I’m just gonna say it upfront – this is perhaps the most well put together and thought out device and set of services I’ve reviewed yet. I know, it sounds funny given it’s ‘just a scale’, but – it’s a really well thought through scale. But before we get to the deets, let’s talk about exactly what product I’m referring to.The Withings WiFi Scale is a scale that measures your body weight and body fat %, and then wirelessly transmits it via standard WiFi to a website that allows you to track and record your weight. But more importantly than than their website, it transmits data to a massive ecosystem of health, training and sports websites and software. Including popular applications like Training Peaks, Sport Tracks, RunKeeper and even Twitter.
Like all my reviews, they tend to be pretty in depth (perhaps overly so) – but that’s just my trademark DC Rainmaker way of doing things. Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries. I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more. My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.
Because I want to be transparent about my reviews, Withings sent me the scale for a few months to play with as a trial unit. Once that period has elapsed, I send the whole messed up box back to the folks at Withings. Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon links from this page to help support future reviews.
Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.
So with that…let’s get onto the action!
The scale comes in a rather compact box, with the dressings not unlike that of an Apple product. Stark white accented by clean, simplistic imagery.
Once you crack open the box, it’s layered with soft anti-scratch paper to ensure the glossy top of the scale isn’t scuffed up.
After pealing all that back, you finally get to the scale itself:
Upon getting all the pieces out of the box, you’re left with a small pile of components in addition to the scale.
These components include:
1) Four little rubber feet
2) One scale
3) Two sets of batteries
4) One small tape measure
5) A stack of papers
6) A USB cable
You’ll now flip the scale over on it’s back to get to the battery compartment and USB port:
You may now be asking why we’d need a USB port on a WiFi scale. Well, the scale doesn’t have any input panel on it, so in order to configure your wireless network, you need to connect it to a computer for the first couple minutes – then it’s home free and onto wireless.
And for those curious techies out there, this is also where the MAC address of the device is listed as well:
With everything all connected to a computer, it’s time to run the quick setup program.
As you may have noticed in the pictures above, the scale has a bright clear sticker on it instructing you to go to start.withings.com, which is where you’ll create a simple account to link the scale too.
Once you’ve done that (it only takes a second), then you’ll go ahead and start the new scale process:
From there the site will have you download a small application to run on your computer, which will allow you to connect to the scale using the USB cable.
Once the application is downloaded, you’ll go through a quick setup process, which only takes a few minutes:
It’s during this process that your cable-bound scale finally gets its wireless freedom, and is allowed to leave the nest once and for all:
Once you’ve completed the process and signed back into the Withings website, you’ll be notified of your successful scale association:
Once we’re at this point, we just need to configure a simple user account on the site. We’ll talk more about the site later on – but for now, we’ll just create a single user account (though it supports multiple users).
As you can see, you’re able to select the persons gender, height, and even set an initial starting weight. By setting this weight, the scale can ‘guess’ as to which user of the scale is using the account – for those cases where multiple users are using the scale. In addition, by setting height, the scale can determine your BMI ranking.
And finally, you’ll notice there’s a ‘Body Composition Model’ dropdown. This allows you to choose between a standard body comp model, or one geared towards an athlete. For me, if I use the standard numbers, the scale incorrectly determines my body fast percentage. But when I choose the Athlete version, it more accurately reflects my body fat % (relative to other devices which can understand the difference).
So with everything configured…let’s get onto actually using the scale!
Using the scale
When it comes to electronic devices, sometimes less is more. And in the case of the Withings Scale – having no real buttonary (aside from the initial ones on the bottom under the battery cover), means things are gonna be pretty easy from the get-go. By default, the scale is off unless stepped on.
To use the scale…you simple step on it. I know, pretty crazy ehh? But, once you’ve graced it with your presence, it’ll go ahead and start weighing you.
In most cases it’ll just take a few seconds to get the initial measurement. If you happen to try and do a little jig while on it, small arrows will appear in the LCD telling to you basically stand still and shift your weight a bit for an even reading.
After a few seconds a small progress bar will appear, which is when the scale is taking your body fat composition, or essentially, when it’s measuring how much fat you have. That data is recorded in pounds, but also displayed as a percentage using simple division.
Once you’re done, you just step off the scale and it’ll shut back off within a second or so. You can rinse and repeat as many times as you’d like and it’ll keep reading, transmitting and recording data points.
It’s during the time that you’re on the scale that it goes ahead and sends it to the website, and any extra 3rd party sites that may be receiving your data. I found that in most cases data was visible within 10-20 seconds on the website, and in the case of the iPhone, it buzzed an alert to tell me within about 20 seconds of stepping off the scale.
Now that we’ve got the data recorded, let’s get to the website to dig into our data.
The Withings Website
Once you’ve done a little dance on the scale, it’s time to head off to the website to check out how the long-range picture is looking. The Withings folks have done a good job at making a single site that has simple interface to get access to your core information, and then a ton of little options accessible from various fly-out menu’s.
First up, the main dashboard. Once logged in, this is what the view looks like:
You’ll notice the two graphs, one showing on top is showing my weight, while the lower one is showing body fat. You can customize these a bit if you’d like to display only one graph, or the items shown on that graph.
Down in the lower right corner you’ll see information about the latest data point entered. You can change to different data points using the left/right arrows, or just by clicking on any item on the graph. It’s also here where you can manually add a data point that you may have recorded elsewhere. For example, if you went on vacation and they had a scale in the bathroom to gather your weight.
You can also set objectives here. These are goals you’re trying to hit, which will then show you how far from your objective you are:
Down along the bottom of the screen you can change the range of the graph, either reducing it or increasing it. Heck, you can even set it to show hourly changes in weight if you stepped on the scale that often.
And finally, on the left hand side you can change the user that’s being shown – if you are recording multiple people on your account. You can also have one scale, with two people, and two fully separated accounts. You can basically create any imaginable combination of different peoples, scales, and accounts. And you can have up to eight users on a given scale.
Now that we’ve walked through the basics of the site, let’s dig into some of the more advanced features a little bit.
Advanced Scale/Web Options
Scale Options Control Panel:
Within the scale options control panel you can view a number of different useful parameters – such as the current battery level and even firmware level. You can also enable advanced debugging here should troubleshooting need to occur. In addition, it’s from this control panel that you can add new scales, or disassociate old scales.
One of the options you’ll note is to ‘Zero’ at each weigh in. What this means is that the scale calibrates an empty weight first, and then has you step on the scale. This is useful to control calibration drift over time.
In the event that you have a really big house and you want to have multiple scales all tied to the same account (with different users) you can even do that two. You’d use the scale control panel to add a secondary scale, just like the first scale:
Once that’s done, you’ll see both scales listed:
From there you can go back and forth between the two scales and weigh yourself on each one. And, I’d suspect if you placed them far enough apart, and put enough effort into it, eventually you’d see you’re weight decrease.
Alternatively, you could set them up in a high availability configuration. For example, you could do a clustered configuration where one was active, and one passive.
Or you could also go to a fully active/active configuration – or even a load balanced configuration.
(Don’t worry, if you didn’t get the above jokes…it’s alright, some of you will, and for those that do, it’ll be funny. For the rest of you…moving on…)
User Options Control Panel:
From the user options control panel you can set up e-mails to be sent to you letting you know how you’re progressing against your weight objectives.
In addition, you can import and export data into your Withings account. This is super-cool for a number of reasons, but primarily if you have a vast amount of data already stored somewhere else. And since as you’ll see later on, the Withings site will push data to tons of partners, it’s a handy automated way of getting data into other systems. Very cool.
Publish on the web:
In addition to sharing data with various partnered (outlined below), you can create a simple web-page that you can link to to share data on. You can create this page here in the sharing control panel:
From there, it’ll create a URL that you can use with a simple page to access the data:
And with that, I think I’ve covered almost every button within the website, let’s get onto some mobile accessing of the data and then the 3rd party options.
The Withings iPhone app
As you’ve probably been noticing throughout this review, the goal of the Withings scale is to get your information into as many forms as possible – trying to make it easy for you to access. Before we get into all the ways they integrate with 3rd parties, I wanted to briefly talk about the iPhone app they have, which allows you to access and receive updates from the scale.
The iPhone app is free, and installs easily just like any app in the Apple App Store. Once installed, you’ll go ahead and walk through entering in your Withings Account information from which to pull data:
Once the account is logged into, it’ll go ahead and allow you to choose which user within that account you want to display by default:
In the event you want to change any of the basic default settings/configuration, you can do so within the configuration menu:
Now that everything is configured, you’ll receive updates directly from the scale about 20 seconds after you step on the scale and it records a weight. These will then show within the app. You can use the slider button at the bottom to change to different readings from the scale:
You can also simply rotate the screen (just by tilting the iPhone) to show your weight in a pretty graph:
And lastly, when new weight measurements come in from the scale, it’ll automatically show a small number on top of the Withings Scale app from within the menu, letting you know a new data point is available – sorta like new e-mail coming in.
All in all the Withings iPhone app is a nice added benefit that allows you to easily access your data without having to navigate through a website.
And for those curious, an Android app should be available the end of the summer, no word on a Windows Mobile/Windows Phone app yet.
Integration with 3rd parties:
The folks from Withings have been busy being ‘players’. They’re integrating with anybody and everybody. And that’s frankly pretty freakin’ awesome. But you know what’s honestly even cooler? Everyone I’ve been talking to (developer-wise) at these other companies has said the same thing over and over again: The Withings folks are just so easy to work with and so quick. It’s been a broken record. To me, that’s the sign of a company that wants to succeed at this game. And just look at the huge list of web sites and software applications they integrate with:
And while I’d love to show off all of them to you, I’m going to focus on the ones I’m most familiar with – the ones I use day to day. But first, let’s talk about how you enable sharing. To do so, you’ll just go to the Withings website and log into your account. From there, you can select which sites are allowed to access your data – and you can shut off access at any time with the flip of a switch.
Once you’ve done that though, we’re onto using it with other sites and software. First up…the one app I log into every single day – Training Peaks.
Training Peaks is a site that allows you to track and analyze in depth your workouts and health. In my case, my primary use is uploading workouts to my coach, who then reviews them and comments back to me. But in addition to my daily workouts, I also am required to upload daily metrics – stuff like hours slept, resting heart rate…and weight.
Now with the Withings scale, it does the weight and body fat % for me automatically. To configure Training Peaks and Withings integration, you simply login to your Withings account and enter in your Training Peaks username and password:
The cool part here is that you can have multiple people all using the same scale, yet the data gets correctly sent to the right Training Peaks accounts. Very well thought out.
Now you simply login to Training Peaks and go to the Calendar View (or Dashboard View), we’ll start with Calendar view. On the date you’ll notice a little dot. If the dot is black, than information has been transmitted for that day, of it’s grey, then there’s no data for that day.
Once you click on the dot, it’ll allow you to bring-up more detailed data on that day, including your body weight and body fat % automatically transmitted by the Withings Scale:
Finally, in dashboard view you can add the Daily Metrics pod and select any number of daily metrics to show, including weight and body fat %. In my example, I’ve included weight and sleep, which is shown in the pod to the right.
Using the Withings scale with TP is super easy, and makes for a great way to quickly get key daily metrics into your training account.
I’ve long said Sport Tracks is my favorite application out there – and it still holds true to that, primarily due to the vast number of cool plug-ins and ways to slice and dice your data. If you’re not familiar with this free application, check out my ‘Top 10 Plug-ins’ post to start feeling the Sport Tracks love.
Before we install the plug-in, we need to enable the setting allowing applications to access data from the Withings site (it still requires a password though), this is done in the sharing menu:
To use Sport Tracks within Withings, you’ll need to download a tiny (and free) plug-in, which is available here. Once installed, you’ll simply go into the settings menu to start the configuration process:
Unlike some of the other online services noted here where data is pushed from Withings to the site, in this case Sport Tracks pulls from the Withings site. So you’ll go ahead and enter in your Withings account information:
After which, you’ll be able to choose which user within the account you want to link:
Next up you’ll be able to configure which data points are pulled, and how those data points should be processed:
What’s cool here is that if you have multiple data points for a given day, you can choose exactly which data point set to choose. Obviously…I’m choosing ‘Lowest’. 😉
After that, you’re all set and the initial data set is imported in:
From there, you’ll go ahead and utilize the Athlete view mode to look at details of your data, which is displayed both in a graph, but also in a simple table:
Using the Withings plug-in with Sport Tracks is dead-simple, it’ll automatically gather your data for you when you open Sport Tracks, and then import it into your Sport Tracks logbook. Can’t get much easier than that!
A quickly growing site out there for users of iPhone and Android devices is RunKeeper. RunKeeper allows you to record your workouts like a Garmin GPS fitness device would. They even allow you to track friends and family in real time over the internet. Very cool.
Here’s what the main dashboard for a given activity looks like:
But, in addition to activity tracking, they also allow some basic health management as well. So let’s dig into that a bit. Off of the settings tab, we’ll go ahead and click on Body Measurements.
From there you’ll arrive at the main weight page showing your current weight, as well as information about the scale that you’ve connected to.
And from there you can dig into all your weight measurements to see the exact numbers from past encounters with the scale.
This is pretty cool, and I like how I can update individual measurements if I need to – very useful in situations where a given data point isn’t necessarily accurate (for example, immediately after a long run in the heat where weight is inaccurately low due to lack of hydration). I do wish though there was some sort of graphing functionality here, as I’m more of a picture person than a straight list of numbers person.
But, I do greatly appreciate the integration here, and look forward to future expansion with RunKeeper!
Microsoft Health Vault
Microsoft Health Vault – like Google Health (below) allows you to control and manage all your medical data in one single (digital) location. Some major organizations are starting to get onboard these efforts, as well as smaller companies like Withings. From within the Withings website, you can link together your scale and Microsoft Health Vault – allowing you to record your body composition data and make it available to medical professionals (or simply yourself) as you see fit.
To set this up, login to the Withings site and go into the sharing area:
From there you’ll be taken to a page to login to your Health Vault account (free, btw) and approve the linking:
It takes only a second, and you’re cooking!
Now, from within Microsoft Health Vault, you can navigate to your health record information to see the links to Body Composition (which shows body fat), and Weight:
Once you drill into those menu’s, you’ll be able to see the default view of a large table of data values:
But, since I’m more of a pretty-picture kinda person, I switch to graph view:
I’m really only just touching the surface of what Health Vault can do, and there’s tons of settings around what you do or do not show to various medical organizations – so go forth and poke and prod by setting up a free account.
Google Health offers many of the same functionality and features that you see in Microsoft Health Vault. The goal is to allow you to track your medical records and share them as applicable with people you trust (doctors).
To setup Google Health, you’ll go into the Withings Website and enable Sharing within Google Health. To do so, simply click on the “Link with Google Health”:
If you haven’t setup a Google Health account, it only takes about 2 seconds to do if you have an existing Google account of any sort (i.e. GMail account) – and is free. After which, you’ll be brought to a Google confirmation page where you’ll agree to link the two accounts together.
And with that…you’re done. From there, go ahead and login to your Google Health account and the default dashboard will appear. You’ll notice the updates from the Withings Scale are automatically displayed in three separate locations on the screen. First on the left side is notices of new data, and on the right screen is your most current information. And finally, done towards the bottom there is additional information about the account sharing.
If you click on that information at the bottom, you’ll be given more detail on where the measurements are coming from.
And finally, if you expand ‘Test Results’ on the right side, you’ll be brought to a page which has some pretty cool expandable graphs that you can drill into:
If you use providers that leverage Google Health, then having this integration with the Withings Scale could be pretty useful to you – especially if weight and body composition readings are of relevance to your medical records.
When the Withings Scale first came out, the one feature it touted the most, and was most well known for – was it’s direct integration with Twitter. The thinking there was that through the beauty of peer pressure, the scale would automatically post your weight and hopefully give you incentive to keep it at a healthy weight.
While losing weight may be difficult, setting up the integration with Twitter is pretty easy. As is the pattern with setting up sharing with 3rd parties, you’ll go into the Withings site sharing menu and expand out the Twitter section.
Once in there you’ll notice you can also add a custom message to be tweeted along with your weight. I went ahead and filled it in with something relevant to me. I then filled out the username and password from my Twitter account and soon everything was all set.
From there, I just simply step on the scale as normal. Seconds after I do that, it’ll go ahead and Tweet my weight out for the whole internet to see:
Pretty simple…and probably pretty effective for many folks trying to lose weight. Though, I’ll save ya’ll from tweeting any weight data in the future. You can thank me later.
To wrap things up – I rarely get to use a product that seems so well thought through and supported end to end. While the scale is a bit more than you might spend on your average bathroom scale, it integrates so well with so many different services – all without any charges or subscription fees.
Since some will ask how it compares to the Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Scale I reviewed a few months back, you have to look at the feature sets a bit. While the BC-1000 scale does measure more data points (such as hydration levels), it costs over $100 more, and only integrates with one service – Garmin Connect. And while they are looking to release a WiFi connector, it does today also require a Garmin FR60 or 310XT to get that integration with Garmin Connect.
In short, without a doubt I’d recommend this scale to anyone interested in tracking their weight and having it automatically update a variety of services. As I mentioned, the unit I received was a 60-day loaner unit, and I like the scale enough that I’ll be ordering one here in the next day or so with my own money. It just works, and is seamless – and to me that is one of the key things to look for in both a consumer electronics device, and a athletic-focused device.
Along the way I took about 197 pictures, of which I’ve boiled them down to a smaller set that you may find useful if you’re in a picture-mood. So I’ve posted them all in the above gallery.
Found this review useful? Here’s how you can help support future reviews with just a single click! Read on…Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.
I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items). You can pickup the Withings WiFi Scale here from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.
Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top. Though, Clever Training also ships there too and you get the 10% discount.
Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices. These guides are all listed on this page here.
Interesting stuff and I’m sure very handy for an athlete.
One point I noticed, you have the scales on a mat instead of a hard floor. I have noticed that with bog standard digital scales your weight can be reduced on the display by as much as a whole stone (14Ibs for you Americans) by placing the scales on a mat.
I use my digital scales on a wooden floor in the same spot every week to ensure an accurate reading as possible.
Just wondering if you’ve tried the scales on different floor surfaces?
Clive you have had any issues with the scale scratching your floor?
Ray, excellent review…
but how does the scale switch from one user to another ?
I mean… how does it send the data to “RAY”‘s account rather then “THE GIRL”‘s (in your case) ?
Am i right in presuming it supports metric weights?
I’d also like to know how much the whole package weighs when boxed, as I’d like to get one shipped overseas.
Thanks for your help, great review.
RE: Different floor surfaces
Yup, I’ve tried a few different surfaces (hard and soft). The unit comes with four little feet that you can use when on softer surfaces. But even doing some testing without it I didn’t notice any change in weight.
RE: Identification of users
Here’s the way it determines which user is which:
Currently, only the weight is used to choose among users. The algorithm is the following :
1) If there is only one user whose previous weight is at +-3 kg of the current weight, no question asked.
2) If they are two users whose previous weight is at +- 3 kg of the current weigth, a question asked (lean right or left)
3) If no answer given, then the weight goes to the two users
4) If an answer given, then the weight goes only to one user
5) If more than two users at +- 3 kg, no question asked and the weight goes to the three users to be deleted on the web.
RE: Metric weights
Yes, on the back under the little cover you can select between Pounds, Stones and KG
RE: Shipping weight
The shipping weight for the whole unit as packaged is 6.6 pounds.
active… passive… har har! 🙂
I never thought I needed (another) scale until I read this… nice review, thanks.
Nice review, Ray…as usual. Any talk of this thing integrating with Garmin Connect at some point?
Good review. I’ll have to look into getting one of those. Oh, and I loved the cluster pun.
Nice review – any comments on the accuracy of the % body fat? And how more or less accurate it is to the Tanita ?
I’ve been looking for an upgrade to my old Health-o-meter scale. Being a Garmin 310XT user, the Tanita was appealing, but the price was just a bit more than I could swallow. The Withings still isn’t cheap, but more within my range. I just ordered one from Amazon (with your link) based on your review.
Keep up the great work Ray!
Does this thing do Round-Robin too? I’d like to have 6 of them together so that I can lie down on them 🙂
Nice review as always!
While I trust the weight on these, I don’t know what to make of the body fat %.
I’d like to see someone ( maybe someone named Ray? ) do a bf% on the scale and then do whatever the gold standard is for measuring bf% and seeing how these compare.
Ray, another great in depth review. I have been thinking of purchasing the tanita scale but hated the idea of having to use my 310xt to move the data into ST. The Withings unit fits the bill perfectly and its cheaper too. I ordered one immediately after reading your review (through your link). Thanks!
Huh? You used up my whole first page on this review (which was fabulous). Me, I slipped carbon paper in my typewriter when I wanted a copy of my college thesis. (Want a portable Brothers typewriter still in the box?) I can’t wait to get to Seattle to cut down on my Field of Dreams quest and then retire to–an IPad where I can read the NYT. Meanwhile my 401K went from 490 to 438 in twenty days! Thanks (who–W or the new crew or BP or Greece?). Oy. Give us more of your modern reviews but forgive some of us if we’re distracted!
I’ve seen the Withings before… and contemplated getting one but I figured since our good buddy Ray hadn’t reviewed/praised it, it must not be that good. Boo on me because now you have… and my Tanita BC-1000 is due to arrive day after tomorrow!
Your review has me thinking twice about whether the Tanita will stay or I’ll be ordering the Withings.
Any sage words of additional advice to help with my decision?
Thanks everyone for the enourmous response!
RE: Garmin Connect connectivity
I haven’t heard of any talk. Since I know there was some pretty significant internal pressure to make the ANT+ Tanita scale happen on GC, I’m doubting we’ll see intergration with CG anytime soon.
RE: Accuracy of body fat %
I found that relative to the Tanita BC-1000, the numbers were virtually identical between the two. I’m hoping to get into a lab at some point and see how they pan out…just need to find a place.
RE: Body Fat %
Yup, I’m with ya there – I’ve had it on my radar to do for a while, just a matter of getting into a place here in DC to do the tests.
When we gonna race again?
RE: Tanita vs Withings…
Hmm…what’s the return policy look like? 😉
Hi Ray, once again an awesome review, thanks so much for your work here. Just to clarify the Tanita has more data that is records but the Withings is better as is simpler to use and connects to TP already (which I use)?
I have a 310XT already (thanks to your review) so connectivity of the Tanita is not an issue and as live in the tropics was thinking Body Water % to help manage dehydration would be good. I guess the question is whether the other “nice to have data” is worth the extra connectivity hassle and cost? Your thoughts?
Great review! I was in the market for a bf% scale but having a hard time with the price tag on the Tanita (like others here apparently). After reading this review I promptly ordered the Withings (with your link of course) so thanks for the great details.
And seeing how I also decided on the 310XT after reading your review I might have to stop coming here because all it makes me do is shop! I kid…mostly. 😉
Wow Ray, you really asked what the return policy was for my Tanita BC-1000. I can read between the lines on that one LOL!
I don’t use any of the other cool tools like you do but I do love Garmin Connect for my activities. I was thinking two things… 1) the Withings doesn’t seem to track as many things as the Tanita (from what I can figure, Withings pretty much only tracks weight and body fat %) and 2) Withings doesn’t interface with Garmin Connect and I’m unaware of a way to export out of Withings and into Garmin (maybe there is and I just don’t know about it).
So, given that shall I still consider returning the unopened Tanita which will arrive on my doorstep today?
Hey Ray –
I’ve been using my Withings for about a month now based on your earlier teaser review and I really like it… my girl does also.
One question I had (that you already covered a bit, saying the BF% agreed with Tantia) is how it calculates Fat Mass. Is it guestimating based on my weight/BMI/Height or is it actually doing some measurement via electrical impedance or similar?
so a few years on and you probably got this answer, but the bmi is calculated based on height/weight and yes, the fat mass is calculated using electrical impedance.
may not be the most accurate way to measure fat but using a consistent device daily will tell you if you are improving or not
I might snag one of these. Either way, this is an awesomely awesome review. Outstanding.
More a comment on scales in general. Why can’t they make a wifi version of the tanita bc558? link to tanita.com
I want a scale that can do everything
RE: Withings vs Tanita
In short, yes. I think if you purely use Garmin Connect, and price is no object, then the BC-1000 is a great scale that works pretty much flawlessly with Garmin Connect and the 310XT/FR60.
The data that the BC-1000 has over the Withings is primarily what I would consider ‘fun to look at’. While conclusions can be drawn from the hydration levels, I rarely take/took advantage of it and acted on it. I generally can determine my hydration level by doing before/after comparisons on weight. Don’t get me wrong, the BC-1000 has some great additional detail, just a matter of how it integrates into your overall sports training-tracking picture.
Thanks! And sorry for the shopping-assist!
RE: Withings vs Tanita
I think I covered everything above, however to the export/import question. I’m not aware of any way to bulk import from anything into Garmin Connect with respect to weight. You can indeed manually enter the data one by one, but it’s sorta a pain. Ignoring cost, I guess returning it comes down to a question of which application you use most. If you use Garmin Connect the most, then the BC-1000 makes it seamless. If you use any of the other applications then the Withings Scale generally makes more sense.
RE: Body Fat
Body Fat is measured via electrical impedance sensors when you stand on the scale with both feet (if you have one leg, it will not work – I’m being serious btw as it’s an issue for amputees). BMI however is simply determined using the standard weight/height measurements.
RE: Tanita BC-558 and Wifi
Good question. I have a sidebar e-mail with the Tanita folks as we speak, so I’ll ask. See, I’m simple – ask and you shall receive! 🙂
Thanks all for your comments, and support via the Amazon link!
My Withings scale arrived yesterday. Super easy to setup, and the integration with Sport Tracks is sweet!
But the good bit? 8.2% body fat Wooohooo! Single digits! I love this thing already!
Looking forward to reading about the new open water features in the 310xt after this weekend.
I am sending on this post but on reality it is about the update of swimming on the 310xt, i do have my IM Brazil this sunday 30/5 and i am woundering if i uses the new feature or should i use the 310 xt under the swimming Cap.
Thanks if possible for a quick idea…
Hey Ray – I love your blog! I’m in for the drawing!!
I got my Withings scale on Friday. Setup was a breeze, and I was using it in no time. I’ve been very happy with my experience thus far, and feel that the numbers are very much in harmony with what I was getting from other scales I believe to be accurate. My body fat percentage came in a few points lower than what I was getting from an Omron handheld, but it’s my understanding that this is not uncommon when comparing results derived through the feet (scales) vs. from the hands (Omron). I love being able to hop on the scale in the morning, do my workout, and then check the website after I settle in at work. Makes tracking my weight a pleasure rather than a chore. Very happy customer. — Thanks again Ray!
Like this blog a lot – great reviews. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a question not related to the scale but on one of the iPhone screen shots. I noticed you had a couple of things marked united airlines. Do they have an iPhone app now or are those just bookmarked webpages?
I use two differnt things. One is indeed a shortcut to their new United mobile site, which is so-so, but functional. The other is an app by a 3rd party that works rather well and is free. It was initially yanked by United, but has since been let back on again.
It’s really too bad that you are having a giveaway and I already have one.
I have been talking to the TrainingPeaks folks, have you noticed a disparity between the values you get on TrainingPeaks daily metrics and the Withings website. I’m noticing a 2%ish difference.
I wonder if they just import raw values for impedance through the API and calculate the % body fat using their own algorithm.
I went ahead and tested that a few days ago, writing down the numbers and double-checking them. For me, they’re coming out identical. Are they still mismatched for you?
Thanks for your review and suggestion, at the end I got it and it’s very nice since the sync with ST is automatic!
This is cool, and I am in the market for a BF% scale.
No one had an issue with the battery wasted quickly due to wi-fi use????? Seems strange…
Thanks so much
Nope, no issues with battery. But then again – keep in mind it’s only transmitting when you actually stop on the scale.
I ordered it through the link on the website.
Thanks for the great review. I just pulled the trigger via your link with some Christmas giftcards to Amazon. Merry Christmas to me! Thanks for all the great reviews, I always check your site before buying any electronics tri-gear. Hope you have a great Holiday.
Ray, thanks a lot for the great review. Any update with regards to accuracy of body fat?
I have a Salter scale with body fat analysis, but it’s completely off (6% difference to using Calipers method), it didn’t even track my progress reducing my body fat by 3pp, it just stayed at the same level.
So my hubby got this for Xmas and I just figured out all MY info was secretly being sent to his iphone. I read your review and saw that there was a way to have two different accounts. How do I do that? I really DON’T nedd my husband getting iphone alerts regarding my body fat %!!! 🙂
I just stumbled upon this site the other day and have really enjoyed the thorough reviews. Based on this one, I went ahead and purchased the scale and should have it early next week. Thanks man!
Do you need to run the setup again when you change the batteries?
Ray, thanks for the review, pretty solid.
The only complaint that I have with the device is that it requires yet another web account … there is no option for a simple, local interface to hook it into an app running on a local PC/Mac/smartphone… even in a text or CSV format!
I understand this from Withings’ perspective – they want to gather stats on their product’s usage …but it’s a shame they do so without allowing me to protect my privacy. I guess I’m one of the few people left that values their privacy.
Your comment “the Withings site will push data to tons of partners” really shows how blinded we have become as a society to freely giving away our personal data.
Thanks for the usual in depth review. I’m about to order one.
P.S.: I liked the load balancing joke as it’s something I have to discuss at work tomorrow for a core banking solution!
A friend sent me the link to his weight on the site and I’ve been thinking about this scale for the past few weeks. your review convinced me, I need this scale, thanks!
Hi Ron & Dusty-
RE: Accuracy of Withings Body Fat
I’ve got a group of folks set to do some tests in two weeks with all of these scales. In some recent tests I’ve done with more expensive equipment it tracks within 1%, when in athletic mode.
RE: Setting up seperate accounts
You can go into the settings on the site to seperate them out. My Wife and I do the same thing.
RE: Push data to partners
You configure and control what (if any) partners you choose to share with. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the NLB joke. 🙂
Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.
I got, seen and used tons of gadgets. But compared to EVERY gadget I’ve used withings is by far my favoured!
– Because it’s the first VERY useful gadget
– It ALWAYS works, never had a issue
– It’s utterly simple to use
– … I still cannot believe it’s still running from the batteries it came with.
Jup …. gadget of the century.
Thank you for such an in-depth review. I am a nutrition coach and just purchased a scale to “test” before having clients link with my services. This review is like a crash course on how to use the scale and lends credibility before integrating it into my business services. Thank you!!
In comparison with Tanita I chose Withings. Tanita is for egoists. I do not like linking to Garmin. and if I do not have it? Moreover, it is more expensive and has no display, but measures more options. But do many people need these detailed measurements? they are plausible only on the medical equipment. and these scales are more for entertainment than for accurate measurements. Withings is for the whole family and you can monitor every member of it.
I love my Withings scale and watching the graph plot reducing weight. I am also amused by the ‘unknown’ user entry. If you’re in my house and step on the scale, it sends that data straight to me.
As a twice weekly gym person I don’t think I qualify as an athlete which is a shame as that setting drops my bf% about 6%.
Excellent review; thanks Ray!
I specked this for Xmas and got one. I’m on the road to getting a “work-flow” for collecting and digesting the data. So, I am in the process of selecting a partner site for aggregation. Below is my take so far:
TrainingPeaks: Would need to pay $119 annually to get the daily metrics pod. Since it appears that upgrade is the only way to get graphing via TrainingPeaks, I figure it becomes a required cost if I select that tool. Seems like a high cost, but maybe this is the only way to go?
SportTracks: Looks like this is an application based tool, and is constrained to PCs only. Since I plan on migrating to a Mac (and already have an iPad now), it is difficult for me to swallow the concept of going that direction at this time. If I had been using SportTrack already, then I would keep using it for a while. The direction is toward cloud “applications”, and so I understand why they are not migrating SportsTracks to the Mac, as that is not really the trend either.
RunKeeper: I us a Garmin 305, and can’t run because of a knee issue. So, I guess that is out.
Strava: Sometimes I use Strava for cycling and it is truly great for detailed rankings of specific rides. But it is not for logging swimming, and does not appear to support a Withings connection.
My routine has been to use GarminConnect for tracking cycling and swimming. So, I guess I could have integrated all the data using it had I specked a Tanita, but that scale’s first cost high, and its connection to the Internet seems kinda kludgy because a watch is required. And long term, I don’t want to lock into just Garmin.
So, do you have any suggestions of where for me to look next in the field of tools for aggregating health and fitness data. All I really need to do is track my cycling from the Garmin 305, swimming from manual entry, and weight/fat from Withings. And I want to use a cloud based tool. Am I just being too picky?
Nice blog and review, thanks! I have been using the Withings scale and blood pressure for a long time and they both are working perfectly. I it also nice to automatically import the Withings measurements to other online tracking services like Endomondo and Runkeeper. However, for some reason I am not able to import data to Withings from other apps like Runkeeper (or Zeo). Have anyone here managed to import data to Withings from other apps?
That’s what I needed, a geek review (with load balancing jokes!) of this scale. Thank you very much for it. I am buying it.
I have this scale. GLARRING problem is the documentation in the package. For the logest time we had no idea if it was doing an impedance test at all. I have seriously wondered if the manual was missing. They badly need to include a basic manual and explanation that answers all the questions you have answered. There was little info on the website. Not that said, it is a WONDERFUL product and they have their light under a bushell not explaining it better like how does it tell people apart, etc.. We couldnt find those answers.
It’s a pity that they don’t link to the Weight watchers website – just saying. I’m a runner/cyclist who has now finally given up trying to lose weight and signed up for WW. I wish I could record my data in the same place as my daily food intake.
From a design standpoint, Withings has an open API, meaning that any company can integrate with it. The weight watchers folks could easily access data from Withings via their online API. I’d definitely encourage them to do so!
Great review. Why do you suppose the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale’s specs don’t include it’s accuracy? Wouldn’t that be one of the most important specs of a scale? I can’t find that information anywhere. Also, is there a minimum weight? Is it possible to calibrate it using known weight?
Are you planning a Fitbit aria review with comparison to the withing scale?
Not sure why they don’t list it. Check out my accuracy tests on the sidebar from last summer though, both covering weight and body fat.
RE: Fitbit Aria-
Yup, I have a unit and have been using it. Thus far, they’re fairly similiar…
1) The body fat rate isn’t accurate at all.
Depending on the type you are it gives different values…
2) the weight differs if the scale is in different positions! Either put an indicator on it for levelling or change it !
3) the price and use cost is too much for something that easily can be done with and 1.5$ application on a wifi phone and ordinary (classic) scale. Oh yes, you need to do some typing…
I’m a TrainingPeaks Paying User and I have the Withings WiFi scale – the problem is that the weight on my GPS watch over-writes the value provided in the daily metric which feeds from the Scale.
I wrote to TrainingPeaks and they said that it was a nice ‘option’ to have my watch over-write the scale. I don’t get this and it’s a real bummer. The scale should be king and the watch should update the other way around – I would think.
Typically the TraingPeaks folks have it figured out but here I don’t really understand their perspective – I’m simply NOT going to go into my watch settings and change my weight by a pound or two every day – and that’s what drives the metrics as soon as I download a workout.
this is bogus.
by the way I love the scale and simply delete the autogenerated metrics that come up every time I log a workout (how annoying is THAT?).
Just bought the scale through your Amazon link. I have found your reviews to be extremely helpful! Keep up the great work!
Hey DC – I was referred to your review of a wi-fi scale and came away totally impressed by your blog. I will be back! A question for you — do you know of an application that will make a “pretty chart” of your daily weight against a moving average of your previous weight?? I have been using Hacker’s Diet Online forever and just trying to spice up the data a bit.
Any update on the Aria scale review and how it compares?
Hi Ray, I have a quick question for you. If you would be buying a new scale today, would you buy the Withings or the Fitbit Aria? I am not sure what to do, but really want to get a scale that has these kind of features.
At present, I’d still go with Withings – merely because they have so many data partnerships. I use the Aria scale daily, and while FitBit has a number of partnerships, the Withigns scales still seems to top it in terms of total places to put your data.
If you’re not planning on having your data sync to any other service (i.e. RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks, etc…) – then they’re pretty equal and you’d easily be happy with either one.
They both have solid sites, both have apps, and both measure data the same way.
I’m reading that the Aria is wireless 802.11b only, and won’t work on a 11g network unless the AP is configured to work in b/g mode.
That’s a pain, as having b/g mode enabled (and b devices present) can seriously degrade your wireless throughput. Apparently.
The Withings seem to support 11b & 11g.
Thanks for the detailed review Ray. I’ve ordered one using your link.
I have been thinking of buying this scale for a long time. But I have one question which I haven’t been able to find the answer to.
I see in withings faq and see in some screenshots that you can turn off BF% measurement. I want to know wether this is possible to do on a pr user basis, or if you do it on a pr scale basis?
I would really like this scale, since I like stats about everything 🙂
But I know my wife wouldn’t like to know her BF%. But she would like to step on the scale and see her weight. Just not any other metric.
Do you know, or could you check if this is possible?
I just checked on my Withings account, and I see that the fat measurement enable setting is done per-scales, not per account/user.
Perhaps you could just tell your wife that it’s not accurate, and to ignore it, if you still want it enabled for you… 🙂
@cdmackay (or anyone else that has the scale): What happens if you measure wearing socks? Will it then give you weight and just not measure BF%? Or does it do something stupid? 😛
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Would you have any idea if Withings are planning a new version of the scale? It seems like they haven’t updates the product (or the price) for 2.5 years
Amusing, it depends on the socks 🙂
However, it does behave correctly: if your socks are sufficiently thick that it can’t get a reading, then it just shows weight/BMI, and skips the fat reading. No drama.
For me, it never reads fat with my cotton sports socks; my wife’s socks (unknown type) seem not to worry it though, and it gives a consistent fat reading.
Doesn’t work through my Mum’s slippers either 🙂
Whilst I’m here, I would moan that the Training Peaks integration isn’t ideal: it should transmit both weight and fat (and could transmit BMI), but only the weight seems to get transmitted in practice.
I’ve asked Withings for help, but no reply.
By pleasant coincidence*, my mailbox this morning contains a reply from Withings about the body fat readings not being transmitted to Training Peaks (note the weight readings are correctly transferred):
“We have indeed an issue with the fat mass and training peaks.
Ou development team is working on it and we hope for a fixing as soon as possible.”
which is good news.
* – perhaps they are watching us? 🙂
I’ve been using a Withings scale for a while now and like it quite a lot, but I had a question I hope someone here can answer — unfortunately both the FAQ and forums, such as they are, at the Withings site leave a lot to be desired.
Anyway, what I’m trying to figure out is if I should be using “athlete” mode, or if I’m getting more reliable results from using regular.
The FAQ says that athlete mode is for those who practice a sport 8 hours a week and have a resting heart rate under 60. My resting heart rate is around 57, I don’t engage in any sports, really, but I do go to the gym for two and a half hours three days a week and do cardio machines, and three other days a week I spend an hour and a half doing core/ab/stretching workouts at home. And I walk four miles minimum every day, thanks to the dog.
Not really “athlete” level of time spent working out, but probably a bit more than the average person.
The thing is if I set the chart for athlete mode I get a radically different result from normal,as in roughly half the body fat percentage.
I would have expected the two modes to give a different result, but not to that degree.
In the end it probably doesn’t matter, it’s just a number and I don’t have any particular target in mind or anything, but the radically different results have made me curious and it’d be nice to know which was likely closer to being accurate — acknowledging the limitations of impedance measuring for such things and all.
@cdmackay, the Training Peaks service must request the data from Withings. The Withings service makes several data feeds from your scale available for 3rd parties (with your consent of course). Some of that data is: Weight, FatFreeMass, FatMassWeight, and FatRation. Also I agree on the comment on socks affecting the BMI reading. The scale uses conduction to get a BMI reading. The socks can act as an insulator to throw off the reading. To get an accurate reading I would also recommend making sure that your feet aren’t overly wet. I’ve seen this throw off the readings too.
““We have indeed an issue with the fat mass and training peaks.
Ou development team is working on it and we hope for a fixing as soon as possible.”
which is good news.”
Months later, still broken.
More so, I just got a bunch of dup metrics in TP with BF @ 3%.
Also for my account integration with BodyMedia’s site is broken.
Withings support both email and twitter have been unresponsive.
Loved the scale when it all just worked. When it’s broken like this it’s a huge PITA.
Ray, great review!! I have one question though. I am on the road a lot for business and such, would you recommend this scale? I’m guessing with the need to sink WiFi and not directly to pc/mobile, it would be a bear… if no to this scale, any recommendations on one with similar capabilities?
As I was debating on whether or not to get this as a gift for my workout fanatic girlfriend, I found your review. The scale seems impressive. I’ll more than likely get it for her. But I wanted to comment that this is the most in-depth, thorough, readable, extensive, informative, step-by-step review I’ve ever read in my life!
Ray, I am a cyclist, runner and I weight train, I try hard to keep my weight under contro.
I am lookin to purchase this scale, however looking at the reviews on Amazon, (a lot of them) There are tons of complaints about the weight accuracy of this scale, even in the positive reviews. This is holding me back from purchasing. I want it because it works with my Endomondo fitness app and site. Any opinion about the scale weight accuracy? I am not concerned about body mass, because that,s guess work with any tool. But weight accuracy is important. Thanks,
Yup, check out this three-part series I did on scale accuracy (and this scale in particular) in a lab setting with a bunch of athletes:
link to dcrainmaker.com
In short, they are all rock-star accurate for weight. But all over the map for bodyfat.
Clever Training doesn’t have this scale anymore?
Very odd…checking with them on why now.
Må ny thanks for a truly awesome blog!
I just got my scale todayfrom amazone. Gang blive hos easy the setup and integration Wieth edomondo was
That said i have faced a problem. For somre reason it does not meassure my body fat when stepping on to the scale? Any clue on how to fix that issue?
Greetings from denmark
does it sync with rubitrack 3?
Hello, I always read all of your reviews before buying a gadget.
For several months I have this scale, after waiting some kind of link between Garmin Connect and Withings, I could not find anything … Finally I had to develop an application for Windows that uses profile measurements of Withings Site for upload to Garmin Connect.
You can download the free program from my blog: http:/jmfloreszazo.com/scale2fi/
A greeting and I hope it is useful.
Is their a Mac application that does the same??
Great review as always. I sprung for my Garmin 610 after reading your review last year.
Just picked up the new WS-50 and feeling mixed on it. Comparing it to a Tanita Ironman BC-549. Both give consistent weight readings, but I’m finding the Withings’ body fat readings a bit more erratic. I can hop on 5 times in a row and come out with 3 different readings, whereas the Tanita give me the same reading (with maybe one of them slightly off). Undecided if it’s worth the money.
I usually refer to Mr. DC Rainmaker when buying all things tri and gadget related. Usually you don’t steer me wrong. But… I clicked on your shopping link to Cleaver Training, scored the Withings scale and a sweet discount only to find that it is not the same scale. I received the Withings Wireless Scale WS-30. Not the same. Oh well, sending it back tomorrow and will wait for my new one.
Hmm, this is strange. But I see what happened. Clever stopped carrying the original WiFi scale. My links broke though, but I suspect you just found the new WS-30 scale instead there (appreciate the support!).
The good news though (if you haven’t send it back yet), is the WS-30 is effectively the same as the original, except they added Bluetooth pairing as well as WiFi. I’ve actually got it at home (along with the original). You’re good either way.
Sorry for the confusion!
(Actually Edit: There was one tiny difference, it doesn’t measure body fat mass (but does do BMI). I would encourage folks to check out my thoughts on body fat measurement here: link to dcrainmaker.com)
Thanks for the quick and thorough response.. My next question has to do with the fact that my wife uses training peaks and I like garmin connect. We both have 310 xt (thanks to your reviews). From the withings website, I cant tell if the ws-30 will connect to training peaks or if it will connect to garmin connect. Do you know the answer to that?
Sorry for the delay, last few days have been a bit crazy.
Definitely not to Garmin Connect. But, should with Training Peaks. I know there were some issues a few months back, but I haven’t double-checked them to see if it’s all cleared up.
If you first have your Withings data fed into the Fitbit site, you could try this – link to fitdatasync.com
If it works, the data from your Withings scale would pass to Fibit, then to Garmin Connect.
That website worked for me, thanks! I used to use link to withings2fit.0xff.jp to export Withings data into Garmin Connect, but that website went offline sometime this spring.
I’m glad I found this replacement, and it seems to work well so far!
I have a problem with the Withigs scale batteries, they have to be change every 7 days.
That’s definitely not normal. I’d ring up/e-mail Withings support and see if they’ve got a fix.
Patrick can you kindly explain (steps) me how do it ? I suppose it doesn’t matter what the Withings model you’re using.I’m going to purchase a WS 30 or ws 50. but I do want the data uploaded in Garmin as I’m using it together with Running ahead. Unfortunately Running ahead doesn’t support Withings import.
Many many tks in advance.
Here ya go: link to forums.garmin.com
I’ve been looking around for a way to automate syncing between Withings and Garmin connect for a while now, but the only way (link to withings2fit.0xff.jp) up until now has been offline for a while. Today I stumbled upon syncmetrics.com which doesn’t sync data between pages but keeps them and presents them through their own service. It still looks young, but it seems promising as it can sync data across withings, garmin, fitbit and others. Garmin integration seems down atm.
I’ve set up my Withings to GC via the Syncmetrics site, but I don’t see how to initiate/schedule a sync. (It did it once initially, but I don’t see any options to re-sync.) Does it automatically react to some event from the Withings site?
Greetings. Great website. I found it a few months ago when I was researching bicycle GPS units (The Garmin 500 & 800) and I stop by often for product comparison, reviews, and tips. I bought the 800 and currently I’m looking at Body Composition Scales. This Withings sounds pretty good (As cost compared to the Tanita BC-1000). Question- what do you know about the Omron HBF-514C (Or 516) and how do they compare to the Withing? Thoughts? Thanx.
I haven’t looked at the Omron. One thing to keep in mind with WiFi scales is that it’s all about the site, and in some cases, the connectivity to other sites (i.e. pushing to 3rd party platforms like FitBit, RunKeeper, Training Peaks, etc…).
Thanx. Right, site connectivity. And alas, it looks like the Omron’s store data only (For a set period of time) and you’re unable to download to a computer (Or website) like with some of their Blood Pressure machines. And on the other hand, it looks like the new Withings no longer interface directly with your computer (Like the one in your review did) and you need a “Smart” phone to set it up. And, it doesn’t interface with Garmin. So…….
I see from this you rate the weight accuracy as high and the fat % as variable. Do you find the scales accurate over time with a given person? Or (as some have reported) do you get different scores if you step on from one minute to the next? Because I can’t see much use in the scales if the fat % isn’t consistent for a given person over time. I mean, my cheap scales can give me a decent weight readout. The only point in this expensive scale would be to give the extra data on fat%, no?
My Withings Smart Body Analyzer (WS-50, link to withings.com ) arrived yesterday, and it’s pretty cool. I just want to note that the scale didn’t come with a USB cable, and the instructions say the initial configuration need to be done with a smartphone (no PC). I just took advantage of the Android app, and didn’t checked on their website whether a PC option is still available somehow. Anyway, it’s curious you can’t configure the scale if you don’t have a smartphone!
I have a smart phone,a galaxy note 2 but i had to borrow an ipad to set it up b/c you need Bluetooth smart to actually do this. The android app/phone nor was my laptop with Bluetooth able to do this
I did a small video on the WS-50: link to youtube.com
I know that I’m late to this review party – but I picked up the Withings Smart Body Analyzer based on this review. I’ve used it several times today – I’m somewhat metric obsessed – and it was easy to set up, easy to use. I also loved your review of the Garmin Forerunner 210 & 220. I received the 210 as a christmas present as apart of my campaign this year to run a couple half marathons.
You’re reviews are splendid. I work in technology, and refer several people to your site. Thank you for providing such detail oriented content in a friendly, fun, concise manner.
Hi, i have a tanita bc-1000 i connect it whit FR 610, but actually i bought a 620 and isn’t compatible, garmin connect isn’t compatible whit the tanita without a garmin 610 or other compatible.
I have in mind to buy a withings scale.
the lowest price of whitings than the Tanita,is synonymous with lower quality? or is it a good product? what are the differences between whitings and tanita that i have to look
I saw that withings have a impressive number of compatibility that are the problem whit tanita.
Thanks a lot
(sorry for my terrible english)
I think the Withings is just as good as the Tanita. Check out my BodPod tests for a bit more there: link to dcrainmaker.com
Weird, just last week my Withings started going on the fritz. The display is much slower to register I was on the scale, it changed the font to a thicker font, started using “Check-Mark” symbols I don’t recall it using before, and it is now in Kg instead of Lbs.
I have replaced the battery, and messed with the two buttons on the bottom (that don’t really register when you push them so you don’t know if you pushed them).
When it sends the data to my iPhone app, it still shows in Lbs, but the scale itself will only read Kgs now.
Any idea what is going on?
Hmm, have you tried double-checking to see if the firmware on the scale is up to date?
I’ve had a WS-50 scale since christmas. Just wanting to know if anyone has had the same issue that I am having.
I will get consistent readings for a number of days then the weight will jump higher or lower by 2-3% for a number of days remain consistent at the new mark and then shift higher or lower by the same amount a few days later. It’s like I am magically gaining and dropping weight.
Use it in the same spot everyday so find this quite annoying and frustrating.
Having the numbers vary by that amount is fairly normal. On any given day, my numbers fluctuate by 2-3% one way or the other. Lots of factors.
One thing I do however, if I think the number is odd, is I’ll get off the scale, let it turn off, and then get back on it again. It basically re-calibrates it.
I also bought the Withings Smart Body Analyzer based on your “it simply works” verdict. However, it has simply stopped working. Are you aware of the issues that abound after the firmware upgrade they did earlier this month. They say they are aware of the problem, but it doesn’t help much does it?
I haven’t seen it stop working on my scale (unfortunately, since it’s telling me to stop eating cookies). Your best bet probably is to keep on working with support. Wish I had a better answer. 🙁
Hi, Madelein. I’m also having some issues recently. The air quality doesn’t get updated anymore automatically and some times the screen of the scale goes blank. I believe this might be related with the firmware update. What type of issue are you experiencing?
A question regards getting data from the scale to Garmin Connect.
There is no direct way to get data from the scale to GC…but could this be done via automatic syncing with myfitnesspal?
MFP is listed as a partner with Withings…
I know that myfitnesspal is a partner with Garmin and you can now sync data, such as calories from MFP back to GC.
I did a simple activity in MFP and it also sync’ed back to GC….ie I entered some fake data about an exercise and it sync’ed back to GC
(albeit at the wrong time and date stamp…being based in Australia, this looks like a time and date zone issue between the two partners)….. I had to wait a day for it to turn up as GC does not allow a view of the future 🙂
My thinking is… could weight and other parameters from the scale be auto synced to GC via MFP…given other data already is?
I read on the Garmin Forums somewhere that someone had it working via roughly what you describe above. But I haven’t tried it yet myself. I keep meaning to, but forget every time I’m home.
Another bit of kit I am interested in, another FANTASTIC review by Ray. Just ordered one (via affiliate link – thanks Ray) and will be selling my Tanita scales on eBay for pretty much what this cost me.
I love the fact that I can import existing weigh ins into the site – I have almost daily weigh ins tracked for about the last 5 years which I dutifully record each morning. Now I can Import all that and get it recorded automatically.
I am planning on linking this with my fitness pal which in turn is linked to Garmin Connect. Does anyone have any experience with that set up?
I am hoping that when I set up my account and import all my data that data (for the last 5 years) will flow into my fitness pal and then into Garmin Connect.
Funny, I started writing that up just this past weekend. Though, I was running into a bit of a snag there, so I’ve gotta troubleshoot that some.
Great, thanks. I’ll wait for that then. Will it be an update here or a new blog post?
It’ll be a new blog post.
Well after setting up my Withings account and linking it to MFP this morning I manually recorded my weight on the Withings site. Sure enough that weight synced to MFP and to Garmin.
None of my imported data that is now in Withings has appeared in MFP or Garmin. This is probably because I imported it before I linked the accounts. Tonight I think I will do a small import test to see if that imported value syncs. If it does I think I’ll delete all my weight records on all the sites and re-import everything.
I can’t see any way of un-linking the MFP-Withings connection on either site. On Withings I now have a MFP panel that attempts to show calories in and out but I have no idea what it is trying to show and none of the numbers match any of the numbers on MFP.
I’m not too concerned with this. As long as the data syncs across all 3 platforms I’m good.
I’ve now been using the scales for a few days and love the easy with which all my weigh ins appear on MFP and Garmin.
A couple of questions:
The temperature measurements seem to be a bit high. Does this seem likely? Is there a way to calibrate?
Should I select athlete mode or not? I would certainly not describe myself as an athlete, I am around 100KG (6 foot 2) and definitely still have a bit of a stomach. The values of 24 – 25% bodyfat seem like they might be ok.
I do do a lot of cycling though, I commute by bike 18 miles each way totaling 100 miles a week. My hear rate every morning on the scales is around 60, my resting heart rate before I get out of bed is more like 50.
Do I qualify as an athlete?
I am thinking about getting the WS50 but would like to know if you can assign an IP-address within your network to it? For reasons I won’t bore you with I don’t use DHCP so automatically connecting with just SSID and password never works for me.
Does anybody know? Much appreciated!
I was considering purchasing the the BC-1000 as it provides much of the information I wanted to see – more so than the Withings scales. However IU note that outside the US you need to pay £80 for the software, plus £122 for the remote, plus £40 for the USB, making this very expensive. Am I wasting my time – and although it is useful to know your bone mass I guess that does not change much over time.
At this point I wouldn’t buy the BC-1000 any more. The Withings scale is really just so much better from a connected standpoint, and while bone mass might be interesting – it’s nothing you can really do anything about.
I love your reviews! I also love anytime “the girl” has anything to say. Just really good stuff.
I have a question about this scale: I note in the app it says if you exercise more than 8 hrs and have a resting heart rate of under 60, you might switch to athlete mode. I’ve been losing weight over the past two years, but still have a ways to go. I don’t know if I consider myself an athlete or not. I’m annoyed that the Withings website just says “Athletes generally have a different body type. Therefore, the “traditional ” body composition model that is automatically selected does not apply. The scale allows athletes to choose an appropriate version for calculating their fat mass display. ”
What does that even mean?? It seems so vague and lacking in any science or even content. Can you or someone else elaborate for me? I’d appreciate it.
Yeah, it’s honestly pretty vague – and there’s very little to truly know which camp you’re in. In general, the line I would draw in the sand is that if you look like a front of the pack runner, then athlete mode makes more sense (super-low single-digit body fat).
You can see a bit more I did on that during some of the body fat testing comparisons I did here: link to dcrainmaker.com
Thank you! I don’t look front of the pack…. yet. 🙂
would you still recommend this scale? Any other alternatives that might be just as good or better today?
I have seen your review on the withings and fitbit scales although can’t find it now!
Do you have any knowledge on these other scales (links below), as they do seem much better, giving more details of body percentages etc. reading up on them, my view is the ihealth scales seems to be ahead. ?
link to blueanatomy.com
link to ihealthlabs.eu
No, I haven’t tried either.
Here’s the thing on scales though: It’s not about the scale itself. It’s about the partnership. All in all, the only things you really care about is weight – and getting that data to the platform that you’re using. Much of the other data (like body fat/hydration/etc…) isn’t terribly accurate anyway.
So you want to choose a scale (either Fitbit or Withings) that has partnerships with gazillions of online sites so you can transfer that data to whatever training log you’re using.
A question on the ws50
I use the sacale for about a1 year and it’s great recently they updated it to have step count showing mainly from the step counter
Do you know if they are thinking to integrate other step counter I have a F3 which counts steps I was thinking it would be great to see my steps from F3 showing on the scale!
The other question is how can I get the sleep tracking to training peaks ?
Unfortunately, I’m doubting it. With Withings in the activity tracker realm these days – I suspect they’ll push their products there.
If you’re using the Fitbit Aria and want to upload the data to TrainingPeaks automatically, I’ve created a website that does it for you as I was annoyed with the lack of that functionality. You can either do it manually, or have it done automatically every time you stand on the scale.
Very cool! Just added it into the tools section: link to dcrainmaker.com
Hi! new Ihealth hs6 core is coming out and it seems better than withings ws-50, what do you think? thanks
Nice review. I need one….
I’m thinking of getting the WS50. I have had a Tanita for quite a few years but it seems to have some issues and I’d like to upgrade to one that can export info. I know that body fat is not really accurate on any of these scales but what I’ve been doing is keeping a log to watch the trends. I read the other post with all the testing you did. Do you think that if I just watch the body fat trend as opposed to the actual number that this scale would be helpful for that? Thanks
Hi Ray, do you have an opinion regarding the difference between the withing ws50 and the ihealth hs6?
The HS6 has more data, but the WS50 has the information i’ve you are standing correct. so i’m in doubt.
I was given the Smart body analyser as a present and after doing a bit of research, have to say I’m really concerned about the data being collected and used. To get the features you have to consent to them using your data, not just storing and processing but using for their commercial benefit. I really think people should consider this before purchasing. The device collects a hell of a lot of data.
On a features point it really struggles to identify different users if they are a similar weight. it normally guesses wrongly and rarely offers the manual selection screen.
I don’t believe it says that actually. I just read through the astoundingly long data privacy page, and I simply do see where it says they’re sending to 3rd parties.
Any company is going to aggregate the data to figure out which features and functions are best for improvement or creating new products on.
You may like being part of these studies, you may not. Importantly you can’t use the advertised product functions without.
You buy a product, you shouldn’t have to authorise the use of your data for significantly broader use, just to get the features you think you paid for.
Got the WS-30 during the black friday-cyber monday sale. Arrived today and 15 attempts to set it up on WiFi have all failed. Tried with a Nexus 5x running Android 6 and a Moto X running 4.4.4 all with the same result. It gets all the way to the final step and then puts up an error “An internet connection is necessary, please activate your data or try again later – FatalWebserviceException”. I see the WS-30 has an IP address in my router device list so it’s speaking to the local WiFi. Anyone else run into these kind of problems?
I had these same issues on the unit I just ordered. Tried to complete the setup with both my phone and my brothers. Neither worked correctly for setting up WiFi. Spent like an hour messing around.
Here is what I did that worked:
1) It takes forever to initially connect to my phone over Bluetooth, but eventually does.
2) When it asks if you want to setup over Bluetooth or WiFi, PICK BLUETOOTH! (You can change it later)
This worked first shot for me with Bluetooth where WiFi always hung up.
3) As soon as it connected, it immediately started downloading a firmware update. Sweet.
4) Once the firmware was updated and the setup was complete, I went through the whole procedure again with WiFi and it worked first go.
I’m guessing there was some sort of firmware issue with these black Friday units that was messing up WiFi setup. I hope this will be helpful for someone and it wasn’t just a fluke that Bluetooth setup happened to work the first go for me when WiFi wasn’t.
Thank you. I’m going to copy your technique for future reference. Withings tech support has been on the case and they are not able to reproduce it at their site. They assure me it’s not a general Android issue but they are trying to reproduce and solve it. Eventually, I was able to borrow an old iPod Touch and got it going that way. Now that it’s setup, it talks to the app on my Nexus 5x and WiFi without issue. The one thing which is a PITA is the app puts up a notification whenever you turn on Bluetooth even if you’re not using the BT capabilities of the WS-30. At least on Android 6 you can turn-off the notifications for the Withings app and it has no ill effect especially if you’re not using BT.
I bought a scale for my parents. Setup worked fine with two different iPhones (theirs). When I tried setting up with my Android phone, had to use Bluetooth first to upgrade the scale. Thank you for posting this, worked for me.
Are you still using this scale? How reliable has it been over the years. Also, if you wanted a scale that just did weight accurately which would you go for?
Yup, still using it!
Check out my recent WiFi weight scale decider post: link to dcrainmaker.com
Hey DCR – thanks for the great review! You link to a specific model and I’m wondering if the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer (a different model than linked) also syncs with TrainingPeaks. Any thoughts?
Yup, both models work. Essentially the exact model doesn’t matter since it’s more about the service. Enjoy!
Hello: The Garmin scale posted my wife’s weight to my account making it look like I lost 100 pounds in one day. The scale does not always respond to touch and does not consistently switch users. Anyway, does anyone know how to delete an errant weight from one’s account? I have searched Garmin’s site and tried Googling to no avail. Any help would be appreciated.
If you go to Garmin Connect online and select a weight, you’ll see your measurements. From there, simply select the problematic measurement and hit the trash can icon.
When I look at the Weight page on Garmin Connect, next to the date at the bottom, I see a trash can to delete the reading
Thanks Ray and Ryan! That solved my problem! I had kept trying to find a way to do it on my phone and had not considered going online. Thanks for the help!!!
Just bought this at Amazon. Hope you get your cut, man, because I always check your reviews before buying kit.
Thanks for the support Aaron – enjoy it!
Excellent review! I bought the WS-50 based on it! It was flawless to setup. Absolutely, engineered to do what it says. So few products and companies take the time creating products that work and are a breath of fresh air to setup. I am about to purchase a Polar V800, Garmin Forerunner 920XT or Fenix 3 In addition to Triathlon training I play competitive tennis, I want to get as much data from Tennis as possible without a phone. I know you mention stick with the same brand,but with the Withings at $115 it was just too good to pass up. I’m hoping the Withings can talk through a 3rd party app with the Polar or Garmin.
Enjoy your day!
I I apologize if I missed it in your review , what’s the difference between the WS 30 & WS 50 ?
I think this is interesting:
link to withings.com
What an exciting day for us! Today we announced that we plan to join forces with Nokia to build the future of digital health together…”
there will be a new Scale from Withings:
What is the Withings Body?
The Withings Body allows you to easily track your weight and monitor your progress. Additionally, it calculates your fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass and water mass by bioelectric impedance to inform you about your body composition.
Weight Fat mass (%) – standard and athlete mode Muscle mass (kg) Bone mass (kg) Water mass (%)
Automatic user recognition Weather forecast
link to withings.zendesk.com
Many reviews I have read on the net appear to have the opinion that most smart scales are not reliable enough when it comes to muscle mass, water weight, body fat etc and the smart feature is simply a case of recording your weight with a phone.
What do you believe is the best smart scales as a reliable unit for measure the body fat percentage, water weight, muscle mass?
Good review. I have had my scale a few years. It is amazing. Only lately my synched data Is delayed. I see numerous people online complaining of the same thing. Weighings go to their phone but they are now always delayed a day or two not near real-time any longer.