I've covered a number of topics in this health column, from tracking your dietary habits to the best accessories to get the most out of your runs. This week, I'll be focusing on the devices we use to track our progress.
Smart scales might seem like a superfluous upgrade to a pretty basic piece of bathroom equipment, but they're great for getting a more accurate insight into your overall health rather than just knowing your total weight. Based on first impressions the Eufy BodySense and Fitbit Aria 2 both look nearly identical, but just like with people, it's what's on the inside that counts.
Why should you get a smart scale?
So maybe you're reading this while thinking about your reliable old bathroom scale and thinking that it does its designed job pretty well. Why upgrade?
Well, if you're only interested in occasionally checking your current weight, maybe you don't need to upgrade. But if you're trying to improve your health you should know that basing your fitness goals off of your total weight only gives you a fraction of your overall health.
Smart scales use technology called bioelectrical impedance to measure your body fat percentage, bone density, and much more.
Smart scales use technology called bioelectrical impedance to measure your body fat percentage, bone density, and much more. This is accomplished by sending the slightest electrical current up through your legs — muscle and water are a better conductor of electricity than fat or bone. You can see the different conductive areas on the scale where your feet need to touch to complete the connection. It's great to see a more accurate breakdown of your overall health, but the technology is not foolproof and despite the picture above, you'll need to weigh yourself barefoot to get all those added metrics tracked — but no one needs to see a close-up of my bare feet.
All your measurements are tracked automatically and presented as a graph so you can track your progress and see the impact that proper dieting and exercise is having. Maybe you're not losing weight, but your body fat percentage is going down while your muscle mass is quietly increasing. With a smart scale, you'll be able to note those important differences.
Both the Eufy and Fitbit scales offer support for multiple users and instantaneously send the info right to your phone, but it's the connection method between scale and phone that's different and ultimately might be the deciding factor in which one you go with.
Eufy BodySense Smart Scale
Eufy is a sister company of Anker, which is of course known for its outstanding portable batteries and affordable Bluetooth speakers. While Anker makes great accessories for your phone accessories, Eufy focuses on smart home products, from robot vacuums to the BodySense Smart Scale.
Using the BodySense Smart Scale is just as easy as using any other scale, only with the added benefit of getting a ton of cool stats sent to your phone. All you need is the EufyLife app open on your phone and a Bluetooth connection when you step onto the scale and the scale displays your weight while sending the more specific metrics to your phone, where they're tracked over time in graphs that really help to illustrate your progress. The BodySense scale can manage up to 20 unique users and you can also configure it to sync your data to Google Fit automatically after each measurement.
The EufyLife app is easy to use, although it's kind of annoying to have your phone on you and open to the app each time you want to get your full metrics. Fortunately, once the Bluetooth connection is established it pops up on your phone almost immediately and gives you a great breakdown of your stats at a glance, with graphs and more info available by tapping on each measurement.
Aesthetically I love the look of the Eufy smart scale, especially how the display is right under the glass and nearly invisible until it comes to life when you step on. The most important feature in a smart scale for me is the ability to use it quickly and efficiently as a normal scale for the times when you don't particularly care about all those or if a visitor wants to check their weight. But if cost is most important to you, the Eufy BodySense will leave you smiling at just $50.
Fitbit Aria 2
You all know Fitbit, the company that brought fitness trackers into the mainstream. The Fitbit Aria 2 is the latest companion scale that's designed to seamlessly sync with the Fitbit dashboard like the rest of Fitbit's product line.
The display is the heart and sole of the Aria 2. It's big and bright — and nearly impossible to get a good picture of with decent lighting. It's also capable of a lot more than just displaying your weight, as you'll see fun little animations pop up there, along with a customized user icon just so you know that your Aria is tracking for the right person.
Another important difference is how the Aria 2 wirelessly syncs its data to your phone. Unlike the Eufy smart scale, the Aria 2 connects to your home's Wi-Fi network and will automatically sync to your connected Fitbit account so that your vitals are waiting for you on your Fitbit Dashboard whenever you decide to check in. The tradeoff here is that it seems to take the Aria 2 a bit longer to process the information — it takes about four seconds for the Eufy to lock in on my weight and nearly 10 seconds for the Aria 2 to stop fluctuation between measurements. It's certainly not a deal-breaker, but it is quite noticeable when you used them back-to-back.
If you already wear a Fitbit daily for tracking steps and workouts, getting the Aria 2 is really a no-brainer. Fitbit offers a really polished app experience which lets you set goals, plan meals, and track your workouts. Adding the Aria 2 only enhances the overall Fitbit experience.
The Aria 2 is currently available for pre-order on Amazon for $129 and available in both white and black styles. Having previously spent some time with the first Aria smart scale, I've certainly found the Aria 2 to offer a more refined experience along with being easier to set up and use. The Aria 2 is superior, but if you don't mind settling for the older model you can get the original Aria smart scale at a blowout price of just $87 which is still a pretty good deal.
Which should you get?
The Fitbit Aria 2 is a great scale for any hardcore fitness folks who never go a day without wearing their Fitbit tracker. If you're already going to be checking in on the Fitbit app regularly, it just makes sense to go with a device that will seamlessly mesh with your app and other devices.
On the other hand, if you're just looking to upgrade your boring old bathroom scale to a cool new smart scale that works without much fuss, the Eufy BodyScale is a great option at a very reasonable price. It's a little clunky having to have the EufyLife app open on your phone, and it's easy to forget to do so and miss out on recording a day. But at less than half the price of the Aria 2, it's an easy compromise to make for those looking to get good value on a smart scale.
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