Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer


I was able to power on the scale and get a weight reading, but I was unable to sync it with my cell phone or the my.withings.com account. It took me several hours of fiddling with it to get the data uploaded once to my iPhone app, but it did not sync after that. Also, this is a European-made scale. You will need to take it from kilograms to pounds, which is a hassle. After figuring out which button was intended for this, I kept pressing it over and over for about 15 minutes before I could finally get the scale to "land on" the U.S. pounds option. It kept wanting to be on kilograms or StLb (British pounds). After getting the scale to read in U.S. pounds, you have to separately set your app to read in U.S. pounds. It does not sync these settings automatically. After following all the directions on the quick start manual, I got online to pursue more detailed instructions. I found that you need to set up the Wi-Fi, and then in a separate step, associate the scale with your app. I downloaded the program online, but the graphic of the back of the scale is different from the WS-50. I could not find a USB plug anywhere on the entire scale, even after removing the batteries. The online program said that the scale came with a USB cable, but mine did not. This makes me question whether the online program was updated when a newer Withings model was released.
I never was able to get a body fat percentage reading. The reason I spent this sum on a scale is strictly because of the Wi-Fi ability to sync it to my cell phone. After having the scale for four days and still being unable to sync it with my iPhone apps (Withings app and the MyFitnessPal app), I am returning it. The reason for the 1-star is because the scale is so difficult to set up.
I will be ordering the FitBit Aria today and am looking forward to trying it.
It took several days before I got an email back from Withings customer support. They do not have a phone number published for customer support, so email is the only method. I did receive a brief email back the next day with a link to online set-up (which is commonly found on their website and in the set-up directions), which did nothing for me since I already had that link. I emailed back, but getting a second response took way too long. I was able to not only return the Withings scale, but order and receive the new scale (a FitBit Aria). My Aria was long since ordered, received, set up, and functioning perfectly before I finally got a response back from Withings. My suggestion to Withings is that use phone support to handle customer service.


If you are looking for a "smart scale," that is, one that reads your weight and body fat percentage, then syncs it to your cellular device so you can track it, you may be considering the Withings WS-50 or the FitBit Aria.  I researched both of these before making my purchase. I chose the Withings, because it was heavier, bigger, and had a sharper display. Overall, after reading the reviews I believed the Withings was a higher quality piece that would last longer. The price point also led me to believe it had higher accuracy, although I cannot provide a comparison to confirm that. I saw the reviews beforehand indicating it may be a hassle to set up, but since I am relatively technology-savvy that did not phase me. I figured that once I got past the set-up the Withings would be a longer-lasting product.

****UPDATE****
It took several days before I got an email back from Withings customer support. They do not have a phone number published for customer support, so email is the only method. I did receive a brief email back the next day with a link to online set-up (which is commonly found on their website and in the set-up directions), which did nothing for me since I already had that link. I emailed back, but getting a second response took way too long. I was able to not only return the Withings scale, but order and receive the new scale (a FitBit Aria). My Aria was long since ordered, received, set up, and functioning perfectly before I finally got a response back from Withings. My suggestion to Withings is that use phone support to handle customer service.

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