Withings Body Scan scale review

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REVIEW – I have reviewed every Withings digital scale since the original Withings WiFi Body Scale 14 years ago. I’ve continued to upgrade units as new ones were offered for review, and I weigh myself on one almost every day to keep track of my weight. With each new version of their smart body scales, Withings adds more features to provide more health biomarker tracking, and today, I want to tell you all about the Withings Body Scan scale, which is their most ambitious model yet. Let’s take a look!

What is it?

The Withings Body Scan is a digital scale that, when paired with the Withings health app, tracks the following metrics:

  • Precise weight measurements – Weight range: 5-200 kg (9-440 lbs).
  • Segmental body composition – Ultra-precise measurements of your body composition plus fat and muscle mass for each body part independently.
  • Metabolic assessment – Visceral Fat Index, and BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
  • Heart health – Indicating your cardiovascular health via Vascular Age and standing heart rate.
  • Withings Scan Monitor 2.0 – 6-Lead Electrocardiogram (ECG) that can detect AFib, the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance, a heart arrhythmia that can cause stroke and heart failure.
  • Electrodermal assessment – Evaluates your sweat glands’ response to an electrical stimulus and unlock your EDA score.

What’s in the box?

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  • Withings Body Scan scale
  • Wall mount
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • User guide

Design and features

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The design and form factor of the Withings Body Scan scale is very similar to Withing’s previous scales. It has a glass top and a small color display. But the Body Scan does have a notable difference from Withings previous scales. This one has a retractable handle with four electrical sensors, one for your each palm and one for each thumb.

What does the handle do? The handle is used to record 6-lead ECGs (electrocardiograms), track your arterial stiffness, do an EDA test to compute your nerve score, and it’s used to compute your body composition. The Withings Body Scan scale uses multifrequency BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) to record your body composition info about your muscle, fat, and bone mass. To do this, it sends a tiny electrical current through the body – don’t worry, you won’t feel it.

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The handle has a long braided cable that pulls out of the scale when you’re recording a measurement and retracts back in place on the top edge of the scale when you’re finished.

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The front edge of the scale has a USB-C port and a power / wake button.

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The Withings Body Scan scale comes with a bracket that you can attach to the wall to hold the handle, but I just leave it retracted into the scale when it’s not being used.

Let’s weigh in and check our stats!

To start using the Withings Body Scan scale, you must first download the Withings app, and create an account. Then you can press the power button on the scale. If the scale’s battery is low, you will want to charge it with a USB-C cable before you continue. Note that the Body Scan scale should work for up to one year on a single charge.

The instructions mention that you need to weigh in around the same time every day and ensure you’ve not been on your feet for more than 30 minutes before you weigh in. I always weigh in the morning after getting out of bed and out of the shower. You’ll also need to weigh with bare feet since the top of the scale has electrodes and sensors under the glass, which are used to record some of the metrics. Last but not least, you should stand so that the arms aren’t touching your torso and your legs aren’t touching each other. Yes, it can feel a bit awkward.

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The Withings Body Scan Scale uses the same app that all Withings products use, so my experience setting up the new scale was quick and painless. The app detected the new Body Scan scale immediately, and I was able to weigh in within seconds. The new weigh-ins were added with my past measurements using the older Withings scale to create a seamless timeline. Check out the screenshot below. See, I told you that I’ve been using Withings scales for the last 14 years.

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The Withings app gives you a simple way to view your data for all of your tracked stats and you can drill down into day, week, month, quarter, year. The app helps you spot both good and bad trends to see areas where you can improve.

The newest and really cool new feature that is only on the Withings Body Scan Scale is the segmental body composition that breaks down your fat and muscle per body part!

This new feature is pretty interesting if you’re trying to build muscle and lose fat on different body parts. And yes, I know that it’s pretty much impossible to target and reduce fat for a specific body part, but seeing changes through these pics can and will inspire you to keep going.

I will say that collecting all this information comes at a cost of not only the scale itself but with your time. Stepping on the Withings Body Scan scale to see your current weight only takes a few seconds because the moment that you step on the scale, it wakes and shows your weight on the built-in display. But then it will automatically go on to measure all the other biomarkers, including the ECG and EDA tests. The ECG test takes around 30 seconds and the EDA takes about that long too. When it’s all said and done, you could be standing on the scale for close to 90 seconds. It doesn’t really bother me, but I can see how it might bother some.

Are the Withings Body Scan scale measurements accurate?

Well, that’s a great question, right? It’s a question I have been asking myself, but I don’t know how to get a true answer without getting a DEXA scan so I can make a comparison in the data. Unfortunately, there isn’t a facility in my town that does DEXA scans.

I also see that the readings for fat and muscle seem to vary as much as a pound each day. And regarding the images above, while it is cool to see that my right leg has 14.8 pounds of muscle, I don’t know if I believe that my torso has 56.4 pounds of muscle.

I do believe that the weight measurement readings are accurate, though, because all three of my Withings scales were within a few tenths of a pound difference when I weighed with all three one after the other within minutes of each other.

I also trust the ECG readings, which test for AFib, because that feature has been cleared by the FDA.

When it comes down to it, I think you have to take the extra readings with a grain of salt. But while they might not be 100% accurate, they will help you see trends.

Withings+ subscription

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You don’t need the special Withings+ subscription, but you can check into it if you want some extra information about your health as well as workout tips.

The Body Scan scale comes with three free months of Withings+. Then after that, it’s $9.95 per month or $99.95 for a whole year. In my opinion it should be included for free given the price of the scale.

What I like

  • Measures way more than just your weight
  • Tracks up to 8 users so it’s great for a large family
  • One year battery life per charge

What I’d change

  • Include the Withings+ subscription for free
  • It’s expensive

Final thoughts

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Using the Withings Body Scan scale is like getting a physical/check-up every time you step on it. From accurate weight tracking to tracking other metrics like fat and muscle percentage to a clinically validated electrocardiogram and your vascular age, this scale has features that will motivate you to improve your body/health. For me, using the Body Scan scale is like game-ifying my fitness. I look forward to hopping on the scale each morning to see if I’ve progressed towards my goals. As long as the sticker shock doesn’t bother you, this is the most feature-rich smart scale I’ve seen so far.

Price: $399.95
Where to buy: Withings and Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Withings.

5 thoughts on “Withings Body Scan scale review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I get that it’s pretty cool tech, but wow that price at the end caught me off guard, plus the recurring monthly fee. Everybody. Wants. Monthly. Payments. Now. Tiring, to say the least, nickel and dimed to death…

  3. Hmm – interested as my scale dates from when Nokia briefly owned their business before it reverted. But I think I’ll wait until July – last year they sent me a $30 off code for my birthday 🙂

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