Withings Smart Body Analyzer, Black
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|Item Weight||4.4 Pounds|
About this item
- Sorry, Withings no longer provides support, updates or repairs for this product. Please visit our website for the latest product launches and news.
There is a newer version of this item:
The scale interface is designed to help users center on the product to obtain accurate readings. Users who attempt to avoid accurate readings by rocking on their heels or toes will see values fluctuate.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12.8 x 12.8 x 0.9 inches; 4.4 Pounds
- Item model number : WS-50
- Batteries : 4 AAA batteries required.
- Date First Available : February 28, 2013
- Manufacturer : Withings
- ASIN : B00BKRQ4E8
- Best Sellers Rank: #335,793 in Health & Household (See Top 100 in Health & Household)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2016
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So I returned the scale to Apple. This was good that returns are so easy there (as at Amazon), because I have read in these reviews the many comments that Withings Customer Service is terrible.
Thus, based on the first scale, I would give it one star only because there is no zero-star rating.
However, then I purchased another Withings scale (same model) from Amazon. It arrived promptly and works (so far) perfectly. Setup was easy, and there is no problem with wi-fi connection. My rating is based solely on this second scale.
It is not necessary to have a wif-fi connection. One can set up the scale for a bluetooth-only connection to a nearby iPhone or Android phone. Or, if one just wants an ordinary scale, the readings will show on the scale itself without connection to anything.
The scale is also good for multiple users. After an initial setup for each user and an initial weighing of that user, the scale can distinguish users automatically if each user weighs sufficiently different amounts from the other users.
The Withings scale is a very handsome, large footprint, black scale, with a silver colored large button in the middle. The button can be used to select the units of weight, and perhaps for other functions. Because the scale has a larger footprint than many traditional scales, it may rock if the floor is uneven. If this happens, you may need to move the scale in order to get an accurate reading on a level surface. There are also easy-to-apply larger feet to install if the scale will be used on a carpet.
I note that both the first and the second scales show my weight as 1.6 pounds more than my long-used Taylor scale. It may be that the higher weight is correct, and I understand that digital scales vary from one unit to the next (although both my Withings scales reported the same weight). It would have been nice if the Withings and Taylor scales read the same, since I track both readings in Apple’s Health app. (I split time between two locations and hence, two scales.) There is also a Withings Health app. But unless one has a medical scale with sliding weights along a balance bar, one has to regard absolute weight readings as approximate (probably within two pounds) and focus on weight increases and decreases over time.
I usually do not have contact lenses inserted when I weigh in the mornings, and I usually remove my glasses (trying to get every fraction of an ounce of benefit towards my weight-loss goals). This scale’s display readout is of average size but is a little small for me to read unless I bend to get closer. Also, the weight reading changes fairly quickly to the other readings, including readings for body fat, heart rate, and air quality CO2 level. (I still have to read what that means.) But all this data appears automatically in the Withings Health app on your cell phone. The scale also somehow displays the day’s weather—the theory is so that the user will better know what to wear.
I note that when I bought my second Withings scale, the Withings Health app from my first scale installation continued—so my original data was not lost. This means that I could buy yet another Withings scale for use at a different location, and both the Apple Health and Withings Health apps will compile all the data. Both apps do a good job of showing levels and trends.
I don’t know how long this scale will work without a problem—I hope for a long time, because of the many complaints about Withings’ customer service.
I might have given the product five stars if (a) I had not read the other reviews about defective units and poor service, (b) my first scale had been able to make a good wi-fi connection, and (c) the weight readout had been a little larger or at least stayed in the display a little longer. Overall, if this unit continues to work, I will be very happy with it.
11-10-15 Update: After writing my review above, the scale stopped reading heart rate. The display screen went blank after weight and body fat. Pressing the button usually brought up the CO2/ room temperature screen. Then the unit by itself decided to measure weight in kilograms before deciding by itself to revert to pounds. I tried all kinds of things to fix these problems, including verifying options in the Withings app on my iPhone and on my computer. I reviewed and implemented all suggestions that I found on the support.withings.com web pages. I went through the initial setup procedures a few times. Nada. Kaput. Then I removed the batteries, waited a few moments, and re-installed them and then went through setup again. Voila! Working again!! Will it still work tomorrow? Who knows? Hopefully so. I'll keep the scale rating, generously, at four stars for the time being. Incidentally, Withings Customer Service did send me within a couple of hours an automated reply email with an opportunity to provide more feedback. I did reply to report my solution (battery removal and replacement.) I don't know when I would have received a human response, but none is needed for the time being.
When buying a product like this, keep in mind that you're getting more than just the scale. You're also going enjoy using their free smart phone app and their free website. If you're like me, you'll also want to use this scale with many other smart phone apps and websites. At the time of this writing, this product is compatible with more than 60 different apps and websites!
I just received my scale a few hours ago and I am already VERY impressed with both the scale and the smart-phone app. The first step I performed was to download the free Withings app to my Android phone from the Google play store. If you have an Apple product, you can download the app just like any other Apple application. Next I removed the plastic tab from the battery compartment placed there to keep the batteries from draining during shipment. Then I linked my scale with my smart-phone with the bluetooth feature. The Bluetooth pairing was very simple after I pressed the "pairing" button on the bottom of the scale. Next I setup the Wi-Fi feature by selecting my wireless router with the Withings phone-app. When that was done, all I had to do was sign up for a Withings account by providing my email address and a password for the Withings account. Setting up the account only takes about a minute. You will be asked to provide your name (for tracking your account), 3 characters for your initials (which will be visible when you weigh yourself), your height (for BMI calculations), your gender (for accurate bodyfat % calculations), Your age (presumably for bodyfat calculations), and Body Composition Model (I kept the default value, but I will need to learn morea about this setting). That's it. I've literally spent more time typing this paragraph than the time it took to set everything up.
Next I setup my Withings account to automatically share data with my MyFitnessPal account and my FitBit account. The Fitbit compatibility most surprised me because they also sell their own wi-fi bathroom scale. A simple google search was all it took to learn how to link my accounts together and it only took a few minutes from start to finish! Now I'll never have to worry about writing down my weight every morning and typing it on my computer located at the other side of the house! It just works!
Other things worth mentioning.
- If you're not standing on the center of the scale, arrows on the corners of the display will tell you which direction to shift your weight for a more accurate reading.
- The scale uses 4 AAA batteries and they come pre-installed. Just be sure to remove the plastic tab covering one of the batteries before use or the batteries won't make contact.
- The build quality is great and the design is stylish and sleek. The glass-like surface may need to be cleaned often but I'll learn more as I start using it.
- The 4 legs are on ball&socket sytle legs to help evenly distribute the load to the floor evenly. As a mechanical design engineer, I really like their design.
- The display is very nice white-letter on a dark background design.
- This model not only measures your weight and bodyfat percentage, but it also measures your heart rate, room temperature, and airborne carbon dioxide levels. I'm not yet sure what I need carbon dioxide level information for, but at least it sounds cool.
- Up to 8 users can use the same scale. Somehow the scale is smart enough to identify each unique user and automatically track their information separately.
- The scale is packaged in a nice resealable cardboard box with a plastic lifting handle. This is important to me because I travel a lot and plan on taking my scale with me. The box features cutouts to protect the legs and protection in all of the right places. They put some serious thought into the design of their box and I appreciate it!
So far my only two very minor complaints are related to the Android phone app, and they're probably not even problems. When you first start the app, the screen looks blank. I thought it was acting like it was slow to load, but it turns out that I only needed to tap the screen to get to the main "dashboard". My second gripe is about the comment field below each weigh-in. The app allows you to type out a message on your phone app below each weight entry, but as far as I can tell (as a novice user) each time you enter a comment it seems to be assigned to EVERY weight entry when you only intend to assign it to one particular weight entry. Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Anyway, I'm not very worried about it because if there's a problem I'm sure it will be fixed in the next smart-phone software upgrade.
I've been very excited about this product ever since I pre-ordered it before the official release date and overall I am VERY pleased. You should buy this product too.
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Before purchasing these I had also checked Withings website to see if they had any new products as I had the previous one for nearly a year. Nothing new was mentioned so I bought this pair again. Next day about 10 mins after they were delivered and opened Withings announced their new Cardio model. If I had a quid for every time this happens to me I'd be a millionaire.
As to the scales, they work well the display is clear, the app is good and they are compatible with Apple HeathKit. Only criticism would be that it seemed a bit confusing how to set them up for multiple users. I never really needed this however so I didn't spend too much time on it. It has probably been addressed by now I imagine.
A little more to do for the setup perhaps with a link to your wifi and registration but nothing too difficult and off you go. I have linked mine to rubiTrack Pro (running app for Mac) and understand there are ways to get the data in to Garmin Connect if you wish (just search for D C Rainmaker). For the rest of the family it can be used as a basic weighing scale and works fine.
Of course the other option is to use the iOS or Android App as this is where the scale comes in to its own in terms of being able to track your weight over a period of time. I use the app to set a weight target and the app will then show progress with a link to the scale so that each time you take a reading it will then, wirelessly, send the data to your phone. Trouble is with the app is that it shows the other kit you could have and I have already been swayed by this with the blood pressure monitor and feel I should, perhaps, also get the activity tracker!
The scale also gives the usual, other, readings such as heart rate and body fat.
Of note is the fact Withings put out firmware releases with one enabling a weather forecast! After your weight comes up you get the weather symbols as to what you can expect before you head out!
A few cons to this though that have stopped me giving the full 5 x stars:
Mine occasionally looses wifi connection (may be the AAA batteries are getting low)
Annoyingly it seems to forget the weight type (Kg's, stones etc.,) every now and again meaning you need to change the setting via the touch sensitive button which is often not that touch-sensitive
I use mine of a tiled bathroom floor but, on occasion, you find the scale weighs heavy when you first get on. If you jump off the 4-5lbs can be seen on the scale display so you need to get on carefully and it returns the weight you expected. Perhaps this is me standing on it off centre or something...
Overall it is highly recommended and the weighing scale I turn to every time I feel brave enough to jump on!
There are some oddities: CO2 as a measure of air quality? I can think of much better measures. And if it's going to rain you can see the umbrella and rain sign. These parameters seem somehow misplaced and don't square comfortably with the main purpose of the scales.
The scales look good, the display is nice and clear and it works straight out of the box.... well almost.
The user guide explains the setup procedure in the wrong order. I used Android and had already downloaded the Withings App and had already started using the app to enter weights manually from my old scales. However, the instructions on the app were OK. The scales paired with the smart phone and it was a breeze to enter the WiFi password and connect to that.
Being the only user the scales identified me straight away. But you have to wait some time before a) your weight is recorded, b) your body fat is recorded and c) your pulse rate is measured. About 20-30 seconds in total, which is a bit long for modern electronics.
The only difficulty encountered was with adding a 2nd user. The estimate of weight was 6lb out and the second user (created on the web interface) wasn't recognised. The online help shows the error screen - but, and this is a big BUT - doesn't tell you how to fix it. (The solution was to delete earlier weights and build up a pattern of 6 consistent weights)
I mailed tech support twice with questions and had replies to both within a few days.
The other thing I don't understand is the way the Withings app interfaces with MyFitness Pal to transfer steps. The graph looks gorgeous with soft pinks and oranges - but what the heck do all the numbers mean? Again, some good solid documentation would help. (Edit: Tech support have replied to my enquiry and explained the graphs).
I am giving the product 4 stars since it is inseparable from the online account and the Withings app. With a real overhaul of the documentation and better online help I would have given 5 stars. The scales are expensive and I expect the product to be backed with a huge "customers matter" ethos.
An investment in good documentation and online support is far better than soaking up staff time with needles inquiries. If Withings crack this then the review would have been 5 stars. Although I have focused on some negative aspects none of these are to do with the product itself - which still looks gorgeous, is so simple to use and, for once, tracks my stats seamlessly without having to use spreadsheets, pencil or paper. That is a huge benefit.
Note: 25/05/2015: Since the last update on 20/05/2015, the Healthmate app has inconsistently remembered the links to both step counting and MyFitnessPal. Additionally, step counting has been erratic and the reported % completion towards the daily total is often incorrectly reported. The web interface works fine but the app (for Android at least) is buggy.
Note: 06/07/2016: Since the last update I really dislike the fact that neither the scale nor the app is ANT+ compatible. I have to enter weights manually into Samsung S- Health. A VERY expensive set of scales that are almost universally incompatible with everything else. Would no longer recommend unless Withings issue a firmware update for the scales.
The scale was easy to setup with iPhone 6+. I think it is very accurate when measuring and the little arrows guiding you to adjust your position are very well thought. I haven't seen such functionality before.
It quickly gives you the air quality info and pulse, however I found the later to be not accurate at all, as some others have pointed out. It gives me every time a heart rate of 100+ BPM when I have just woken up. My actual pulse at this time is around 60-75 BPM (measured with Qardio arm and iPhone's camera via Heart Rate app). I am removing one star for this.
If I wrote this review few days ago I would have give a suggestion that the scale needs to show you the weather forecast instead of an umbrella if it's going to rain in the next 8 hours or so (which is kinda pointless). It appears Withings read my mind via wifi and this functionality is now part of the scale. It shows low/high temps with icons (sun, clouds, rain). Very useful to have this at a glance when you wake up.
The scale also shows the room temp on the air quality screen. It can take a measurement when you press the circle in the centre, but you have to press it harder than I thought. I even realised this after having the scale for more than a week. Before that I thought it is not working or I misunderstood the function when read the online description prior the purchase.
Design wise, this scale looks superb in black. It is very big, which is a great plus.
The best thing is the app and its integration with Apple's HealthKit. I want to lose weight and find that the measurements every day give you a good overview of how things are going. Of course you can do this with regular scales and a piece of paper, but is more time consuming, and not that convenient.
I love smart accessories. Finally our health is getting help from tech, not the opposite. It doesn't come cheap at this point, but I believe in future these products will become more and more accessible for everyone.
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