May 27, 2022

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Quiz: Withings Horizon – Digi.no

There are many smartwatches that can be bought, and Norwegians are buying them at a rapid pace. Total smartwatch sales increased from 400,000 in 2017 to 700,000 last year. Moreover, the sale of smart bracelets comes in approximately this size. This means that most people now carry some digital gadget, although some mechanics refuse to allow their wrist to be digitized.

Withings owned by Nokia is a smartwatch, but it’s not like the others. It is also a physical analog watch that behaves like a mechanical watch. The difference may be that these scorpions always display exactly the right time, which you get from the mobile phone to which they are connected.

The watch’s actual intelligence comes from connecting to the mobile app and the fact that the watch has sensors on the back and a small round OLED display on the top of the hands. Not a color screen, exactly, but one that can display numbers and graphics as white pixels when needed or when the crown is clicked.

Same analog and digital movements


Horizon has a very long battery life for a smartwatch Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

It seems that all Withings watches are built on the same electromechanical last method. Based on it, they made many different models with different looks. What sets it all apart is the very long battery life. From 25 days to a year. But with 1 year you don’t get a screen, and the sensors only turn on when the crown is pressed.

The latest addition to the clan is ScanWatch Horizon. A very sturdy looking dive watch. We don’t think many people will choose this when they go diving, but it has the look and is water resistant to 100 metres. This should be more than enough for swimming and swimming. Swimming is, of course, one form of exercise measured by a watch.

The build quality appears to be impressively good, with stainless steel and flat sapphire glass that resists scratches well.


Tools to shorten or lengthen the steel belt are included. Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

The Horizon comes with a steel strap and a polymer strap. To adjust the steel strap, additional links and tools are included that facilitate lengthening or shortening of the strap. Small hammer, spindle and belt holder.

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Huge battery life

The specified battery life on this model is 30 days. It’s really cool compared to watches from Samsung and Apple, which I prefer to stop at the charger once a day.

Another factor that stands out on the delicious scale is the physical hands. They are always there when you look at the watch without having to do a pushup to get the light on the screen. We’ve been using the watch for a while as of this writing, and it still says the battery is 100 percent charged. This leads us to assume that 30 days is a lower number and that it could actually go much further between shipments. Battery life probably has a lot to do with active use of the screen and clock functions.

Long battery life also means you don’t have to have a consistent charging routine. You can wear it around the clock for a month. Most people take enough of their smartwatch at night to charge it. Then sleep cannot be measured.

three hands

What you don’t get is seconds. There is no other hand, and the display also shows only minutes. In theory, you can see the position of the hands between two minutes, but they are too small to be particularly accurate. Then you can ask yourself how often you need a second precision on your wrist. Have it on your mobile phone if needed.


You can adjust the training model by pressing the crown and twisting forward. The lower indicator shows how far you have traveled after the step you selected in the app Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

You can start more than 30 exercises from the screen on the watch, and you can give permission to use GPS data from your phone. This means that it is very good for regular training. And of course to the same basic function: counting steps. When you set a goal for the number of steps in the app, say 10,000 per day, you will see the number when you turn the crown a few degrees forward on the digital display.

But since this is the primary exercise many of us do during the day, the watch uses a separate pointer for this. What looks like a second hand is actually a goal achievement counter. It’s 100 percent of the goal you set in the app. If you walk 10,000 steps, the hand moves from 0 to 100 percent. If you go any further, you’ll start a new round, but you’ll probably keep going.

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Our first thought about such an analog meter was that it wasn’t necessary, but eventually we got used to it and thought it was smart and practical.

To look at the screen, eg in the dark to tell the time, move the hands apart if they are above the screen. He is surprisingly smart. Then you get the time and date.

The hands will also move when the time zone is changed. Of course, every smartwatch does this, but not a mechanical watch, which this watch is similar to.


You get more detailed information about exercise, health and sleep on the phone.

clicking sound

The watch is equipped with a rotating ring with 120 rather difficult clicks. This does not move easily. The swivel ring is probably stiffer for those who stay above water, but there are some uses for those who insist on tipping over on it.

Like all smartwatches, Withings has an app. In an analog watch with a very small digital screen, you become more dependent on going into the phone for details.

sleep measures

Sleep monitoring has become an essential feature of all smartwatches. this too. When you wake up, you can look at what the night was like. You can easily become paranoid about it if the clock says you had a little bad sleep. Unfortunately, sleep monitoring is not very good. Some nights, the clock loses long stretches of time in which we know we slept. On the other nights, the sleep pattern matched the rest experience.

On the other hand, the heart rate seems to be fairly accurate. We’ve compared the heart rate to other smartwatches and to a spin bike with a built-in hand-to-hand scale, and the agreement is great.

The same applies to oxygen saturation. The watch looks quite accurate and compatible with other smart watches. We suppose that not everyone inhabiting the plains is exactly in the same direction.

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The watch also takes electrocardiograms that can detect heart fibrillation. These measurements on different watch brands are usually quite accurate. But to determine if the watch can really detect this, it “needs” a bout of blinking. Fortunately, we were unable to test it any other way than the watch determined that there was no flicker.

If you need to look at the watch at night, you can of course hold the crown so that the OLED display lights up. But since this is also an analog watch with large white hands and dots every 5 minutes, it is luminous. It glows dimly in the dark without drawing power as a normal smartwatch does if the screen is always on.

Not a cheap watch

Then there was the price. This watch is significantly more expensive than other watches from Withings with the same equipment and without the same diving features and the rugged Omega-inspired case. You get a reasonable variant of 1,879 crowns, while the Horizon costs 5,290 crowns. It’s a good jump, but it does include a more solid stainless steel case and sapphire crystal. And not least a very good look.

If you prefer the original Omega Seamaster, you will get a watch that keeps water to a depth of 300 metres. 200m extra, for the very few who enjoy such a deep dive. But you don’t get smart features, and you don’t get the time otherwise in a split second twice a day. Yes, and then you have to come up with more than 11 times Kroner. We take someone’s preference for granted. But for the rest of us, the Horizon is a better buy.

miss

What we mainly miss about the Horizon is a microphone and speaker. It might shake, but that’s it. Thus, you cannot make hourly calls when you are away from the phone. Not a big deal, but something we’ve taken advantage of many times with other smartwatches. This also means that it only works as an alarm by vibrating the wrist. Not everyone wakes up from it. But most people use their cell phones, so it’s not a big deal either.

We also miss the “find phone” function. It should be possible to achieve this in a future software upgrade.






Plus

minus

Beautiful with analog hands Limited smart options.
Great battery life
Small screen but very clear
good sensor package

Graphics score 9 out of 10 on the digi.no test.