Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
It's decent, though it has some flaws that could've been easily avoided by the manufacturer
on 1 January 2018
Short story: Got a fitbit for Christmas so I was enjoying the 'new world' of fitness trackers / apps / etc.. (never used anything similar before so I didn't even have any myfitnesspal or any similar accounts).. So I decided why not stick with the fitbit app and see what it has to offer.. Needless to say I saw that they have support for smart scales.. in fact they have their own scale, the aria 2, which I was going to buy, but it was out of stock on amazon at the moment so I googled alternatives that are still supported by the app.
I found this one and it was actually praised to be even better than the aria 2 by lots of people and you could still link it to the fitbit app.. I didn't really think twice about it and ordered it :)
It arrived fast (expedited delivery) without any issues.. it was easy to set up, though quite annoying that even after you set it up you have to press the connect button on the bottom side every single time you want to use your phone to change settings / update firmware etc just to wake it up and have your phone find it (usually it's not needed for daily use as it remembers the wifi settings and works completely independent of your phone, so bluetooth here isn't an operational technology, just required for setup).
The health mate application is actually decent.. I never saw what the Whitings one looked like before, but I read many complaints about the new nokia app... In my case it's working perfectly and does what it's supposed to do so I can't complain about the app at all.
I also managed to link it with my fitbit account really fast... however they do not have a 'place' on the website where you can find that as neither withings nor nokia are in the supported apps section for some weird reason... but if you simply google 'link withings smart body analyzer with fitbit account' a fitbit hosted page comes up with a simple wizard that gets the job done in a couple of seconds. (No trace of that shows up afterwards either.. so I couldn't see any information about the 2 being linked either in fitbit or the nokia account, but it works flawlessly so that's good enough for me)
Now for the actual product and the flaws it has imo.
I'm not going to be the one who complains that 'Oooh the bodyfat measurement is not accurate' like many people do, without understanding the implications. Bodyfat is an estimate, regardless of which method you use, be it DXA, hydrostatic... calipers.. or in this case BIA it's always just an estimate. Of course if you have a ripped 6pack and the thing says you're at 35% then yes, you should have a nice laugh about it then try to troubleshoot it, but in my case the bodyfat percentage is actually a surprisingly accurate estimate as it's giving me values around 16%. I'm 182cm tall, about 74kg with decent sized muscles little to no fat on the shoulders (individual muscle strands visible there) and the top 2 rows of my abs visible with slight overhead lighting and yes.. that is roughly in the 15-17% range. (this should also serve as a reality check to those who have no visible muscles, but complain that they get over 20% and try to turn on athlete mode to get less, because some other random machine said they were 14% - just a random example I made up based on typical internet complaints, nothing concrete)
However.. this is where the problems start, it actually feels like the bodyfat estimate is more precise than the actual scale.. which is silly, since that shouldn't be a 'guess', weight can be measured properly and quite accurately with digital scales, even the cheapest ones. As a former athlete (10+ years of judo as a teen way back) I'm quite used to weigh-ins and all sorts of scales and their shortcomings. I believe they failed on this one when designing the feet of the scale as they're hard plastic and slide too easily (you can use it as a skateboard on a hardwood floor). I understand that soft materials affect the reading, but adding the slightest rubber coating on those feet wouldn't have hurt anything. So how accurate it is?.. It gives me anything from 73.5 to 75 and rarely gives the same reading twice in a row.. if you move it (thinking that the feet might not be level) it can be a couple of kilos off even if you wait those 10 seconds listed in the online manual. As a comparison my previous scale was a simple cheap zelmer (~10 pounds).. that one had rubberized feet so it didn't move while the feet were also fixed (this one allows for play in case your floor is slightly uneven) so you had to place it in a completely flat spot and check that it doesn't wobble even the slightest before measuring. That one gave me the exact same reading no matter how many times I stepped on it in succession, furthermore it was located in the exact spot this one is atm so I know that portion of the floor is completely level. Now the other thing is that the cheap zelmer had the same increments as this one.. 100g, I was kind of hoping for a more precise 50g increment on a premium scale like this, but obviously that's being nit-picky and not actually needed for everyday use.
I am going to do more experiments with the weighing... maybe even try sticking on the carpet feet it comes with, but given that I use it on a hardwood floor it shouldn't be installed.
Bottom line, the reason for my 3 star review is the mere fact that this one makes me doubt the actual weight measurement, even though it's in there in the proper range so it would be more than fine for most people.. it just gives you that feeling of uncertainty which I never had with a cheap 10 pound scale.. I would overall give it a 4 star as it is quite useful and does what it's supposed to do for the most part... even the room air quality function can be useful (for example I learned that I need to open my windows more often lol), but the sliding feet and all... and given that it's a premium product and isn't actually cheap, yet these issues could've been so easily avoided.. I think the minus 1 star is pretty warranted..
Don't let my review put you off though, overall it's a nice product and I do like it. Also sorry for the long review, but I really wanted to include everything :)