Review of the Fitbit Aria Air Scale

Thomas Smith

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(Photo credit Gado Images).

Looking for a way to automatically sync your current weight with your Fitbit app? Tracking you weight with your Fitbit is a great way to keep tabs on the effectiveness of your workout routine. Are all those steps you’re taking with your new Fitbit worth it? Did you overdo it on the holiday snacks? A smart scale added to your Fitbit account can help you track these things.

The best smart scale out there right now for Fitbit users is the Aria Air. It’s relatively inexpensive at $49.99 — certainly less so than the Fitbit Aria, which used Wifi to sync data and cost about $150 (it has since been discontinued). If you have a Fitbit device and use it for health tracking, it’s a simple add-on to integrate an Aria Air as well, and costs less than a week’s worth of fancy lattes (which Fitbit probably would advise you not to have anyway, if you’re serious about using your Fitbit device to improve your health).

Why is the Aria Air much less expensive than the Aria? The main reason is the way the scales connect to your Fitbit app. Again, the original Aria used Wifi. If you stepped onto the scale, it would detect who you are (the scale could track multiple users), take your weight measurement, and then send that data over your home’s Wifi to Fitbit. You didn’t need to have your phone with you, and the data would just appear right in your Fitbit app the moment you stepped off the scale.

The Aria Air is a bit different. It uses Bluetooth instead of Wifi, which means that to sync your weight measurement, you have to open the Fitbit all on your phone, go into the Weight tab, and then step onto the Aria air scale with your phone nearby. That’s a little annoying, but it eliminate the complexity of dealing with multiple users, and keeps the Aria Air’s hardware less complex. It’s also likely better from a privacy perspective, since the Aria Air isn’t connecting to the Internet — it’s just beaming a weight measurement directly to your phone on demand.

One other difference is that the Aria Air only takes your weight — unlike the original Aria and many other smart scales, it doesn’t take body composition measurements, like body fat or body water percentages. For many people, these metrics might not matter. And it’s debatable how accurate they are anyway. But if you really love seeing a body fat value, you’re using it to track muscle mass during workouts (or to lose weight on a diet), etc. then you’ll be out of luck with the Aria Air. It really is a simple device which serves one purpose — tracking your weight.

In doing this, though, the Aria Air excels. I’ve used it for about 2 years, and I find it to be more accurate than the original Aria, and more accurate than many of the older digital scales I’ve used. It’s also more internally consistent (showing the same weight measurement on multiple trials) than other scales I’ve tested. And one you get used to the process of manually synching the weight to your Fitbit app, it’s not too bad to add that extra step to your weigh-in process, either.

The Aria Air has as a weight limit of 397 lbs, and like the Aria it can work with multiple users and guests (each user would have to open their own Fitbit app and sync their weight directly). If you don’t feel like pulling up your phone, you can also use it like a traditional scale — the Aria Air shows your weight right on the scale itself, so you don’t have to open the Fitbit app on your phone to do a quick check-in on how your weight loss (or gain) goals are progressing.

The Aria Air also has a sleeker look than the original Aria. It’s a big, thin, seamless square, and looks attractive in your modern bathroom. Plus if you don’t want to be reminded that it’s there, it’s easy to tuck under a cabinet or in a drawer.

There are probably better non-Fitbit scales out there if you shop around — notably, it would be nice to have one with features to estimate body fat percentage. But if you’re looking for a Fitbit integrated scale that’s cheap, simple to use, relatively secure and reasonably attractive, grab an Aria Air — it’s your best bet.

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips: tom@gadoimages.com

Lafayette, CA
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