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Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale: A first look and giveaway

From the brains at Wahoo Fitness, makers of a complete line of smartphone-enabled fitness devices, comes something new -- the Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale (US$99.99). This scale was released today by Wahoo Fitness, and it's a new addition to the app-connected devices in the product lineup.

We've looked at other Internet-connected scales before; for example, the Withings Wi-Fi Connected Scale ($159). Withings has also released the new Wireless Scale WS-30 ($99.95), which -- like the Wahoo Balance -- is designed to work over a Bluetooth connection and communicate with a smartphone/tablet app.

Design

The Wahoo Balance Scale is quite attractive. It's a slender slab of white glass marred by only a Wahoo logo and an LCD. The device is powered by a pair of AAA batteries; if history with some of the other scales is any indication, the batteries should last for quite some time.

Compared to the Withings Wi-Fi Connected Scale, the Wahoo Balance is a snap to set up. The batteries are installed into easy-to-find location with an easily removable door, and there's no need to connect the scale to a computer through a USB cable to set up Wi-Fi connectivity. Here, you just open the box, and there's a piece of cardboard with a QR code printed on it. Scan that, and you get full details on how to set up the scale.

Before you do anything with the Wahoo Balance, you'll need to download the free Wahoo Wellness app and also remove a tiny piece of plastic from the battery compartment that keeps the batteries from running down. Fire up the app, and it looks for the scale. Once it finds it, it establishes a link and you're ready to roll.

The app then asks you to set up users for the scale by entering initials, a weight range, and a target range. The weight range lets the device "guess" who is standing on the scale on the assumption that if there are more users (i.e., spouse and kid), they will be in a different weight range.

Wahoo Fitness notes that other apps will soon have the capability of pulling weight data from the Balance Scale. The company lists five other apps on its website that work with the Balance Scale. The scale works with iPhone 4S or newer and iPad third-generation and newer.

Functionality

As you can tell from the design section above, the Wahoo Balance is very easy to set up. As soon as you're set up, it's time to start tracking your weight.

You'll want to put the Balance onto a flat, hard surface. My first weigh-in with the Balance was done on a flexible desk mat on top of a carpet, and showed my weight to be about twenty pounds less than it actually is. While that was a pleasant surprise, I knew it was off. Placing the Balance onto a tile floor brought my weight back to reality.

The only sign you have that the Balance is connected to your phone is a tiny Bluetooth symbol. You don't need to have your iPhone or iPad near the scale when you weigh in -- it will remember your weight and transfer it when you launch the app. If the app isn't sure if one of the weights is yours, it will put it in a list that asks "Any of these yours?". Tap the weight (which is time and date stamped) to select it, and it will add the weight to your history. Note that the scale will also display your Body Mass Index, although I did not see where that information was stored in the app.

Conclusion

The new Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale works flawlessly with the Wahoo Wellness iOS app, and it's an attractive addition to any workout room or bathroom. The easy setup means that you can open the box and be ready to go in a minute. Although it would make a perfect Christmas gift, you probably don't want to give this to a spouse or partner who is sensitive about his or her weight...

Pros

  • Low-profile, attractive design
  • Runs off of two AAA batteries (included)
  • Easy setup and pairing to newer iOS devices
  • Can be synced to your iOS device at any time, and will hold up to 130 weight readings until synced

Cons

  • None to speak of

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who wants to start tracking their weight automatically with an app

Giveaway

TUAW and Wahoo Fitness want you to have one of the first Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scales! Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before December 14, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a Wahoo Balance Smartphone Scale valued at $99.99.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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