Hands-on with Fitbit Aria, the Wi-Fi smart scale

hands on with fitbit aria the wi fi smart scale

For many, stepping on a scale on a regular basis is a pretty confrontational thing. Watching the needle soar past several digits is an unnerving experience that you want to keep as private as possible. So why in the world would Fitbit decide to make a product that encourages people to do it more often while posting their weight publicly online? Maybe that’s the rationale: If it’s not fear of public judgement that pushes you to reach your goal weight, what will?

Perhaps I’m over-exaggerating this notion. There are a lot of other interesting take on the ability to weight yourself consistently and keeping track on the Web. For those who want to take more control of overall fitness, the Fitbit Aria might be a handy tool to help reach your goal weight.

Look and Feel

Billed as a Wi-Fi-enabled “smart scale,”  the Fitbit Aria works locally in your home’s wireless network to transmit data between your scale and an online account. At 4.5 pounds, this is no ordinary scale, nor is it easy to carry around. The idea is you set the Aria up once and leave it be in your bathroom or bedroom, any place that you will access on a daily basis to do your routine weight-in. 

hands on with fitbit aria the wi fi smart scale black white scalesThe Aria is a fine piece of craftsmanship, which comes as no surprise since it was designed by NewDealDesign, the same company behind the Lytro camera. Available in black or white, the futuristic scale has an backlit LED display and a glass surface that feels delicate to step on. One should beware not to use the scale after showers as the surface can be slippery.

According to Fitbit, this glass contains electrodes that shoot up one leg and down the other to help calculate your body mass index (BMI). Virtually undetectable, the sensors are built-in the four-leaf clover-like design outlined on the surface. For this reason, Fitbit advises against users with pacemakers or other internal medical device as the signals mere interfere with one another. It also advises against those who are or may be pregnant, which seems ironic considering you have the option of selecting “pregnant” when creating your online profile. Speaking of which…

Setting up

Upon unboxing the Fitbit Aria, you will note a sticker that prompts a visit to Fitbit.com/start to begin your setup. This will require you to download the Fitbit software before activating your scale (which comes complete with four AA batteries) and syncing it with your Wi-Fi network. The process is relatively painless, and took a few minutes to accomplish. While it is unclear what the Wi-Fi range is on the scale, it seems that it is as powerful as any mobile device you’d have functioning in your home.

hands on with fitbit aria the wi fi smart scale wifi

On your profile, you are asked for your current weight, height, and initials, along with what you want to name your scale. Setup is near complete when the software asks you to take that leap onto the scale and weight yourself. Once the numbers compute, the data is automatically transferred to your online account. Not only will you get your weight in digital numbers, down to the first decimal, Aria will also determine a BMI percentage. This is particularly helpful for those who may not seem heavy but are unfit due to excessive fat. I believe I might just fall into this case.

Managing your account

You can add up to eight registered users on one scale, and the incredible thing about Aria is how it will recognize who is using the scale. By determining the approximate weight range, Aria can safely assume whose weight was just calculated based on previous weigh-ins. For example, my older brother tried the scale out and it was able to determine the weight is the guest, therefore his information will not be saved. However, when my mother (who is about 10 pounds heavier than me) walked on, Aria asked to confirm whether this weight is mine or a guest’s. If everyone in the household wants to register, however, they each have to make their own separate Fitbit account online. This could be rather annoying, especially since my mom doesn’t really use her e-mail, if at all.

hands on with fitbit aria the wi fi smart scale dashboard

As with all scales, smart or dumb, you should always place it on a flat, hard surface. I made the mistake of weighing myself on a carpet and the scale told me I was 1.5 pound lighter than my expected weight. This was immediately corrected during a second weighing on wood floor. The weighing process takes a bit longer than traditional scales as the Aria need to send those electrodes through your body to calculate BMI. After about 30 seconds, the scale tells me my weight, BMI percentage, and my initials to confirm the person weighed. The Aria is certainly not for the impatient.

With your online account, you can access a line graph of your weight fluctuations. And yes, while this information can be rather public, you have the option of privatizing your account so no one ever has to peep those digits. You can also link your profile onto an iOS or Android app to keep this information on the go, though naturally more limited from sleep pattern entries, heart rate or glucose logs, to name a few.

Bottom line

fitbit-aria-whiteAt $130, the Fitbit Aria is pretty expensive scale. For those who are obsessed about reaching their goal weight, however, the scale is a neat and informative tool that pushes you to continue confronting your actual weight and attempt to reach your goals. I know that each time I walk onto the scale, I keep wanting the online chart to show a decrease in BMI so I can actually be proud of weighing under 110 pounds. If you need some gamification to get your some competitive juices flowing, Fitbit also offers badges for each task accomplished, such as earning your goal weight.

Those not looking to completely change their diet and fitness should probably think twice before purchasing the Fitbit Aria. It’s clearly not made for the average person who weighs himself just for curiosity’s sake; you can do that at the doctor’s office. The Fitbit Aria is designed for those serious about getting results and will keep weighing in until the numbers reach a satisfactory digit. Again, it’s also not made for those with pacemakers or recommended for pregnant women. If you can reasonably factor in how often you plan to use the scale to adjust your lifestyle choices, by all means, the Aria would be a fine accommodation to a better and fitter you.


‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Smart Home

These wireless security cameras are a wire-free way to protect your home

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.
Smart Home

With a simple command, Alexa can arm all your security devices

Alexa customers can query status plus arm or disarm home security systems several companies. New Alexa Guard skills set your home to away mode, send alerts when alarms or sensors go off, and contact home security monitoring services.
Smart Home

Voice assistant-enabled Deebot N79S robot vacuum now deeply discounted

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is more powerful and quieter than its predecessor and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Ready to make cleaning easier than ever, this voice-enabled bot will vacuum your home on spoken command.
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Smart Home

Dog or cat shedding? These vacuums do a great job of sucking up pet hair

Got a pet hair problem? Fortunately, there's help for you and your furry friend. We tested out a bunch of vacuums that promise to remove pet hair. Here are a few of the best you can buy.
Product Review

Hue who? Nanoleaf Canvas brings a riot of color and vibrancy to the smart home

Fun and festive, Nanoleaf Canvas feature lighting adds personality and vibrancy to any room. Nanoleaf Canvas features squares that you can connect in any configuration you’d like. Sync to music, play games, or relax in soothing light.
Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.