The smart bathroom scale is one of the must-have add-on in the arsenal of the tech-savvy fitness freak. The simple ones do little more than just measuring your weight. However the advanced ones do much more and include body fat percentage, bone and muscle mass, and body water percentage measurements for example. Thankfully, the more advanced body scales don’t cost and arm and a leg. The Mi Body Composition Scale 2 that is being reviewed here only costs around $50 but has all the bell and whistles of much more expensive models.
Design and Features
The Mi Body Composition Scale 2 is from Chinese smart devices manufacturer, Xiaomi. The scale has a minimalist design and is mostly made from shiny plastic. It measure about 1′ x 1′ (30 mm x 30 mm) and less than an inch high. While the construction is solid plus if weighs a hefty 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg), the shiny plastic does make the scale look a little on the cheap side. On the pristine shiny white surface, besides the small Mi logo, there are 4 metallic discs at the 4 corners. To turn on the scale, step on it or give the top a slight tap. The hidden LED display on the top edge lights up to indicate it is powered up.
The scale uses wireless Bluetooth and pairing is easy via the Mi Fit app. The Mi Fit app links and shares data with Google Fit so your weight data is automatically recorded on Google Fit as well. However, that is the only data that is shared as Google Fit does not record body fat or any of the other data measured by the scale.
There is no built-in rechargeable battery. It is powered by 4 AAA batteries and depending on how often it is used, the batteries can last up to 6 months. I did expect it to come with a rechargeable battery but since I’ll only need to swap batteries twice a year, it is not such a big deal.
The smart bathroom scale uses a sensitive G-sensor that is accurate up to 50g (1.8oz). This is far more accurate than any mechanical bathroom scale. Besides measuring body weight, the scale can be used for measuring items and there is a mode for doing just that. The LED display lights up and is large. This makes reading the display fairly easy. You can switch between pounds or kilograms. To make full use of the scale, it is highly recommended to install the Mi Fit app.
Besides weight, this smart scale measures a number of other heath indicators. It makes use of a high-precision bio-impedance chip to make measurements of muscle mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat, bone mass, protein percentage, basal metabolism and body water percentage. It does this by sending a small electrical current through the sole of one of your foot and measures it after it travels through your body and back down your other foot. Using complex calculations, it is able to estimate your body fat content as the electrical current encounters more resistance when flowing through fat as it contain less water compared to muscles. It will also require you to enter some additional data such as your gender, age and height.
Most of the measurements are quite self explanatory. For each measurement, the Mi Fit app provides a scale that indicates what is considered normal or ideal plus readings that are too low or high. If your measurement happens to fall out of what is considered ideal, the app gives advice on how you can improve your score and health. This mostly consist of exercising more and eating healthier.
Besides the individual measurements, the app also provides a summarized Body Score that is an indication of your overall health. In addition, there is a body age indicator. If your body age is less than your actual age, that means that you are generally healthy. I’m not sure if there is any solid science behind both these scores so I’ll take them with a pinch of salt.
One of the concerns with body fat scales is how accurate the readings are. It is difficult for me to determine this unless I have a more accurate reading to compare to. However, there is one thing that may be indicative of its accuracy. I have a fatty liver problem and this is constantly highlighted in my annual health checkups. On the other hand, I am not overweight and well within normal BMI. The only measurement that the app has tagged as not within normal range is my visceral fat level while my body fat is within normal range. I do believe the scale has picked up my fatty liver problem, a condition that is not easy to measure and usually requires a low-frequency sound waves scan.
Generally, the consensus is not to trust the measurements blindly. If there are any measurements that are out of the normal range, you should consult your doctor and perhaps take a more accurate measurement. However, smart scales are good for home measurements and tracked changes are in the right direction.
Should you Buy One?
If you are in the market for a new weighing scale, getting a smart bathroom scale is a no-brainer. They don’t cost a lot plus having the benefit of extra knowledge of your health level is definitely a big plus in my opinion. Even if you are not a fitness freak. The Mi Body Composition Scale 2 has the further advantage of being able to share data with Google Fit, letting you consolidate all your fitness data in a single app.
If you don’t need the extra health measurement features, Xiaomi has the lower range Mi Smart Scale 2. However the price difference is minimal thus it makes more sense to go for the more advanced model in my opinion.
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