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When the holiday festivities are done with and January rolls around, people naturally look to improving their health and usually turn to smart devices to get their lifestyle back on track. Weight loss is typically part of that calculation, and while smart scales can help, there's little to distinguish between the majority of offerings on the market.

Weight and body composition analysis have become de rigueur features these days, but Withings' Body Scan Connected Health Station aims to go above and beyond the competition by offering an almost dizzying array of information about your physiological makeup.

withings-body-scan.jpg


Features

At $400 in the U.S. and £350 in the U.K., the Withings Body Scan is definitely at the higher end of the market for a smart scale. But when you consider its comprehensive set of body measurements, the price is a little easier to swallow. Biometrics include:
  • Weight
  • Metabolic Age
  • Basal Metabolic Rate
  • BMI
  • Segmental body composition analysis including:

    Muscle Mass (across five zones)
  • Fat Mass (across five zones)
  • Bone Mass
  • Visceral Fat Index
  • Lean Mass
  • Water Mass

[*]Nerve health
[*]Pulse Wave Velocity
[*]ECG
[*]Vascular Age
[*]Heart Rate

Connecting via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the scale feeds all of this information into the Withings Health Mate app, which connects to Apple Health or Google Fit to provide a comprehensive hub for pretty much everything to do with your body (more on this later).

While the scale measures weight to 0.11 pounds (50g) precision and provides several insightful metrics not seen on other scales, its standout feature is the segmental body composition analysis. This is made possible by a retractable handle that has a series of metal plates on it. When standing on the scale and with the handle held in both hands, the device sends an imperceptible electrical current through your body and analyzes the fat and muscle mass for your torso, arms, and legs independently. The idea here is to spot fat and muscle imbalances so that you can target your efforts on the specific areas of your body that need more work.

withings-body-scan-packaging.jpg

A similar technique is also used to measure arterial stiffness, by tracking how long it takes for a wave created in the blood as the heart beats to arrive at the foot — a measure Withings calls Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV). The retractable handle also features a 6-lead ECG that, like Apple Watch, can detect AFib, the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance that can cause stroke and heart failure.

Due to differing clinical regulatory hurdles based on region, there are also a couple of differences between the Body Scan that's sold in the United States and models available in the EU.

The U.S. version includes an Electrodermal Activity (EDA) Score. This biomarker measures and assesses the activity of the sweat glands in the soles of your feet. According to Withings, the EDA score can provide care teams with insight into a patient's stress levels, diet, and overall health. Meanwhile, the EU version tracks nerve health by providing a Nerve Health Score, which can help to detect signs of peripheral autonomic neuropathies, a damage in small nerves, one of the most prevalent complications of diabetes, and other common chronic conditions.

Design and Performance

The Body Scan's design is robust and visually inoffensive, combining a sleek striped tempered glass surface with a durable plastic base. However, measuring approximately 12.5 x 14 inches, it's larger and quite a bit heavier than most smart scales. It also lacks non-slip feet on the base, so it's probably not suited to super-smooth flooring. The scale interface also includes a large, vibrant color display that's easy to read from standing height.

The initial setup process of the Body Scan is user-friendly and intuitive enough. After charging the scale via the supplied USB-C cable and downloading the Withings Health Mate app to your phone, pairing the scale is generally straightforward, although this can be subject to the usual challenges of Wi-Fi connectivity, such as signal strength and interference, so make sure you have coverage in your bathroom or wherever you plan to keep it.

withings-body-scan-scale.jpg

To get a Body Scan, you need to stand on the scale barefoot and grip the handle with both hands. This allows the scale to conduct its comprehensive health check, but the duration for a complete scan is around one and a half minutes, so there's some waiting around. If you step off early, you'll still get your weight and some of the other standard biometrics, but things like Pulse Velocity and the segmental body composition analysis will usually fail. Fortunately, the app lets you customize which health metrics are recorded and displayed on the scale's screen, so you can tailor the experience to your own needs.

The scale can support up to eight individual user profiles, making it suitable for family use. However, its user recognition system is not foolproof and may occasionally misidentify the user standing on it, especially if two people in your household have a similar weight. Fortunately, the scale includes a neat solution that usually works – if it's not sure who you are, it will show you each family member's profile as a list, which you can scroll through by balancing on the foot of the direction you wish to scroll.

withings-body-scan-handle.jpg

There are a few other notable features that may be appealing to different members of a household. An eyes-closed mode hides the numbers from the scale screen at weigh-ins, offering motivational messages instead, while a baby mode will give you an accurate weight of your child just by holding them in your arms and stepping on the scale. There's also a pregnancy mode and an athletic mode for tracking health with different measurement algorithms.

All of this is customizable within the app, which is generally well designed and intuitive. It includes a visual 3D map of your segmented body composition (which tells you whether you are in or outside a normal range versus other users like you), trending graphs for several metrics like weight and BMI, and actionable health insights based on your weekly and monthly trends. It also allows you to export a health report PDF for a healthcare specialist or personal trainer... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: Withings Body Scan Review: High-End Health Monitoring at a High-End Price
 

wlossw

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2012
1,107
1,159
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
i wish that reviews of these fitness gadgets would delve into validating/confirming the accuracy of data presented by the devices.

these machine manufacturers make all sorts of claims about the data they generate and nobody ever tests these claims in a standard and scientific manner.

every "review" is basically a summary of features, never a test of the actual devices performance.
 

Sorinut

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2015
1,672
4,549
i wish that reviews of these fitness gadgets would delve into validating/confirming the accuracy of data presented by the devices.

these machine manufacturers make all sorts of claims about the data they generate and nobody ever tests these claims in a standard and scientific manner.

every "review" is basically a summary of features, never a test of the actual devices performance.

Measuring body fat via electrical resistance can have a +,-10-15% error rate. It doesn't matter what brand; the concept just isn't very accurate, as current always takes the path of least resistance through the body. Even calipers are more accurate.

Hydrostatic tests are the most accurate, but for home use, just get skinfold calipers.
 

deebinem

Suspended
May 7, 2017
720
1,479
Agree with everything @wlossw said and actually moved to stop weighing myself altogether. After a compulsive year of daily weigh-ins (2022), I spent most of last year trying to stop letting the number be my driver. Through diet changes, weight training, off and on again running bouts, and dry months (and not so dry ones ;)), my weight fluctuated enough that the scale stopped being useful.
 

sloheim

macrumors newbie
May 2, 2022
24
29
I just bought the Wyze Smart Scale last night for 1/10 the price of this one, and it has almost all of the same measurements. Most of the differences are a result of the Pulse Wave Velocity features, which is not available in the US.

Also, I can't imagine spending $400 on a scale.
 

MikeCam

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2013
24
51
I'll be honest I had one for a few weeks and I ended up returning it. It takes minutes to go through the whole process each morning which is tedious and off-putting, especially when you're only going to have very minor changes day to day. Sure I could remove things from the process like the ECG (which takes as long as the Apple Watch ECG) but then what's the point of buying the body scale? Not to mention a lot of features are inaccessible because you also need to subscribe to Withings+ to get the full experience which is insane after spending $435 (incl. taxes) on the scale.

One of my biggest gripes is that it's narrow but you're meant to not have skin touch skin, like your thighs for example for an accurate body scan. You end up in a bizarre uncomfortable position for minutes until it's done. Not worth it, went back to my body comp and I'm much happier.
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,861
2,493
15 minutes in the future
Useless review without the author getting a Dexa scan and confirming the results. Withings should include a Dexa scan reimbursement as part of the review package for the product if they were confident these measures were accurate.

I would buy the scale, even at 400$ if it had reasonable accuracy for the body composition measurements. But I’m not going to purchase it and take on faith that the accuracy of these readings is better than other smart scales.
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,334
4,729
I bought one 3 months ago to replace a 10 year old basic Withings and love it. My nutritionist when I asked her about it said "you do you but that's insanely expensive" but I've enjoyed the extra data. Down 35 pounds so far and 35 more to go before I reach my goal of no longer being obese. It's my daily motivator first thing in the morning.
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
2,334
4,729
That's true. There are very few places that have the staff, time and credentials to review most of the stuff we see on tech blogs. How does a non-electrical-engineer know that this 100 watt 4-port charger is "good" when the qualifiaciotns is they plug it in and it charges their devices. Few even measure the voltage or watts per port and even less have years to test and abuse to prove its reliable so the much easier thing to do is get the free thing, put up 500 words and move on to the next thing I don't think that's a MacRumors issue. The Internet moves fast and "long term reviews" don't really garner as much attention. By the time we prove this scale is reliable and accurate, there's going to be a new one out on the market that people are trying to research and buy. Knowing the last gen was reliable and accurate no longer matters. That's why reviews are pretty short and don't deep dive these days across almost all mediums.
 
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Tony_YYZ

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2015
229
223
Until health devices like this allow us to keep our data native to Apple Health or similar without being stored in the vendor cloud, I will not be interested. This is data that I want kept to myself only, not entrusted to any company.

I don’t want any company having that level of detail about my health.
 

MiBook84

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2008
138
146
Malmö, Sweden
Mine is still broken due to design flaw in the bottom case that allows water to sip into the product and ruin the charge port and other things. Id be happier if Withings actually acknowledged this.
 
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mv24

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2019
20
36

Withings has awful support - avoid them as a plague. Actually, I was intrigued by MacRumors another article from about a year ago, and bought smart scales. But after a painful dealing with Withings, I regret ever setting my eye on it. Not only they will automatically (and quietly) charge you for a year of service ($100+/year), not only they will ignore your questions and tickets, but even if you are lucky enough to talk to them on the phone - they'll make you feel like you owe them for their existence and contribution to the humanity. Now my lifetime goal is to become obese, unhealthy, and die early, so I don't have to hear any more about Withings.

 

deebinem

Suspended
May 7, 2017
720
1,479
all it does is tell me I am obese, turn all the results red and give advice like I am this
Sounds like a really sh|tty scale in terms of motivation/congratulation.

The only BMI type scale I used just gave an approximated percentage with no real usefulness as to whether that was too much or expected. I had to then go find other advice as to what to do with that number.
 

coffeemilktea

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2022
634
2,427
This is going to be so helpful for checking my weight and overall health after I've just had a filling meal and dessert at Taco Bell. I'm going to see so many health benefits for sure now! 🌮
 
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