Withings Body Scan Scale Review
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What does it measure?
The Withings Body Scan measures a lot more than a standard body fat scale:
- Weight: This is a measurement we’re all familiar with and probably most afraid of.
- Body fat percentage: Theoretically, the body fat percentage on the Withings Body Scan should be more accurate than scales that measure through your feet only, as the Withings Body Scan includes a handle that you hold, so it gathers measurements from both your upper and lower body. I found that the readings seemed to be very accurate (at least, it was inline with my previous scale). I also like the app summarizes trends, such as “gaining muscle” to help take the emphasis off your weight reading alone.
- Segmental body composition: I found this feature to be very cool! This shows a 3D model of a human body and shows your fat and muscle mass percentages in 3 different areas of the body: the arms, legs, and torso
- ECG AFib detection: Interestingly, my first reading had to be reviewed before the results were revealed to me (I believe this depends on your state of residence). Much like the ECG feature on the Apple Watch, this features measures your heart for 30 seconds to check for AFib (but it does not detect a heart attack).
- Vascular age: I haven’t been able to get this feature to work yet. The scale has been showing an error, but neither the scale nor the app tells me what is wrong or how to fix it.
- Electrodermal activity assessment: This measurement supposedly measures sweat gland activity in your feet. It’s interesting, but not really a measurement I know much about. Oh great, something else to worry about. 🙂
What else does it do?
- Color display: I like the little animations that show up on the display. It helps make the results easy to understand, and you can even configure it to show the weather and air quality for the day. A nice touch as most people will check their weight in the morning.
- Wi-Fi: My old scale was Bluetooth-only, meaning I would have to unlock my phone, open up its app, wait for it to connect, then finally step on the scale. Some mornings it was a struggle to get it to connect to my phone and I would have to wait until the next day to see if it would catch up on the missed readings. The Withings Body Scan connects directly to my home’s Wi-Fi and uploads my stats without needing to open anything on my phone. You can open the Withings app later to review your results and sync with Apple Health. And if you wanted to, you still have the option of Bluetooth.
- Apple Health support: I like that most of the stats sync over to Apple Health with the rest of my information. Some things, like the ECG and Electrodermal assessment, do not sync at this time as I don’t believe Apple Health offers an API to developers for them.
- A little slow: Sometimes, it can take 5-8 seconds to settle on a weight. As it teeters between .4 and .5 and .6, I find myself thinking, “just pick a number already!” And after that, you have to wait for the other readings one by one. I wish it could do some of the readings simultaneously, like start the 30-second ECG while it (slowly) measures my weight.
- Vascular age: As I mentioned earlier, the scale will simply show “Error: Vascular Age” on the screen. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, and I wish the scale or the app would state what the issue is or some recommendations for next time. UPDATE: On day 4, it finally took a “vascular age” reading, but the app informed me it would need 5 total reading to generate a result.
Overall, this is a very cool scale that goes beyond simple weight and body fat readings. It helps visualize where your body stores fat (and muscle), performs an ECG, and checks electrodermal activity. I like that this scale provides guidance on your body fat trends, as some would argue that this is more important than tracking your weight alone. It can even export everything into a summary PDF that you can share with your doctor.