Skip to main content

The Withings ScanWatch can spot an often-undiagnosed and very serious condition

This story is part of our continuing coverage of CES 2020, including tech and gadgets from the showroom floor.

“Eighty percent of the people with sleep apnea, don’t know they have sleep apnea,” a Withings representative told Digital Trends when we took a good look at the new Withings ScanWatch at CES 2020. When that many people are afflicted by a condition that has the potential not just to drastically lower the quality of life, but in the worst-case scenario, increase the likelihood of serious and life-threatening medical conditions, a neat device to help identify problems is very welcome.

Identifying sleep apnea using the Withings is enabled by the new SpO2 sensor on the back of the watch, which measures blood oxygen saturation during sleep. Low blood oxygen is a tell-tale sign of sleep apnea and other cardiorespiratory problems. When it notices irregularities, data is collated and can be sent as a document to your medical professional for further analysis.

The Withings ScanWatch was selected by our editors as the best product in the Health & Wellness category at CES 2020. Check out more of our Top Tech of CES Award winners.
Best of CES 2020 Health Wellness
CES 2020

While the ScanWatch isn’t going to conclusively give you a diagnosis, it will alert you to the possibility of a problem, and this is very important. Most of the time, people who eventually identify they suffer from sleep apnea understood only after lengthy and invasive overnight visits to clinics. Being able to recognize possible problems before checking with a doctor, using only a device on your wrist, is a big step forward.

Bigger screen, more features

The SpO2 sensor is the main new technical feature that will attract people to the ScanWatch, the latest generation of hybrid smartwatch from the popular Withings brand, but it’s not the only new feature on board. The small plastic AMOLED (PMOLED) screen has been enlarged slightly over previous models, and has a greater pixel density, to make notifications and information easier to read. It’s very bright, the animations are smooth, and you can read text and data at a glance. The hybrid watch connects to either Android or iOS phones using Withings app, and delivers notifications as well as health and fitness data.1

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Withings hasn’t changed the look of the ScanWatch drastically otherwise. This isn’t a bad thing. They have an instantly recognizable design, which falls on the traditional watch style side rather than the smartwatch side, and there are two different sizes to suit different wrists. The larger 42mm version has a thicker bezel and chunkier horns for a more masculine look. The smaller 38mm ScanWatch’s minimalist bezel and pastel-colored straps will appeal to everyone. The version which caught our eye had a blue fabric strap, which minimized the visual size of the larger model, for a great combination. It’s comfortable, light, and attractive when strapped onto your wrist.

What else? The ScanWatch’s other highlight is its ability to monitor irregular heartbeat and atrial fibrillation. It periodically reads your heart rate and prompts you when it notices anything unusual, much like the Apple Watch. When that happens, the ScanWatch also nudges you to calculate your electrocardiogram reading, which involves placing two fingers to the side bezels for 30 seconds. Additionally, the ScanWatch tracks fitness and sleep, provides notifications from your phone, and has a heart rate sensor on the back.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The other advantage of the ScanWatch’s lack of a full touchscreen is the battery life. it will last for about 30 days before it needs a recharge, which is excellent compared to most full-featured smartwatches. A second subdial on the face shows both battery life remaining and progress towards your daily step goal.

Price and availability

With its stylish, unobtrusive, suitable-for-all design, and its potentially life-changing new technology, the Withings ScanWatch is one of the most complete health-focused smartwatches you can buy. Those looking for a more fitness-focused wearable will find more value in other models, including the Apple Watch; but anyone with concerns over heart health — whether awake or asleep — should be taking a very close look at the ScanWatch. It will be available in the next few months, and cost $250 for the 38mm model and $300 for the 42mm version.

Follow our live blog for more CES news and announcements.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Fitbit Sense
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 smartwatch, worn on a person's wrist.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is Samsung's take on a modern, hi-tech wearable that doesn't imitate an old-school analog wristwatch. It eschews the classic design of its predecessors for a sleeker, more streamlined look, while also providing some excellent hardware and features. These include a Super AMOLED touchscreen, 16GB of internal storage, generous battery life, and some great health-tracking software.

It's certainly one of the best smartwatches out there, but in a market saturated by Apple Watches and various Android equivalents, it certainly isn't without competitors. One of these is the Fitbit Sense, which in 2020 emerged to offer a premium version of the core Fitbit experience, replete with an ECG sensor, a choice of virtual assistants, and a wealth of fitness features.

Read more
This $4,000 titanium beauty is the ultimate square G-Shock
The G-Shock MRG-B5000B.

Do you want the very best Casio offers in manufacturing, design, and technology from your new G-Shock, all wrapped up in that highly recognizable square case? In other words, the ultimate version of a truly classic G-Shock watch? If so, the new MRG-B5000B is exactly the model you will want, provided cost is no object. We’ve been wearing it.
What makes MR-G so special?
Although Casio is best known for tough watches that won’t break the bank, Casio also has decades of watchmaking experience, and it showcases its talents most effectively in its highly exclusive MR-G family of watches. These models, its most luxurious, are assembled by hand on Casio’s Premium Production Line located in the Yamagata factory in Japan, where only the company’s most experienced, specially certified technicians work on the top MT-G and MR-G models.

The square G-Shock is one of the most popular models, having been around since the G-Shock brand first started in the early 1980s, and bringing it to the luxury MR-G range is going to see a lot of people reaching for their wallets. What makes it so special? It’s the first time the classic, beloved square G-Shock has been given the MR-G treatment, with most other MR-G models over the past few years featuring an analog dial. There's a huge section of an already large fan base waiting for this.

Read more
Fitbit recalls Ionic smartwatch after several burn reports
best walmart deals on apple watch garmin and fitbit ionic smartwatch adidas edition ice gray silver

Fitbit Ionic smartwatch users need to stop using their devices right now. The company has recalled its Ionic wearable after over 150 reports of the watch’s lithium-ion battery overheating, and 78 reports of burn injuries to the users. It will offer a refund of $299 to the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch users who return the device.

Fitbit has received at least 115 reports in the United States and over 50 reports internationally about the Ionic smartwatch's battery overheating. It is recalling the device as there are two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns out of the 78 total burn injuries report.

Read more