It seems like every week there’s a new fitness tracking device, doesn’t it? Personally I like many of them, but my favorite fitness tracker thus far is a scale. More precisely, it’s a smart scale. It’s called the Withings Smart Body Analyzer ($149.95) and it’s a one-stop shop for tracking one’s health that looks as good as the you it’s helping to create. It also plays well with the Withings Pulse O2 wrist-worn fitness tracker which I recently reviewed.
All scales track weight, that’s a given. It’s just that this Withings smart scale does it in style, with accuracy, a handful of useful additional features and helps you keep track of your health data via an app connection.
As I’m prone to do, I’ll talk design right off the bat because who wants something ugly sitting around the house? Not me.
This scale is practically a work of art. It’s sleek and modern and—the sign of truly great gadgets—it’s an item you want to leave sitting out in plain view. The glass top of the scale is magnitudes nicer than the cheap plastic scales you might be used to.
The Smart Body Analyzer has a really nice screen up near the top. Once your belly shrinks down enough to look toward your toes, you’ll see text and icons light up in an excellent blue hue. I love how the screen tells you what it’s doing via animations.
As far as grabbing a measurement goes, simply step onto the scale and let it grab your measurements in this order: weight (it automatically recognizes different users at this point), fat mass, heart rate and air quality. It takes a bit longer than jumping onto a “dumb” scale, but the benefits are well worth a few extra seconds.
I find it pretty awesome that the scale can grab your heart rate and the air quality. These are two nice additions to the feature set that give you some extra bang for your buck on top of the ability to really take control of your weight and fat data.
I think the idea of the smart scale has some interesting implications. In a way, it could be used as a standalone fitness tracker (an alternative to those worn on the wrist, if not an unlikely one). While it doesn’t track metrics like steps taken, calories burned or distance traveled during the day, it does track the bottom line: your weight and fat measurements.
Following this line of thinking, a person could stay on top of their health without having to wear a device around on their wrist or clipped to their pants or shirt (or hidden in a pocket). Additionally, there would be no need to install battery-sapping fitness tracking apps. An interesting thought, for sure. If I didn’t enjoy having so many devices on and around me all the time, it’s the route I would take for sure.
Speaking of apps, the companion app from Withings (dubbed Health Mate) is where everything comes together. It’s like having Google Analytics for your health. There’s something powerful about seeing your own health trends on a chart. It’s actionable information that will absolutely help you live better.
Think about it—it would be really hard to keep doing something that you could see was having a negative impact on yourself. When it feels like your habits aren’t doing much for you immediately (either good or bad) simply because they take so long and need to be compounded to see any real change, the Withings app puts the data you need right in front of your face.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the Smart Body Analyzer works great in conjunction with Withing’s other fitness tracker: the Withings Pulse O2 (and I’m sure it will work great with the upcoming Swiss-watch inspired Activité). The fitness tracker adds in one crucial component: a sleep tracker.
This smart gives you two wireless options: connective over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It’s compatible with iOS or Android devices and integrates with a number of popular apps including RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. Super nerds can enjoy IFTTT integration.
When it all adds up, it’s quite impressive what you are empowered to track using the Withings smart scale system. If you’re looking for a gorgeous smart scale supported by an equally gorgeous app, you can count on (and stand on) the Withings Smart Body Analyzer. It’s one of those things you never know how much you really need until you give it a try.