Jul 31 AT 5:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 10 Comments

Can a high tech scale help you lose weight? I recently started a journey to slim back down, which started the day I stepped on my digital scale and noticed I was approaching 200 lbs. Over the last month I have made good progress, but I wanted to see if an expensive Wi-Fi scale could add any benefit to my training.

After doing some online research, I decided to go with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. I’ve now been using the device for several weeks and I’m comfortable enough with it to share my experiences. Read on to see if it fits your needs and if I would recommend it to a friend.

The Good

Fast setup: I experienced a minor hiccup with my initial setup (see below), but I still had the Aria up and running in 10 minutes. There is a native desktop app for Windows users, and Mac users can get started with a web based setup. The web based setup requires you to connect directly to the Aria over Wi-Fi and then enter your local Wi-Fi network settings to establish a connection.

Track weight, body fat %, and BMI: Just step on the Aria and it quickly measures your body stats. Results are then automatically synced.

Wi-Fi Uploads: This is the main reason anyone would buy this scale. Aria automatically uploads all your stats to Fitbit.com where you can view them in graphs and tables.

Multi-user support: The Aria scale recognizes up to 8 different users. Each user must be setup on the Fitbit site, and then they are automatically recognized when they step on the scale. Guest users are also supported, but the Aria can only measure their body weight.

Accurate: When using the Aria I saw consistent results that were accurate when compared with other scales and body fat monitors.

Stylish design: The Aria is easily one of the nicest looking digital scales I have ever owned. It is available in black or white.

User replaceable batteries: Aria uses four AA batteries. Fitbit doesn’t say how long they will last, but at least you can swap them out at any time.

Fitbit ecosystem: Combine the Aria scale with the Fitbit Tracker to see the relation between daily activity and weight loss.

Syncs with other apps: Some of the features in the Fitbit service are limited (like their calorie counter), but thankfully they support syncing up with multiple fitness apps including Lose It!, Endomondo, MyFitnessPal, and others. Fitbit also provides an API that other developers can use to integrate Fitbit data with their app.

Better deal than theĀ competition: The Fitbit Aria retails for $129, which is cheaper than the Withings WiFi Body Scale that normally retails for $159. Fitbit has updated their Android app as recent as last month, while the WiThings app hasn’t been updated in a year.

The Not-so-good

Android app lets you scroll between body stats for different days, but it does not graph your history.

Android app displays limited weight data: The Fitbit app displays current weight, body fat, and BMI, but it does not show history. All of the cool graphs and tables that are available on the website are not currently found in the native app. It appears that some of the history graphs are available on the iPhone app, so hopefully they are coming soon to Android.

Ran into problems during setup: When I tried to setup my Aria the first time, I found the desktop application was unavailable for download. I was able to get setup using their alternative direct setup in the browser, but it took a little longer. Now the desktop app appears back online, so others shouldn’t see my problem.

Price: Even though the Fitbit Aria is $30 cheaper than other Wi-Fi scales, it is still $100 more than a regular digital scale that measures weight, body fat, and BMI.

Final Words

If you got the money to spend, the Fitbit Aria is a reliable scale that can visualize your body stats and help motivate you to reach your fitness goals. You could always buy a cheaper scale and manually track your body stats in an online spreadsheet, but the Aria is so fast and convenient to use. Just step on the scale and then your body stats are synced to your online account and smartphone in seconds.

I was disappointed by the amount of visual weight data that is available in the Android app, but I have faith that it will get better. Fitbit has proved they will continue to update their Android app, and I believe the experience will improve over time.

The Fitbit Aria is slick looking scale that is super convenient, but it doesn’t do anything that a regular digital scale could do. It’s a quality product so I would recommend it to others that could afford it, but the average user will likely pass on the device until the price comes down or future updates allow it to do more.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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