If you’ve tried to lose weight, you know just how difficult it can be. Doing it the right way takes time, patience, and commitment. Thankfully there are a host of health tech products that can help people stay committed to their weight loss goals.
I’m reviewing the QardioBase 2 Wi-Fi Smart Scale. This works with the QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor I also reviewed. It tracks total weight and changes in your body composition between muscle, fat, water, and bone density. This data is sent to your smartphone and you can visually see your weight loss progress. Is this the missing piece preventing you from shedding those extra pounds? Let’s find out.
Design of the QardioBase 2
The QardioBase 2 has a premium look and feel to it. It’s circular-shaped with a glass top and symmetrical accent lines. The Qardio logo is prominently featured on the bottom. The scale comes in either black or white and weighs approximately 7lbs.
The center of the scale features an LED display that displays information such as weight and name. The bottom side of the base features rubber feet that keep the scale secure on flat surfaces.
The QardioBase 2 has a rechargeable battery that will last a full year. To charge, a micro USB port is located on the side. It takes approximately two hours for a full charge. This is the first smart scale I’ve seen with a rechargeable battery. It makes a lot of sense because these scales can eat up a lot of power in a typical household.
Tracking body composition
To track body composition metrics, the scale needs to be in contact with bare feet. The sensor uses bioelectrical impedance which sends an electrical current through the body. The sensors measure the level of resistance the current faces as it travels up the leg and through the body.
Generally speaking, the greater resistance faced by the signal means a higher fat percentage. Fat contains less water than muscle. Because it’s denser, it’s more difficult for the current to travel through.
The scale itself shows your weight and fat percentage after each reading. Additional information is sent automatically to the Qardio app. There you will see total weight and a percentage breakdown between body fat, muscle, water, and bone. Finally, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated and shown alongside a scale.
QardioBase 2 customization features
The scale can be used by up to eight users. Each user can customize how the scale works, and the data it shows. The scale is able to differentiate people based on their weight and body composition. The other way is to tap with your foot until your name appears before a measurement.
In the Qardio app, users can choose what information the scale collects. Body composition can be disabled to show weight only. This is recommended for people with any implanted medical. The electrical signal may cause issues with pacemakers and other implanted devices.
Some people may not want to see their weight and focus on their progress instead. Smart Feedback Mode displays facial expressions to indicate progress instead of weight measurements. A happy face is good, and a sad face is bad. Weight and body composition information is still stored in the app for reference.
Using the QardioBase 2
I’ve been using smart scales since they were first released. I own and use a smart scale now so I was eager to step on both of them back-to-back and compare the results. In my opinion, my current one does not produce an accurate body fat percentage. I test my body composition at the gym and get very different results.
For optimal use, the QardioBase 2 should be placed on a hard, flat surface. Most bathroom floors should work just fine. If you have a tile floor like I do, just make sure the feet of the scale are on the tile, and not on the grout lines. That can affect the accuracy of the measurements.
Our body weight changes throughout the day, so it’s important to always weigh yourself at the same time each day. For me, it’s the first thing in the morning before I shower.
In the Qardio app, I chose the normal mode which shows BMI, muscle, fat, bone, and water percentages. When I step on the scale barefoot, a happy face appears on the LED display.
A haptic buzz lets me know it’s analyzing my weight. After a couple seconds, another buzz lets me know the recording is over. The readings were shown on the display and the information was instantly sent to my smartphone. Here I could look into the details of my result.
Assessing body composition accuracy
It’s very difficult to assess the accuracy of smart scales. Since I already have one, I used both right after each other. I took the measurement first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom.
Generally speaking, they both said I have approximately 20% body fat. This seems very high, especially since I lost a lot of weight during the pandemic and have a visible abs. Seeing that number made me want to instantly cut my daily caloric intake.
Right after, I went to my gym that’s about 10 minutes away, and used their professional body composition analyzer. It said my body fat was 14.5%. That’s significantly lower than 20% body fat. If I had to bet which one is more accurate, I think it would be the body composition machine at the gym. It sends electrical signals through both arms and feet. Thus it has more data points to determine body composition.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been using a smart scale to track my progress. The Qardio Base 2 provided similar metrics as my current smart scale. However, the bigger question is, how accurate are they?
Testing the Qardio Base 2 results with the body composition machine at my gym showed a lot of variabilities. Still, I took daily morning weight measurements over a week. What I can say is the results are consistent. If you cut calories, exercise, and lose body fat, it will be captured and shown by the scale.
In that sense, a smart scale is a great health-tech tool to keep you motivated during weight loss. Just don’t read too much into the fat percentage. It’s probably not accurate. Focus on the before/after metrics instead. Remember, the measurements are consistent as long as you take them at the same time every day.
I’ve made it a habit to always jump on the scale before jumping into the shower. If you can commit to taking consistent measurements, the QardioBase 2 Wi-Fi scale can help you with your weight loss journey.