After four months with the Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale ($130), I haven’t shed any significant weight. However, should I find the motivation to improve my fitness and diet, I do believe the Aria will provide an attractive and effective mechanism for tracking my progress. But let’s back up a bit…
As our homes and appliances collectively gain sentience via Internet connectivity, health gadgetry has become something of hot topic. The current crop of digital pedometers doesn’t do much for me, but a WiFi scale with automated tracking and charting is appealing. In this burgeoning new category, there are basically two manufacturers to choose from: Withings and Fitbit. And I went with the Fitbit Aria primarily because it clocked in $30 cheaper than Withings (at the time) and Fitbit has decent buzz due to the success of those aforementioned activity trackers (that don’t do much for me). So, while Withings may have a more sophisticated display, at the end of the day I’m just looking for two numbers — weight and body fat percentage. Assuming both products provide similar accuracy, which I can’t definitively address.
Having encountered a vast array of scales in my time, as a former wrestler and judoka, I’m quite pleased with the Aria’s fit & finish. It both looks and feels like a premium product. As it should, given it’ll run you double the cost of a typical scale that includes body fat measurement. Unfortunately, my first Aria arrived via Amazon poorly packed and unable to determine body fat. And, through that issue, we learned that Fitbit does not provide phone support. Further, their email response time was lacking, and I’d already worked out an exchange with Amazon before they managed to get back to me about 60 hours later. But with those issues behind us, it’s been smooth sailing — setup (via a Mac) was a breeze and I merely hop on the scale every day or so. Almost magically and instantaneously my Fitbit iPhone app charts are updated. (Android is also supported).
Something to consider with connected devices like these, is that we’re largely dependent on the vendors staying in business… and protecting our privacy. Related, I have no interest in Aria achievement badges or sharing my weigh-ins with you on Twitter. (But the Aria does support up to 8 folks in your household and the profiles are private by default.)