Withings ScanWatch Nova Review: The Ultimate Dive-Style Hybrid Watch Gets Even Better

The Lowdown

The Withings ScanWatch Nova offers a comprehensive suite of health-tracking features in an elegant and durable package. Whether you’re monitoring your heart health, sleep patterns, or activity levels, it will be a reliable and stylish companion for your wellness journey.

Overall
4.8

Pros

  • The Withings  ScanWatch Nova looks like a classic diving watch, but it’s very smart
  • Battery life is insanely good
  • FDA-approved and clinically validated ECG capable of detecting signs of AFib or irregular heartbeat rhythms
  • Medical-grade oximeter for accurate SpO2 measurements
  • Easy setup through the Withings Health Mate app
  • Slightly smaller and lighter than the ScanWatch Horizon
  • Addition of better heart sensors and 24/7 temperature tracking feature to monitor baseline fluctuations in your body temperature

Cons

  • Be careful with the cycle-tracking features if you are capable of becoming pregnant
  • The ScanWatch Nova only comes with a 2-year warranty while the ScanWatch Horizon comes with a 5-year warranty

In 2022, I reviewed the Withings ScanWatch Horizon. I called it the perfect combination of the chunky stainless diving-style watches that I love with the added benefit of accurate, advanced health-metrics tracking that even the most expensive diving-style watches can’t provide. Two years later, the Horizon has been refreshed as the Withings ScanWatch Nova. As you’ll see, the Nova is a very handsome hybrid smartwatch that gathers accurate health-tracking metrics while looking stylish. But, of course, Withings has added even more features to make the latest luxury ScanWatch even more compelling.

The author's husband wearing the Withings ScanWatch Nova.

I adore a weighty stainless steel bold dive-style watch design, and for years, I sported a 40mm Rolex GMT II. As much as I wanted the GMT II to be my “forever watch,” it honestly didn’t do more than look impressive on my wrist and make me a target for thieves when traveling.

I’ve been a longtime fan of Withings hybrid smartwatches, returning to the original Activité; I appreciate how they looked like a nice analog watch but added the benefit of health tracking.

Over time, I found myself leaving the Rolex parked on its automatic watch winder more and more often, instead wearing a Withings for its sleep and step tracking.

Withings introduced the ScanWatch line at CES 2020 in 38mm and 42mm sizes. Like the previous Withings HR hybrid smartwatches, ScanWatch was a sleek wearable that automatically tracked my steps, workouts, sleep, and heart rate. It displayed this information on a round LCD under the 12 o’clock on the watch’s face.

ScanWatch also boasted an FDA-certified ECG and a medical-grade oximeter and gave insights into the gathered metrics through the Withings Health Mate app. I liked that it also came in larger sizes than any of the Withings watches before, and it quickly became the watch I wore every day.

I eventually sold my Rolex because I figured it was ridiculous to own something so expensive if I would never wear it. I sure did miss its chunky stainless style, though.

The 100-meter capable Withings ScanWatch Horizon, announced in September 2021, caught my eye because it was a special edition that paid tribute to luxury dive watches like the Rolex Submariner, but it came loaded with the same state-of-the-art health-tracking technology I had come to enjoy.

The rest, as they say, is history (or, in this case, herstory).

The author wearing the Withings ScanWatch Horizon.

Besides the slightly smaller size and slightly lighter weight, the Withings ScanWatch Nova also includes a TempTech24/7 module technology for baseline body temperature fluctuations and an improved heart rate monitor.

Here are the similarities and differences between the two models I’ve identified.

2024 Withings ScanWatch Nova 2022 Withings ScanWatch Horizon
Case Size 42 mm 43 mm
Case Thickness 12.8 mm 13.28 mm
Watch Weight 63 grams/2.22 ounces without a wristband

The added weight of the stainless wristband depends upon the number of links used.

72 grams/2.54 ounces without a wristband

The added weight of the stainless wristband depends upon the number of links used.

 Materials
  • Stainless steel case and wristband
  • Ceramic and stainless steel rotating bezel
  • Anti-reflective sapphire glass
  • Stainless steel crown
  • Laser-engraved markings
  • Luminova hollow watch hands
  • Raised indices
  • Stainless steel case and wristband
  • Rotating stainless steel bezel
  • Sunray brass dial with applied stainless steel indexes with luminous coating
  • Brass hands with luminous coating
    Sapphire glass
Unidirectional Bezel Colors
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Black (appears to be sold out on the Withings site)
  • Blue
  • Green
Display
  • 0.63″ Hi”h-resolution grayscale OLED display
  • 14504 px, 282 PPI
PMOLED display
24/7 Temperature Tracking
  • Baseline variation of temperature day & night
  • Temperature zones during a workout
  • Awake temperature zones
  • Recovery temperature after a workout
N/A
Heart Health
  • ECG – AFib detection
  • Daily heart rate
  • Overnight heart rate
  • High & low heart rate notifications
  • Overnight heart rate variability
  • ECG
  • Daily heart rate
  • Overnight heart rate
  • High & low heart rate notifications
  • Overnight heart rate variability
Sleep Parameters
  • Sleep Quality Score
  • Sleep stages (deep, light)
  • Sleep duration
  • Interruptions
  • Regularity
  • Sleep Quality Score
  • Sleep stages (deep, light)
  • Sleep duration
  • Interruptions
  • Regularity
Respiratory Insights
  • Blood oxygen levels: on-demand & nighttime average
  • Respiratory rate
  • Breathing disturbances tracking
  • Blood oxygen levels: on-demand & nighttime average
  • Respiratory rate
  • Breathing disturbances tracking

Activity Tracking

  • Heart rate zones during a workout
  • Recovery HR after a workout
  • Fitness Level via VO2 max estimation
  • Active minutes
  • Steps
  • Calories burned
  • Connected GPS: distance, pace & elevation
  • Elevation: meters & floors
  • Heart rate zones during a workout
  • Recovery HR after a workout
  • Fitness Level via VO2 max estimation
  • Active minutes
  • Steps
  • Calories burned
  • Connected GPS: distance, pace & elevation
  • Elevation: meters & floors

Cycle Tracking

  • Cycle phases
  • Period log
  • Cycle length
  • Cycle symptoms log
  • Period flow log
  • Calories burned
  • Mood & feelings log
  • Symptoms & flow trends
N/A
Sensors
  • TempTech24/7 Module
  • High Dynamic Range Accelerometer
  • Multi-wavelength PPG 16 channels
  • Altimeter
  • Exclusive multi-wavelength PPG heart rate/SpO2 sensor
  • Stainless steel electrodes
  • High-precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer
Water Resistance 10ATM 10ATM
Battery 
  • Up to 30-day battery life
  • Charging time: 2 hours
  • Docking station (USB-C compatible)
  • Up to 30-day battery life
  • Approximately 2 hours to 100%. About 1 hour to 80%
  • Docking station (USB-A compatible)
  • +20 additional days in power reserve mode (time and activity tracking only)
Price $599.95 $499.95
Warranty 2-year warranty 5-year warranty

So, with that, let’s dive in.

Haha, pun totally intended.

Unboxing the Withings ScanWatch Nova

The box includes the SacanWatch Nova, an Oyster wristband, a fluoroelastomer (FKM) wristband that matches your chosen watch’s display, a USB-C compatible docking station, a USB-C to USB-A cable, a wristband toolkit, a quick installation guide, and a product guide.

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To fit the stainless bracelet to your wrist, you’ll use the included wristband toolkit, which consists of a hammer, pin punch, and holder.

Withings ScanWatch Nova Review: The Ultimate Dive-Style Hybrid Watch Gets Even Better

I should mention that Kev used to wear a Rolex Sea Dweller until he inherited my original 42mm Withings ScanWatch. As a result, he also sold his Rolex because he was never wearing it anymore, but he was always quick to tell me that he would be happy to upgrade to my ScanWatch Horizon when I moved on to something else since he also prefers a dive-watch style.

Since I’m unwilling to give up my green ScanWatch Horizon, we sized this black ScanWatch Nova to fit Kev’s wrist; the included kit makes this easy.

The author's husband wearing the Withings ScanWatch Nova.

The ScanWatch Nova’s Design

Like the ScanWatch Horizon, the Withings ScanWatch Nova looks like a high-end dive-style classic at first glance.

It’s a chunky yet refined stainless steel case and wristband, with a unidirectional ceramic and stainless-steel rotating bezel with laser-engraved markings, laser-engraved markings, raised indices to mark the time, Luminova hollow watch hands, anti-reflective sapphire glass, and a stainless steel crown.

It’s a gorgeous watch, in other words.

Front view of the Withings ScanWatch Nova.

Like the Horizon, the ScanWatch Nova’s bezel has integrated electrodes for on-demand ECG and SpO2 measurements.

Bottom view of the ScanWatch Nova

There is an ECG electrode under the crown on the watch’s right side.

The metal band has two quick-release pins on each end that connect with the lugs, so removing the stainless wristband and installing the FKM strap is easily done if you prefer to wear it while working out or swimming.

On the back of the ScanWatch Nova is a slightly protruding module that holds the TempTech24/7, heart rate, ECG, and SPO2 sensors.

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Here’s a view of the left side of the watch.

Withings ScanWatch Nova Review: The Ultimate Dive-Style Hybrid Watch Gets Even Better

The crown can be pressed to display the date and time on the OLED display; when pressed, the watch hands will conveniently move to the 10 and 2 positions to allow an unobstructed view.

Time showing on the Withings ScanWatch Nova's OLED display.

Once you’ve pressed the crown, you can roll it to scroll through the on-display menu and features. Then, you’ll press the crown again when you’re ready to make a selection or activate a measurement. You can customize what the watch displays through the Withings Health Mate app.

It’s very simple and intuitive to operate.

The Withings Health Mate App

The Withings Health Mate app and the ScanWatch Nova are compatible with both iOS and Android, making it a great option for users of either platform.

Withings Health Mate App Screenshot of the Main screen.

I covered setting up the Withings Health Mate App extensively in my ScanWatch Horizon Review, and all the same functionality is still there, but you get a few new features.

The newest feature is the 24/7 temperature tracking feature, which monitors baseline fluctuations in your body temperature throughout the day and night; Withings says it can potentially signal the onset of illness or other health issues.

Withings Health Mate App Screenshot of temperature tracking.

The ScanWatch Nova provides logs for cycle phases, symptoms, flow, and mood trends in the app, making it useful for those interested in menstrual cycle tracking. Of course, there is a (huge) caveat.

As I mentioned in my OnePlus Watch 2 review, I would encourage anyone who is capable of becoming pregnant and is using a wearable offering a temperature or period tracking feature — especially those who live in a state that has banned and/or criminalized abortion  — to turn that function off.

Even if you are actively trying to become pregnant, a miscarriage can lead to a criminal inquiry.

In [Pregancy Justice’s] last year’s report, they found there were more than 1,300 cases where pregnancy, including pregnancy loss, was used in a criminal investigation or prosecution. That was from 2006 to June of 2022, the month that Roe v. Wade was overturned. – Amna Nawaz

I won’t get on my soapbox again to list all the dangers of tracking your cycles if you’re able to get pregnant, but please be aware of the possible danger if you ultimately decide to use the app’s menstrual cycle tracking feature.

For heart health aficionados, the ScanWatch Nova offers ECG for AFib detection, daily and overnight heart rate monitoring, and notifications for high and low heart rates. Plus, it even tracks heart rate variability overnight. You can also share your health reports directly with your doctor through the HealthMate app.

Other features, such as notifications for irregular heart rhythms and tracking of respiratory rates, are slated for release later this year.

Withings Health Mate App Heart Rate

Sleep tracking is comprehensive, offering insights into sleep quality, duration, interruptions, and regularity. It assigns a Sleep Quality Score to give you a snapshot of your night’s sleep.

Withings Health App Sleep Quality.

Activity tracking covers over 40 activities and automatically recognizes them. You can monitor your fitness level with heart rate zones, and later this year, you’ll be able to estimate your VO2 max. The connected GPS feature tracks your distance, pace, and elevation during workouts.

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When you buy the ScanWatch Nova, you have the option of getting three months of Withings+ for free with a $9.95 monthly subscription or three months free with a $90.95 yearly subscription. You can also opt to join at any time through the Health Mate app without the three-month free option.

Withings+ is a health improvement service that harnesses insights from all your devices, providing targeted guidance based on the data you track. It offers access to your Health Improvement Score, offering a comprehensive view of your health status.

I know, I know, yet another subscription service, but this one might be helpful if you are using your watch as part of a fitness or weight loss plan.

Withings+ offers daily missions and exclusive content to help you build sustainable, healthy habits. Advanced Insights help you to understand the relationship between your actions and data.

With a complete health assessment, Withings+ considers all your data to help you identify areas for improvement and effectively target your efforts. At the same time, next-level insights enable you to understand how your actions influence your health journey, ensuring each step leads to better health outcomes.

You’ll get daily guidance, including missions and recommendations, to support cultivating long-term healthy habits. Your progress is tracked, and areas for improvement are highlighted, allowing for adjustments to increase your health score over time.

With customizable goals and daily missions, you can actively work towards better health outcomes. Milestones and achievements are tracked to keep you motivated. You’ll also get exclusive health content, including recipes, workouts, and educational articles that cater to your goals and preferences and offer tailored guidance.

Finally, Live HR tracking is enabled during workouts, and you get access to targeted health data, which enhances your overall health management experience.

Neither Kev nor I have subscribed, but the option is there should we decide it would be beneficial. But honestly, I feel like the Health Mate app does a great job on its own.

Should You Buy the Withings ScanWatch Nova?

When reviewing the latest iteration of any gadget or smartphone, I often find myself saying that the newest version is not necessarily an upgrade aimed at those who already own the device’s predecessor. Rather, it’s more for those upgrading from devices two generations or more behind.

So, understand where I’m coming from when I say that if you own the Withings ScanWatch Horizon, the Nova may not be a compelling enough upgrade unless you like the lighter weight, slightly smaller size, and 24/7 Temperature Tracking.

In fact, the ScanWatch Horizon is also still available for $100 less than the Nova. Horizon offers an additional three years of warranty, so you have options if you want a divers-style watch with health tracking capabilities.

The author's husband wearing the Withings ScanWatch Nova.

The coolest cat in Vegas!

But if you’re using some other smartwatch or you’ve been looking for something that might replace your traditional dive-style watch, either the ScanWatch Horizon or the new ScanWatch Nova could be a compelling upgrade, depending upon which has the features that make the most sense to you.

I asked Kev if he had any complaints or criticisms about the ScanWatch Nova, and he said that he likes the look, weight, and band; it looks great in every situation, and he doesn’t feel like he needs any other watch! I asked if he regrets selling his Rolex, and his reply was a snappy, “NOPE!”

The Withings ScanWatch Nova offers an elegant and durable package with a comprehensive suite of health-tracking features. Whether you’re monitoring your heart health, sleep patterns, or activity levels, it will be a reliable and stylish companion for your wellness journey.

The Withings ScanWatch Nova retails for $599.95; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: The Withings  ScanWatch Nova looks like a classic diving watch, but it’s smart; Battery life is insanely good; FDA-approved and clinically validated ECG capable of detecting signs of AFib or irregular heartbeat rhythms; Medical-grade oximeter for accurate SpO2 measurements; Easy setup through the excellent Withings Health Mate app; Slightly smaller and lighter than the ScanWatch Horizon; Addition of better heart sensors and 24/7 temperature tracking feature to monitor baseline fluctuations in your body temperature

What Needs Improvement: Be careful with the cycle-tracking features if you are capable of becoming pregnant; The ScanWatch Nova only comes with a 2-year warranty, while the ScanWatch Horizon comes with a 5-year warranty

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

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