Most helpful positive review
661 of 688 people found the following review helpful
An accurate and slick looking product at an unbeatable price!
on March 7, 2013
I'm known as "Mr. Critical" for a reason, so let's dive in, shall we?
PACKAGING: The scales (two) arrived well packed and double-boxed (always good). Being that the scale itself is so heavy, I can understanding the minimal use of cardboard support in the manufacturer's box, but hey, it works.
ZEROING OUT: All digital scales need to be zeroed out, and this one is no different. Though it doesn't require the "tap-once" mechanism, it in fact does need to zero out. It isn't a big deal, but I would have liked to have seen the manufacturer write something like this in the instructions: "Place the scale on a flat surface and step on it until it displays a value (but disregard the measurement). Step off and wait for the screen to turn off. The scale is now properly zeroed out. You may now weigh yourself by simply stepping back on the scale."
I noticed it because the first measurement was WAY off, but subsequent measurements were very consistent. To test my hypothesis that the scale zeros out every time you step off, I placed a small padded 5-pound weight on the center of the scale, then weighed myself (obviously, it read 5 pounds higher). Next, I stepped off but *left the 5-pound weight on the scale*. This time, it seemed to take a bit longer to shut off (again, my theory is that it was zeroing itself). When I stepped back on (with the weight still in-place), the scale display my true weight, zeroing out the extra 5 pounds I had left on it. Super! Plus, it was fun to remove the weight while the scale was off, and see me drop 5 pounds so quickly (if only!).
This isn't good or bad, just a bit of insight on how well it's designed (it zeros out after every "real" measurement).
ACCURACY: I don't have any weights of appropriate calibration standards to test the accuracy of this scale, but I was able to perform two tests:
1. Since I had two units side-by-side, comparison was a snap. Results? Spot-on!
2. With my two hand-held 5-pound weights, it was easy to see if the scale can accurately report a 10-pound weight loss (when the weights are put down and I step back on). Again, the results were perfect; I lost 10 pounds in 15 seconds. I'm enjoying these sudden weight losses (second one now) way too much.
CONSISTENCY: Anyone who has owned a cheap scale in the past knows the aggravation of getting 3 different readings in a row. Which do you believe? Are you supposed to get out a calculator and average them out?
A previous scale I had did what I would consider a sneaky little trick to appear consistent, but in fact it was horribly wrong. It stored the last weight measured (for at least several minutes), and if you stepped back on, it simply displayed the same weight over and over. Unless the weight difference was greater than about 3-5 pounds, it would still give the same results. Garbage!
This scale doesn't do that, but it does have what I would call "hysteresis", where if you step on it while lit, it tends to "pull" closer to the previous measurement than simply measuring you from scratch. It's kind of like a magnet, where if the weight is far from the previous one, it will read normally. But as it gets closer to the previous reading, you can actually see the display gravitating towards the first result.
In my opinion this is perfectly fine, because it helps the scale compensate for slight differences in foot position (especially if you are not following the instructions), and because frankly, it shouldn't be needed. If you're really dead-set on getting a fresh reading every time, pick up a 5-pound weight to force it off, then put it down and weigh yourself again.There you go! On the other hand, if you're so fanatical about your weight that you need to measure yourself many times, it might be a better indication of a mental health issue than an actual weight issue. I don't say this in jest, because people with serious mental illnesses (bulimia and/or OCD) could become obsessed if the scale didn't behave in the way it's programmed.
PRECISION: At first I was disappointed that the scale only measured in 2/10th's of a pound, but then I realized that my own OCD was kicking in, and to give the scale a break. Heck, you can loose a pound just from sleeping (exhaled vapor/water), so precision less than 2/10th's is not an issue.
RANGE: Surprisingly, this scale can measure up to 400 lbs. Wow! In fact I know someone who really could use this, and I sent them the Amazon link to this product earlier today. They weight something over 300 lbs, which makes it difficult (and embarrassing) to find someplace to be measured accurately. Well, now you have a choice in the privacy of your own home. A+
FLEXIBILITY: Here I'm considering the scale itself, and the user. As far as the scale goes, it's a bit too heavy to be a "slide out and weigh yourself" type scale, so that rules out sitting next to the bathroom sink. I'm resigned to keeping it in a spare room where it can remain stationary (this is very good for the scale to maintain it's accuracy of course, because you're not constantly shifting or pulling on it).
For users, I weighed myself facing the display, sideways (both directions), and backwards. The scale was accurate until I stood backwards, and then it measured about 2/10'ths higher. While typing this review, I tried it again with the same results, which is odd. But, nobody suggests you stand backwards on it, and despite a wide variety of foot placement facing forward, the scale was 100% consistent. Note that I used my hand-held weights between these tests, to prevent the scale from using the last memorized weight (see "CONSISTENCY" above).
EXTRAS: The scale comes with batteries (Yay!), and a "waist" tape measure. The tape measure is a nice touch, however, I did find that the loose end fit VERY tight in one I received (in the empty hole after you wrap it around you), and a little snug in the other. One can observe the problem in that when the two halves are glued together, if one half is a tad offset, it makes the hole tighter. [Solution: Take a 5/16" drill bit, not a drill, just the bit itself, and insert it into the hole while rotating clockwise by hand a few times. Perfect!] I went through this extra work because I like this little gadget (never had one before), and I don't want the tape to rip from tugging on it so hard. Now it slides in very easily.
There are guides on how to do this, but here's what I personally do:
1. I take off my shirt and stand in front of a mirror
2. With the holder in my right hand, I pull the loose end around my back to my left side
3. After sucking in my gut (which is why I bought the scale, right?), I slide the loose end into the hole
4. Looking in the mirror, I confirm the tape is level on my left and right side.
5. I relax my stomach muscles completely until the unit stops clicking.
6. To release tension, I suck in my gut again and remove the loose end (easy now with my tip!)
7. I read the measurement, "sigh", and then press the retract button.
SUPPORT: There are no phone numbers in the manual (bummer), but a very quick and responsive email address. I had a question about one the scales, and received a very long and thorough reply the same day. Fantastic!
WHO COULD USE THIS: Anyone who is sick of ordinary scales that are far from accurate, people on a strict weight-loss program, and those who cannot weight themselves on ordinary home scales (because they weight more than 300 lbs).
TRIVIA: As of this review, this scale is selling on Amazon for $25, which qualifies for free shipping. I have absolutely NO CLUE how the company is making money such a terrific product at this price-point.
BOTTOM LINE: It's a keeper, and I highly recommend it!
---- UPDATE: November 12, 2013 ----
The scale continues to operate as described in my review, with the original batteries too! I've had more than one opportunity to weigh myself just prior to going to more than one doctor's office, and this scale continues to demonstrate less than 1 pound of error (meaning my weight measured by my doctor by his professional scale was less than one pound different from what this scale indicated just prior to departing my house).
I'll admit that I wish it didn't try to "assume" the previous reading (and if close, display the previous reading), but it's too easy to "trick" it into forcing a new measurement. In my case, I reach up and press on the sloping ceiling in my bedroom to force more weight on the scale, which throws off the "assume" (or "memory") feature. My next measurement is re-read and is clearly accurate.
Please don't blame the scale, I'm OCD and my obsession with "fresh" readings is more a mindset, than a reflection of the product.
BOTTOM LINE #2: No regrets and can confidently recommend this product. However, if you doubt the credibility of my review, please note that:
a) This is the only scale I've ever reviewed
b) This is the only product I've reviewed by this company
The above two points are to make it clear that I'm not a company representative, and if I see a problem, I'll tell you...good or bad.