While my long-term quest for fitness has been stymied by a severe lack of motivation to actually get off of my butt and exercise, it comforts me to know that there are plenty of health-related iOS accessories to help me to at least track my stagnant weight. I own a Withings Scale, which sends my daily weight and BMI to a number of health apps, as well as a Withings Blood Pressure Monitor that connects to my iPhone to take my BP. For many people, though, the Withings products are a wee bit expensive. Now iHealth has introduced an iOS-compatible Bluetooth Body Scale that at US$69.95 is a bargain compared to the $159.00 Withings Scale. How does the HS3 Bluetooth Body Scale compare to the more expensive Withings Scale? Read on for details.
What do I mean by iOS compatible? The scale converses with a free iOS app that runs on any iOS 4.x - 5.0 device. That app connects over Bluetooth to the scale, which is an attractive glass slab featuring a large liquid-crystal display. The scale is powered by four included AAA batteries that should last for quite some time if my Withings scale is any indication. The LCD turns itself off after about a minute of non-use, and the scale probably uses very little power while waiting to be connected to your iOS device.
You could, of course, use the scale without the iOS app. That kind of defeats the purpose, though, and if you don't want to record and track your weight over time, it's probably a better idea to just go buy another non-connected scale.
Setting up the device is a piece of cake. You pop in the AAA batteries, turn on the scale by stepping on it, then activate Bluetooth on your iOS device. In the Bluetooth settings, the name of the scale appears -- something like "iHealth HS312345" -- and it shows that the device is not paired with your iOS device. Tapping on the device name pairs the devices, and the word "Connected" appears.
At that point, you just need to launch the iHealth Scale app. Your weight appears on the scale and is entered into the app. Step off of the scale, and the scale shuts off within a minute.
The iHealth HS3 scale isn't as sophisticated as the Withings Scale, which also determines your fat content and BMI. Then again, the Withings Scale is over twice the price. If you just want an automatic way to track your weight, then this scale definitely does the job.
The app provides a way to enter information about your height, current weight, goal weight, and the day that you wish to achieve a specific goal. That, along with input of how many calories you've ingested and the calories that you've burned, can tell you how many calories over or under your goal that you are. Confusingly, the app refers to the act of eating as "Absorption of calories" and exercising as "Consumption of calories." It makes sense when you think about it, but it's completely contrary to every other health tracking app I've seen.