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This smart scale helped me lose 15 pounds in 6 weeks. Here's how

Withings' latest Body Scan supports ECG, EDA, body composition, heart rate, and more thanks to its integrated sensor handle.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Withings Body Scan
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Withings Body Scan is available now for $399.
  • The scale measures weight, body composition, ECG, EDA, vascular age, and more.
  • You'll have to pay a pretty penny for all the technology that's embedded within, but I've found the scale to be worth the money.

Withings offers a range of fitness wearables and measuring devices, including the upcoming BeamO device that measures four key metrics to improve the telehealth experience. Just before the end of 2023, I received a Withings Body Scan smart scale to review, and the timing couldn't have been better. I had another reason to start 2024 with a weight loss goal.

Also: My favorite hybrid smartwatch just got smarter, and its battery life is still incredible

I drastically cut my sugar intake, even with my sweet tooth, reduced most of my carbs, bumped up my exercise to three to four times per week, and jumped on the Withings Body Scan every morning. I've now dropped 15 pounds in the past six weeks and attribute some of that discipline to the numbers I've seen captured by the Body Scan.

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Withings latest smart scale measures much more than your weight, including segmental body composition (the most fascinating aspect to me), ECG, EDA, vascular age, heart rate, and visceral fat index. Up to eight people in your family can use the Body Scan and it syncs up to the Withings smartphone application where you can view all of the data captured by the scale.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The scale has a glass top that you stand on with your feet centered on the horizontal lines. To measure your health, there is a handle that you reach down and grab on to, with your thumbs resting on the small contact points and your arms extended down. It's important here to not have your hands touching your body, or the readings may get skewed by the skin on your legs. 

The color display on the scale will move through the various measurements and show you the results. You can turn on 'eyes closed mode' so that you don't see the numbers on the scale and are instead shown motivational messages, which is a nice touch. The metrics that the scale measures can be customized in the Withings smartphone application for each member of your family, too.

Also: I hiked with Garmin's 'unlimited battery' GPS tracker and it made life so much easier

The body composition measurements are captured by small-scale, electrical current being sent through your body with the integrated handle. Body composition shows muscle and fat mass readings with your arms, torso, and legs shown for both of these metrics. I was pleased to see I was lowest in fat for my arms and legs and just average level for my torso. The muscle mass results also showed that I was in the highest range for men my age, so that was encouraging.

Withings Body Scan
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

In the span of the month, I was also able to reduce my metabolic age, and the results now show a few years younger than my biological age. Part of this reduction was because of the BMI metrics, with tables initially suggesting that I had been obese since I was a teenager and that it would help to lose some fat and muscle. It's been motivating to see the changes in my fat and muscle mass numbers since then as I eat healthier and exercise more often.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Like higher-end smartwatches, the Withings scale has been approved by the FDA to serve as a six-lead electrocardiogram. This can be used to detect possible AFib (atrial fibrillation). Thankfully, I've never seen this result on my watches or the scale, but it's good to know that it exists and can detect any early warning signs.

Also: Withings ScanWatch Horizon review

The one concerning piece of data to me was the vascular age results. This metric is a measurement of your artery's age compared to others of the same age. Mine suggested that I was five years older than my biological age, so I plan to talk to my doctor about it at my next check-up. Had I not used the scale, I would've gone about my day thinking that everything was normal, so I'm glad I did.

My advice for using smart scales is to pay attention to all the numbers that it measures, not just the amount of weight loss.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Withings smartphone application shows you just about all the data that's tracked by the scale, but you'll need to parse through a few pages to view it all. Other than the latest summary figures, I've also found the data difficult to comprehend at times, so it's something I may tap on a professional to break down for me. Thankfully, data captured by the Withings Body Scan can be synced to Apple Health and Samsung Health, so you can view many of the results in other applications as well.

Also: Why I wear this $220 smartwatch even after testing Garmin and Apple watches

It takes a few minutes to go through all of the measurements on the Withings Body Scan, especially if you perform an ECG and EDA scan very often. The data is fascinating and as you gain a better understanding of your body, you can turn off measurements that are not changing and track only the metrics you are primarily interested in. I also compared applicable results with my Garmin smart scale and saw very similar numbers, so that was a relief.

ZDNET's buying advice

Smart scales make it easy to weigh yourself on a regular basis, track your health data, and present any trends of your successes and failures. The Withings Body Scan takes things to the next level by measuring vital health metrics like ECG and EDA that can help inform you of your overall wellness. It's like getting a health check-up from the comfort of your home, so long as you understand the data that's presented. If not, the data can always be saved and interpreted by your medical provider for further discussion and discovery. All of this makes the smart scale well worth the money for me.

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