Withings Smart Body Analyzer

Losing weight can be difficult. Even after you’ve committed yourself to dropping those kilos it’s all too easy for that initial motivation to evaporate in the face of a set of bathroom scales that reports bad news day after day. You can tell yourself that it’s a marathon and not a sprint, but in the end looking down and seeing that you haven’t lost any weight despite the diet and exercise regime is extremely demoralising.

It may be a fact that scales don’t lie, but they can be somewhat economical with the truth. You see there’s a lot more to getting fitter and healthier than just losing weight, and your average set of scales really doesn’t tell you everything you need to know.

The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a very long way from your average set of scales, and if you’re serious about losing weight and getting fitter this is what you want in your bathroom. The Smart Body Analyzer isn’t just a bathroom scale; it’s the centre of a complete health and fitness analysis programme, and a very good one at that.

Although the Smart Body Analyzer will tell you how much you weigh, it will also report the percentage and amount of body fat you’re carrying. This information instantly gives you more insight into what you’re body is doing – if you’ve gained a bit of weight but you’ve lost body fat it probably means that your exercise regime is working and you’ve gained a bit of muscle So even when the average scale is moving in the wrong direction, your body could be moving in the right one.

Withings Smart Body AnalyzerYou’re probably thinking that there have been scales that measure body fat percentage for years, and you’d be right. But body fat measurement is only one small part of the Smart Body Analyzer’s repertoire of features, in fact let’s rewind to the beginning.

The Smart Body Analyzer looks great, and if you’re worried about it spoiling your stylish designer bathroom, don’t. The top plate is made from dark grey tempered glass with a circular metal disc in the centre. There’s a large LCD display at the front that’s very easy to read without needing to bend over. This feels like a quality item, which is a good thing because it doesn’t come cheap.

Withings Health Mate App

Unlike most bathroom scales, there’s a bit of setting up to do with the Smart Body Analyzer. Before you get started you need to download the Withings Health Mate app, which is available for both iOS and Android smartphones. Once installed you create an account and pair your phone with the Smart Body Analyzer by pressing the button on the underside of the scale.

When the Smart Body Analyzer and your phone are paired, the scale will then grab your home Wi-Fi settings straight from your phone ensuring that it can send any data directly to your Withings account regardless of whether your phone is close by or not.

Once fully setup you simply step on the Smart Body Analyzer and let it go to work – it will measure your weight, your percentage of body fat, your heart rate and even record the ambient temperature and air quality. All that data is then sent up into the cloud via Wi-Fi and then presented on your smartphone app.

The app is very well designed, making it easy to track your progress over time and drill down into your data. You can set yourself a weight goal and associate a date by which time you’d like to reach that goal. The app will also track your BMI (Body Mass Index) and highlight the zone that you should be in.

As with most health and fitness apps you can share your progress via Twitter or Facebook, and if you have friends who are also on a weight loss or fitness drive it’s a good way to get some encouragement. Talking of sharing, multiple individuals can all use the scale – once each person is registered, the Smart Body Analyzer will recognise them as soon as they step on.

The clever thing that Withings has done is to make its app accessible to other manufacturers and developers. If you use RunKeeper to track your runs it can synchronise with the Withings app and add your activity to the mix. Likewise, the BodyMedia armband can also be used with the Withings app to track activity, while Withings’ own Activity Tracker should be hitting the market in a few weeks – I’ll be reviewing the Withings Activity Tracker as soon as it’s available.

You can add devices to monitor your sleep and blood pressure too – the more data you have, the more insight you’ll get into your personal wellbeing. What Withings has actually done is create a whole health and fitness ecosystem, with the Smart Body Analyzer being the main cog at the centre of the machine.

Withings Smart Body AnalyzerBy fortuitous coincidence I had just started a weight loss programme when Withings sent me a review sample of the Smart Body Analyzer, so I’ve been using it in anger for the past few weeks. I’ve found the Smart Body Analyzer to be a fantastic tool for maintaining focus and keeping up morale when undertaking a tough diet and exercise regime.

The downside? This kind of design, technology and usability doesn’t come cheap – the Smart Body Analyzer will set you back £129.95. That may seem pretty steep for a set of bathroom scales, but the Smart Body Analyzer is far more than a set of scales, and can provide so much useful data that you’ll wonder how you ever stayed fit and healthy without it.

Conclusion

The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a wonderful piece of kit that helps you track your weight, body fat and general wellbeing over time. It might be a bit pricey, but when you consider how much a decent fitness watch or cycling computer costs, the Smart Body Analyzer actually looks like a bit of a bargain.

The fact that Withings has created an entire health and fitness ecosystem tied up with a very well designed and presented app is the icing on the cake. If you’re looking to lose weight, get fit or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer will help you achieve your goals.

Pros:

  • Feature packed
  • Weight & body fat analysis
  • Looks great
  • Instantly syncs data to the cloud
  • Excellent companion app
  • Increases motivation
  • Can be used by multiple people
  • Tracks all your data over time

Cons: 

  • Price may be high for some

Score: 10/10

Manufacturer: Withings

MSRP: £129.95