If you don’t want a smartwatch but you do want a smart watch, then Withings is probably your best option. It’s spent the last decade producing classy hybrids which resemble old-fashioned Swiss watches to the untrained eye. Three years after launching the ScanWatch, the company is ready to show off its follow-up, the ScanWatch 2. At the same time, it’s also announcing the ScanWatch Light, a more wallet-friendly version that is really not much to write home about.
ScanWatch 2 is the most iterative of upgrades, with a new temperature sensor which could identify the early signs of infection. The rest of the sensors have been improved for greater accuracy and better power efficiency, but that’s about it on the hardware front. The only other change is that people can track their menstrual cycle by inputting the data to their wrist. That will, after a few months, start offering predictions but it’s surprising this doesn’t work in tandem with the temperature tracking.
At first blush, it doesn’t look as if much has changed in the case or face designs either, with the same options from the first generation on show here. There’s a 38mm or 42mm body with a pick of a thick or thin bezel and lugs attached to a black or white face in the steel bodies. You’ll get the choice of a stone or dark blue face and band combo with the rose gold variations, same as before. It’s a shame that we didn’t get a Horizon version – which puts the same internals in a diver’s watch body – at the same time, but I’m sure that’ll come next year.
In Withings’ defense, there isn’t much it could add to the ScanWatch that it didn’t already have. A few years back, I explained there are only so many pieces of data the laws of physics and biology can monitor from the wrist. Much as I could damn the ScanWatch 2 for a dearth of new features, it’s not Withings’ fault it did such a good job last time out. Let’s not forget its elegant analog and digital subdials, the depth and quality of its tracking and the 30-day battery life. Not to mention Health Mate, which remains the preeminent fitness-tracking platform in its class.