Here is a product I never thought I needed until I bought one. I mean, what is wrong with conventional weighing scales. All you need is your weight right? Wrong! The smart scales is so much more than just a weighing machine. It actually measures and monitors many aspects of your health and wellness.
What Do Smart Scales Do
If you are looking to manage your weight, set achievable and realistic goals in the short and long term and get fitter over time, start with the smart scales. It allows you to track not just your weight but other useful measurements like BMI, body fat percentage, hydration levels and more.
Physical outlook and size wise, the smart scales are not very different from your modern scales. They consist of a glass platform made from durable tempered glass over a sturdy plastic base with anti-slip feet. Also on the glass, you will find four highly sensitive electrodes that pass tiny amounts of electrical current through your body using Bioelectric Impedance Analysis technology to measure the many aspects of your health.
All smart scales are battery powered, either with off-the-shelf batteries or with built-in rechargeable batteries that you can top up with a USB power adapter. They communicate with the free companion app wirelessly via Bluetooth, WiFi or both, sending measurements to the app on a mobile device. If a mobile device is nowhere near the scale, it stores the reading temporarily until a device is connected. The app records the measurements over time and presents them in a graph, which makes tracking your progress a whole lot easier.
The features in the free companion app are where these smart scales really come into their own. It is able to track multiple users in the family and display all manner of metrics in a friendly and useful manner. You may not understand all of them initially but it comes with a traffic light indicator system to show where you are and where you want to be health-wise.
Is it expensive
At the mere mention of smart scales, one would immediately assume that it is going to cost a bomb. However, with more and more smart scales entering the market, competition has once again rein in on the prices allowing consumers to enjoy reliable and great value bathroom scales packed with features you never even knew you needed.
You can now find connected smart scales for under 20 dollars. More feature packed smart bathroom scales with body fat and BMI measurements are available between 30 to 40 dollars. If you want both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, the ability to track several users and a wide range of data, these are available from 40 to 100 dollars.
The RENPHO Smart Scale Review
Our focus here is on the budget end of the smart scales and where better to start than RENPHO. The company has established itself as a supplier of Bluetooth Smart Scales, Electric Massagers, Air Purifiers, Electric Razors and Sleeping Aids. With at least a dozen different models to choose from, RENPHO is one of the largest Bluetooth Smart Scales suppliers.
Having considered several of the RENPHO Body Fat Smart Scales, we came to realise that most of these are based on the same electronics. The only variations being the colour and design. Another difference is in how they are powered, most using three AAA batteries while higher models use rechargeable batteries that you charge via USB. Here we look in detail at their Bluetooth Composition Scales, the ES-26M-B.
What Does It Measure
In essence, these smart scales measure weight and take bio-impedance readings, analysing some 13 different body measurements offering key body composition metrics on the free companion app. The app goes further by allowing you to track daily, weekly and monthly progress as well as accommodate multiple users. You will need to download and install it on your phone before using the scales. Other models include ES-CS20M, ES-24M, ES-28ML, ES-26R and ES-BR003.
Here is a list of measurements that the RENPHO Body Composition Scales calculates and analyses:
- Body Fat (%)
- Fat Free Body Weight
- Subcutaneous Fat
- Visceral Fat
- Body Water (%)
- Skeletal Muscle
- Muscle Mass
- Bone Mass
- Metabolic Age
Two Pairs of electronic contact pads, one for each side of the feet measures precise body measurements using the latest bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). Those highly sensitive electrodes will spit out the readings to your phone in a matter of seconds.
To conserve power, the scales switch off automatically when you step off, or if you stay on beyond the reading. To power it back up, step off and on again. Weight measurements are displayed directly on the unit while other measurements captured by the BIA can be read on the app. For the former, it measures in increments of 0.2lb/0.05kg to a maximum of 396lbs/180kg/28st.
RENPHO App and Syncing
The other common feature among RENPHO’s smart scales apart from the RENPHO App is the software’s ability to sync and share information with Samsung Health, Apple Health, Google Fit and Fitbit App. This allows the readings from the scales to integrate with other health-related activities and measurements that each of these apps track. Ultimately, presenting a wholistic view of your fitness and well-being.
For Apple Watch users, a watch version of the app is installed automatically when you install the app on the iPhone. You can use this to measure and check-up on your progress in the history page.
The RENPHO App is an easy way to access all the measurements in the list above. These are provided in an expandable card system with a friendly indication of where your measurement falls in the overall average based on your sex and age.
We found that each member of the family could have their copy of the same app loaded on their device to record their own readings. Alternatively, you can use a single device like a family tablet to capture all the data belonging to the entire family.
Safety Precautions & Tips on Using the Smart Scales
Here are a couple of notifications and warnings on the use of the RENPHO Digital Smart Scales. To ensure accurate readings, place the scales on a hard and flat floor. Do not use it on lino or a carpet lined floor. This will definitely affect the weight and accuracy of the measurements.
Also, only step on the scales while barefooted and over the contacts. Do not wear shoes or socks which will insulate your feet from coming into contact with the electrodes and stop the smart scales from working properly. Before stepping on the scales, make sure that the glass surface is free from water or grease and fat to avoid slips.
WARNING: Smart scales especially those that use bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) such as this one are not suitable for use by those who are pregnant or have a pacemaker.
- Measures and record 13 metrics. Displays this on the easy-to-use RENPHO app.
- RENPHO app captures live data from the smart scales as well as Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis readings in a matter of seconds.
- With your permission, data is shared with other 3rd party apps like Apple Health, Samsung Health, Google Fit and Fitbit to build a wholistic view.
- The app also lets you track an unlimited number of users so you need not worry about mixing up data. Simply add a new member each time a different user jumps on the weighing machine.
- Amazing value for what it is, easily rivals premium products.
- Dust is more visible on black glass than white but bio-electrical contact remains polished with stainless steel finish.
- No onboard rechargeable batteries. It runs on three AAA batteries. However, these are included and they seem to last well.
- Plastic housing for the under carriage feels cheap. The 6mm tempered glass top is sufficient.
- Rubber feet can be sticky at times especially on tile floors.
- The smart scales weighing machine will take a maximum of 396lbs/180kg/28st