This review marks the launch of bodymonitorreview.com’s coverage of “Body Analysis Scales”. These products go much further than traditional scales that only measure your weight. Instead, through their apps and Web sites they can also measure your body fat percentage, heart rate, ambient CO2 level and more.

Here’s some basic information about the scales this review will focus on:

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The iHealth HS5 is the clear overall winner in this bunch due to extensive functionality, solid personalization capabilities, and customer support that’s better than the other two – but more on that later.

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The iHealth product provides the largest set of measurements, including bone mass, body water percentage, and visceral fat rating (fat contained within the abdomen, unlike subcutaneous fat which is just below the skin) and more. It’s also the only FDA approved device in this review, although that approval seems to be administrative only, without any clinical testing.

The Withings WS-50 offers basic functionality of weight & body fat, but rounds out its metrics by including heart rate (during the weigh in), along with ambient CO2 levels and air temperature. The scale samples the air around it every 30 minutes and the results can be tracked online or via Withings’ mobile app. In a recent test, using air conditioning (central A/C, integrated with forced hot air heating system) proved to nearly triple CO2 levels within a residence. This may not be a trivial feature after all.

Perhaps the most recognizable brand, the Fitbit Aria benefits from strong Web presence and integration with the Fitbit activity monitor (reviewed here). It also has the fewest functions and with an MSRP of $129.95, it’s definitely not the least expensive. To stay current with the competition, Fitbit might do well to introduce a new or revised model. In the meantime if you’re a Fitibit fan, the Aria will certainly get the job done.

On to Data & Connectivity.

Quick links to buy at Amazon