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For some of us, housebound during lockdown with only a fridge for company, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has proved tricky. There are a number of gadgets available to help us back on the right path such as Xiaomi’s latest generation of their smart ‘body composition’ scale.

The Mi Composition Scale 2 at a glance

  • Powered by 3x AAA batteries
  • Supports kg and lb readouts
  • Measurement range between 100g (3.52 oz) and 150kg (23.6 stone)
  • Reinforced wipe-clean glass finish with floating display
  • High-precision BIA measurement chip
  • 30cm long, 30cm wide, 2.5cm thick weighing 1.7kg

Unboxing and setup

The scale is held in a gatefold-style cardboard sleeve inside the minimal hinged box, barely any bigger than the device itself. Included under the scale is a small box with the warranty card and instruction manual.

Flip the scale over and remove the battery compartment lid, inserting four AAA size batteries (not included) before replacing it. Place the scale on a hard surface, ensuring the feet are level, before stepping on it to weigh yourself.

What is the difference between it and a normal scale?

Like other bathroom scales the device can tell you your weight in either kilograms or pounds, however it does not have an option to display weight in stone.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_compared_to_normal_scale

Beyond basic weighing tasks a high-precision bioimpedance chip is able to perform a body composition reading, calculating muscle mass, body fat percentage, bone mass and more, whilst its G-shaped sensors are reportedly accurate to 50g. It can also record data for up to 16 profiles/people with a non-recording visitor mode.

Design excellence

The body composition scale is a similar size and weight to the average bathroom scale but has a very different aesthetic to the ones we have seen in homeware shops before. The refined finish is typical of Xiaomi’s recent industrial design.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_lead

A rounded square, the clean lines of the reinforced-white-backed glass surface is only broken up four recessed metal pads that link the bioimpedance processor to the body and a chromed MI logo floating beneath the glass. Underneath the white body of the device curves away to four grey rubber covered feet.

The minimalist design benefits from the display, which remains hidden until you interact with the scale. Once activated a large bright white multi segment display appears floating between the upper two metal pads.

Using the scale

The scale requires a 5kg ‘load’ to turn it on (useful to know if you intend to use it for weighing luggage) but there is no need to tap it should you be weighing yourself, simply step aboard and stand still until the floating display flashes twice to confirm your weight.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_measurement

For the full body-composition scan step aboard barefoot, ensuring each foot is touching two of the round metal contacts with the ‘Mi’ logo face up between your feet. Stay standing still on the scale after the readout flashes with your weight, the readout will then light six segments whilst it performs the scanning process, flashing the whole set when the process is complete.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_measurement_complete

Whilst we haven’t tested it to confirm, the manufacturer suggests the batteries will last a year based on taking measurements three times a day and performing a balance test once a week. This will of course depend on the batteries used, ambient temperature and other external factors.

Smartphone and app required

It can be used as a basic weighing scale without the app but to get body composition readout, you will need to use the Mi Fit app. The app will run on bluetooth enabled Android 4.4 devices or iPhones running iOs 9 and above, e.g. an iPhone 5S or newer. We suggest installing the app on your phone or tablet before purchasing the scale to confirm that it works on your hardware. The app will require your age and your height to assist in body composition calculations.

First you will need to pair the scale. With bluetooth enabled in your device, load up the Mi Fit app and press the plus button in the top right hand corner and select ‘scale’. The app will ask you to step on the scale to power it up and if pairing is successful you will see the readout value displayed in real time on the screen. Following the pairing process, the app will step you through a short tutorial slideshow to explain how to use it and what the error readout messages look like.

Once paired the scale settings can be adjusted such as the unit of weight, settings for merging weigh-ins and enabling the small-object weighing capability. You can also clear all the saved data on the device or unpair it from your Mi Fit app.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_with_app_measuring

Whilst running the Mi Fit app on your smartphone whilst weighing yourself will give a live readout from the scale, there is no need to have your smartphone on you everytime. The scale will record the data, transmitting it to the smartphone the next time you run the Mi Fit app whilst in proximity of the device.

Detailed body data breakdown

During a full-body composition scan, the scale measures a series of metrics to determine a ‘body score’ of which a summary is displayed on the ‘My Status’ screen of the Mi Fit app. Each of the metrics is given alongside a scale for comparison and advice on how to ‘improve your score’.

  • BMI score: The infamous rating with a four step low/normal/high/v.high scale
  • Body fat percentage : Stated with a range ideal for your height and age with a loss target in kg/lb
  • Water percentage : Stated value plotted on a scale with insufficient/normal/good
  • Protein percentage : Stated value plotted on a scale with insufficient/normal/good along with some casual dietary advice
  • Basal Metabolism : An estimate of the calories your body requires each day
  • Visceral fat : A value plotted on a graph, but on a scale that is Xiaomi’s own
  • Muscle mass : A weight value plotted on a scale with insufficient/normal/good along
  • Bone mass : which claims to estimate the amount of calcium phosphorus and other compounds in the bones with advice on how to improve your rating.

Other indicators are included such as body age, ideal weight and body type. The latter shows your place in a matrix of body types based on body fat to muscle ratio.

Metrics that the scale calculates you have met are shown with a green icon and their value alongside, you can tap these to learn more. Goals it deems you are outside of, are shown with a dark orange icon with the detailed information already expanded.

Please note that this article was written during the pandemic lockdown. As such we were unable to visit a biologist/nutritionist/personal trainer to compare our data against that of professional equipment. Without this comparison we can only suggest using this data in a comparative sense, plotting the changes over time rather than taking it as an absolute.

Body Balance test

The scale includes a balance test mode. Xiaomi states that improving your balance can reduce the risk of falls and joint injuries. We think this is a little bit of a gimmick, albeit an entertaining one.

To access the balance test, press ‘view more’ on ‘my status’ on the homescreen of the Mi Fit app before pressing ‘Balance’. At the bottom of the subsequent screen is a ’measure’ button, press this to start the exercise. On your first attempt the app will explain that you need to close your eyes and step onto the scale with one foot. As soon as you do it starts a clock, recording the number of seconds you stayed balanced upon the surface with anything under 12 seconds judged as poor and anything over 70 seconds gaining a ‘very good’ rating. You can perform the measurements as often as you like and a chart is plotted on the initial balance test screen showing your progress.

Who is it for?

Naturally the smart scale is for anyone wanting to weigh themselves, however there are plenty of other use cases:

  • Families wanting to track kids weight
  • Athletes monitoring looking to monitor trends of muscle mass and hydration
  • Those looking for a tool to aid them in losing weight through monitoring
  • Parcel measuring for items over 100g
  • Weight loss groups/classes of up to 16 people

This is of course, alongside all of the things you’d do with a standard scale, from weighing yourself to checking your baggage isn’t overweight before your flight.

Xiaomi_Mi_Body_Composition_Scale_2_Review_smart_scale_with_app

Should I buy the Mi Smart scale?

If you are intending to buy a new bathroom scale, stepping up to a smart scale is in our opinion a no-brainer. Whilst over twice the price of basic scale, having used the scale for the past two weeks we feel the devices logging features are worth the price tag and that is before you look into the more advanced reporting.

At £40 it is fairly priced compared to its other ‘smart’ competitors, but in our opinion better looking than many of the others on the market. You can buy the Mi Smartscale on our webstore here and browse all of our smart gadgets here.

RC Geeks : RC Gadgets

Interested in other gadgets? We have reviewed Xiaomi’s Roborock 2 and Lite vacuum cleaners, the QiCycle e-bike and their iconic electric scooter. Browse our blog site to learn more.

Written by

Tom Begglesworth

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