As one of the biggest health tech companies out there, it’s not surprising that Fitbit has a range of smart scales as part of its dedicated ecosystem of fitness tracking gadgets.
The best bathroom scales today do more than just tell you your weight, and in a bid to help health and fitness fanatics keep in shape, these connected scales – known as the “Aria” series – bring some of the functionality you’d expect from Fitbit’s smartwatch lineup. One of those is body composition tracking, which syncs with the company’s app so that users can analyse the data over time and sync it alongside their recorded fitness activities.
The Fitbit Aria 2 (opens in new tab) is the company's second attempt at cracking the smart scales market, providing way more than just numerical digits on a little screen. Boasting weight, body fat percentage, lean mass and BMI tracking, these scales aim to help the health-conscious better reach their goals by providing more quantifiable data. We test that theory in this review.
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FITBIT ARIA 2 REVIEW: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Aria 2 smart scales were launched in 2018 with an RRP of £119.99. While Fitbit is no longer selling them through the official channels, there are still plenty of places you can purchase them online and for a much better price.
The scales come in two colourways: blue or white, so you can match the scales to the décor of your bathroom.
FITBIT ARIA 2 REVIEW: DESIGN
They might be a little chunky but the Aria 2 smart scales are pretty elegant to look at. With a slightly mirrored tempered glass finish on top, they not only look good, but feel strong and sturdy under foot, which is reassuring to say the least. Surprisingly, this glossy surface isn’t prone to smudge marks, so they won’t look dirty immediately after use (but you will need to polish them up after some time).
If you’re worried about keeping connected tech in your bathroom - don’t be. Fitbit claims these babies have been designed for humid environments, so condensation won’t do any damage here. They'll survive the odd splash of water, too, but don’t go crazy – like standing on them right out of the shower, or submerging them in the bath, or anything silly like that.
The Aria 2 touts a circular LCD screen that'll automatically turn on as soon as you step on the scale. It’ll tell you with some really badly illustrated feet icons when it’s done recording your data and to step off. This is followed by some strange emoticon, which sometimes appears to be smiling, and sometimes looks pissed off, depending on the angle you see it from. Where we’re on the subject, let us rant about how irritatingly bad-looking this display is. It’s slow, low quality and dated. Why oh why, Fitbit?!
Anyway, after stepping off, the scales will either pleasantly surprise you or ruin your week by displaying your weight followed by your body fat percentage and then your chosen icon. As the Aria 2 supports up to eight users, each can choose their own icon from their respective apps, and this will be displayed to show it’s recognised you correctly. If it can’t identify a user, an X will be displayed.
While the Aria 2 might look the part, you’ll probably find yourself using the app more than you will the scales, as this is where all your data is stored and gives you ample opportunity to explore your measurement data deeper.
FITBIT ARIA 2 REVIEW: FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE
As we mentioned earlier, the Aria 2 connects to the Fitbit app, where users can track weight changes and set body composition goals through well-presented and easy-to-understand charts. This works better for existing Fitbit users, as it’s meant to sync with all the other information you’d usually find here, such as step count, calories burned, workouts completed and distance walked. The scales can be used on their own, too, but you’ll be missing out on the more extensive body composition data provided in the app.
The Aria 2 uses WiFi to sync all your data to the dashboard automatically and does so within a matter of minutes. One thing we were surprised at, however, is that the Aria 2 scales only measure four different vitals: weight, body fat percentage, lean mass and BMI tracking. Most other scales on the market right now are way more comprehensive, such as FitTrack’s Beebo scales, which track 17 different health stats at a time.
Another thing we found was that measurements were a little higher in comparison to those of the professional scales at our local gym. This may be because the Aria 2 measures body fat percentage by using a body impedance method. It has four sets of ITO electrodes that shoot a small 180 micro amp current up one leg and down the other to measure body impedance and ascertain body fat percentage. This type of measurement taking is never going to be as accurate as the methods used by more professional devices, but it does give you a good estimate. Still, due to the electrical current involved, pregnant women and people with heart pacemakers shouldn't use these scales.
Another thing we should mention is that by using the Fitbit app, you also have access to the extensive Fitbit Community. Here, you can join groups and feel more motivated by the community of people who might have similar health goals or need some extra motivation to stay on track with their diet.
When it comes to battery life, the Fitbit Aria 2 will last you a good few months if you’re using it on a weekly basis. We must flag, though, that it’s not chargeable and instead requires three AA batteries - something we think is really old fashioned and bad for the environment.
FITBIT ARIA 2 REVIEW: VERDICT
With a great build quality and sleek finish, the Aria 2 is a well-designed set of scales that work effortlessly with Fitbit’s ecosystem of wearables and mobile app, or without. It might be let down somewhat by a low quality LCD display that harks back to the 90s, and powered by batteries – something we’re just super against – but it makes up for it in all other areas, such as the easy integration into the Fitbit platform and support for the whole family. Overall, a great addition to anyone’s health tech arsenal.