Review: QardioBase is an Attractive Smart Scale, but Design Needs Improvement

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    The QardioBase is a Wi-Fi connected smart scale created by Qardio, the same company that produces the well-known medical-grade QardioArm blood pressure monitoring accessory. QardioBase, Qardio's second product, was first introduced at CES in January of 2015 and began shipping out to customers in the fall.

    Qardio's new scale includes features for measuring weight and analyzing body composition to provide details on a person's overall health. It bundles these health-management features into a friendly package that's meant to provide gentle guidance towards a healthier life. I've been testing the QardioBase for several weeks now, and while I'm a fan of the minimal design and the health features it provides, there are some flaws that will prevent it from appealing to all users.

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    Design

    At first glance, the QardioBase is one good looking scale. Circular in shape, it features a plain white glass-covered top that's unmarred by numbers or other adornments. Underneath that glass is an LED screen, which is what displays body weight and other information using green pixels.

    The QardioBase looks nice, but in my experience, it has a not-insignificant design flaw. It has a funnel-shaped design where the outer edges of the scale extend further outwards than the base, making it unstable. When I stepped on or off the scale near the edge, it felt like it was going to tip over, taking me along with it. I didn't fall when using it, but I did have a few "Oh my gosh!" moments where I had to grab on to something to steady myself. I'm no designer, but this instability seems like a big oversight.

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    Measuring in at 12.6 inches across, the QardioBase is similar in size to the average house scale, but its round shape means it doesn't fit as neatly up against a wall or in a corner when not in use.

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    Underneath, the QardioBase opens up to allow batteries to be inserted. It takes 8 AAA batteries, likely due to the LED display under the glass. That's a lot of batteries to have to keep on hand, and a significant ongoing cost. My existing scale uses half that number of batteries. According to QardioBase, the batteries last a year with regular usage, and I had no issues with battery during the time that I tested the scale.


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    Article Link: Review: QardioBase is an Attractive Smart Scale, but Design Needs Improvement
     
  2. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502a

    carrrrrlos

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  3. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

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    #3
    For the same price (or cheaper on discount, it's currently $99 at Best Buy), you could pick up the Withings Smart Body Analyzer which has the same feature set and more (heart rate, air quality, weather) and a similar minimalistic glass design that's actually stable.
     
  4. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a

    naeS1Sean

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  5. pittaman macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I like their blood pressure device for its simplicity, accuracy and accompanying app. Not so sure I want to spend over $100 for a smiley face.
     
  6. Ad13, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

    Ad13 macrumors regular

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    #6
    I couldn't agree more. I bought one of these alongside the QaardioArm. I've had nothing but problems with the scale and its accuracy, fluctuating around 5 pounds taking one reading after another. Had it replaced but it took nearly a month to arrive.

    I'm astounded how the design was ever signed off. It's so unstable and wobbles it's unreal. The legs are too far towards the centre and throws you off every time you try and mount and dismount the scale. This must have been fed back at testing stage??
     
  7. Spendlove macrumors 6502

    Spendlove

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    #7
    Does this sync to Apple Health app?
     
  8. Ad13 macrumors regular

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    #8
    Yeas it does
     
  9. jclo Editor

    jclo

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    #9
    I honestly wondered the same thing when I was reviewing it. Didn't they step on it? Very odd to have a product with such a glaring design flaw, especially since I could see someone potentially falling and getting hurt using it.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #10
    It looks like instead of designing for stability, they went for Quteness.
     
  11. Spendlove macrumors 6502

    Spendlove

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    #11
    Thanks Ad13. Which of these two scales would you recommend?
     
  12. Ad13 macrumors regular

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    #12
    I've kept the QardioBase as it like the QardioArm and the fact that all the data is in the least number of apps possible. I've had Fitbit, but unfortunately does sync with Health and the Withings app is just a complete mess. I'd wait until Qardio have addressed the stability issue in v.2 and then go for it.
     
  13. Zimmie macrumors member

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    #13
    "Protessional" body fat measurement isn't really necessary. It's easy enough to do with a body fat caliper and a handful of measurements in specific places. Took me a few times to get the feel for the fat layer over the quadriceps (ventral thigh), but it's not difficult. You punch the measurements into a formula and it spits out body fat percentage with an extremely high degree of accuracy when compared to the buoyancy method.

    I find that electrical body fat measurement methods are also highly, highly accurate (within 0.1 percentage points of professional measurements) within certain limitations. Specifically, the skin on your feet and hands isn't a great conductor. I find that I need to put some water on the electrodes on the scale to get consistent and accurate readings. When measuring dry, my scale's electrical method reads as much as 15 percentage points high. With a few drops of water under each foot, it's dead-on.
     
  14. weave macrumors regular

    weave

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    I got one and haven't been very happy with it. I think it's a defective unit, but I've been getting the runaround with Qardio support on getting a replacement. I've been on the phone with them a number of times trying different things, then told to wait for the next firmware or app update -- which still doesn't fix it. Basically it never transmits the weight and displays "wifi error" despite me configuring it to my apple time capsule router over and over. But I took it to work and it connected to a Cisco router and worked just fine. Is it really incompatible with Apple wifi units? Can't be.... but it just won't work with mine for whatever reason.

    It also acts wonky when trying to reset it or reconfigure it. Sometimes it hangs and I have to remove batteries to get it to work. It's maddening. I often have to mess with it for ages just to get a weight out of it.

    Sounds obviously like a defective unit. Now if they'd only admit that and ship me a replacement.... :-(

    Maybe I just got a bad unit and the rest of them are fine. Just be warned that if you do get a bad unit, don't expect them to just ship you out a replacement without a lot of hassle first.

    Edit: Oh here's a hoot. I was actually told I need to make sure my iphone is on the same wireless network as the qardio base is on. Don't sound too bad? Well all modern routers support both 2.4ghz and 5ghz radios, as does my iPhone. 5ghz is preferred because it's faster and less crowded spectrum. But the Qardio only has a 2.4ghz radio -- so if you want it to work with your phone, you have to make sure you don't associate with your 5ghz network. Ridiculous.
     
  15. Hannah8701 macrumors newbie

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    #15
    More like they went for stupidity
    --- Post Merged, Jan 12, 2016 ---
    You don't have a defective unit. I have returned mine twice and it still has all the same horrible issues as yours as well as other things others have mentioned - wifi error, totally unstable, doesn't take my weight accurately, doesn't measure body fat at all. I don't really see the point of this product if it doesn't serve any purpose to consumers and could potentially injure them seriously if they fell off?

    Whoever designed this scale is a grade A moron. No in fact, whoever decided to release it is. This product is just embarrassingly bad.

    Oh and btw, I then bought and am very happy with my Withings scale! Accurate every single time and perfectly stable :)

    -H
    --- Post Merged, Jan 12, 2016 ---
    Are you kidding? You must work for them because I could never honestly recommend a product that costs $99 and is actually a glorified piece of shiny white plastic that doesn't take any weight measurements.

    This scale has been out for ages, they aren't going to remedy anything in 'v2' if they haven't got their **** together already.

    Anyway in answer to your question Spendlove, the Withings scale is more than a 100x better. It actually works!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 12, 2016 ---
    Lol @ their website 'getqardio' :( tragic. So startuppy. Can see why their products don't work.
     
  16. weave macrumors regular

    weave

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    Wonderful. How can they release a product targeted to Apple users that doesn't work with Apple Time Capsule wifi stations? :-(
     
  17. Hannah8701 macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I know Weave. It's so bad!! I don't think they target their products to Apple users so much as they really, really want to *be* Apple. They don't really care about us Apple users. It's evident. They didn't even test their product so it would work with our wifi stations.

    I don't know about you, but I was so disappointed that I spent so much money on this scale. To make matters worse they didn't even want to give my money back :-( I don't think this company is going to be around much longer.
     
  18. prasand macrumors 6502

    prasand

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    #18
    I second his suggestion.

    Last week I received the white Withings scale that I ordered from B&H during their Christmas sale (backordered so delivery was delayed). And after a week of using it, I had my mother cop the black version from BestBuy for $99 yesterday. -- I agree with @Ad13 in that the Withings app is aesthetically a mess ... but the data and connections are reliable. It has the same 2.4ghz radio limitation, but the phone doesn't need to be on the same spectrum to configure it. Once the scale is set up, it syncs its data consistently through their website (but the scale can also operate in bluetooth mode). The support for the Withings API is extensive, from IFTTT to the ability to directly interface with the Jawbone UP (FitBit also), MyFitnessPal and many others. So although the Withings app itself is a design mess, that is inconsequential if you use other apps that you prefer (like the Jawbone / Fitbit apps, etc which are much better designed and can all display the scale's data).

    If anyone is looking for a scale to track their progress, I highly recommend the Withings Smart Body Analyzer. Just make sure you're getting the WS-50 model.



     
  19. bielen macrumors regular

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    #19
    Download Sync Solver from the App Store. It will allow you to sync all of you Fitbit data to Apple Health. Works well. I believe it is 99 cents.
     
  20. KnighsTalker macrumors regular

    KnighsTalker

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  21. Ad13, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

    Ad13 macrumors regular

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    #21
    In no way do I work for them or are affiliated with them in any way. I just figured that to use the readings more as 'trending' than as an accurate scale that's all.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2016 ---
    I didn't have any problems getting the unit to connect to my Apple Time Capsule at all. This is a strength of the device, easily configured. I wish I could say something positive about the actual design. Other than it feels 'nice' its a safety nightmare. It's wobbles and it simply awful to use.
     

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20 January 12, 2016