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Withings Body Cardio scale review: Goes way beyond weight, for a price

Caitlin McGarry | June 9, 2016
This US$180 scale gives you a "mini annual physical" every day, which is probably more than most people need. But it's really, really cool.

It’s impossible to tell whether the pulse wave velocity measurement is accurate without a clinical test, which I didn’t have the opportunity to do. But Withings tested the device with a hypertension specialist in Paris who compared it to measurements from a sphygmometer, the accepted medical device for measuring pulse wave velocity. Based on readings from 111 individuals, the Body Cardio measurements and the sphygmometer measurements were “very close,” the Withings PR team told me. The results of those tests will be presented at the European Hypertension Symposium this month.

Quantify your entire body

I’ll be honest: The Body Cardio is probably more extreme than most people need. I’m not all that interested in getting a “mini annual physical every day,” as Withings is promising with this new high-tech scale. Just the one per year is fine. But I’m also a young, active person not particularly concerned about hypertension or diabetes. For those who need to be more vigilant and who are at risk for heart disease, the Body Cardio may be the weight management tool and heart health monitor they need. And I have to admit that seeing all those data points charted made my inner geek embarrassingly excited.

Aside from the heart health measurements, the Body Cardio also tells you your BMI, bone mass, fat mass, muscle mass, body water percentage, heart rate, weather, and weight (obviously).

For all its features, the scale isn’t FDA-certified as a medical device. If you have serious concerns about your health, you should visit a doctor and not try to diagnose or treat yourself at home.

The Body Cardio might be too much scale for your needs, which is why Withings is also releasing the $130 Body. This scale is comparable to the WS–50, and it’s also $50 cheaper than its super intense sibling. The Body tells you BMI, body fat percentage, muscle mass, total body water percentage, the weather, and how much you weigh. Unlike the WS–50, it doesn’t measure air quality, but that’s not an essential feature, in my experience. (The Body Cardio doesn’t measure air quality, either.) I haven’t tested the Body yet, but if it’s anything like the WS–50, it might be your best bet for a smart scale.

The Body Cardio scale is even slimmer than the Smart Body Analyzer and comes in a glossy bright white or midnight black. Basically, this is what a scale designed by Apple would look like, which is probably why Apple’s online store is one of the first places you can buy this new scale (along with the Withings website, of course). It’s also rechargeable and comes with a USB cable in the box, though you’ll almost never need to use it—the Body Cardio lasts for a year on a single charge.

 

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