APPS & TECH

Gadget & App Test: Withings Smart Body Analyzer WS-50

Read on if you appreciate smart tech and futuristic design. Read NOW if you need to manage your weight/body fat/muscle gain easily & effectively.

You wouldn’t believe but lemme tellya: it took me about a year to decide which scale to choose. Which scale is the most accurate, which scale measures body fat most exactly, which scale has a modern design hat doesn’t mess with my personal aesthetics, which scale offers the best features… And today – fanfares! – please meet my brand new Internet-connected scale that lives in my bedroom – for it also measures air quality. So can I have a WELCOME please? 😉withings-smart-body-analyzer-ws-50-frontalviewHot thing: it’s a scale that gets your weight, your body fat, your heart rate and air quality, then tracks the development of your data with a free app, and motivates you with Facebook… Whuuuut!? Okay, this is admittedly something that I find a no-go and don’t use. My heart rate and air quality are none of FB’s business. But this is really the single minus point of the Withings app.

WITHINGS SMART BODY ANALYZER WS-50 + APP, REVIEWED

The multilingual app is pretty easy to use. You need to set up your profile (weight, sex, weight), contacts (I chose an anonymous email address and a fake name), your goals (e.g. weight loss, muscle gain) and you’re ready to go.withings-appAfter the app is set up, you undress and simply step onto the scale which BTW comes with a full set of batteries. The scale’s process of directing me how and where to stand vaguely reminded me of getting my wheels to a car wash site, but with significantly less clothes on.withings-smart-body-analyzer-ws-50Sometimes the scale would get into a particular mood and give me very weird signs (perhaps it used to be the Delphi oracle in its earlier life?) – but giving it a minute’s rest did the trick. It’s also rather rare, and the accuracy of the measurements is astounding. I tested.

WHAT IT GETS YOU:
> Precise weight measurements
> Body fat tracking in normal and athlete mode (when you’re gaining muscle)
> CO2 and temperature monitoring every 30 minutes
> Wireless synchronisation via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (my advice: choose Bluetooth)
> Visualisation of your development with the free app Withings Health Mate for iOS and Android

withings-side-viewWITHINGS SMART BODY ANALYZER WS-50/and APP
PROs and CONs:

+ Tempered, dark glass
+ Sleek, modern design
+ A large, super easily readable LCD screen
+ Weight range 5-180 kg / 9-396 lbs
+ Precise, super accurate weight reading, with 4 sensors
+ See your weight in kg, lb, stlb
+ Can handle up to 8 users (auto-recognition)
+ Differs between normal weight goals and athlete mode
+ Measures CO2 & room temperature (C or F)
+ Any other scale is just so 2004…
+ Additional set of feet for when you have wall-to-wall or rug sort of floor
+ App is super easy and free to use
– Unsurprisingly: made in China
– And yet about €150 price (I wonder what they would charge if it was made in France… Anyone in the know?)
– Fantastic dust and water drops magnet…
– App wants all your data in the cloud and your Facebook connection (what I did: use fake name/anonymous email/turn off FB “motivation” option)

BOTTOM LINE

We chose Withings for its iOS connection, for its easy app handling, for the super easy use, for the additional features (blood pressure etc.) and for its suuuuuper sleek design.withings-smart-body-analyzer-ws-50-2In our house, the scale has several users with different goals. There is weight loss, muscle vs fat improvement, muscle build-up. The scale’s readings have so far always been accurate, the user recognition perfect.

The app’s tips, such as “keep your weight this week”, are also rather helpful – just like a attentive trainer’s hints. If you don’t tell the app to do so (e.g. alarms) it pretty much sits there and waits for you to go. Which I deem priceless. Who likes pushy apps anyway, huh?

It’s an added bonus that the app can manage your blood pressure and heart rate inserted manually or sourced from a Withings device, and of course collect data from further Withings devices – Pulse or BodyMedia, RunKeeper – and apps such as MyFitnessPal.withings-smart-body-analyzer-ws-50-flaresWill I be using additional devices and apps? I don’t know yet. Right now, I simply enjoy the convenience of a regular weight/body fat/pulse/blood pressure check that’s all done within seconds, the no-fuss handling, and the super-nice geeky, blue glow on its shiny black surface

5 replies »

    • yeah, well, this might not be the forte. but as for co2, it’s an invitation to air the rooms 😉

  1. I have a similar one from Tanita giving me all the incredible data about fat-muscle-bone-water-structure of my body. I am fascinated of how the graphs look but I am using my scale just from time to time. Anyway I need an external device, too (for me its my Forerunner Running watch) that makes it very geeky as well.

    Seems that most of the versions really love dust – my crystal clear glass scale just takes seconds after cleaning.

    • Dust is such a PITA!
      I was literally breathing upon it and polishing with a “leather” cloth over and over and over… again.
      Yet every new shot revealed dust and spots and more dust and spots, even though nothing was to see with the naked eye. Gosh…

      Tanita truly was my first consideration. But I simply didn’t like their look (or looks, they don’t seem to have ONE design they stick to) – too many buttons, too old-fashioned design elements, too 1990-ish altogether to my taste… They are too strongly rooted in the “professional” thinking to offer sleek design for the non-pro user at home, IMHO.
      Then, the only model I fancied was at €200. Affordable for me – yes. Not a reasonable price for a goddamn scale – yes! 😀 Cheaper models often had a nicer design, but were too fussy or had less functions.

      And also with Withings, it’s one app fits all, genius.