Wi-Fi vs. Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology is useful when transferring information between two or more devices that are near each other and when speed is not an issue. The maximum distance it can support is about 30 feet (about 10 meters). On the other hand Wi-Fi enables a faster connection, better security, and much longer distance. The maximum distance it can support is about 300 feet (about 100 meters). So, with Bluetooth you must keep the scale very close to the device that it will be synced to (an iPhone for example). On the other hand, with Wi-Fi, you could keep your scale in the bathroom while the device that it will be synced to (a computer or a router for example) stays in your bedroom or living room.
The Wi-Fi scales you can purchase nowadays are slightly more expensive than the strictly Bluetooth scales, but they also provide a lot more features as it will be shown below.
Comparing Withings Body, Withings Body Cardio, Fitbit Aria, and iHealth HS5 Vista
Withings, Fitbit and iHealth Scales Detailed Comparison Table:
Table Notes 1 to 8 Explained:
- Body Mass Index or BMI is defined as the individual’s body weight divided by the square of his or her height.
- Body Fat is the total amount of fat in the body expressed as a percentage of the total weight.
- Lean Mass is everything in your body besides body fat.
- Bone Mass is the level of bone mineral content found in the body.
- Muscle Mass is the total weight of muscle in the body.
- Body Water is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of the total weight.
- Pulse Wave Velocity is a medically-recognized heart health metric that tracks the rate of blood flow, which can be an indicator of arterial stiffness, high blood pressure, and general cardiovascular health. Pulse Wave Velocity readings are impacted by blood pressure, cholesterol, and lifestyle factors, all of which have a significant effect on cardiovascular health. Each weighing will provide a pulse wave velocity reading and assessment within the Withings Health Mate App. Taking age into account, the App will inform as to whether it is optimal or not, and provide tips to improve it.
- Visceral Fat is the abdominal fat that includes organ fat (fat in the stomach, intestines, liver, etc.).
- Daily Calorie Intake (DCI) is an estimate of how many calories you can consume within the next 24 hours to maintain your current weight. It is displayed by the App and, for this to work, you will need to have MyFitnessPal in your smartphone.
Withings Body, Withings Body Cardio and Fitbit Aria upload automatically your readings into their associated websites under your registered identification and profile.
With iHealth HS5, once a personal profile is set up in the iHealth App, all measurement data is uploaded automatically to the iHealth Cloud. Web/Cloud based data can be accessed anytime and from anywhere using a Web browser for tracking and evaluation.
Note that while Wi-Fi is supported by the Withings scales and the iHealth HS5 scale, Wi-Fi connectivity is not required to use these scales as long as you have a smartphone that supports Bluetooth and has wireless access to internet. These scales are also able to use Bluetooth to upload all measurement data to the smartphone.
Since Fitbit Aria does not support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity is required to upload your measurement data to your fitbit.com dashboard. But, iPhone or Android smartphone apps can be used to access this data as long as your smartphone has Internet access.
Note that all four scales are compatible both with iOS and Android smartphones.
Only the Withings Body and Withings Body Cardio scales come with Position Control technology which helps correctly position your body on the scale for precision-accuracy weighing. Visual feedback is provided on the scale's screen so that your position is comparable and optimally balanced at each weighing.
All four scales provide free iOS and Android Apps to keep a history of your data, visualize weight trends, set realistic goals, and easily monitor your progress; so they can all be used with either iOS or Android smartphones.
Both Withings scales and the Fitbit scale support data uploading and tracking for up to 8 people. You can create on the associated website (withings.com or fitbit.com) a user profile for each of the 8-people using one single family account and email address. As these scales get to know your weight, they automatically recognize who is using the scale, and upload the readings to the appropriate profile in the associated website.
With the iHealth HS5 Vista scale, you can set up multiple accounts using the iHealth MyVitals App, then choose the desired user before each measurement. The scale can accommodate up to 20 users and store up to 200 measurements for each user. When each user’s memory is full, any new measurements will overwrite the oldest ones. Note that if your iOS or Android device is temporarily unavailable, you can still take the measurements. The scale determines who the user is by matching the new weight with the weight previously recorded in the scale.
This feature is offered only by the Withings scales. Note that, if you also have some activity tracker that the scale can tap into, the screen can also display the previous day's “steps”, to emphasize just how much movement impacts the numbers you see on the scale.
Privacy controls are set when user profiles are created using the Apps provided by the scales.
*** For exact price information on the above compared scales, please refer to the Amazon products section below. ***
So which of the four scales is best to buy?
Now, when it comes to choosing between Withings Body Cardio and iHealth HS5, note first that both scales provide weight, BMI and body fat readings. But Withings Body Cardio also provides heart rate and pule rate velocity measurements and local weather info, both of which are not available on iHealth HS5. On the other hand, iHealth HS5 is the only wireless scale that measures lean mass and visceral fat.
Note also that Withings Body Cardio comes with some additional advantages, such as built-in position control for obtaining more accurate results, and automatic software upgrades to the scale when there are feature changes. And though up to 20 people can use the iHealth HS5 scale while only 8 people can use the Withings Body Cardio scale, we think that support for 8 people is more than enough for the average family.
The major deficiency of Fitbit Aria which provides weight, BMI and body fat readings, is that it does not support Bluetooth, which means you must have Wi-Fi at home to use it wireless. Otherwise, it is a great scale definitely worth considering.
Finally, its worth noting that, at the time of this writing, the Withings scales had received the best average ratings from Amazon customers (4 stars each, out of 5 stars), while Fitbit Aria had received 3.5 stars and iHealth Vista received 3 stars.
Withings, Fitbit and iHealth Wireless Scales on Amazon
Note: Amazon often provides a good discount on the List Price of sold products. If a discount is available, the List Price and the actual Amazon price will be shown when you click the images below:
You might also be interested in the following Activity Trackers comparison:
Please click below for a detailed comparison of Fitbit and Withings activity trackers ZIP, FLEX, ONE and PULSE O2:
Compare Fitbit and Withings Activity Trackers: ZIP, FLEX, ONE or PULSE O2?
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