Home Tech Looking for the best smart scale? Goes up

Looking for the best smart scale? Goes up

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The humble bathroom Scale is long overdue to learn some new tricks. After all, who needs to dedicate valuable space to a device whose purpose is simply to tell you your weight? The “smart scale” category emerged in the early days of the Internet of Things, but the first models were not always the best, hampered by connectivity issues and general usability issues. As such, the category has largely stagnated; Only a handful of companies now make these devices and some have not updated their product line in years.

Only recently has this started to change, as newer, faster and better all-round products have started to hit the market again. Not only can the newest smart scales track a host of health metrics for multiple members of your household through sophisticated mobile apps, but they’ve also taken care of all the kinks, making it easier than ever to do a checkup. Track your weight.

How smart can a scale be? And which one should you buy? If an accurate weight is most important to you, don’t worry too much about the decision. All of these scales I’ve tried are pretty accurate. My maximum and minimum weight never varied by more than 0.6 pounds in all of them; That means that it will be enough to get one of the cheaper models. But if you’re serious about weight loss or fitness training, you’ll probably want to dig deeper and consider the accuracy of the additional body metrics, the wireless format, and the overall usability and robustness of the hardware and software. This is where I spent most of my testing time finding the best smart scale. With all that in mind, I have a few ideas.

How do smart scales work?

Smart scales come in two basic versions: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The first connects directly to your phone to sync your readings. The latter uses your home wireless network to sync readings directly to the cloud, which can then be accessed by the app on your phone. Wi-Fi scales are more expensive but more versatile. While older scales often had erratic wireless connections, newer models have fixed many of their issues and firmware updates have improved connectivity.

Virtually all smart scales use the same type of system to measure your additional vital signs: bioelectrical impedance analysis, which involves sending a tiny electrical current down one leg and measuring what happens when it goes down the other side. Some mathematical magic turns all of this into any number of derived measurements about things like your body’s fat, water, and bone percentage; body mass index; and sometimes arcane like basal metabolic rate, a measure of the body’s energy expenditure at rest. All of the scales I tested can sync data with Apple Health and Google Fit or Health Connect, either directly or by passing data through the app.

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