It’s already March, which means I should be gearing up for the summer. That means more time at the gym and trying to figure out what I need to do to get into my ideal shape before I hit the beaches. I already own a smartwatch to help me keep track of my workouts and activity, but that only tells me what I’m doing and not what I should be doing. That’s where the Withings Body Cardio comes in.
Withings makes some of the best smart scales on the market, and even though the Withings Body Cardio was launched nearly four years ago, it still offers plenty of what you should look for in a smart scale and then some. It takes the best of the Withings Body+ and upgrades it with helpful insights into your body composition and your cardiovascular health. For anyone looking to get in shape or improve their health, this smart scale is an excellent way to get yourself motivated for the summer.
Withings Body Cardio
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale is a great way to keep your eyes on the prize thanks to its comprehensive body measurements and helpful companion app. This way, you can focus on what you need to improve on to reach your fitness goals.
Where to buy
The Withings Body Cardio went on sale in 2016 and retailed for $180. It has since gone down in price and can now be purchased for $150 at most retailers. You can purchase the Withings Body Cardio from the Withings website, Best Buy, Amazon, and Apple.
What I like
As scales go, the Withings Body Cardio is a good-looking device. It features a slim design and is built with a nice tempered glass top and aluminum bottom, with enough strength to withstand nearly 400lbs of weight. So not only does it look premium, but it also has a quality feel to it.
As far as how it works, as a smart scale, it does exactly what you’d expect it to do. It tells you your weight, but thanks to bioelectrical impedance, it can also give you a ton of other metrics, including bone mass, muscle mass, water weight, fat weight, and so much more — all of which it can display to you on the small screen. This is perfect for anyone that’s trying to achieve a physical goal, such as myself because it gives you a picture of your body composition and lets you see what you need to focus on. For me, it’s important to lose body fat and gain muscle, and the Withings Body Cardio has allowed me to hone in on exactly what I need to work on and what kind of changes I need to make.
However, the best part is the app experience. With the Health Mate app, you can better look at how your weigh-ins are trending to see if you’re on the right path. The home screen shows all your latest measurements and trends, including your sleep score, while the dashboard tab shows you all the metrics you want to track. The profile tab is sort of where it all comes together in the form of achievements that you can earn based on activities. Here is also where you can sync up all your data with apps like Google Fit, MyFitnessPal, and more. This is particularly useful for me because Google Fit is where all my fitness information goes from my smartwatch and Oura Ring, and I can choose what metrics in the Health Mate app I want to be imported to and from Google Fit. This way, I can get a fuller picture of my weight goals and activity.
However, where the Health Mate app beats many other services is features like the “Health Insights,” which takes your metrics into account to guide you to where you want to be. It’s sort of like a one-way chat between the app and myself as it gives me helpful information on how I can cut my body fat percentage. The app also lets you set reminders for various things, such as drinking water, sleeping, eating breakfast (something I have to get better at), and much more. Honestly, I love these little nudges, and I feel like Withings is offering exactly what I need without trying to make me pay for things that might sound cool, but I’ll ultimately never use. My colleague Michael Hicks is a runner and says that most of these services aren’t worth what you pay for them. With the Withings Body Cardio and Health Mate app, you only pay for the hardware. The motivation comes free.
The Withings Body Cardio also measures your heart rate and pulse wave velocity, which is the main reason why they added “Cardio” to the name. I personally did not find much need for these features, but they can be good indicators of your overall health and well-being. The scale can also tell you your vascular age, which is the “apparent age of your arteries,” and can give you a picture of how healthy your heart is. After you set up the scale, it has to take five different measurements before it’s able to give you your vascular age, and it does so by measuring the time it takes to send a pressure wave through your “arterial tree.” From here, the app can give you tips on how to improve your vascular age.
The app also has other features, such as a pregnancy tracker, meditation, and even a leaderboard to help you stay motivated. You can also customize what you want the scale to show you during your weigh-ins, and it’s even smart enough to recognize up to eight people to feed them their individual metrics. I live alone, so I couldn’t try that last one out.
What I don’t like
Honestly, it’s difficult to find something that I don’t like about this scale. That said, while it’s not a huge deal, the Withings Body Cardio only charges via micro-USB and not USB-C. Fortunately, Withings says that it can last up to 12 months on a single charge, so you won’t have to charge it too often. And it’s not like a smartphone or something that I’ll constantly be using, so battery life is not a huge downside, especially if you can have your scale somewhere near an outlet.
A small gripe that I have with the Health Mate app is that while it allows me to sync weight information with Google Fit, for some reason, I can’t sync body fat percentage, meaning I’ll have to input that information myself. And frankly, I’m much too lazy to do that.
Probably the biggest problem that potential buyers may have is the price. At $150, it’s much more expensive than many smart scales on the market. Withings’ own Body+ smart scale is $50 cheaper, and you can often find it for less with a good deal. If you’re not looking to spend too much on a smart scale, I might almost suggest that model instead, if you can do without the cardio features.
If you’re a Fitbit user and you’re looking for something more basic, the Fitbit Aria Air is a good place to start. It’s much cheaper than the Body Cardio scale, and it syncs your weight and Body Mass Index to your fitness tracker. However, the cheaper cost means you lose out on other helpful metrics that you can find on the Body Cardio.
The QardioBase smart scale is another option that can get you all your metrics, including bone mass, muscle mass, BMI, and more. It comes in a round design with a centered LED display that can give you a smile if you’re on track to meet your goals. However, like the Withings Body Cardio, this scale is also pretty pricey, and you’ll miss out on heart rate monitoring and other cardio-related measurements.
The Eufy Smart Scale is another affordable option, but this one manages to include body composition measurements. You can connect up to 20 accounts, and it connects to all your favorite health and fitness apps. However, the triple-A batteries are expected to last only between three and six months, so you’ll need to stock up.
Should you buy it?
You should buy this if…
- You are trying to reach a fitness goal
- You want a scale for the whole family
- You don’t want to worry about subscriptions
You should not buy this if…
- You’re looking for an inexpensive scale
- You’re not interested in cardiovascular health
- You want in-app guided workouts
The Withings Body Cardio is a great smart scale for anyone that’s looking to step up their personal health and fitness. It measures a ton of different metrics and has a helpful companion app that gives you better insights into your health, provides valuable tips, and syncs up with all your favorite apps. For those of you with cardiovascular concerns, this would be an ideal smart scale to help you keep track of your vascular health.
That said, it’s not a cheap smart scale, and you’ll have to decide whether or not your health and fitness goals are worth the investment. Personally, I think this smart scale is fantastic, and I have no complaints about its actual functionality, which is beyond what most smart scales offer. But if you don’t care about the cardio features, then I would probably recommend the Withings Body+, which can be had for a more affordable price.
Withings Body Cardio
The Withings Body Cardio is a fantastic smart scale that gives you a comprehensive look at your body composition, including muscle mass, bone mass, fat mass, and more. With the Health Mate companion app, you can receive tips on how to make the most out of your metrics to reach your fitness goals.