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You're probably asking yourself, "What's the point of having a digital scale, to do a 3000+ word review on it? You're probably right, and what you can do with this Fitbit Aria is... weigh yourself. But when you find a product that's so simple to use and so well thought out in all its aspects, you really want to talk about it.
As I always like to clarify when I do a test, the Fitbit Aria unit you see in the test has been loaned, on a temporary basis, by Fitbit. Once I finish writing the test (and make sure they are not on vacation, you know how August is), it will go back in its box and I will send it back to you. Then, I liked it so much that I will turn on the computer to enter Amazon and buy my own.
If you like the work I do and you want to support the website, you can buy the Fitbit Aria at one of the Amazon links that you can find further down (both the Fitbit Aria scale and anything else you want to buy in that portal). This way you can contribute to the expansion of the website and the purchase of new devices without costing you absolutely nothing.
And having made the terms clear, let's go into detail.
This is how the Fitbit Aria is presented. A square box, a little bigger than the scale itself, where the first thing that stands out is the WiFi connectivity. In addition, it gives some other important keys, such as weight measurement and the calculation of body fat percentage and BMI, the possibility of using it from a computer or mobile phone, badges for achieving objectives or the possibility of presenting the information with graphics and diagrams.
The back of the box gives more detailed information on all these sections.
We're gonna open it up and put it in. But... surprise! What's that inside, a pizza box?
Tremendous disappointment, I who had already tied my napkin around my neck to eat the pepperoni pizza they had brought me, find that they have put a scale in its place. I was more attracted by the first idea...
This is what it looks like once it's out of the pizza box. The quality of materials is really good, in fact the top of the scale is made of tempered glass. It has a round, backlit display where it will show you all the information. The areas with different tones are the electrodes for the estimation of body fat, which is calculated by bioimpedance.
The back does not escape the special design of the entire scale. Instead of making it completely flat, spherical shapes have been distributed throughout it. The housing is made of ABS plastic, also of good quality. It has four load cells to measure the weight correctly, which are the four black legs you can see in the picture.
The Fitbit Aria is designed to withstand perfectly the humid environments of a bathroom, so you don't have to worry about the condensation formed by a hot water shower.
You'll find the battery compartment at the bottom of the scale, which uses four standard AA batteries. You'll also find specific information, such as the MAC address, in case you need to access it from your router before starting the sync.
Fitbit Aria, what's so special about it?
Okay, Fitbit Aria is a digital scale that looks pretty normal. In fact, it's a white square very similar to the one you already have in your bathroom. Maybe a little more "fashionable".
The main feature that differentiates the Fitbit Aria from your traditional scale is that it has WiFi connectivity and automatically synchronizes with the brand's web panel (and if you have paired applications, also with those that are synchronized, such as MyFitnessPal). This way you can keep track very easily, since the action on your part is simple. You get on the scale, you weigh yourself and the Fitbit will do all the remaining work.
But it's not just your weight he'll measure, he's also capable of estimate your body fat percentage, which is a clearer indicator than weight itself, since it does not reflect your physical constitution by itself. That body fat percentage data will also be synchronized with the Fitbit service, and is done every time you weigh yourself. Similarly, in the Fitbit panel you will find your BMI (body mass index), which is just an equation whose result depends on your weight and height (but without specific considerations of your body, such as percentage of fat or amount of muscle).
The most laborious part you'll have to do with your new scale is to do the initial setup. Not because it's complicated, but because the next few times you see the scale all you'll be doing is climbing on it. That's right, a device intended for fitness and sport that doesn't involve exertion or sweating. Sounds strange, I know.
There are two configuration possibilities, from a computer or from your mobile phone, the second option being the simplest of them. To do so, you will only have to access this address from your mobile browser and you will be able to start the installation: www.fitbit.com/scale/setup/start
The process has several phases, but it's easy. First you have to put the scale in configuration mode, you just have to put its four batteries (or if you had already put them in, remove one of them, wait 10 seconds and put it back in). At that moment you will see on the display a message of "SETUP ACTIVE".
The scale creates a WiFi network momentarily, to which you must connect (from the options on your phone). Once connected, return to the browser and you will find a new screen, in which you must name your scale and enter your initials (which is why it will recognize you from now on). As you can see, all this procedure is also indicated in the pages you open.
All you have to do is tell the scale which network to connect to. Find the name of your own network and select it, then enter the password. This data will be saved in the scale and you will not have to do this configuration again.
At this point you can reconnect your phone to your home WiFi network.
And with the network configured, the scale is ready for use.
Now you can constantly monitor how all those ice creams you're eating this summer affect your weight.
Using the Scale
Now comes the simple part, which is using the scale. The Fitbit Aria has a totally clean design, and you won't find a single button on it. So how do we get it up and running?
To do this, you simply have to climb on it and it will turn on automatically, starting the measurement process. First the weight and then the body fat calculation. The complete measurement is carried out in a few seconds, showing you the final result at the end of the process, both the kilos you have weighed and the percentage of body fat.
After the data is displayed on the screen, you can get off the scale and let it do the rest of the work by itself. It will connect to the WiFi network you have configured and send the data it has just taken to the Fitbit website (and to any other platform you have configured for automatic synchronization). The whole process is indicated on the screen.
And once the synchronization is complete, it will check if there are any firmware updates available (if any, it will install them directly) and turn itself off.
Fat percentage calculation: bioimpedance
It is clear that the weight measurement is quite accurate, gram up gram down. This is not a calculation or an algorithm, it is what you weigh and that's it. But instead the calculation of the body fat percentage is much more complicated (and much less accurate). The method used by the Fitbit Aria (and in general all digital scales) is the electrical bioimpedanceIt is a non-invasive method that takes into account the electrical properties of the human body.
The principle is simple. Water is a good conductor of electricity, while fat conducts electricity less well. Muscles and tissues have a high water content, so electrical current flows through them easily, while when having to pass through fat, electricity finds a significant resistance to the passage of current.
In the Fitbit Aria you can find four large electrodes on its base (where the feet are placed). One sends the current, and the other must receive it. Therefore the scale measures the time it takes for the electric current to reach the electrodes. This helps the Fitbit Aria to estimate the fat mass, that is, how many kilos of fat we have in our body.
Although this is not the data that it shows us, but it gives us the indication in a percentage. That is, how much of our total weight (the one that the scale has just measured) is made up of fat (the mass that it has just estimated with the passage of electric current). That is, if you weigh 70kg and the scale estimates that your percentage of fat is 20%, that means that of those 70kg, 14kg would be fat. But I repeat, this is not an absolute value, but an estimate.
It is normal if you weigh yourself continuously to see significant alterations in that percentage of fat, since something as simple as being more or less hydrated can substantially vary the estimate made. Remember, water is a good conductor, so if you have drunk a lot and then take the measurement, the higher level of hydration will cause the estimated percentage of fat to decrease. Similarly, if you weigh yourself just after 2 hours of exercise in which you have hydrated yourself just enough, in addition to being underweight (because those liquids lost will end up being recovered) the indication of body fat will be greater.
So rather than giving importance to the data itself, which as an absolute data has little or no value (in fact you can see percentage variations if you weigh yourself twice in a row), what you should do is look at the trend of the data and the graph over time. And this is where the recording capacity of the Fitbit scale becomes important, otherwise you should be recording this data constantly.
As a general rule, the most advisable thing to do is to weigh yourself in the morning, fasting and without having done any intense exercise recently, but the important thing is to try to do it always in the same conditions, in order to have a correct evolution of data.
As you've seen, at no time does the scale ask you who you are, nor do you enter your "profile" before you can weigh yourself. You simply weigh yourself and it automatically knows who you are. The scale, by default, has one user: the one who has set it up and used it for the first time. Fitbit Aria associates that weight to that user, and therefore knows that the next time you weigh yourself it's you. On the contrary, if the next one to be weighed has a very different weight, it will assign that measurement to a guest user, indicated as "GUEST" and who can then register.
You can invite people to use your scale, with a maximum of 8. When sending the invitation, the new user must create an account in www.fitbit.comwhere all your measurements will be synchronized.
Once you create users, you can assign the weight of each one as a guest or as a different user. And that user can create permissions to allow whether they want to show weight, body fat or both. You can invite up to 8 different people to the same scale.
It's quite possible that, if we add 8 users, there will be at least two that have a similar weight and overlap. That's when the scale won't have it easy to identify who is who. If in doubt, the scale offers the option to choose who is the user that has been weighed, and to do so we'll simply have to tap our feet on the surface of the scale (well, you can also tap with your nose, but it will be a little more uncomfortable).
What happens if at the time of weighing, for whatever reason, there is no Internet connection (the power is out, you haven't paid the phone bill, the cat has eaten the network cable...). Don't worry, the measurement is not lost. Fitbit Aria will store the data and they will be synchronized the next time the scale can connect to the Internet.
Web page and data synchronization
This is where Fitbit Aria stands out, in the added services. Because a smart scale (or smartscale) is of no use to us if it doesn't have applications behind it that allow it to shine. And if Fitbit Aria can boast of anything (besides quality of construction) it is to use the whole Fitbit platform, along with its synchronization APIs (to be able to connect to other different services).
The first thing you'll find when you enter the Fitbit control panel is that one of the "tiles" will be dedicated to your weight. Here's a quick overview of your goal (if you've set it) and what you have left to reach it.
You can click on that chart, and it will increase the information. It will show you a graph of values from the last month along with all the information from the last time you weighed yourself. You can also alter that graph to show the muscle-fat ratio (in case you keep the weight, but reduce the fat percentage) or your BMI (which in my opinion is not very useful, since it does not take into account the person's physical constitution).
But we can enter the specific section of the portal by clicking on "View More" (or from the Register menu -> Weight at the top). Here you can play even more with the data and the graph, selecting the periods to be displayed with the same three graphs as before: Weight, muscle vs. fat and BMI.
Below the graphs you will find all the measurements recorded, with the date, weight and percentage of fat. If there are any measurements that you do not want to keep because they were wrong, you can click on the "X" and it will be removed directly.
Below the history there is a small box from which you can enter data manually, if you have made the measurement elsewhere and want to enter it manually.
Fitbit is, in short, a social platform focused on encouraging you to get in shape or lose weight. And just like its activity monitors, as you achieve your goals, you will be awarded medals that you can share. It's one more way to promote the social aspect and encourage you to achieve your goals.
The Fitbit Aria configuration panel allows you to see all the details of the scale in a quick way: see what network and what current it is connected to, the firmware version (which is automatically updated when it is connected to the network), the battery level or the date of the last connection made.
Do you want to take all your data to a different service? Don't worry, they're not captive, and if you want to use all the data you've collected over time any day, you can export it from your Fitbit account to import it into the new service you want to use (or create your own excel charts, combining the data with any other you have).
But perhaps the best part comes from the synchronization between different services. Thanks to the APIs of the different manufacturers it is possible that, when you are weighed, the data is automatically synchronized on all the platforms you are registered on, for example, from Fitbit to MyFitnessPal, from there to Garmin Connect, from there to Strava (which for some reason rounds up), etc.
This is something that you cannot configure directly from the Fitbit control panel, but thanks to the different utilities and APIs that all manufacturers offer, it is not complicated to do. It is on the other platforms where you will have to find a way to synchronize.
The best way to have all the platforms synchronized with each other is to find a point of attachment. All you have to do is find a heavyweight in the industry, one that any platform wants to keep in sync with because of its high number of users, and that's MyFitnessPal.
From the MyFitnessPal control panel you can connect your account to the Fitbit account, so every time you weigh yourself, it will send the data to MyFitnessPal (only the weight, not the body fat percentage, that data will stay in the Fitbit account). And from that point on you can distribute your data with almost any platform, such as Garmin Connect.
Another service that everyone wants to be in sync with as well? Strava. That is, if there is no direct connection between the application you want to use and Fitbit, you don't have to worry about it, you just have to look for a bridge through another application that is capable of carrying the data directly.
Finally, Fitbit also has mobile applications. Its main use is to pair its activity monitors, such as Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surgebut they also have a weight section where you can do the same kind of tracking as you do in the web application, but more conveniently on your phone's screen.
Fitbit Aria is a tremendously easy to use product, and it's for the whole family, not like the vast majority of little things you buy, which are for personal use and not transferable. In fact, the one who has enjoyed the Fitbit Aria the most has been my son, he loves to get on the scale and weigh himself (because he wants to get really big), so every time I enter the control panel I find two or three measurements that have been made, without anyone telling him anything. The truth is that it's a lot of fun.
A scale is something quite simple to produce, but not so easy to differentiate. You can vary design and materials, but the main functionality is the same in all of them. Therefore, if you want to differentiate your product from your competition you have to contribute something else, and this is where Fitbit has given the rest, taking advantage of its wisdom and its platform already created for activity monitors.
Of course, for 20 or 30 euros you can buy a simple digital scale that tells you exactly what you weigh. For a little more you can even find scales that also calculate the body fat percentage or even have Bluetooth connectivity to send the data to your mobile phone. But Fitbit Aria goes one step further, seeking synchronization and continuous data recording, and not only with its own cloud, but also with third-party applications, so you can have the data where you want it most.
It all depends on what kind of monitoring you want to do with your weight. If you simply weigh yourself to check that the excesses of the holidays haven't made (too) much of a dent in your body, I wouldn't recommend a scale like Fitbit Aria. If, on the other hand, you like to monitor your weight throughout the season and have a complete record over time, synchronized with a variety of services, I highly recommend it. In fact, as you know this Fitbit Aria is a loan unit. And as soon as I send it back to Fitbit, I'll order one from Amazon for use at home.
Did you like the test? Support the website
I hope you liked this test of the Fitbit Aria scale. These detailed analyses usually take many hours of work, and you know I'm available to answer all your questions in the comments below.
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Buy Fitbit Aria
If you want to buy a Fitbit Aria scale, and at the same time help support the site, you can do so through the Amazon links below.