Withings Body Scan
- Comprehensive metrics & FDA-Cleared A-Fib
- Body composition readings for torso, legs, and arms
- High accuracy
- Informative LCD screen
- Durable battery & build
- Hefty price tag
- Varies in metrics offered depending on the region
- May be overwhelming for users seeking simple weight measurements
Step aside, traditional bathroom scales; there’s a new maestro in town, and it’s conducting an orchestra of metrics that Mozart would envy. The Withings Body Scan scale has landed on US soil a few weeks ago, and it’s not just here to tell you how many holiday pounds you’ve gained. Oh no, this French virtuoso is a health concierge, a weatherman, and a fitness coach all rolled into a sleek glass platform that even James Bond would give a nod of approval.
You might be thinking, “A scale that does more than just weigh me? Preposterous!” But hold onto your skepticism. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill smart scale; it’s a multitasker that juggles everything from your weight to your segmental body composition, and even throws in the day’s weather and air quality for good measure. And let’s not forget its battery life, which outlasts most New Year’s resolutions.
But before you reach for your wallet, be warned: this scale comes with a $399.95 price tag (check price on Withings / Amazon). Yet, considering it’s the world’s first health station to receive FDA clearance for detecting atrial fibrillation through a 6-lead ECG, perhaps it’s worth every penny.
So, is this the scale that finally bridges the gap between health and home? Stick around as I delve into its features, accuracy, and whether it’s worth the investment.
Withings Body Scan review: Design and build quality
Look & feel
The Withings Body Scan Scale is a study in modern, minimalist design that effortlessly blends functionality with aesthetics. Its high-strength tempered glass platform is a sleek, reflective surface that adds a touch of elegance to any room. The glass is not just for show; it’s a durable material that can withstand the rigors of daily use. The scale’s compact dimensions of 12.8 x 12.8 x 1.1 inches make it easy to place in any corner of your home, from the bathroom to the bedroom, without it feeling obtrusive.
One thing I’ve noticed is that at 4.8 kgs, the scale’s weight is more substantial than its sleek design might suggest. This heft might be a nod to the advanced technology packed inside, but it’s something to consider if you plan to relocate the scale often. Additionally, while the glass surface adds a touch of elegance, it’s worth noting that it can show smudges.
The handlebar, positioned at the top, extends upward when pulled. It serves both a functional and aesthetic purpose, elevating the scale’s capabilities while adding a modern, clinical flair to its appearance. Although the scale shares visual similarities with other Withings models, it’s the handle that sets it apart, signaling that this scale offers something more.
The high-resolution LCD color screen is a focal point of the scale’s design. Measuring 2.8 inches with a pixel resolution of 320 x 240, the display is crisp and clear. What I like is that when it’s off, you can’t even tell that it is there. It’s embedded seamlessly into the glass platform, maintaining the scale’s clean lines and minimalist appeal.
While the scale is a technological marvel, its design ensures that it doesn’t scream “gadget.” There’s a timeless quality to its appearance, making it a device that you won’t mind keeping out as a permanent fixture in your living space.
Under the hood
At the heart of this health station lies its patented Position Control technology, employing four weight sensors to ensure highly accurate weigh-ins.
The handlebar, equipped with electrodes, plays a crucial role in capturing 6-lead ECGs, tests commonly conducted in medical settings to monitor heart electrical activity. Frequent ECGs enhance the likelihood of identifying and recording atrial fibrillation, a prevalent arrhythmia that, if undetected, could result in severe cardiac issues.
Additionally, the handlebar enables detailed segmental body composition analysis. You get specific data on fat and muscle content in the torso, legs, and arms. The scale conducts a full-body scan, sending a current from the hands to the feet, making the measurements notably accurate compared to other scales. But more about that later.
Like many Withings scales, this device offers dual connectivity options: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This ensures your health data is consistently current and easily accessible on your mobile device.
While Bluetooth-only operation is an option, I’d recommend configuring the Wi-Fi settings by entering your password. Doing so simplifies the user experience considerably. Once set up, your primary responsibility is to step on the scale occasionally for measurements; the data will automatically sync to the cloud without further intervention.
The battery life on this scale is engineered for longevity, running on a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can last up to a year on a single charge. This is particularly convenient, as it eliminates the need for frequent battery replacements or the hassle of keeping it near a power outlet.
Charging the device is straightforward, utilizing a standard USB-C cable for the task. This commonality in charging options is a subtle but appreciated feature, allowing for easy integration into a home where USB-C has become the norm for other devices. It means one less unique charging cable to keep track of, simplifying the overall user experience.
Withings Body Scan review: Technical specs
High-strength tempered glass platform
12.8 x 12.8 x 1.1 in. / 325 x 325 x 25,6 mm
Weight of scale
4.8 kgs (10.6lb)
High resolution LCD color screen
2.8 inches, 320 x 240 pixels
Four weight sensors (Highly-accurate weigh-ins via Position Control technology, Patented body position detector), ECG
5-200 kg (9-440 lbs)
Weight, segmental body composition, metabolic assessment, heart health metrics, ECG monitor, nerve health, daily weather forecast.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Rechargeable Li-ion battery
up to 1 year per charge
Up to 8 users
Up to 50 grams
Withings Body Scan scale review: features, performance
Setup and user experience
Initial setup of the scale is uncomplicated and quick, even for those without much technical expertise. A concise guide outlines the essential steps, making the process a breeze. This is particularly the case if you’re already a Withings Health account holder. Simply add the scale through the app and it will guide you through setup. Gone are the days of jumping through hoops to get a scale to sync with an app; this device avoids such pitfalls.
Body Scan comes with an optional self-adhesive attachment in the box. You can affix this to your bathroom wall and extend the handlebar into it, potentially aiding those who’d rather not bend down to pick up the handlebar for a full weigh-in. Personally, I opted to forgo this option, as it provides me with the flexibility to relocate the scale throughout my home as needed.
The user experience is mostly smooth, but it’s worth mentioning that a full measurement cycle clocks in at about a minute. Roughly half of that time is dedicated to capturing the EKG data. While this might feel a bit long if you’re accustomed to quicker weigh-ins, the depth of information you gain makes the extra time worthwhile. If you’re in a hurry, you can opt for a faster, though less comprehensive, reading by not using the handlebar. The screen serves as more than just a digital display; it’s an interactive interface that adds an engaging dimension to each weigh-in.
While the scale is designed for individualised health tracking, it does offer the capability to recognise up to 8 users in total. This feature generally works well and adds a layer of convenience for households where more than one person is invested in health monitoring. The scale is designed to automatically recognise who is stepping on it based on the weight data it has stored for each profile. And if it is not sure, it will ask for help in the Health Mate app.
You can also manually switch users. When stepping on the scale, if you find that the wrong user profile is selected, you can easily switch to the correct one by leaning to the left or right. This intuitive feature allows for quick profile selection, ensuring that your health data is accurately recorded under your individual account. It’s a simple yet effective way to manage multiple users without having to go through complicated settings or menus.
Software and app integration
The software and app integration is where this scale truly comes to life. The iOS and Android Health Mate app serves as the central hub for all the data the scale collects. You can also link up to software so that it syncs to Apple Health, Google Fit and other fitness apps.
The Withings app has recently gone through a revamp. In my view it looks perfectly fine, offering a user-friendly interface that provides a wealth of information at your fingertips. From detailed breakdowns to historical trends, the app makes it easy to track your progress over time. It even offers explanations and hints for each unit of measurement, helping you understand what the numbers actually mean for your health.
As mentioned, the scale offers a plethora of metrics that go beyond the simple weight measurement. In fact the scale has the largest number of health biomarkers ever seen on a smart scale. Here’s a breakdown.
Weight & Metabolic Assessment
The scale begins by measuring weight, a fundamental yet essential metric, with a high degree of accuracy up to 50 grams. The device quickly settles on this reading, and for those who prefer not to see their weight, there’s an Eyes-Closed Mode that displays motivational graphics instead of numerical data.
Alongside your weight, the scale also provides your Body Mass Index (BMI) and a Metabolic Assessment. The latter offers insights into your resting metabolic rate, a crucial element for understanding weight loss or gain. This rate indicates the number of calories your body requires when at rest and is calculated based on your weight, BMI, age, height, and gender. In my experience, it estimated my resting metabolic rate at 1,852 kcal.
This data is further utilised to gauge your Metabolic Age, a figure that can be either encouraging or a wake-up call. In my case, it was reassuring to find that my metabolic age was slightly lower than my actual age.
Segmental Body Composition
The Withings scale introduces Segmental Body Composition, a feature not found in other home scales, and executes it pretty well. This metric offers a granular analysis of your body, segmenting it into torso, legs, and arms and providing data on the fat and muscle mass for each. It goes beyond the usual overall percentages of body fat and muscle mass of bioelectrical impedance analysis scales. I have learned to typically ignore these types of readings in the past as I didn’t have much confidence in their accuracy.
What I also like is the scale’s ability to benchmark your segmental body composition metrics against those of other Withings users in the same age and gender group. This contextualizes your data, giving you a clearer understanding of where you stand. In my experience, as a keen runner, the segmental results were consistent with my expectations – particularly the very low body fat in my legs. In fact, all of my readings were in the low to very-low category for body fat. For muscles they tend to fall more in line with the average. Again – something consistent for a person who runs more than 150km each month.
Additionally, the scale provides a historical chart that tracks changes in your muscle, fat, and bone mass over time. It also displays your Visceral Fat Index, which measures the fat surrounding vital organs in your abdominal area. This type of fat is known to pose health risks. The scale and the accompanying app conveniently indicate whether your metrics fall within a healthy range, a feature that I found particularly useful.
ECG & heart health
The ECG (Electrocardiogram) monitor is among the scale’s more sophisticated features, designed to detect irregularities in heart rhythm. It can serve as a valuable early warning system, particularly for those who may not be aware they have a heart-related issue. The monitor provides four possible outcomes: Normal Sinus Rhythm, Atrial Fibrillation, Inconclusive, and Noise Inconclusive. Each of these outcomes is straightforward and easy to understand.
What sets this ECG monitor apart is its 6-lead capability, which offers a more comprehensive view of the heart’s electrical activity compared to standard single-lead monitors. This added complexity lends greater confidence in the readings, making them more reliable for tracking heart health over time.
Additionally, the scale provides a detailed recording of your ECG signal, which can be reviewed in the smartphone app and shared as a PDF file. This feature is particularly useful for those who want to keep a close eye on their cardiovascular health or share the data with healthcare providers for further analysis. Having this level of detail readily available on a home scale adds another layer to your overall health monitoring, making it a truly multifaceted device.
In addition to heart rate info which you will get each time you step on the scale, there are other Heart Health metrics. They combine to help provide a quick snapshot of your cardiovascular health.
The European version comes equipped with a Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) metric, a feature that measures the speed at which waves generated by heartbeats travel along your arteries. This is a valuable metric for gauging arterial stiffness, a key indicator of cardiovascular health. Meanwhile, the U.S. version omits this particular metric and instead offers a Vascular Age metric (also available in Europe), which serves as a more user-friendly, albeit less detailed, assessment of arterial health.
The differences between the US and European scale don’t stop there.
In the United States, the scale offers an Electrodermal Activity (EDA) Score, a biomarker that measures the activity of sweat glands in the soles of your feet. This score can offer valuable insights into your stress levels, diet, and overall health. On the flip side, the European version, which I tested, provides a Nerve Health Score. This is designed to identify early signs of peripheral autonomic neuropathies, which could be indicative of pre-diabetic states.
Rounding off the data is a daily weather forecast which optionally appears on the screen of the scale. This is aA small but convenient feature, that sits alongside air quality information. It’s a nice touch for planning your day right from the moment you step off the scale.
One of the standout features is the app’s ability to integrate with other health monitoring devices. If you’re using other Withings health gadgets, like a blood pressure monitor or the Sleep Analyzer, the app can consolidate all this information into a single, comprehensive health report. This makes it easier to get a holistic view of your well-being, enabling more informed decisions about your health regimen.
Accuracy and reliability
When it comes to accuracy and reliability, the scale performs admirably. The four weight sensors, enhanced by Position Control technology, ensure that you get highly accurate weigh-ins. The patented body position detector aids in this by guiding you to stand correctly, minimizing the chances of error. The scale’s measurement precision goes up to 50 grams, which is excellent for a consumer-grade device. What’s more, I found this type of accuracy regardless whether the scale was sitting on a tiled floor or carpet.
The inclusion of a 6-lead ECG in a home scale is a noteworthy feature. Traditional ECGs often utilize a single lead to capture the heart’s electrical activity, providing a limited view. In contrast, a 6-lead ECG offers a more comprehensive picture, capturing data from multiple angles around the heart. This allows for a more nuanced understanding of heart rhythms and potential irregularities. In essence, the 6-lead ECG turns the scale into a more potent tool for proactive health monitoring, elevating it beyond mere weight and body composition tracking.
However, it’s worth noting that for the most accurate results, it’s advisable to use the scale under consistent conditions—same time of day, similar room temperature, and preferably on an empty stomach. These best practices ensure that the data you collect is as reliable as possible, allowing you to track your health metrics over time with confidence.
Withings Body Scan scale review: The bottom line
The Withings Body Scan scale is more than just a weighing device; it’s a comprehensive health station that offers a wide array of metrics to monitor your well-being. With a price tag of $399.95 (check price on Withings / Amazon), it’s an investment, but one that could be well worth it for those who are serious about health tracking. Withings has become to smart scales what Apple is to smartwatches, setting a standard that puts it in a league of its own.
The scale’s design is a blend of form and function, featuring a high-strength tempered glass platform and a handlebar that not only adds to its aesthetic but also enhances its measurement capabilities. Connectivity is a breeze, thanks to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options that keep your health data synced and up-to-date. The battery life is another highlight, lasting up to a year on a single charge and conveniently recharging via a standard USB-C cable.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
In terms of accuracy and reliability, the Withings Body Scan scale is engineered to impress. Beyond weight, the scale offers a rich tapestry of metrics including segmental body composition, metabolic assessment, and heart health. The ECG monitor is particularly noteworthy, serving as an early warning system for potential heart rhythm irregularities.
If you’re looking for a smart scale that does more than just measure your weight, the Withings Body Scan scale is unparalleled in its offerings. Its extensive feature set, consistent performance, and elegant design make it an investment worth considering for anyone focused on health and wellness.
*We are a review site that receives a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. Purchasing items by clicking on links in this article allows us to run this website. We are independently owned and all opinions expressed here are our own. See our affiliate disclosure page for more details.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!