Saturday, March 5, 2016

Withings WS-50: Smart Body Analyzer

My arsenal of weight-loss gadgets gained one new item: smart body analyzer WS-50 by Withings.

Not that I my old old fashioned scale doesn't do the job, it does most of things I need: checks and stores weight, BMI, fat and lean body mass, stores progress for multiple users, and does this all well for 10 years without even a need to change a battery (yay to Austria produced quality items :) ). But Withings smart body analyzer sure comes with few nice perks I couldn't say no to.

Withings WS-50: Review

Number one thing I like (and most important to me): WS-50 automatically syncs all data it collects to an app on my phone via wifi (yes, it does have a wifi connection). This one comes with nice perk of automatically loading the data to iHealth, which then can be easily distributed to MyFitnessPal, FitBit, and other apps that work with iHealth.

In terms of measurements WS-50 tracks Weight, BMI, Fat Mass and Heart Rate for multiple users (and figures out the user it is measuring for, so no need for selecting anything for this). A check for Air Quality and a report for Localized Daily Weather are nice addition too.

Once you get on the scale, WS-50 will go through measuring each of these one by one and presenting you with results (body analyzer can be set to skip some of the measurements in app settings).

Checking heart rate once a day when I am measuring weight (which for me happens early in the morning) seems a bit pointless. But I guess you don't have to stick to doing it only once a day if you want to watch heart rate closely using WS-50, otherwise HR monitor may be a better choice instead. I also had couple hiccups with HR measurements on WS-50: from times to times it fails to take a measurement and shows me a cross instead, I still don't know why this happens and how to fix it.

Quick Review of Withings iPhone App

As I mentioned above, WS-50 works with an iPhone app - Withings app - which pulls together data from all Withings devices it is set up to work with and also gets some external data from other linked apps such as MyFitnessPal. And this is a blessing and a curse.

Good side are easy to guess - all data is shown and analyzed in one place.

Negative side I believe comes from Withings wish to push their trackers and discriminate others: it doesn't import activity data from any external trackers (such as Apple Watch) or data synced from them to iHealth, it will take step count out of iPhone phone the app is installed on, but this is as much as it will do: distance and calorie-out in the app are calculated based on steps count taken from the phone and comparing to the stats from iHealth these are about 25% off on a bigger side.

This makes tracking of taken-in/worked-out calories with Withings app somewhat useless for me because I use Apple Watch most of the time and phone rarely.

Besides these, Withings app is pretty nice: easy to use, can be somewhat customized to your needs and allows for family support.

Withings app dashboard and timeline examples:

Withings app settings examples:

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