Withings Scanwatch: why I decided to keep it
TLDR: The hybrid smartwatch that checks all the boxes for me, but my case might not be everyone’s cup of tea: I wanted more noticeable notifications/alarm and more usable timer functions.
Over the last few years, I used quite a few fitness trackers and smartwatches. For me, it started with Jawbone Up. Then I tried Xiaomi Mi Band, Pebble Time, Samsung Gear S2, and Huawei Watch. Once I got an iPhone, I was curious to try Apple Watch and bought the newest available at the time — the third-gen. I had it for a year and upgraded to the fourth as soon as could get one where I live. Most recently, I got tired of charging the smartwatch every other day and wanted to move onto something simpler (or dumber) that does not look like a small computer on the wrist. Thus, I started trying different hybrid smartwatches. I got my hands on Withings HR Sport, Fossil Hybrid HR Collider, and even more obscure hybrid smartwatches such as Mondaine Helvetica Bold and Alpina Seastrong Horological.
In the end, up until recently, my main smartwatch of choice was Withings HR Sport. It almost perfectly fits my needs: looks like a real watch except for a small round screen in a form of a watch complication, holds the battery for about a month even with regular exercises and sleep tracking using an HR sensor, very thin and light, a relatively pleasant design, capable of fitness-tracking my soccer sessions. However, it had two drawbacks that I hoped the next-gen product would address. Now I explain why I intend to keep the newly purchased (about a couple of weeks ago) Withings Scanwatch to replace my HR Sport.
After using Withings HR Sport for a good year or so, my two main gripes with HR Sport were the very weak vibration engine and a finicky (read: virtually unusable) timer function. I had to push the side button multiple times before I even get to the timer function menu, then I would have to set the timer in 30-sec increments per push of the button. Silent alarms of which I can only set three, which remain true on the Scanwatch by the way, were not noticeable enough to wake me up in the morning. I have to point that I am a relatively light sleeper and it is harder for me to fall asleep than to wake up. Nonetheless, I found that alarm vibrations on the Scanwatch were pronounced enough for me to wake up. Check and let’s move onto the next point.
On my smartwatches, I use the timer function as an alarm for naps or when I make coffee. I got used to setting a timer directly from the Apple Watches. However, that was not an available function back when I got HR Sport. Such function was added later on but still, the performance was subpar as I described above. I could have used the smartwatch map on my phone but I usually set all three available alarms for the mornings and I’d like to set a few-minute timer directly from my watch. As my naps are usually short I would not need all three alarms. But having a rotating crown on the Scanwatch solves that issue for me. It works effortlessly as the whole navigation across the function menus on the watch when using the rotating crown. Another check.