If you can afford a $130 scale and want advanced health monitoring capabilities, the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is a good bet. Its intuitive dashboard syncs with an iPhone or Android device, so users can track activities and foods on the fly. The Aria will track data for up to eight users. However, if you're looking for a basic scale to monitor weight, the Aria will be more than you bargained for.
Ample capabilities with Wi-Fi integration: When it comes to features and performance, you can't beat the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Packed with capabilities ranging from simple weight measurements to body composition, the Aria uses a Wi-Fi connection to send data to the user's smartphone or computer. It stores data indefinitely for up to eight users, providing the capability to monitor your total health and fitness statistics over time. Because it integrates with Fitbit's website, which CNET.com calls "Fitbit's powerful cloud-based fitness tools," the whole package comes complete with activity- and food-tracking applications.
It can also be used for guests, but non-registered users will only be able to see their weight. This is because each user has an individual profile with other statistics such as height, which are used to calculate body-fat percentage and other body-composition metrics.
The Aria isn't limited to body composition. The Fitbit website offers the capability to track foods and activities, for which it calculates calories based on a database of calorie counts. You can also enter your desired goals, and the system will reward you with badges and motivation along the way. Finally, if you choose to make your statistics public, you may connect with other users to create a virtual network of fitness friends.
Users posting feedback to Amazon.com say it's accurate within about 0.2 pounds and 0.2 percent, depending on the unit you're measuring. Some users say that if you stand on the scale a different way for consecutive measurements, it will give slightly different readings.
Setup challenging for some, but overall easy to use: Editors at Mashable.com praise the Aria for its ease of use, noting users simply "activate the battery-powered scales by stepping on the top. One of the clever things about the scales is that they can automatically recognize up to eight users by their weight."
Opinions are split on how easy this scale is to set up initially. Some users say following the provided instructions makes it a seamless process, while others find the instructions hard to follow or simply say that following the steps provided does not work. The other downside, Fitbit does not offer phone support for product setup.
Editors at Mashable.com disagree, noting, "Download the included software, then, once you enter your Wi-Fi key, the scales will automatically connect to your home network." A few users posting reviews to Amazon.com have also graciously contributed step-by-step instructions for setting up the device. After the scale is set up, data is automatically synched to the cloud-based application for easy accessibility from any mobile-enabled device, and the interface is intuitive and simple to use for inputting data not obtained via the scale, such as foods eaten, activities and desired goals.
Too soon for reliable durability predictions: The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is one of the newer Wi-Fi-enabled scales on the market, so there's not much feedback in terms of how well this scale holds up over longer periods of time. Among the 600 reviews available on Amazon.com, not a single review is dated before 2012. Because data is stored in the cloud, there's no chance of losing your history should the scale malfunction. The Fitbit Aria is backed by a one-year, limited warranty and runs on four AAA batteries.
Glossy, sharp look: The Aria is available in black or white with a glossy finish. Mashable.com adds, "… The scales are very modern-looking, with a sleek, clean design." It's also small enough (12 inches long by 13 inches wide) to store easily out of sight when not in use.
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Review Credibility: Excellent More than 600 owners give the scale a high average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Owners say it's a comprehensive healthy lifestyle management tool that integrates easily with Fitbit's website and other online tools. Many of the reviews here are highly detailed and descriptive.
Review: Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Dec. 7, 2012
Review Credibility: Good This comprehensive review includes photos of the Fitbit Aria's features and functionality as well as detailed written descriptions. Unfortunately, the editors do not compare the Aria in head-to-head testing against other high-tech body-fat scales.
Review: Can a Wi-Fi-Enabled Bathroom Scale Help You Lose Weight?, Amy-Mae Elliott, June 22, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Editors of CNET.com review the Fitbit Aria in this detailed individual product review. Like Mashable.com's review, however, it doesn't compare this model against any other bathroom scales. Overall, editors praise the Aria's simple setup and ease of use.
Review: Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, Brian Bennett, May 21, 2012