The coronavirus pandemic, which has been going on for almost 1 year, has led in many places to the fact that we spend significantly more time in our own four walls. This has an impact on our fitness, because there are simply not many footpaths at home. This is where fitness gadgets come into play, designed to motivate the buyer to be more active. One of them is the Withings Body +, an intelligent scale that records your body values and is intended to help you achieve goals with the help of the associated app. I tried it and got some insights into my body over the last week.
Before we start: The Body + was provided to us free of charge by Withings, but this had (as with other tests on this page) have no effect on the test result achieved here.
Scope of delivery
Little, but everything included
If you get a Body + delivered, you will find everything you need in the box. Batteries for the scales are included; in addition to the standard feet, those for carpets can also be installed. These ensure that the scale does not press into the carpet and can be installed relatively easily using the adhesive strips supplied.
Not directly The “Health Mate” app, which synchronizes the measured data with your smartphone, can also be used free of charge. As a result, these can then be shared with third-party providers (e.g. Apple Health). A Withings account is required for use, which you can set up quickly and easily via the app.
Small starting difficulties with the installation
Once the scale has been unpacked and the app installed, it can be set up. To do this, open the app and select the Body + in the list of supported devices. Then turn on the scales and connect them to your device. This works via Bluetooth.
Since the scale requires a network connection for direct synchronization with the cloud, connection to a WLAN is mandatory. There were a few starting problems here, because the Body + always aborted the set-up after a short period of time. After 3 attempts it worked and 1 software update and a few hints later the weighing could start.
The configuration of the balance happened via the app. If you don’t live alone and want to leave the scales to a second person, you can simply set up another local account. The Body + then recognizes which user it is based on the individual body values. You can also configure which values should be shown on the device display after weighing. The operation is intuitive, more on this in the next section.
Huge range of functions – good overview
The “Health Mate” app, which works together with the scale, is an excellent success. After logging in to the Withings account and (optionally) connecting to Apple Health or another service, all relevant fitness data is displayed in a clear dashboard. Based on our activity and body measurements, the app then calculates a fitness score and recommends measures to achieve the set goals.
If we have successfully increased our level of activity, our virtual coach will also recognize this and recommend that we tackle new challenges. At the beginning of my test, for example, I resolved to do 7th daily. 000 steps to achieve. After doing this successfully for 1-2 weeks, “Health Mate” recommended that I set a new goal – 8. 000 Steps.
Due to the focus on progress and the changes in our body in the last few weeks, the app is extremely motivating in reaching the daily step and movement goals. The integration of the Body + works flawlessly, measured values are displayed in the personal dashboard without much delay. It is also possible to export a health report, which you can pass on to your doctor, for example. An absolute recommendation from my side.
Results not always 100 Percent exactly
Now let’s look at one of the most important elements of the Body +: the body measurement. Here you can see that the Withings scale shows the typical weakness of a device without a handpiece, as a result the results are not always 99 percent accurate. Because in order to measure body fat and water percentage, muscle and bone mass, an electric shock is sent through the body and the resistance is measured. If this only comes from the feet, an accurate measurement can only take place on the basis of the lower half of the body and “algorithms”.
The reason is that electricity is always looking for the shortest route in and out of the body. So if the current surge enters the left foot, it paves its way through the lower and upper thighs to the middle of the body and then exits again through the right leg or the right foot. The upper body, arms and shoulders are only marginally taken into account.
That is sometimes the reason why the values between Body + and my body composition analyzer from Omron (with handpiece) differ slightly from each other, but the Body + still offers excellent measurements for the equipment. In my opinion, the measurement results generated in this way are sufficient to get an approximate picture of his body and health, if the ideal scale for the respective values is shown on the display as a classification variable. If the arrow is to the left or right of the ideal area, then reaching the “good area” offers a motivating challenge.
Withings promises up to 03 Months
The Body + is powered by 4 batteries (AAA) that are inserted on the back of the device. The first charge is already included in the scope of delivery, if everything goes well, I should at least until autumn 2022 with the latest batteries. This is excellent for an intelligent scale, especially since significantly more functionalities are available.
Conclusion and availability
The Withings Body + can be purchased in the manufacturer’s shop or from many other retailers. Currently the recommended retail price is 99 Euro, that’s just about acceptable for such a device. Also because you can already use the body analyzer scale 69 Euro (Status: 26. 03. 2021). In terms of color you can choose between black and white, I would recommend the latter.
From my side, the Body + is a recommendation for all those people who would like to see their body values centrally in one place and at the same time want a virtual coach to achieve goals. But if you don’t want to send your data to the cloud, there are plenty of other devices with which you can also document the same results offline.