Someone Standing on a Weight Scale

Smart Weight Scales: Comparison

Post Published on July 24, 2021.
Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by davemackey.

The company I work for (Clevertech) has a nifty benefit called the “Personal Development Fund” or PDF:

“In order to help you grow each year, we provide $1,200 to invest in yourself.”

Clevertech Careers

Getting a “fund” to work with isn’t too unusual for folks in the IT field but such funds are (afaik) pretty restricted – they need to be spent on books, trainings, computer upgrades, etc. related to one’s field. Clevertech’s PDF is intentionally unrestricted. I like this, it acknowledges that staff are more than their jobs and that the well-being of each member in their life holistically affects their ability to perform optimally.

One area I’m always looking to improve on is my physical health. I have chronic pain and this makes improving my physical health difficult. My wife only half-jokingly yells, “Don’t you dare do crunches!” when I start doing (10) crunches because on multiple occasions I experienced long-term (new) pain and difficulty after doing so. To keep myself motivated I find it useful to have a weight scale. I especially like newer scales ability to estimate whether one is maintaining a healthy amount of water in my system as well as how much of me is fat versus muscle.

I’m also an armchair Quantified Selfer, so I collect as much data as I can about myself and use this to discover patterns in my health – what helps or hurts my sleep, if that walk today is making me feel better or worse, how stressed I am, etc.

UPDATE 8/19/21: Received Withings Body+. It stopped working almost immediately and when I leaned it standing up it fell into two pieces. Not good.

I decided to use some of this fund to purchase a Withings Body+ smart scale (at the moment: $79). I’ve had a few smart scales in the past – the Greater Good’s Bluetooth Smart Scale (purchased: 2016, $60) and the eufy Smart Scale C1 (purchased: 2019, $30).

Both of these scales are highly rated and come from reputable companies but both eventually malfunctioned on me. For me, there is a greater issue than the malfunctioning – the lack of WiFi synchronization.

Both of these scales synced with one’s phone via Bluetooth – which is all good and dandy for those who have their phone on them and their app open…but that too often isn’t me. In general I try to purchase products that shore up my weaknesses and these products exposed one of mine. Too often I’d be standing on the scale reading my stats only to realize I didn’t have my phone…I know, I know, I could sync up later…

So I did some research and came up with the following incomplete list:

  • Fitbit Aria Air – $50
    • Since I’ve been using Fitbit trackers for years it makes sense to favor this scale due to its native integration.
    • But it is Bluetooth only, on backorder, basically unavailable on Amazon, and lacks functionality available in most other smart scales (body composition).
    • And while not a major concern, I find the Fitbit site frustrating. It exposes a minimal amount of info about products by default, you have to dig to get the full specs/features.
  • Wyze Smart Scale – $34
    • Wyze is an interesting company that has been selling a lot of different products. I’ve used a few of their cameras in the past and they were slick (though their resolution on their basic model was a bit too basic for my liking).
    • It has some pretty great reviews – a 4.3 from 2244 according to ReviewMeta and receives accolades from PCMag, Tom’s Guide, AndroidCentral, and Wired.
    • The price is reasonable, as is standard for Wyze products, but it works with Bluetooth instead of WiFi, so I passed.
  • RENPHO Smart Scale – $50
    • I’m not familiar with the brand “RENPHO” and this is a negative for me…but this can be overcome, with additional research, etc.
    • It is WiFi – which is great. It’s more basic (Bluetooth) sibling has 4.4 from 11645 according to ReviewMeta.
    • But I don’t see a lot of accolades for it from quasi-neutral third parties.
    • The $29 I’d save purchasing the RENPHO over Withings isn’t enough to sway me.
  • Anker eufy Smart Scale P1 – $40
    • I’ve purchased Anker products in the past and it has generally been a positive experience – although the C1 (as mentioned above) was a bit disappointing.
    • It uses Bluetooth instead of WiFi (big negative for me).
    • However folks do rave about it – 4.2 from 499 according to ReviewMeta and it receives high praise from Healthline, AndroidCentral, Wirecutter, CNET, and Wired.
    • Saving $39 over the Withings Body+ is really tempting and if I hadn’t had such negative experiences with bluetooth in general I might consider it.
  • Greater Goods Digital Smart Scale – $68
    • My uninspiring experience with Greater Goods’ bluetooth scale leaves me cautious…but the biggest problem with that scale was it’s bluetooth and this product is WiFi (sweet).
    • But the slight savings ($11) aren’t enough to move me away from a well-known brand like Withings.
  • Withings Body+ Smart Scale – $79
    • There is brand name recognition – Withings has been a strong player in this field for some time.
    • The scale takes accolades from PCMag, Healthline, and Tom’s Guide.
    • But there is a major hitch – ReviewMeta’s ranking is 3.5 from 1172 reviews. In this case I suspect that someone has been gaming ReviewMeta and similar analyzers, but it is still a risk I’m not entirely comfortable with.
    • I considered also the Withings Body scale but I wanted the composition features available in the Body+ model.
    • I also look briefly at the Cardio model – but this is signficantly more expensive and its main feature addition appears to be HR tracking – I already have a Fitbit for that.
    • Despite the ranking concerns I’ve made the leap due to confidence in brand and the accolades from various reviewers.

There were a few others that I didn’t evaluate thoroughly – Arboleaf (not listed on enough review sites), FITINDEX (same), QardioBase 2 ($150 <– price!), and Etekcity (few reviews on Amazon).

I haven’t received the Body+ scale yet but I’m hoping for a positive experience and will be glad if this comparison is helpful to anyone else.

TODO: Hmmm…I need a WordPress plugin that tracks how long it takes me to write posts.

References

Photo courtesy of i yunmai and unsplash.

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