Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Withings ScanWatch Horizon: A smartwatch that looks smart, too

Modern smartwatch technology packaged into a timeless design.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Think of smartwatches and the mind goes to the Apple Watch, but there are other players in the arena with their own take on what a smartwatch should look like.

One of those companies is Withings, a company that's been making health and fitness gadgets such as smart scales, health monitors, and fitness trackers for over a decade.

The ScanWatch Horizon is the company's latest smartwatch, and it really is smart.

Review: Withings ScanWatch Horizon: Luxury looks, clinically validated health data

Not just smart as in technologically clever, but smart as is a smart-looking design.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

With its 43mm diameter 316L stainless-steel case, blue or green dial, rotating bezel, and luminous indexes, the ScanWatch Horizon has a design that's based on the iconic dive watch.

It's big, but it doesn't feel bulky, and it's not heavy, with the watch itself weighing 72 grams/2.5 oz, excluding the strap.

Big, but not bulky!

Big, but not bulky!

But it's got more than just looks, as the smartwatch is rated water-resistant to 10 ATMs/100 meters/330 feet and features a flat, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

This is Withings' most durable smartwatch to date, and is undoubtedly the most durable smartwatch that I've ever worn.

Another great touch I like about the ScanWatch Horizon is that not only has Withings included a fluoroelastomer sport band along with the metal bracelet, but you also get all the tools you need to add and remove links from the bracelet to allow for the perfect fit.

Spare sports band is a nice touch!

Spare sports band is a nice touch!

This is a really nice touch.

Both bands are incredibly well made and exceedingly comfortable to wear over an extended period, even when swimming or working out. And swapping the bands is a snap, with no tools needed.

Even the packaging feels special, presenting the ScanWatch Horizon well without being wasteful.

Beautiful but minimalist presentation

Beautiful but minimalist presentation

The Withings ScanWatch Horizon is nicely presented and the box holds the tools and spare strap

The Withings ScanWatch Horizon is nicely presented and the box holds the tools and spare strap

OK, so far, I've just looked at the outside of the watch. There's a lot of smart stuff going on inside the ScanWatch Horizon.

Built into the smartwatch are a whole host of smart features related to fitness and health.

There's an optical heart rate monitor, on-demand ECG heart rate monitor that can detect conditions such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), and a clinically validated, medical-grade blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitor.

Combined with a 24/7 activity tracker that automatically tracks walk, biking, run, swim, sleep, distance, elevation (floor climbed) and calories burned, and an advanced sleep tracker that monitors sleep cycles, sleep duration and wakeups, you have a truly powerful tool on your wrist.

Rear of the Withings ScanWatch Horizon showing the various sensors

Rear of the Withings ScanWatch Horizon showing the various sensors

Information is displayed on the small but clear and easy-to-read circular PMOLED display embedded into the dial of the smartwatch, and along with health and fitness information, this display can also show reminders and text messages, and other information.

Checking for atrial fibrillation

Measuring blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)

The user interacts with the ScanWatch Horizon by pressing and rotating the crown of the watch. The interface is a lot more basic than something like the Apple Watch, and the ScanWatch Horizon can't run apps, but the features that are built into the watch are very well thought out and usable.

Battery life is an amazing 30 days, and charging is done using the supplied USB cable.

Charging the Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Charging the Withings ScanWatch Horizon

So, what do I think of the Withings ScanWatch Horizon?

For $449, you get a lot of watch. For someone looking to combine the classic look and feel of a dive watch -- the robustness of a stainless-steel construction, the luminous dial, the clicky bezel, the chunky bracelet -- with the modern health and fitness gadgets you'd expect on a smartwatch, this is definitely worth a look.

This is a design that appeals to me a lot; I feel it's equally at home in the office, the gym, outdoors, swimming, and pretty much everywhere.

Having the choice of a metal bracelet and fluoroelastomer is also great, giving the owner more flexibility.

For me, the ScanWatch Horizon has it all.

I really like how Withings also included a sports strap and the tools you need to lengthen and shorten the metal bracelet. These are really nice touches, and it doesn't feel like Withings is cutting corners with this smartwatch.

ScanWatch Horizon requires a smartphone or tablet to install the Health Mate app and is compatible with iOS 14 and higher and Android 8.0 and higher.

The Withings ScanWatch Horizon is also backed by a five-year warranty which gives it longevity and you peace of mind.

Editorial standards