A while back I noted that I’m only three quarters of the man I used to be. I attributed that in part to Fitbit. In addition to its tracker bands, I had been tracking my weight with the Fitbit Aria smart scales. But now there’s the Fitbit Aria 2. Is it better?
Indeed, why should I even change? I’ll tell you why: the setup process for the Fitbit Aria, which I’ve been using almost daily for eighteen months, is a pain. And quite iffy. You see, you want your smart scales to feed your information to your Fitbit profile. Then you can see it on your little section of the Fitbit website. Or you can see it on the Fitbit app on your phone. Or on the Windows Store app, installed on your computer.
Most importantly, you can see that smoothly descending line on the chart, showing your weight loss success. Or be horrified by the sharply ascending line, as the case may be.
Perhaps if I were in a different line of work getting the old Fitbit Aria to talk to my network wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m frequently changing network infrastructure, and that means re-connecting it far too often. With the Aria, you had to reset it, then call it up as a Wi-Fi access point, then feed it a password, and then hope it connected. Often it didn’t, and it was unclear why, although perseverance always paid off in the end.
Fitbit Aria 2 Features
The very first feature listed on the box of the Fitbit Aria 2 is “Easy smartphone setup with Bluetooth technology”. That’s speaking my language.
But we’ll get to how well that works in a bit. First, let’s look at the Fitbit Aria 2 in a bit more detail. At first glance, it is a standard set of scales. Fitbit didn’t go for a style change from the old Aria. It looks identical. Fitbit sent me the white one, but black is also available.
They differ little from any bathroom scales, except for a clean look. They measure 312mm front to back, and side to side. The top is glass. A 50mm backlit display is at the top. Three AA batteries, which are supplied and pre-installed, power them. You just pull the tab.
When you weigh yourself, the scales will automatically upload the weight to your Fitbit profile. (Did you know that you can download your Fitbit data from its site? The nerdier types can then do their own statistical analyses and charts.)
But you can have the scales automatically recognise up to eight different users and upload the data to each of their individual profiles. I guess it knows who is who by their weights, so I expect it might get confused if someone’s weight swings wildly.
Guesses and data
The old Fitbit Aria showed not just weight but also took a guess at body fat percentage. I say “guess” because the results seemed odd to me. One day I’d be lighter than the next, yet the fat percentage was apparently higher. The overall trend was right, though.
Anyway, I’m writing this bit before I’ve set up the Fitbit Aria 2, so it’ll be interesting to see if Fitbit has added anything. The box seems to indicate that it shows weight, lean mass, body fat and BMI. But it could be that it shows these via the app.
So, I guess I’d better go and set them up, and see precisely what they do.