Withings Smart Body Analyzer – the perfect scale for an active lifestyle

I didn’t like how much I weighed on my previous scale, so I decided to buy a new one. I didn’t want to overthink the purchase. All I needed was a well-designed scale, extra points if it has some useful functions. I was looking for a wifi-compatible scale so I could pair it with my iPhone. The selection was not that large which is why I quickly narrowed it down to a Fitbit Aria and a Withings. I decided on the latter.

After that, I had two models to choose from. The Withings WS 30 and the Withings WS 50. The difference between them was about 50 dollars. The cheaper model doesn’t have an air analyzer and a body fat analyzer. I took the more expensive one because I had too much money.

Alright, let the testing begin. Does it make sense to spend 150 dollars on the Withings Smart Body Analyzer?

The answer seems obvious: no way! It’s too expensive!
But, you know, if they give you one, just say thank you and take it.

The box contains the scale, an unnecessary manual and four pads on which you can raise the scale and use it on a carpet, for example.

The box contains the scale, an unnecessary manual and four pads on which you can raise the scale and use it on a carpet, for example.

It’s beautiful. And light. I still can’t figure out how to weigh a scale, but it weighs around 4 pounds, give or take.

It’s beautiful. And light. I still can’t figure out how to weigh a scale, but it weighs around 4 pounds, give or take.

Launching the scale for the first time was like launching a video game. I needed to download updates. This particular update introduced a new function. If you press the silver circle in the middle, the scale will analyze the air of the room it’s in and tell you whether it’s raining outside. Before the update, you had to weigh yourself to see that info. Alright, so let’s be honest. This is an unnecessary update. If the scale started telling me the outside temperature or the room’s humidity, I might get excited. But this is just kind of ‘meh’.

Launching the scale for the first time was like launching a video game. I needed to download updates. This particular update introduced a new function. If you press the silver circle in the middle, the scale will analyze the air of the room it’s in and tell you whether it’s raining outside. Before the update, you had to weigh yourself to see that info.
Alright, so let’s be honest. This is an unnecessary update. If the scale started telling me the outside temperature or the room’s humidity, I might get excited. But this is just kind of ‘meh’.

 Fingering alert. I barely managed to get this thing out of the box and it’s already storing my fingerprints. Without a smartphone, the Withings WS 50 is just another scale. It comes alive once you pair it with your phone, which is a quick and painless process.


Fingering alert. I barely managed to get this thing out of the box and it’s already storing my fingerprints.
Without a smartphone, the Withings WS 50 is just another scale. It comes alive once you pair it with your phone, which is a quick and painless process.

The Withings app shows the best things about the scale. You can:
– keep track of your weight (and view a graph of your weight across days, weeks, years)
– view the CO2 concentration in your room
– see your body fat levels
– check your pulse (the scale has in-built sensors)
That’s it for the basic functions. You can also:
– set your goal weight
– use a calorie counter
– pair it with the RunKeeper app and view (I think) where you ran and walked to
– monitor your sleep

I’ll probably just end up using the basic functions. If you want to use the other stuff, you need to purchase some additional weird devices.

It couldn’t measure my heart rate because I left my socks on.

It couldn’t measure my heart rate because I left my socks on.

And when it finally did measure my pulse, it seemed kind of low. But I kept going back to examine my pulse a few times after that and it gave me the correct value each time – between 80 and 90.

And when it finally did measure my pulse, it seemed kind of low. But I kept going back to examine my pulse a few times after that and it gave me the correct value each time – between 80 and 90.

My room is warm and the air in it is quite clean, but not clean enough, so I decided to open my windows. After an hour, the CO2 levels dropped by half. So it works.

My room is warm and the air in it is quite clean, but not clean enough, so I decided to open my windows. After an hour, the CO2 levels dropped by half. So it works.

In the morning, the scale showed me 76.8. A few hours later, it spit out a 78. In the meantime, my old scale kept showing me 78. So I started getting worried. How do I tell which one of them is right? My anxiety grew once I realized that my weight reading seemed to go up when I moved the new scale to a different room. I weighed less in the bathroom than I did in the kitchen. However, the manual says that you need to leave your scale for a bit after you move it into a new place. If you don’t, the reading may be off.
The scale is currently placed in my living room. This is the only room where it shows me what I want to see. It’s entirely possible that I’ll update you in two weeks to tell you that the Withings scale is absolute garbage, but today I don’t have any major issues with it.

Health

In the title of this note, I wrote that this is the perfect scale for people who lead an active lifestyle. That’s true. The Withings scale gives you the opportunity to take full control over your body. The smartphone app not only lets you monitor your weight, but it also keeps track of your fitness habits (when paired with RunKeeper, among other apps.) This is a trend that we, as consumers, need to get used to. A few years ago, everything had to be ‘organic’. In addition to that, these days everything also has to be ‘fit’ and ‘healthy’. Even smartphones. The launch of the newest Samsung phone and the Gear Fit smartwatch shows the way forward for manufacturers of televisions, washing machines and toothbrushes. All of these devices will start tracking and measuring us. And it’s a good thing. Whatever your opinion on cultural fads, it’s a fact that we need to take care of our health. While I never was a follower of the ‘green-organic-free-range-local-sustainable’ cult, I’m starting to notice I’m becoming a follower of the ‘healthy lifestyle’ cult. Everything in moderation, though. Let’s not get carried away. I just ate an entire chocolate bunny.

The Smart Body Analyzer test – a summary

Buying the premium model is a waste of money. The heart rate monitor and the CO2 detector are just gimmicks. They’re not the functions we truly need. The product is developed pretty well, but the manufacturer was negligent about a few details. For example, the manual is only four pages long and quite trivial. Also: on the product’s website, the manufacturer recommends connecting your scale to your laptop via a USB cable. The only problem is, there was no cable in the box. What’s worse… the scale doesn’t even have a USB port.
The website is pretty clear, but it kind of looks like a half-baked job. Just a few tables that move to the left on bigger screens, leaving the right side completely empty. In this case, the Fitbit Aria is a clear winner, and, for a short moment, I did regret not purchasing it.

During the weighing process, it’s kind of annoying that you get information about the weather before you get to find out about your heart rate, the temperature and the CO2 levels.
Seeing as this is the era of color LCD screens, one may expect this expensive and state-of-the-art scale to have a color display, or at least a bit bigger and clearer display.

I’m being judgmental, but it’s only because I want you to know everything about this product. Overall, the advantages clearly outweigh the flaws. The Withings doesn’t have any major flaws. It’s a fantastic and well-manufactured product you won’t regret purchasing. It’s one of these devices you immediately start getting along with. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to traditional scales, though I will keep an eye out for new models. A scale used to be something we had in our home to know how much we weighed. Just like a phone used to be something you used to make phone calls with. Things change. In a few years, the scale will be one of the most important things in your house, one that will tell you how you’re doing, how your life is going and how much life you’ve got left.

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