There are several wireless weight scales available today, including the Fitbit Aria, Withings and iHealth scales. After a couple of years of producing fitness trackers, Polar has turned up at CES 2016 with its first intelligent scale, the Polar Balance Connected Smart Scale. The company has now joined the likes of a select few companies, which produce fitness trackers as well as smart scales.
Ease of use
Use of information
The Polar Balance scale has a sleek and attractive design that features a large rectangular display. The main casing is made of splash-proof glass and plastic. The display is crisp and clear with lrge numbers that are easily readable. It comes in two colours – black and white.
The scale can be used by up to 10 different people. It works as a standalone device but can also be used with Polar’s wearables or its Polar Flow app and web service which make up an essential part of the service. This is not a WiFi scale, rather it connects to your Polar wearable, iPhone or Android smartphone through Bluetooth Smart.
The display shows your current weight and display connectivity to a Bluetooth device status. There is a small button on the underside to choose between kilograms and pounds.
It should be noted that both the Withings Smart Body Analyzer and Fitbit Aria scales also include body fat measurements – something that is not offered by the Polar scale. The accuracy of these body fat measurements should, however, be taken with a grain of salt as they can be inconsistent and innacurate at times. If you are interested in tracking your body fat with more precision, we suggest reading our article on the Skulpt Aim.
The scale comes with 3 AAA batteries already inside the unit, which is enough juice to keep it going for over a year.
You can use the Polar Blance scale with Polar Loop, Loop 2, Loop Crystal, A360, M400 and V800. It is also compatible with the Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor and connects with the world’s largest food, nutrition and calorie database (iOS only) – MyFitnessPal.
The scale syncs via Bluetooth. Which means you will need to pair it first to a compatible tracker so that it remembers it for the future. Once paired, you can either have the scale sync to your tracker or use the Polar Flow app to sync your weight.
Once you’ve done that, just stand up on the scale and it will give you the weight in about a second. It records your weight very quickly. You will then hear a beep and the little Bluetooth icon will start blinking. When the data is synced, you should see the weight appear on your Polar device. Sync your device to your phone and the weight is logged into the Polar Flow website.
You can also sync directly to your Android or iOS device without the need for a Polar device. Simply open the Flow app, go to the Balance section in the menu and there is a “add weight” icon at the top right. Once you select this icon, the Flow app will wait for your weight in. Step on the scale and it will beep once it has taken your measurement. The Balance then sends that data to the Flow app (or your tracker if you put it into pairing mode).
The scale can do more than just measure your weight. Once the data is in the Flow service, Polar gives you the option to set a specific target weight along with suggesting the amount of time to achieve that goal.
Once you have set a personal goal, the app and web service will offer you motivational guidance on how to reach your daily activity goal. The idea is that to attain your goal, you must either eat properly, or get in more activity, hence the name – “Balance”.
The app works on the basis that 60% of the excess calories should be cut from your diet and 40% should be burned with activity. Daily activities such as steps, distance and calories burned that are recorded from one of Polar’s fitness trackers and the food intake you record in Polar Flow will then be synced with the scale.
Essential reading: Devices that help you keep tabs on your body fat.
The service will provide you with advice on nutrition and exercise and follow your weight and BMI trends via graphs. This will allow you to learn how chasing your daily habits can improve your well-being and make it easier for you to reach your weight goal.
A promising aspect of the feature-set is the Weight Loss Speedometer, a beautiful graphic that gives you an easy way to see if you’re on track to reaching your goals. The Speedometer and the motivational guidance is also the main distinguishing feature of this scale compared to its competitors.
We think every home should have at least one connected scale. The convenience of having your weight automatically tracked over time is worth the extra price over standard scales. The Polar device will additionally set you your activity goal to best fit your weight goal, and keep you motivated to reach it.
The Polar Balance is a sleek and attractive device that gets the basic job done quickly. It is, however, facing some stiff competition from a number of other manufacturers such as Withings and Fitbit. Retailing for around $100, it is slightly less expensive compared to the competition. It is important to note that this scale works in Bluetooth only. The process is seamless, but if you are not a fan of Bluetooth scales, you may need to look elsewhere. And it only produces weight measurements.
Polar Balance Scale
While all smart scales provide your weight and sync it to an ecosystem, it’s the coaching functionality that sets the new Polar scale apart. So if you are a Polar device owner or are looking for a scale that offers clear motivation and helpful coaching, we would recommend the Polar Balance model.