The luxury scale from Withings is amazing, but unnecessary

News Summary:

  • Withings’ Body Scan was actually announced in early 2022, but the usual barrage of regulatory hurdles means it’s only launched in Europe. It’s coming to the US at some point in the future, but with the FDA’s sausage maker, it’s hard for anyone to commit to a definite date. The following year also brought prices down, initially pegged at $300 ahead of costs, and the semiconductor crisis pushed things further north.

  • I wonder how often the tech press is more ambitious than helpful, like when you look at car reviews that examine million-dollar trips. I take comfort in knowing that while flagship laptops are expensive, there are very few devices that are so expensive that they are only one percent off. What about Withings’ new smart scale, the Body Scan Connected Health Station, which costs £400 (about $479)? It’s crazy to pay for any smart scale, especially when you can get a great scale from Withings for a quarter of that price.

Withings sells and sells this on the basis that it is not just a smart scale but a larger comprehensive body analysis toolkit. It’s comparable to the kind of equipment you might find in a high-end gym or low-end medical facility. It analyzes your segmented body composition, runs a six-lead electrocardiogram, measures your nerve activity, and tracks your vascular age. He’ll also use Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) to monitor sweat levels in your feet to look for signs of neuropathy.

Withings has the setup process into an art: wake up the scale, open the Health Mate app, enter your WiFi password, and sit down. The required software update lasts two minutes and you can then set a weight loss goal in the app. Weigh yourself for five days in a row, then he’ll be ready and willing to give you suggestions on the best way to improve your lifestyle. You’ll also see a series of how-to guides to get the most out of your new hardware.

My first impression was that it looked like someone had put Withings’ cheaper Body Comp scale on its own weighted base and it was extremely sturdy. The same goes for the handlebars where you’ll need to do one of those complex body analysis tests during your morning weighing session. It’s held in place by a thin but sturdy looking coiled cable that I’m sure will last a long time but that said, I wouldn’t leave it anywhere near my kids.

There’s not much to learn: step on the scale, hold the clamp at pelvic height, and wait 90 seconds for it to do its job. It will perform a series of tests that measure weight, body fat, muscle mass, visceral fat, electrocardiogram, pulse wave velocity, vascular age, and neurological health.