Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fitbit Aria - A Review

 Reflecting on my Aria

I've had my Fitbit Aria scale for a little over a year now. I've mentioned it a few times on the blog, but when a friend asked me some questions about it, I realized I didn't really have a "review" post, one I could reference people to if they had questions about the scale ... so I thought I'd do that today for the Weigh-In Wednesday linkup.

PROS
  • Accuracy: For the most part, I've found the Aria to be quite accurate. If I step on multiple times, I do get the same (or very similar) readings. When I weigh in on the Aria, and then weigh-in on WiiFit, the readings are almost identical. Note: I'm commending the accuracy for the WEIGHT only, NOT the body-fat reading ... which I do not put much stock in at all.
  • Convenience: The wireless transfer of data to the Fitbit site is WONDERFUL. I can't tell you how many times in the past (pre-aria) I'd forget the numbers after stepping off the scale, quickly getting dressed and sitting down at my desk to write them down. I also love that I don't have to input the data manually. My weight is constantly updated on the Fitbit site (and therefore on My Fitness Pal as well). 
  • Multiple Users: If you have several people weighing in on the same scale, the Aria can keep track of up to eight people (we have four people connected ... hubby, my two oldest boys and myself). If the weight of two people is similar, the scale will "ask" you (by flashing the initials of the users) who the stats should be assigned to. Just tap the scale with your toe to move from one name to the next. (My 18-year old son and I were similar in weight for a while, I was pretty happy when I dropped low enough that the scale could tell the difference between us).  
  • Rewards:  Ok ... this is a bit silly, but you DO get credit for both the weight and body fat readings if you are working toward Achievemint awards. 30 points a day ... :)    Walgreens Rewards also credits you for weighing in ... but although they auto-sync with Fitbit, they don't grab the weigh-ins.  I rarely get around to entering it there manually. :(
  • Interesting Information: In addition to the weight and bodyfat readings, the "weight" section at the Fitbit site shows the date and TIME of the weigh-in ... it is quite interesting to keep track of that little bit of information too (at least for me!) The weight numbers can be shown in graph format (at Fitbit, MFP or link your Fitbit up to Trendweight.com for even more analysis).
Weight History Readings

Weight Graph from Fitbit


CONS:
  • Price: This IS an expensive scale.  If you don't have a Fitbit ... you could probably find something else that would work well for less. If you do have a Fitbit, it really does sync well with the website/app and is well worth it if you're already using the system.
  • Speed: This scale is slow. Now I don't have the space to keep the scale in place, I have to store it upright (Tipping the Scales). As I lay the scale down each morning, I need to let it sit a few minutes and calibrate (otherwise it comes in about 5 pounds too high!). Then, it goes through it's little process "Hi ... Step On, Sensing, Step Off, Thinking" then it reflects the weight, then the body fat, then the name of the user, then it connects to your wireless, shows that it is transmitting and then it is done. If you were someone who likes to weigh multiple times, it takes a little time! After the initial weigh-in of the day, it does often go straight to the weight (without the Step On, Sensing, Step Off, Thinking) but is still slower than your average scale to show the results.
  • Reflective Surface: I actually consider this a con ... I weigh myself in my birthday suit, as I'm sure many of you do. I find the reflective surface ... unappealing.


Just some other thoughts on the scale ...
  • Setup: Many people struggle with the setup ... I didn't find it too difficult. I do recommend using a device connected wirelessly (laptop, iphone) as my initial attempt using my hardwired computer didn't work. We've changed routers this past year, so I had to redo the setup and it was a snap the second time around. It's easy to connect users to the scale too (simply sending an email of having them respond).  
  • WiFi & Battery: The scale does require batteries. I put new ones in when I got the scale a year ago and haven't had to change them since. There is a battery level notifier on the Fitbit site. The scale DOES require wifi to complete sending the information.  My wireless went down for a few days. I still weighed in everyday and when we got up and running again, my weights DID come through.. they were saved somewhere and then sent across once wireless was restored. Good to know!
  • Making Changes: If you do get an erroneous reading, or have weighed in later in the day (and you don't actually want that reading recorded) simply go into the Fitbit site or app and delete any numbers you wish. While it is easy to erase entries ... it actually keeps me from doing a quick weigh in during the day as I sometimes did in the past.
If anyone has any additional questions about the Aria, 
I'd be happy to try and answer them ...

What scale do you have?
What features are most important to you in a scale?


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