Reaching a healthy weight goal is important at any age because it impacts our energy levels, cardiovascular health and even our confidence. Smart scales can make this job much easier. Step on one of these scales, and your weight data will find its way to a corresponding app on your mobile device or a web dashboard via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Using the app or dashboard, you can then track your progress over time.
There are quite a few smart scales on the market today. From those that come from established brands and sell upwards $100 and more, and those that come from lesser know brands that sell for significantly less.
The Yunmai Mini Smart scale comes from a Chinese manufacturer and with a retail price of around $40 sits squarely in the budget category. You wouldn’t know this, however, by looking at its feature-set. Rather impressively, the scale measures up to 10 different body composition statics, including weight, BMI, BMR, hydration, bone mass, body age and more. It also comes with a well designed app that offers you guidance to help you reach your goals.
Essential reading: Our roundup of the best smart scales on the market
We have been testing the Yunmai Mini scale for around a week now. These are our impressions.
The first thing that strikes you when you see this scale is its size. It’s sleek, compact and does not take up a lot of space. And we’re not kidding. Measuring 260 x 260 x 19 mm and weighing only 1 kilogram, it is smaller than most other smart scales on the market. For comparison purposes, the Withings WS-50 scale measures 327 x 327 x 23 mm.
The top of the scale houses four metallic circles, slightly pertruding from the environmental organic polymer finish. You are meant to position your feet on these circles. The LED display comes to life and lights up when you step on the circles. On the underside there are four non-slip rubber feet. This is helpful if you have a smooth floor.
Overall, the scale has a sleek no-nonsense design. It needs 4 AAA batteries to run, and the bundled ones last over 6 months when used daily.
Before you step on the scale the first time the Yunmai app (iOS or Android), will run you through the set-up process. This essentially consists of answering a few basic questions such as your height, sex, weight goal, etc. You can choose to see your weight in pounds, kilograms, or stones.
To weigh yourself, open up the smartphone app, and step on the scale. Bluetooth connects straight away. The scale does not offer a WiFi option, so you do need to have your smartphone nearby when weighing yourself.
The display will only show your weight. For more detailed data, head over to the smartphone app. Yunmai says the scale uses something they call BIA biological resistance to measure body weight, BMI, fat, muscle, bone mass, water, metabolic rate, visceral fat, physical age, visceral fat and protein.
While this is an impressive list, you should take these measurements with a grain of salt. Studies have shown, that while smart scales are precise when it comes to measuring weight, the accuracy deteriorates with other metrics. Nevertheless, you can use these other measurements on a relative basis, charting your progress from day to day.
The app itsself is impressive and shows a wealth of data. It does take some getting used to. You can chart your weight fluctuations on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. You will also get a composite ‘Health score’ each time you weigh yourself. We are not sure exactly how this is calculated, presumably a combination of all the metrics. And the app will assign you a ‘Fitness Age’ score. These are both novel metrics that we have not seen with other such devices.
By clicking on any individual category, you get more detailed data and a sliding scale sectioned off into a normal, healthy and very unhealthy range. Your position is charted for each individual category, and if you are not sure for example what Visceral Fat or BMR means, the app includes descriptions of each category so you know exactly what is being calculated.
We compared the readings to the Withings WS-50 scale. Both weight and fat percentage were slightly higher on the Yunmai scale. But the difference was fairly consistant from day to day – for example the weight readings on the Yunmai scale were consistantly 0.5kgs higher than on the Withings scale.
The app syncs with Apple Health. You can choose to sync body fat percentage, body mass index, height, lean body mass and weight. Finally, the scale also features automatic user-identification to store personal data for up 16 users, and saves it all in cloud storage.
We have to say we are impressed with the Yunmai scale. While we are not a particular fan of the mini design and the lack of WiFi connectivity, the scale does the job seemlessly.
Yunmai Mini Smart Weighing Scale
Also, we have to commend Yunmai. Rather than just providing you with raw data and letting you make sense of it, the company tries to show you what exactly you need to do to improve your health. After all, a thin person is not in every case healthier than an overweight person.
All in all, in terms of value for money, this may be one of the best budget smart scales on the market right now.
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