Withings Thermo smart temporal thermometer review

{ 8 comments }

withings-thermo-1

There are lots of reasons to take your temperature. Maybe you’re feeling ill and want to see if you have a fever. Or maybe you’re trying to get pregnant and are tracking your temps to see when the best time to … well, you know. No matter why you may need to check your temperature, the Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer will get the job done quick and easy. But does it work better than a $5 digital thermometer from Walgreens? Let’s find out.

What is it?

The Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer is a battery powered digital thermometer that does not require you to put it in your mouth, your ear or your rear to take a reading. It reads the temperature by sweeping the infrared scanner across the forehead to measure the heat over the temporal artery which carries blood from the heart.

Design and features

withings-thermo-2

The Thermo is a white plastic device with one button, a white dot matrix style display next to it that is readable at night so you won’t wake a sick child to check their temperature. On the end of the Thermo is a green silicone cap that protects the sensor when the thermometer is not being used.

withings-thermo-4

The Thermo thermometer is powered by two AAA batteries which are included in the package. The battery cover is held in place by a magnet, which makes it very easy to remove when the batteries need to be replaced. Note: I could not find any info regarding battery life.

Using the Withings Thermo

withings-thermo-6

To take a temperature reading, you just remove the cap, press the button, wait for it to vibrate once, scan from the middle of the forehead straight across to either the left or right temple. The Thermo will then vibrate twice to let you know that it’s done and you’ll see the recorded temperature on the display next to the button. Green means no fever, orange = mild fever and red = high fever.

See it in action

To compare temperature readings from the Thermo with other thermometers, I ransacked my medicine cabinet and gadget shelves to find an old CVS digital thermometer, a slightly newer Vicks digital thermometer, a Walgreens old-style glass thermometer and a Kinsa Smart Thermometer.

withings-thermo-5

As luck would have it, when I removed the glass thermometer from its case, it was broken… So I won’t be including data from that thermometer in my tests.

For each test I took my readings one after the other with no waiting, drinking, moving around in between. Here are the results.

Test 1

Withings Thermo: 98.3°F
Kinsa (digital thermometer): 98.1°F
CVS (digital thermometer): 98.0°F
Vicks (digital thermometer): 97.9°F

Test 2 (next day)

Withings Thermo: 98.4°F
Kinsa (digital thermometer): 97.9°F
CVS (digital thermometer): 97.7°F
Vicks (digital thermometer): 97.7°F

Test 3 (30 minutes after Test 2)

Withings Thermo: 98.3°F
Kinsa (digital thermometer): 97.6°F
CVS (digital thermometer): 97.5°F
Vicks (digital thermometer): 97.3°F

As you can see from the temperature readings, the Withings Thermo’s readings were always slightly higher than the other thermometers I used. So I decided to just test several readings back to back with just the Thermo to see how reliable it is.

Test 4 (consecutive readings one after the other – .5 inch or less away from forehead without touching it)

Withings Thermo: 98.1°F
Withings Thermo: 98.2°F
Withings Thermo: 98.1°F

Test 5 (consecutive readings one after the other – touching forehead)

Withings Thermo: 98.3°F
Withings Thermo: 98.2°F
Withings Thermo: 98.4°F

The back to back Thermo readings were pretty consistent. But I still wonder about the difference between the Thermo and my older digital thermometers. Which thermometer’s readings are correct? I’m inclining to think that the old (and cheap) CVS and Vicks digital thermometers are the most accurate because their readings tended to be the closest together.

Readings are automatically synced to the Thermo app. I am surprised that a stand alone app is needed for the Thermo when all of the other Withings products that I have tested share the main Withings app.

The Thermo app supports up to 8 users which it gets from your existing (or new) Withings account. Since Jeanne is already setup in my Withings account for the Withings Body Cardio Scale, she automatically shows up in the Thermo app. The app is really basic and displays a time line of readings.

Clicking on a reading will allow you to add notes, choose from a symptoms list and even attach a picture.

Final thoughts

Is a $99.95 thermometer better than a $5 thermometer? I guess that depends on who will be using it. If you have small children who don’t like to have their temperatures taken orally, in the ear or by rear, the Withings Thermo is definitely a less stressful way to get a reading. It’s also very fast compared to the older digital style thermometers which can take a minute or what seems like an hour to get a reading. The Thermo’s automatic recording feature is also really helpful if you like to keep a log of readings. Yes, you can obviously write readings down manually with pen and paper, but having it done automatically saves time and avoids possible recording errors. So yes, there are advantages to buying the Withings Thermo over a Walgreens bargain bin thermometer. You’ll just have to decide if your budget can afford those advantages.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Withings. Please visit their site for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$99.95
Manufacturer:Withings
Pros:
  • Nothing to put in your mouth
  • Nothing to clean
  • Instant reading
  • Readings added to Withings account
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Concerns with accuracy
  • Uses its own app instead of the Withings Healthmate app
Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Betty Widerski August 3, 2016, 12:30 pm

    While I know “temporal” means “forehead,” a smart temporal thermometer sounds like it belongs in The Doctor’s toolbox alongside his sonic screwdriver…

    • Julie Strietelmeier August 3, 2016, 12:36 pm

      Hehehe, very true!

      • John Kes August 3, 2016, 7:46 pm

        I know! You might not want to press the button too many times, lest you become your own grandpa.

  • Janice S, August 3, 2016, 1:58 pm

    I was curious about this thermometer, as my daughter has fever syndrome and we take her temperature frequently and this seemed like a painless way to do it. We do have and love our Kinsa thermometer so given your review, it doesnt seem like its worth it to change to this one. Thanks for saving us $100! 🙂

    • Julie Strietelmeier August 3, 2016, 2:02 pm

      That depends, does your daughter mind having her temperature taken frequently? The Thermo records a temp in a fraction of the time it takes to plugin the Kinsa thermometer, bring up the app and wait for the reading. If speed and ease is a priority, the Thermo gets a thumbs up from me. I just wish it didn’t cost as much as it does.

      • Janice S, August 3, 2016, 2:26 pm

        Thank you for your response!! She is 5 so she actually really enjoys the bubble-popping on Kinsa. When we got the thermometer 1 year ago, for the first few weeks she’d bring it to me and say that she wanted to “pop the bubbles!” But since its not instant, I was thinking something quicker could be useful (mostly for me). But it doesn’t seem like $100 is worth it to save 8 seconds, if there are not many other benefits. I wish they had a try to buy option… 🙂

  • John Kes August 3, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Seems like the Withings has slightly better repeatability.

Leave a Comment