Review of the Withings ScanWatch 2 and Light: A Hybrid Watch Solution for the Tech-Weary

In recent times, there has been an increase in individuals inquiring about uncomplicated yet fashionable smartwatches. Focus on simple. Away with extravagant health and training characteristics! Forget about the third-party applications! All they desire is a device that appears attractive, has fundamental tracking, and doesn’t require regular charging. Everything else — the Apple Watches, the Samsung Galaxy Watches, the Pixel Watches — arrives with too many decorations. Eventually, the daily charging becomes tiresome, and these pricey watches eventually gather dust in a drawer.

If that’s your fancy, the $349.95 Withings ScanWatch 2 or the $249.95 ScanWatch Light is worth a look.

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When I wore these outside, I got stopped a lot by friends, family, co-workers, and the occasional stranger. “That looks really nice,” they all said. “Where did you get it?” That rarely happens.

Hybrid smartwatches like these are essentially dressier, incognito versions of yesteryear’s fitness bands stuffed inside an analog watch. Recently, on Threads, I saw a spirited discourse about whether you should wear an Apple Watch to a fancy dinner. Well, if you wore one to a wedding, only the eagle-eyed would notice that it’s a smartwatch.

The ScanWatch 2 is elegant, while the Light is sporty. A lot of it boils down to color and materials. The ScanWatch 2 has sapphire crystal and an extra dial for tracking step goal progress. It also opts for neutral colors like Withings’ classic white or black faces. (There’s also a fetching navy option.) The Light opts for Gorilla glass and comes in a fun minty green or a pale blue in addition to the black and white versions. Both have stainless steel cases in either silver or rose gold, with plenty of strap options. Outside of design, the ScanWatch 2 has more sensors and health tracking features, while the Light is a pared-down version that’s $100 cheaper.

I’d describe my style as “aggressively casual,” but neither watch stuck out like a sore thumb with plaids, band T-shirts, and jeans. Both were also easy to dress up for occasions when I had to look like a put-together adult.

I have small wrists, but the 37mm Light was just the right size — and comically tiny whenever I’d compare it to the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra 2 on my other arm. The 38mm ScanWatch 2 was similar in feel, though that also comes in a larger 42mm model. These are on the smaller side for smartwatches, so if you want something bigger, they might not fit the bill.

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