The Withings Body Cardio Smart Scale (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Who is the Withings Body Cardio Smart Scale for?

  • People who are after premium build quality will not be disappointed with the glass and anodized aluminium body of the Withings Body Cardio
  • Healthy conscious people who wants to keep track of their body indices over time will save much effort and time through the Health Mate App that records all measurements taken by the scale
  • Families and households with multiple people will stand to benefit from the Withings' system of setting up individual profiles on the app and scale

With so many memes on social media on being overweight during the lockdown, health and weight during a time when outdoor time is limited is suddenly a trending concern. Anyone who has intentionally tracked their weight will know that it can become quite a time-consuming exercise, not to mention tracking other health indices like heart condition, the body's fat and water content.

So far I have reviewed the Withings Steel HR - which keeps track of the amount of exercise the wearer does throughout the day, the Withings Thermo - which keeps track of body temperature, and in light of the pandemic, I'm taking a look at the Withings Body Cardio smart scale during a time when we're keeping an eye on our weight.

Glass and aluminium (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Premium construction of Aluminium and Glass

Being a mere 0.7 inch thick, the Withings Body Cardio scale feels weighty in the hand because of its premium construction. With a thick glass top, the entire base of the scale is a slab of machined aluminum.

Anodized aluminium base - not so dissimilar to the MacBook you probably have on your desk (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

If you're into the 'unibody', 'anodized aluminum' design that has been made so popular by Apple, the Body Cardio scale is the closest you will get as far as bathroom scales go.

Large back-lit LCD display (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Near the top of the glass surface is a large back-lit LCD display that shows all the information that you need, which can be customized with the Health Mate app. On the side of the scale you have the micro-USB port for charging the inbuilt Lithium-ion battery, and a button for syncing and also for entering the options menu, changing simple things like displaying pounds or kilograms. The simplicity in its build makes the scale both premium in its looks and durable with less moving parts or components.

Micro-USB charging port on the side (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Stealth sensor arrays

Though the Withings Body Cardio Smart Scale looks very plain outwardly, and can be easily passed off as an ordinary scale, it is anything but. This scale not only checks your weight, but also fat/muscle content, as well as keeps track of your heart rate. This is an impressive feat as your feet do not come into contact with any metallic components at any point of the testing process. All the sensors are embedded under the glass top, and are completely unseen - and this is key to keeping the overall look polished and elegant.

Firmware updating, configuring, rebooting - the Withings Body Cardio scale is a full-on smart scale (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Full software monitor

So what does the Withings Body Cardio Smart Scale do that other scales don't? The whole Withings philosophy is not only to measure, but to track the changes that are taking place in your body over time.

In the center of all the tracking that takes place is the Withings' 'Health Mate' app, which is the first thing you need to install and connect to on your phone when setting up the scale. The process is relatively pain free, as the screen displays the 4 steps that are needed and runs you through the setup process with simple and clear instructions.

The Body Cardio scale not only connects with your phone via Bluetooth, you can even get it to connect with WiFi, and in that way, you can even get notifications if you're not near the scale - and track the weight of your children remotely if you'd like.

L-R: Various data you can display on the scale, data plotted over time on the right (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Once the scale is set up and ready to go, you can set up profiles for multiple users. Each time someone stands on the scale, the measurements are then recorded and assigned to each registered user. The measurements include weight, fat mass, body water, heart rate, BMI and muscle mass. The app will also plot the measurements over time, showing what measurements are considered healthy, and what your current measurements are relative to it.

All the data and records are easy to comprehend, and the intuitive swiping navigation allows all the information to be at your fingertips.

For users looking to improve their health, you can program in the app your goal, and you can even log food intake with one of my most used calorie counting app: MyFitnessPal by Under Armour. The Health Mate App will plot and visualize the food intake as well on top of all the other health data you're getting.

Actual health improvement through use

As I found out after practicing calorie counting for a while, more than benefiting through precisely track my food intake, what was most helpful was having a reliable point of reference to know where I am at, and be more aware of my eating habits. Without tracking our weight it's hard to find that reference - which actually varies across a wide range throughout the day. By measuring my weight at consistent intervals and conditions (For example: right before breakfast, after the morning shower) I was able to have a reality check on the condition of my weight and health, and adjust my daily eating and exercising practice.

In the case of using the Withings Body Cardio Smart Scale for the last two months, I did end up losing some weight, reducing my body fat content - even if only marginally, by adjusting my lifestyle based on the reference given to me by the data provided me by the scale.

L-R: The Health Mate app dashboard ties in all measurements from all the Withings devices, Personal profile and health report (Photo: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Final remarks

The Withings Body Cardio is a scale that has a sleek, understated design look, with a very impressive and powerful set of health monitoring prowess. It's greatest strength is its ability to not only measure but monitor and track the user's health over time through checking various weight related measurements.

If one looks at the whole range of Withings devices, it is truly an ecosystem of gadgets that monitor almost every fundamental part of the user's health, tying them up into an all-inclusive report by the Health Mate app.

If anyone is serious about keeping their loved ones and their own health in check, the Withings ensemble is the best system that money can buy right now that has the capacity to comprehensively watch over the health of an entire household.

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who is often on the move, but since the lock-down is on a mission to explore gadgets to improve his 'home work'. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Home Productivity.