July 2015 | Helen
Wifimypad likes to keep an eye on our weight, mostly to keep the elasticated waistbands at bay. And if, like us, you weigh yourself even semi-regularly then you’ll be aware of how often your weight fluctuates, and how difficult it is to track the ins and outs of your waistline.
Enter smart wifi scales. These bathroom scales not only track your weight, unlike regular scales they also measure your fat to muscle ratio (low fat/high muscle – good, high fat/low muscle – baaad). They do all this automatically so all you have to do is step on the scales, stop crying, and let the scales crunch the data. You can then check your BMI and much more whenever you want via an app.
Smart scales make the process of monitoring your weight much quicker, easier and more convenient, and for our money, THAT is what makes for a truly useful gadget. But which is the best smart scale on the market?
Why we bought the Fitbit Aria:
✓ The Fitbit Aria is an great all-rounder
✓ Glowing reviews from tech site after tech site
✓ High on functionality, connectivity and performance
✓ Great accuracy
✓ Compatible with a wide range of third party apps
✓ Can a bathroom scale be sexy? Er, this one is!
✓ Price at time of writing – £86 (Amazon UK)
Why did the Fitbit Aria Wifi Smart Scale tick our boxes?
There are loads of smart bathroom scales on the market – so what made us choose the Fitbit Aria Wifi Smart Scale for The Wifi Pad?
Following are the performance categories we were looking at, and what made Fitbit Aria such an impressive all-rounder:
Range of measurements - aside from the basic recording of your weight, what else can it do?As well as measuring your weight, the Fitbit Aria will also work out your Body Mass Index (BMI) and percentage of body fat – which if you’re like me, is a painful, yet sadly necessary piece of info in the quest to get into shape. You can even set goals to further motivate/shame yourself into action.
This data isn’t calculated using average body measurements – which would mean that you, Mr Universe, and a 13 year old are all subject to the same muscle/fat ratio assumptions. The Aria is cleverer than that. When you stand on it, it sends a tiny electrical signal through your body – don’t worry, it’s not strong enough for you to feel it, but you can’t use it if you wear a pacemaker – to work out how much muscle mass and fat tissue you have, which means the results are accurate to you.
All of this data is then whisked off into the cloud via your wifi connection and crunched into a useful format so you can easily see how you are progressing, at a time that suits you, via a multitude of graphs and progress charts that you don’t need a maths degree to understand.
Not only this, but the Fitbit Aria can accommodate up to eight different members of your household and it knows which one is standing on the scale at any particular time.
Connectivity - is it compatible with Apple and Android? Does it use a wifi or Bluetooth connection?Unlike some other smart scales, Fitbit is compatible with iOS (Apple devices) and Android, a bonus if, like me, members of your household use different devices.
It transfers data via your home wifi signal so you will need to connect to your home network on start up in order to sync with your Fitbit account. This can all be done wirelessly and is a complete doddle.
Usefulness of app(s) - how useful is the associated app and can you sync data with other health apps?Aside from the Fitbit app, the Aria is compatible with an increasingly wide range of other popular health, fitness and nutrition apps including My Fitness Pal, Map My Run, Weight Watchers and TactioHealth, so there’s a good chance ones you already use will work with Fitbit Aria.
So, if you are really going for it on the health front you can ping your weight stats to a whole host of apps.
Now I just need a nutrition app that will monitor when I am reaching for that fifth doughnut and sound an alarm of some description. Inventors take note.
Does it look good - scales are usually on show in your bathroom, so they’ve gotta look the partOh yeahhhh. The Fitbit Aria comes in black or white models, and is nothing short of bathroom eye-candy…of the technical variety.
All-glass, sleek, with a subtle pattern on the surface, and an extremely tactile undercarriage, the Aria is frankly so good-looking it would be a shame to let it down with a poor performance on the weight/muscle front.
Value for money - is the biggest weight you lose going to be in your wallet?These are among the pricier smart scales on the market but features-wise and visually, we think they are in a league of their own – getting great reviews left, right and centre, and price-wise they are in a similar ball-park to other models with this level of spec.
So while these probably aren’t the scales for those of you who weigh yourselves at New Year and then tuck them away for another 12 months, if you are serious about monitoring your weight, muscle mass, health and fitness, and want to make this process as simple yet comprehensive and informative as possible, the Fitbit Aria Smart Scale is a great bet.
The ‘home foot spa test’ - Is this a genuinely useful product, or one that you will only use once before relegating them to the local charity shop collection box?We think the Fitbit Aria provides a genuinely useful service, and one that will save you significant time and effort when tracking your body measurements. If you are even moderately interested in monitoring your weight and fitness, you are unlikely to look back once your have bought these scales for your home.
This baby is already well at home in The Wifi Pad a.k.a. my house, and the days of vaguely trying to remember where I wrote down last week’s weight and tapping away at the calculator app to try and work out my BMI are over. Happy days.
What do others have to say about the Fitbit Aria Wifi Smart Scale?
Videos about the Fitbit Aria
What Fitbit say about their scales
The best video review and unboxing on Youtube
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Which other smart scales did we check out?
Withings Smart Body Analyzer
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer ran the Fitbit Aria pretty close to the line on choosing which scale made it into The Wifi Pad. It is also an extremely high spec model with great reviews, but it is marginally more expensive than the already pricy Fitbit.
Brabantia Body Analysis Scale
The Brabantia Body Analysis Scale doesn’t quite boast the serious eye-candy credentials of the Fitbit Aria or the Withings Smart Body Analyzer, but it offer a good range of functions, and the price is very reasonable making it a good bet for anyone looking for a mid-range model.
Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale
The downside to the Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale is that it operates on Bluetooth only, no wifi connection, and is only compatible with Apple products. If these factors do not affect you, price-wise you get a big bang for your buck with the Wahoo Balance.
Frequently asked questions:
What are smart scales?
Smart wifi scales are your regular bathroom weighing scales with the addition of a wifi connection and some ‘intelligence’. The intelligence means they are able to perform more than the single job that regular scales do i.e. measure your weight while you read the amount on a dial or digital display, and possibly cry a bit at what you see.
Smart scales do this too, but with a wifi connection they are also able to do much more.
At their simplest, they automatically send your measurements to a linked app in order that you can monitor your weight over a period of time.
However the more comprehensive models allow you to do much more, including calculating your body mass index and muscle mass, as well as linking with numerous other apps that assess a range of additional health data such as blood sugar levels, exercise programmes and blood pressure.
Do you need smart scales?
Smart scales are a really great addition to the home of anyone who pays more than a passing interest in their weight, body mass, muscle development and general health and fitness.
While you CAN carry out many of your body measurements the old school way without the use of a smart scales, it takes time, constant record keeping, and more time with a calculator than many of us care for. Once set up, smart scales do all this automatically, all you need to do is stand on them from time to time.