Just like most of our household items, technology has found its way to the conventional bathroom scales. Are you aware of the huge advantages of smart scale?
Today, smart scales won’t just measure bland weight. Instead, they can highlight specific metrics like the fat percentage (BMI and visceral fat), muscle mass, heart rate, and much more.
Better yet, these ingenious devices can directly connect to your phone to regularly update your progress. With the right fitness app, stepping on the scale will be a fun, gamified experience rather than a dreadful ordeal.
Let’s dive into the highlights of what it can and can’t do. Make sure to stick around till the end where I’ll review some of my favorite products.
1. How Do Smart Scales Work?
Identifying numerical weight is a fairly easy task. All it takes is the right kind of gravitational sensor. The question is, how can smart scales measure fat, muscles, bones, and other vague metrics?
Thankfully, there are no tiny psychic dwarfs living inside those devices. Magic happens through electrical impulses.
When you step on the scale, it sends an electrical current up either one of your legs. This current is so faint that you can’t feel it, yet it’s strong enough to travel across your pelvis and return to the scale via the other leg.
Physically speaking, your body’s tissues vary in their resistance to electricity. The smart scale compares the received current with the one that was sent. Then, it guesses the percentages of your tissues based on the average resistance rates.
2. Are Smart Scales Accurate?
Nothing is perfect, right? It’s crucial to understand the limits of the smart scales to avoid getting your hopes too up.
As you might’ve thought, depending on an electrical impulse that stops at your pelvis can’t be always accurate. If, for example, you have a slim torso and plump thighs, the scale will mistakenly base its overall decision over the localized excess fat.
Upon scientific comparison with Bod Pod, a gold standard in fat measurement, almost all smart scales were a bit off. The good news is, the error range was mostly capped at 10%.
3. Are Smart Scales Worth It?
Here are some of the pleasant effects that a smart scale can have on your fitness goals.
3.1 You Don’t Have to Look
I know how stressful weight tracking can be. You may be following your diet plan exceptionally well, yet the daily result might not be that impressive. Also, small daily dips can make you forget about the positive long-term results.
That’s where a digital scale comes in handy. After connecting your device to your phone, all you have to do is to step on it. The scale will automatically send your data to your phone.
You can view your progress on a weekly basis and forget about those unnecessary frustrations.
3.2 They Automatically Recognize the User
Elaborate smart scales can cost around $150. Luckily, you don’t have to pay that much for a product that no one else can use. Some models can memorize the data of up to 8 people.
Best of all, no one will have to manually enter login data. Most smart scales can automatically identify the user after he/she steps on the device.
You might think that this technology is based on your toe-prints, but it’s way simpler. The device guesses the user based on how close the recent reading compares to the prior ones.
For instance, let’s say you weigh 140 pounds, while your significant other weighs 250 pounds. If the device reads 150 pounds, it’ll instantly know it’s you.
If the difference was smaller, the device will ask you to confirm your identity before exporting the data.
3.3 They Can Personalize Fitness Programs
How about a personal trainer that lives with you 24/7? That’s how an advanced smart scale can function. There are models that can pair to the fitness trackers produced by Garmin, Polar, Fitbit, etc.
After the smart scale automatically updates your weight, the fitness tracker will adjust your workouts accordingly.
With time, you can discover how you can change your sleep, food intake, and overall lifestyle to optimize your fitness plan.
4. What Are Some of the Best Smart Scales?
After knowing the ins and outs of smart scales, I thought I should give a quick shout-out to the products we trust.
In case you are interested, we have another post where we extensively reviewed 11 top smart scales and highlighted their pros and cons.
4.1 Withings Body+
The Withings Body+ is my favorite because it provides all the amazing benefits stated earlier, and more, without soaring up in cost. It syncs your body’s data automatically to the Health Mate app through Bluetooth or WiFi.
To promote accuracy, Withings developed a technology titled “Position Control”. Without getting into the technical how-to, this technology ensures that you stand in the same perfect position over the sensors. This way, you can keep the measurement errors at bay.
As a motivational perk, this scale connects to Alexa. You can use this feature to instantly receive insights about your progress without having to bother with detailed information.
- Works via both WiFi and Bluetooth
- Analyzes standing position
- Food tracking with MyFitnessPal
- Connects to Alexa
- Up to 18 months of battery life
- Maximum 8-users cap
- You have to stand perfectly otherwise it will not register measurements
4.2 Garmin Index
The differences between Garmin and the previous model aren’t that essential. Garmin Index works via WiFi only, accepts up to 16 people, and has a more fashionable design.
The real difference will reveal if you also own one of Garmin’s fitness trackers or running watches. As I said earlier, the integration can work wonders. The duo will act like a personal trainer that fine-tunes your plan according to the daily insights.
Garmin Connect, the app that pairs with the scale, is way more inclusive than Health Mate. I love how you can connect with your distant friends to know about their progress. This can be such a powerful motivation.
- Adjusts plan based on daily insights automatically
- Good integration with other Garmin products
- ANT+ support for one to many connection
- Up to 9 months of battery life
- Works only via WiFi
- Maximum 16-users cap
4.3 Renpho ES-CS20M
Renpho ES-CS20M is probably one of the cheapest yet functional smart scales on the market. I personally use this scale because, in the beginning, I was not sure how a smart scale will help. But it exceeded my expectation.
So what can it do? It tracks body metrics and compares them with ideal values. Your weight, height, and age are taken into consideration to generate those values.
It also seems to sync well with health apps. I use Google Fit on an iPhone (because I own a Wear OS watch) and data sync up correctly after every measurement.
- Measures thirteen body metrics
- Unlimited users support with user recognition
- Syncs with all popular fitness apps
- Sets ideal goals for your body
- Works only via Bluetooth
- Have to keep the app running or open the app immediately after weighing for synchronization
5. Final Words
Now that we have discussed all the advantages of smart scale, we can answer the most important question.
Can smart scales help you achieve fitness goals? That’s an easy yes. Having a device that directly syncs your data with virtually no effort will save you some precious time. Plus, you don’t have to risk getting demotivated by insignificant weight dips.
Is it the most accurate method? Not really. But it’s the best we can have. If you want absolute accuracy, it’s better to consult your doctor to know what test suits you the best.