Withings Body Cardio full review

Withings (which was previously bought by Nokia, then sold back to the Withings founder) was one of the first manufacturers of smart scales, and the Body Cardio offers a wide range of health measurements. It also offers two light versions, the Body and the Body+.

Make sure you are buying the right Withings scales when looking at the best online prices: the range goes from the basic Body scales up to the most sophisticated Body Cardio scales.

Price

The Body Cardio retails for £129.95/$149.95 - a lot for a scale, but then it does do a lot. If you don't want to spend quite that much, then look to the two cheaper models: the Body is just £59.95/$59.95, while the Body+ is £89.95/$99.95.

Review

The scales sync well with the Withings range of activity trackers, such as the inexpensive Move and the waterproof Steel, which looks like a normal analogue watch but measures basic activity data. 

Unlike other scales (see our best scales reviews roundup) the Withings Body range display your previous day’s step count and a trend graph right there on the scale display. When the Body Cardio scale is connected over Wi-Fi it even provides a daily local weather forecast – handy for runners and outside exercisers. If you don't use a Withings activity tracker you can still sync your phone's step counter to the Withings Health Mate app.

The Body Cardio also monitors something none of the other smart scales can: Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV), a measurement of arterial stiffness that is a key indicator of cardiac health. Due to regulatory issues the feature was removed from the scale for over a year via a software patch, but in April 2019 Withings announced that it was being re-enabled in Europe, though it remains switched off for now in the US.

Withings defines PWV as "the speed at which heartbeat-generated vibrations spread out along the arterial walls of the body’s circulation system," with a higher score indicating higher blood pressure and other potential heart problems. No other company's smart scales currently measure PWV, so if you have concerns around your heart health this could be a significant reason to opt for the Body Cardio.

Body Cardio connects via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to the free Withings Health Mate app (iOS and Android) and automatically syncs data after every use of the scale. Graphs help users visualize trends over time and note how their weight impacts overall health. After a few weeks, users should be able to see how their lifestyle impacts their PWV.

The app's home screen is clear and concise, showing you your health stats in one easy glance, including steps either from your Nokia activity tracker or from your phone's step counter.

Withings Body Cardio app

Users can set goals, earn rewards over time and celebrate health milestones. Health Mate also offers integration with 150 partner apps to provide nutrition tracking, GPS run tracking and more to make it an integrated health aid. All Body Cardio data stored in the Health Mate app integrates with the Apple Health app.

Our one complaint about the Withings scales is the graphs on the app. When you go into more detail some of the graphs turn into quite confusing squiggles, where a simple trend line would have sufficed.

Body Cardio features a rechargeable battery rather than running on four AA batteries like the other scales tested here. Withings claims that this should last a year.

Verdict

The Withings Body Cardio does pretty much everything a smart scale can. It syncs with Withings' range of activity trackers for all-round fitness monitoring, and can use a phone's basic step counter if you don't own a tracker.

The Body Cardio is our favourite smart scale for the sheer number of stats and handy info like how much weight you've lost or gained since your last weigh-in. It's pricier than the others but offers just about everything you might possibly need. Our only complaint is the squiggly graphs on the mobile app.

It also offers a unique feature: Pulse Wave Velocity tracking, which could help you monitor your heart health. If you're not fussed o that though, you might be just as happy with the cheaper Body+, which otherwise has an almost identical feature set from as little as £69/$99, or the even cheaper Body scales.

Specs

Withings Body Cardio: Specs

  • Weight, BMI, body composition (fat, muscle, water & bone mass), standing heart rate and Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV)