There is nothing that will put you off your fourth biscuit more than the knowledge that a fancy pants set of scales is on its way.
And so, with a heavy heart (and a lack of biscuits) we greet the Beets BLU Body Composition Smart Scale.
What is a smart scale?
Body fat scales like this one work via Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). This sends a small, painless current through the user’s body, measuring the resistance to calculate body fat and muscle percentage. Muscle is denser than fat and therefore harder for the current to travel through, and it’s this resistance that the machine is measuring. The data is then transferred to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.
You won’t be aware of the current at all, but because of this it’s not advisable to use a smart scale if you have a pacemaker or other electrical implants.
I was kind of terrified of this product but also drawn to it because I like stats and I can’t resist a new toy.
Does it work?
As it turns out I was right to be terrified, as the bugger weighed me out at half a stone more than my old scales. The cheek of it! My previous scales were the old-fashioned kind with a needle. Obviously the best way to use the traditional kind of scale is to lean from side to side until you like the figure that it settles on. It’s not accurate, but it’ll do.
There’s none of that sort of hiding to be done from a smart scale. It is wincingly accurate, even if you don’t like the answer it gives. And if you like self-torture, it will say your weight out loud (turn your phone on to silent if you’d rather not hear).
After the shock of finding out I was packing on 7lb more lard than I thought I was, I went on a three day health kick and lost 5lb. In the interests of science, I then had a pizza and wine-fuelled weekend (ie, a normal weekend) and regained two of them. Yep, it all registered. Over time, the smart scale builds up a graph of statistics, so it’s easy to follow your progress.
Ease of use
Like the Beets BLU Heart Monitor, these scales couldn’t be easier to use. Simply stand on the metal sensors briefly, then step off again until it settles down to zero. Then stand on again and your weight will be displayed in kg or lbs, depending on your preference.
It’s when you download the Beets BLU smart scale app that you start to get the really interesting, crunchy numbers. It measures in tiny increments, so you can see if you’ve gained or lost as little as a tenth of a pound. If you hit a plateau weight-wise, it’s encouraging to see that your muscle mass might still be increasing and body fat decreasing.
Anyone who wants to use the scale can use it via the app, as long as they have a compatible device. Or if they don’t, you can add profiles to your device. So either everybody in your household can share the data, or keep it private on their phones.
As you can see above, the Beets BLU smart scale is a very elegant, well-built piece of kit. It looks marbled in the photo because it was taken outside – that’s a reflection of the sky on the glass surface. The glass top is very strong, and the device can handle up to 150 kg / 330 lbs. The RRP of £59.95 compares very well with other smart scales – many of them are twice the price.
One small drawback…
My main criticism is the lack of context for the figures given. The scales give you a number, but they don’t tell you how good or bad that is. With some stats such as weight or BMI you can easily track down the standard charts online and work out how you compare.
It’s given me a figure for bone density, but I can’t find any standardized charts for this, so I have no idea if my bones are strong as steel or brittle as chalk. As a fortysomething woman this is one of the metrics I’m most interested in, so this is disappointing. All it would take is a little more info added to the app, instruction leaflet or website and it would be immeasurably more useful.
On the plus side, some of the stats are very useful, and particularly encouraging if you’re aiming to lose or gain weight. And you can’t fool it by leaning to one side. All in all, these smart scales are pretty clever. Highly recommended, as long as you can handle the truth.
The Beets BLU Body Composition Smart Scale is available here on Amazon, RRP £59.95