A Full Function Smart Scale for Thirty Dollars

We’ve had an old fashioned white scale on our bathroom floor for as long as I can remember. You know the kind, tap it to turn it on and wait for it to zero out. Then step on and read the number. No body fat percentage, no BMI, just your weight.

I had looked at smart scales a while back, but didn’t think they were worth the couple of hundred dollars most of them cost back then. Scales aren’t something I think about much, so this is a rare example of technology that slipped my mind. I never gave it another thought, until recently, that is.

I have been making an effort to get in better shape as of late. Part of that endeavor is tracking my calorie intake and weight. One morning while keying in the numbers yet again, my sleepy brain wondered if there was a scale that would sync up with my phone.

A cup of coffee and a few web searches later I was pleased to learn that smart scales were far more affordable and that some would sync with my health app. Not only that, but they could measure a lot more than just your weight thanks to electrical impedance.

The various structures and tissues in your body all pass electricity through them at different rates. Body Fat impedes, or slows the electron stream more than bone for example. Smart scales pass a series of small electrical currents up through one foot and out through the other. The software on the linked mobile devices analyses the times the pules took and calculates your body’s composition. This process is known as BIA Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis.

The current is small and generally harmless. Most of us don’t notice it at all. However, if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator, or other sensitive electronic implant you should avoid smart scales. Most of the manufactures also warn against using the devices if you are pregnant.

I had some specific requirements that I hoped to fulfill when I started looking for a smart scale. For it to be useful it needed to sync with both the Samsung and Apple Health apps. We needed it to easily connect to multiple Android and Apple devices. Quick and accurate measurements were also important.

After some research, I ended up ordering the FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale from Amazon. It’s $29.99 on Prime and on paper does everything I was after and then some. Some of the comments lead me to think device switching might be problematic. Other purchasers seemed to be having trouble with the batteries.

We’ve had the unit for a couple of weeks now and I’m impressed. Install and setup the FITINDEX app from your device’s app store, turn on Bluetooth and step on the scale. It’s that easy. As long as the person using the scale has the app open and Bluetooth on when they mount up, user switching is a seamless experience even between Android and Apple. I’ve put both standard and rechargeable batteries in ours without issues.

I compared the numbers this device provided against my last check-up from my doctor’s office and some from a friend’s smart-scale. The FITINDEX was accurate according to the comparisons. It calculates: weight, BMI, body fat percentage, water percentage, bone mass, muscle mass, and several other compositional components. The data can be synchronized with the Fitbit, Google Fit, Samsung Health, or Apple Health apps automatically, by selecting the appropriate option in the FITINDEX app’s settings.

The FITINDEX app itself is superb. It tracks trends and goals, supports themes, and is generally pleasant to use. It color codes your results in red, yellow, green for easy interpretation. This usability surprised me more than any other aspect of my new scale. My experience has usually been that in-expensive hardware comes with atrocious software.

If you’re still rocking an old-fashioned scale that only shows your weight, or you’re getting on the fitness train, the FITINDEX is an exceptional piece of equipment given its price.

About Kevin Trent

IT professional with almost 30 years of experience in Infrastructure, Architecting, Administration, Development, and Communications.

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