Oct 15, 2014
Health tools with a mobile component are especially compelling, and as such, we jumped at an opportunity to check out the Withings Smart Body Connected Scale.
The black (white is an option) review unit Withings sent us is pretty much ready to go. At first glance, the first thing that comes to mind is that somehow, the product pictures do not do it justice. It looks like a chiseled dark colored slab. frankly, it look dashing, managing to be modern without being Jetson-silly. The full dark look is accented, and the silver center piece highlights the whole package. The expected display is digital in nature, and still manages to effect art. The battery compartment is at the bottom of the unit, and there is a tab preventing the batteries from cycling; beneath that are two buttons for syncing and selecting units. It looks like a “traditional” scale, but clearly wants people to know it has an extra trick or two up its sleeve. Officially, it comes in at 12.8 x 12.8 x 0.90 inches and 4.62 lbs
The review (retail) box also contained four optional carpet feet which help prop the unit off the floor/ground, and it comes with the four AAA batteries needed to power the unit, and documentation.
This thing begs to be used. Removing the tab allows the unit to get power, and this is confirmed by the welcome display. Getting on it gets it going, and it immediately starts measurements, but a big part of the health solution is the Withings Health Mate companion app; the app connects bluetooth-enabled Android devices seamlessly to compatible Withings products, and the Smart Body Analyzer is foremost on the list. Pairing (via Bluetooth) is done via the sync button on the bottom of the unit. The app prompts for readings and recordings; based off of profile information (like height and age), it measures weight and heart rate, computes BMI, gauges air quality, and otherwise tracks these metrics over time.
The app is the window to these results, and presents them in easy to understand formats, most notably graphs. Overall, the app is bright, with a nice design feel, allowing color to rebound off the white background. The app allows interface with other programs, like RunKeepr, BodyMedia and MyFitnessPal; it imports the stats from these apps. The app also collates data from other connected Withings products, and can be used for multiple people, and even can collect data in guest mode. Data can also be shared from the app, and with a Withings account, one can access data on the web.
I especially like the automatic user recognition, and the advertised four sensors are fantastic in practice.
It gets streaky fast, and that is almost to be expected with such a glossy finish. Data can only be sent singly; I would love the ability to send stuff in batches or ranges.
When it comes to accessories that enhance living, it’s hard to find better stuff on the market than this one. It works well, really partners with one health-wise and looks good doing it.