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Feet on: Withings Body Cardio Scale adds tons of sensors for better health

The WIthings Body Cardio smart scale
The WIthings Body Cardio smart scale (Image credit: Russell Holly / Android Central)

Connected health tech usually is all about strapping gadgets to your body in order to feed data to an app on your phone. Wear this thing when you run, this thing when you sleep, this thing when you go swimming, and so on until you're never not wearing some kind of connected health bauble. Using data to help keep yourself healthy is great, but sometimes the way we go about it is clumsy. The folks at Withings have released a new model in their line of highly successful connected scales that takes aim at some of these other connected health gadgets, making it so your bathroom scale is all you really need for a detailed look at how healthy you are.

We've been using one for a couple of days now, and here's how it works!

Withings Body Cardio is all about adding data to your body profile, using pulse wave velocity measurement on top of the existing sensors to help determine heart rate as well as body water percentage, muscle mass, and your body fat percentage. You step on the scale and get your weight immediately, but stick around for this extra information. If you're connected to a Withings step tracker you'll see that information on the small display as well as a glance at the weather as you reach the end of the readout. This additional information is fun for a data junkie to look at on the scale, but when that data is synced to the app it is used to offer a more complete picture of your personal health.

Data tracked over time, specifically your heart rate and total body water percentage, add to the "butterfly" Withings tries to create with your personal profile in their app. Withings claims the use of pulse wave velocity gives you a better sense of heart health, and tracking this daily gives you a way to see your resting heart rate decrease over time as you exercise. The company is also quite clear that their statement haven't been evaluated by the FDA, and that this scale shouldn't be used in the diagnosis of anything. Which is good, since our tests revealed some significant variance in heart rate measurement when climbing on the scale repeatedly and comparing the results to wrist and finger-based heart rate monitors.

Withings gets credit for once again releasing a nice-looking scale that is crammed with sensors for giving you a better sense of how more of your body is behaving from day to day. The scale itself looks nice, and Withings claims the battery on this scale will go for a whole year before needing to be recharged. These scales are the closest thing to a set-and-forget connected health appliance, and when used with the recommended software there's a lot of useful information about your body available. Whether that means you'll lose weight or be more active as a result is, of course, entirely up to the user.

Withings is launching this scale available exclusively at Apple Stores and for $180 (opens in new tab), with plan to make the Body Cardio scale available at other retailers by the end of the summer.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • How accurate is the body fat measurement? I have the Withings Smart Body Analyzer and it is hilariously inaccurate.
  • In this entire fitness ecosystem all the public needs is a device that will provide consistency of reading within an acceptable range of tolerance (1-5%). This will provide the readings over time graphs and the motivation required. These devices are not for athletes and not for medical professionals. If you require more accurate readings for these reasons then use a professional machine.
  • What do you use?
  • It's not, none of them are. The tech is theoretically appealing, but there are way WAY too many caveats for them to be remotely accurate. But that's not the point Im afraid. It's all about the long run, the trends, the changes and therefore the consistency with which all this data is measured. Overtime, if the scale is consistent and you apply common sense, it can help you see where you at. Your work will show and you will have figures to 'prove' it. It doesnt matter if you started at 25% bodyfat when you were actually 18% or 29%, And dont worry, you wont fall into single digit percentages just because of inaccurate readings. Trust me, if that's what you're aiming at your body will tell you. As an avid powerlifter I wanted to have an accurate bodyfat number and gravitated towards connected scales. I rapidly stopped and went full medical instead. I cant (and wont) do that everyday, but at least the measurement was precise.
  • Thank you for the feedback. My current Withings scale is pretty inconsistent, which is why is why it frustrates me. It regularly doubles or triples my actual figures, so it's impossible to get any baseline or trend. I think you're correct in suggesting a more scientific approach. After all, what good are the numbers if they're not accurate to begin with?
  • Whitings was purchased by nokia right? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sadly yes.
  • Heh....feet on... Posted via the Android Central App