I wanted a bodyfat scale to judge my bodybuilding progress, and I couldn’t decide between Withings Body Cardio & Renpho Smart Body Fat Scale (basic version), so I bought both!
Renpho (the black one):
Narrower, but taller
Withings (the white one):
Wider, but flatter
The Renpho scale wins here since my bathroom is small and it’s harder to find a place where the Withings can fit.
Taking a measurement: 9 seconds
Syncing data: Bluetooth.
How to sync: Can only be done by standing on the weight with the app open. But the data is there instantaneously.
Storage: It can store 10 measurements without syncing.
Taking a measurement: 35 seconds
Syncing data: Bluetooth or wifi.
How to sync: Syncs automatically over wifi. Almost instantaneous.
Storage: Can store up to 16 measurements without syncing.
Withings does take almost 4 times more time, but in those 35 seconds it shows me all my measurements and a trend line for my weight, so I don’t mind waiting (the basic version of the Renpho doesn’t do this, but maybe the premium version does?). The reason Withings wins is that for syncing I don’t have to do anything else than standing on the weight, while with the Renpho I need to bring my phone, turn on Bluetooth, open the app and keep it open while taking the measurement.
Accuracy of the scale
Bioelectrical impedance scales are not accurate, and should mostly be used to track changes over time.
Their weight measurements are ALMOST the same!
Muscle mass measurements show almost the EXACT same trend.
For some reason the fat mass measurements don’t match up…
This is the fat mass from Withings compared with the visceral fat measurements from Renpho (the blue line at the bottom).
This is the fat mass from Withings compared with the subcutaneous fat measurements from Renpho. They also don’t seem to agree…
Winner: Not sure…
They show the same trends in weight and muscle mass, but differ in fat mass. The problem is that I don’t know which one is more correct…
Both apps are intuitive to use and can show trendlines (for week/month/year) for all measurements, which is all I care about.
Below you can see the available metrics from Renpho.
It can seem overwhelming, but the only ones I care about for bodybuilding: Weight, body fat & muscle mass.
Below the metrics from the Withings scale can be seen.
The only ones I care about are: Weight, fat mass, muscle mass & Pulse wave velocity.
The pulse wave velocity measurements from Withings is the main thing that would make me choose Withings over Renpho. Pulse wave velocity is the gold standard for non-invase measurement of arterial stiffness1. Arterial stiffness is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases2, and cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally3.
The reason I don’t care about heart rate is that my plan is to buy Oura, which can measure the average heart rate over the whole night, which I believe will paint a better picture.
The Withings scale wins here, because it has one more metric (pulse wave velocity) that I care about. All the extra metrics from Renpho is metrics I don’t care about.
Time passed before they answer:
Attempt 1: 21 hours
Attempt 2: 22 hours
Attempt 3: 13 hours
Total for all 3 attempts: 56 hours
Didn’t need support yet, because their website was well documented.
Winner: Maybe Withings?
Haven’t tested the support from Withings yet, so can’t conlude.
Renpho (Amazon): 28$/30£/33€
Withings (Amazon): 120$/110£/100€
Size: Renpho wins!
The Renpho scale is smaller and thereby it’s easier to find a place where it will fit.
Convenience: Withings wins!
The Withings scale takes 35 seconds for a measurement (Renpho takes 9 seconds), but you see your measurements during those 35 seconds, so it’s okay. Data syncing with the Withings scale is automatic, so here Withings is the winner.
Accuracy: Not sure…
They agree about weight and muscle mass, but differ in fat mass… I don’t know which one is correct…
App: Both are good!
Available metrics: Withings wins!
I mostly care about weight, fat mass & muscle mass measurements, which both weights provide. Withings wins because it also has measures pulse wave velocity, which I can use to objectively judge my cardiovascular health. Renpho has many additional metrics, but I don’t care about those.
Support: Maybe withings?
Support is okay at Renpho, but I didn’t even need it for Withings!
Price: Renpho wins!
The Renpho is simply MUCH cheaper!
My choice: Withings!
The Withings is more expensive, but I plan to keep it for many years, so the price isn’t that big of a deal!
The main two selling points are the pulse wave velocity measurements, so I can see objective changes in my cardiovascular health and the automatic data syncing, so I don’t have to remember to sync data every week for the rest of my life!
- Ecobici, Monica, and Claudiu Stoicescu. “Arterial Stiffness and Hypertension – Which Comes First?.” Maedica vol. 12,3 (2017): 184-190.
- Collier SR, McCraw C, Campany M, Lubkeman A, StClair P, Ji H, Sandberg K, Morgan JW, Smith CJ. Withings Body Cardio versus Gold Standards of Pulse-Wave Velocity and Body Composition. J Pers Med. 2020 Mar 11;10(1):17. doi: 10.3390/jpm10010017. PMID: 32168728; PMCID: PMC7151625.
- World Health Organization, ‘Cardiovascular Diseases, 14-12-2020, https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases/