it on and the PMOLED display will wake up whenever you turn your wrist to look at the watch.
In addition, an altimeter shows you how many floors you have already climbed in the course of the day. In some cases, however, values were displayed that we could not understand. If you spend the whole day in the flat Münsterland, have only visited the basement twice (1 floor) and at the end of the day the clock shows twelve floors climbed, this conveys a rather arbitrary calculation.
Incidentally, push notifications mirrored from the smartphone can also run via the PMOLED display, just like on a treadmill. In addition to breaking news from news apps, this also includes WhatsApp messages. However, you must immediately read what is displayed when a message arrives, because there is no message center on the watch that stores incoming notifications.
Special feature of the Withings Scanwatch Horizon: ECG function
A real special feature of the Withings Scanwatch Horizon is the usable ECG function. A feature that only a few smartwatches otherwise have. About current Apple Watch models, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (test) or the Fitbit Sense. So you have the possibility to record an electrocardiogram via the ribbed bezel, which serves as an electrode – and share it with your doctor if necessary.
Start the ECG function, place it on the ribbed bezel and the Withings Scanwatch Horizon starts recording an electrocardiogram.
The watch then measures your cardiac currents and displays a typical sinus rhythm in a graphic for a healthy heart via the evaluation in the Withings Health Mate app. However, it can also happen that the watch detects deviations from the sinus rhythm. This can indicate signs of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmias. If desired, it is possible to have the watch automatically detect whether an irregular heartbeat is occurring.
Important: You should not panic if the watch shows you abnormalities after an ECG measurement. Because there can be deviations from the sine rhythm if you hold the watch incorrectly during the measurement. In the event of repeated deviations, you should certainly speak to your doctor in order to obtain an expert diagnosis.

Battery life: Use for several days is no problem

And the battery life? Basically, it can be stated that you can easily make ends meet with the Withings Scanwatch Horizon for a whole week without additional battery charging. We decided to use the watch with the following configuration: sleep tracker turned on, heart rate monitor turned on 24/7, tracker turned on at night to measure blood oxygen saturation, and automatic respiration scan during the night to detect breathing disorders. With this setting, it was possible to use it for around nine days.
Depending on which settings you choose, you can increase the battery life to up to 30 days, according to the manufacturer. And if you then activate the power-saving mode, 20 more days should be possible. But then you have to do without functions that actually make a smartwatch worth wearing. Nevertheless, the Withings Scanwatch Horizon cuts a really good figure as a simple time indicator on the wrist due to its analogue display and the robust, elegant design.
The connection for charging and the sensors can be found on the back. The metal bracelet can be changed quickly using quick-release fasteners.
Charging the battery from 5 to 100 percent takes a little less than two hours using the charging cable supplied.

Withings Health Mate App: Pretty and clear

Visually quite simple and clearly designed: the Withings Health Mate app. On the start page (Home) you can see all the vital signs measured in the recent past at a glance. So the steps already taken, information on blood oxygen saturation, details from the sleep tracking (including a sleep index, which should ideally be close to 100) and of course detailed information on your most recent workouts.
Home start page with overview of measured vital signs.

Dashboard with tracked activity details.

Details of the device connected to the app.

Profile with collected success buttons.

Analysis of daily activity based on the pedometer.

Overview of the measured heart rate.

Analysis of nocturnal oxygen saturation.

Sleep tracker with sleep index analysis.

A more detailed ECG analysis is possible in the Withings Health Mate app.
Atrial fibrillation detected? A calendar documents it.

Ability to change clock settings.

Speaking of workouts: you can track them with the Withings Scanwatch Horizon. And with only six available fitness profiles: running, cycling, walking, hiking, swimming and others. But – and this is a real shortcoming – the hybrid smartwatch does not have its own GPS receiver. For accurate tracking of your jogging lap, you must always have your smartphone with you so that the Withings watch can access the cell phone's GPS receiver via Bluetooth.
During a workout, the Scanwatch Horizon shows the duration of the physical training by default. If you turn the crown, you can change the display. For example, when jogging to the measured pace (minutes per kilometer), the distance covered or your current heart rate. A long press on the crown initiates a termination of your workout tracking.
The workout mode is of course limited with a hybrid smartwatch.
Recommendation: If you wear the Withings Scanwatch Horizon during a workout, it is best to use the supplied rubber strap. With the metal bracelet, we had to observe again and again how the watch suddenly showed no pulse value or rather inaccurate values. With the FKM bracelet, these problems did not arise. However, the watch noticeably loses its value without the metal bracelet.

The price: no bargain

Well, and then there's the price. And it turns out to be surprisingly high. There is no question that the Withings Scanwatch Horizon is of high quality and offers many great extras. But when the price tag is just under 500 euros, that's a real announcement. Especially if you don't even have your own GPS receiver on board. The following price comparison shows you where you can currently buy the watch with a five-year guarantee at reduced conditions.

Conclusion: Good, but a rather expensive pleasure

The Withings Scanwatch Horizon is undoubtedly a high quality watch. It can even be said that it is a well-equipped smartwatch. Because the range of extras and the possibility of analyzing the measured vital data via the associated app is considerable. This also includes the existing ECG function, which can warn of cardiac arrhythmias not only manually but also automatically. It's a pity that it wasn't enough for a separate GPS receiver, despite the rather high price.


Noble, very high-quality workmanship, analogue dial with additional smart display with EKG function, waterproof (10 ATM), hands, hour symbols and arrow on the bezel light up at night (just like you might know from the luminous stars in your own children's room), two bracelets included in the scope of delivery


No built-in GPS receiverOnly six workout profilesTracking of workouts with metal bracelet prone to errorsDisplay of the floors covered seems random at timesfairly expensive
Note: This test report is based on firmware version 2421 of the Withings Scanwatch Horizon. Version 5.11.0 of the Health Mate app was used on a paired smartphone.

Read on now

Garmin Vivomove Sport in the test: hybrid smartwatch with obstacles
Would I buy a hybrid smartwatch for 500 euros? Probably not. But over the past few weeks I've also noticed how much I like the design of a high-quality wristwatch with an analogue dial and smart extras on my wrist. Not all technical everyday companions have to be equipped with a touchscreen. The Withings Scanwatch Horizon made this impressively clear to me.

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