This review is for the Renpho Smart Body Composition Scale with Bluetooth, Model ES-28ML.
Firstly, as with anything having to do with health – don’t rely on any consumer electronics being medical quality. Foremost devices like this will do their best to give you your weight with a fair amount of accuracy and a somewhat general overview of the various other stats and any changing trends.
The scale comes packaged in a typical box and packed well with conventional styrofoam packing and some other miscellaneous padding for protection. A nice little multi-language manual is included as well as a short USB charger cable and, of course, the scale; and that’s really all that is needed.
This smart scale uses bio-electric impedance analysis and measures weight (which can be set to be measured in pounds or kilograms), BMI, body fat percentage, body water, muscle mass, bone mass, protein, metabolic age, BMR, and more. Some of these stats (outside of weight) likely vary in accuracy range anywhere from good to a general idea range.
One of the nicest things about this particular scale is it is USB chargeable and the lithium battery (200mAh) charge lasts a really long, long time. Charge a few hours and it is going to last three, six months or maybe a year, depending on how much you use it. I suppose if you obsessively check your weight multiple times a day it is obviously going to last for a bit shorter time period overall.
The charger cable is a standard USB cable, a regular USB plug on one end, and a micro-USB on the other and you have to provide the charger. The cable is a bit short but adequate and of course, you can use any cable if needed. Charge from anything that has a standard USB port on it as it doesn’t take much juice to charge it up. Phone charger blister, computer, whatever. A battery indicator on the display on the scale itself will be red when it needs charging and the display may show “Lo” if it’s really run down. For charging – the battery indicator goes to green when it is fully charged, which does not take that long – a few hours at most. The manual mentions that it only needs to be charged two or three times a year, which I have not had to do as yet despite two of us using it regularly.
Weight and size are small, the weight itself is about 2.6 pounds (1.17 kg) and the footprint is only about 11 inches by 11 (28 cm) and just over an inch (2.5 cm) thick. So it fits pretty much anywhere, and despite the small size even if you have larger feet that overlap (like mine a bit) the part that weighs you is still going to do its job and the four sensors are placed close together for any sized foot.
The bottom of the scale has four rubber feet and a button for reset, which you are also supposed to press before using it for the first time.
Max weight on it is 396 lbs (179 kg) and the scale can measure in increments of .2 of a pound (.05 kg).
Color-wise the scale is shiny black, and likely will fit most decors though there do seem to be some white models too among the other models Renpho sells. Check out some of the other models of scales from Renpho too as they have others with other features, white color, and for other purposes.
The bottom surface is plastic and the part you stand on is glass, with nice rounded corners.
It should be mentioned that you could certainly use the scale stand-alone if desired, though it will only show weight on its display.
A Bluetooth indicator on the display should be lit when your phone is connected to it, more about that in a bit.
The app is amazingly well-done, which a multitude of features and useful trend screens (the app apparently does some analysis via cloud computing – according to an explanation in the app description), and the ability to connect to Google Fit, Samsung Health, Fitbit, and Apple Health. You can also set goals, notifications to remind you to do a weight check-in, and there’s even a video tutorial for using it and a direct customer service hotline number link, as well as a connection diagnosis function in case things aren’t working right. Some of these features you may only find in a larger company’s app, or an app that’s been around a long time.
You can even change the color theme and the sounds that the app makes when you take a measurement – a sound for when your weight stays the same (within a small range), a sound for when you lose weight, and a sound for when you gain weight.
A total of thirteen health and fitness stats are calculated. Body weight, BMI, Body Fat %, Water %, Skeletal Muscle, Fat-free Body Weight, Subcutaneous Fat, Visceral Fat, Muscle Mass, Bone Mass, Protein, Basal Metabolism, and Body Age, all of which can be tracked and charted.
The app also allows multiple family members to add accounts, and password them if needed. Data can also be shared among popular social networking sites or via CSV export in email (perhaps to your doctor) or access by a spreadsheet.
You can also manually enter things like neck, chest, shoulder, bicep, waist, thigh, etc size and track these trends on a graph too. Or you can manually enter weight if needed, say you were on vacation away from the scale. Because of the scale’s relatively small size, you could probably bring it along and pack it in your bag if desired though.
In other words; you name it – this app seems to have it.
It is a great little app (worth saying again), rivaling many of the larger company’s apps in this category. I’m thoroughly impressed with it.
Unfortunately, the roundabout way I use to send data to and from things like Garmin Connect (methods like syncing to Fitbit and then to Myfitnesspal and then to Garmin) didn’t work right. I don’t believe this is in any way the fault of the Renpho software as A) it is not meant to leapfrog data to other sources not listed in the app B) Garmin is always finicky about third-party data like this. So I have a wealth of weight and body data logged just fine in the Renpho app as well as in Google Fit, Samsung Health, and Fitbit; but for some reason it doesn’t make its way to Garmin and thus I have to enter it manually in Garmin.
Some people have mentioned that they didn’t think that the scale was consistent with weight – most people’s weight fluctuates a bit anyway but I have been double-checking with another non-smart digital scale and the measurements are nearly the same for me, well within a half-pound of accuracy and sometimes exactly the same down to the decimal.
One thing that is mentioned is that you should calibrate the scale before weighing yourself – something I do often but I don’t think is actually necessary. Just step on it briefly and it will wake up, step off and it will display “CAL”, then you can step back on and get weighed. Stay on for a few moments after your weight is shown and a little series of countdown circles goes across the display and the scale will have calculated the rest of your bodily stats and quickly synced this to your phone.
I have seen reviewers also have problems with syncing and I believe this has to do with making sure that the location and Bluetooth are on your phone or other device, which is only needed while it is syncing. And location usually doesn’t actually need to be on I have found though. But on some devices it may be required, this has more to do with the device and how Bluetooth itself works than the scale.
As I said above the accuracy seems to be very good, good as any scale that I have used. Some of the other information like bone mass for example, are things that can only be accurately measured with VERY expensive medical equipment so you really have to use these numbers as just general indicators and keep in mind any disturbing trends you might see, rather than take some of those exact numbers are 100% accurate.
So far, the Renpho Smart Body Composition Scale with Bluetooth, Model ES-28ML has performed pretty much flawlessly since we got it. I’d definitely recommend the scale for your health and fitness.