Not content to rest on its laurels, Withings has updated its Wi-Fi Body Scale to measure several additional metrics. The Smart Body Analyzer WS-50 can now track your weight, heart rate and body mass index, as well as air quality. At $149, it's more expensive than other smart scales, but it does more than them, too. Should this device grace your bathroom floor?
Its 2.4 x 1.6-inch, 128 x 64-pixel LCD display is plenty bright, and displays your weight clearly --too clearly, if you ask us.
Getting the scale up and running is slightly more involved than the previous model Body Scale, but not by much. First, you must connect the WS-50 to your Android or iOS phone via Bluetooth. Then, download the Withings app to your phone, and use it to connect the WS-50 to your Wi-Fi network. In all, the setup took a relatively trouble-free 5 minutes.
You also can just connect the WS-50 to your iPhone or Android device using Bluetooth, handy if the room in which you place the scale doesn't get a Wi-Fi signal.
The scale can recognize up to eight people and can track them independently. The scale uses four AAA batteries, which Withings says should last between 8 months to a year, depending on the amount of daily weigh-ins. The WS-50 also takes CO2 readings every 30 minutes.
For the WS-50 to measure all your data, you have to stand on the scale in your bare feet. That way, the electrodes in the scale can measure your heart rate. After stepping on the scale, the WS-50 first displayed our weight, followed by our fat mass (the percentage of your total weight that's made up of fat). Next, the scale showed the ambient temperature and CO2 levels, and finally, our heart rate in beats per minute. In all, we had to stand on the scale for about 30 seconds, which isn't too bad considering all the measurements it takes.
We were pleased to find out that the CO2 levels in our building remained in a good range (between 379 and 463 parts per million) throughout our testing. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, normal outdoor concentrations are between 200 to 350 ppm, and poor indoor levels (when people will begin to notice air quality) at 600 ppm. At high levels (5,000 ppm and above), carbon dioxide can cause headache, dizziness, nausea and other health symptoms.
After it records all the data, the WS-50 syncs the information in the cloud, and then to your mobile device, where the data is charted over time. We were somewhat dismayed to find we'd put on a few pounds between measurements.
Below the cloverleaf are sections (which Withings calls widgets) that dive more deeply into each area. The Weight section shows your weight, fat mass and BMI; clicking on this section opens a new page showing these charts in more detail. Below the Weight section is Air Quality, which displays temperature and CO2 levels from the time you activated the scale. Underneath that section are your heart rate measurements.
What makes the Withings app even more useful is that you can incorporate metrics from other devices and apps, providing a more rounded view of your overall health. You can sync the Withings app with the Runkeeper app (among others), the BodyMedia Fit armband ($149) and the Zeo headband ($89), so that data from exercise and sleep is also incorporated. This way, the Withings app can provide a more well-rounded assessment of your overall health.
We wish, though, that the battery life gauge were not buried in the app. In order to see how much juice is left, you have to press the icon with the three lines at the top left, then Settings, scroll down to My Devices, select Withings Scales, then Associated Scales.
|Accessories Type||Apple Accessories|
|Size||12.8 x 12.8 x 0.9 inches|