3) Tanita RD-901 Bluetooth Body Composition Monitor (£147)
What’s the story?
The self-crowned ‘world's most accurate home-use wireless body composition monitor’ features more medical grade tech than your local hospital. Dual Frequency BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance analysis) technology and goes way beyond basic weight and BMI with ten body measurements taken. These include bone mass, visceral fat, muscle mass and basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy you expend each day when at rest.
It’s an impressive list of stats that should help paint a complete picture of your health. It connects via Bluetooth to any iOS device (iPhone 4 and newer) and, unlike many scales, has a traffic light alert system – green healthy, yellow borderline and red for tubby/send help. This is handy instant feedback to look at while the rest of the data is uploaded to the Health Planet App. It’s also worth noting that the ThirdSpace Medical Practice – where Stuff was recently subjected to a full medical – took their data from a professional set of Tanita scales.
The RD-901 packs in the tech spec and we appreciate the sheer depth and accuracy of health data collection available, but the setup lacks simplicity.
Tanita has stepped back to the 90s with a dated design and weak instructions. Connecting via Bluetooth shouldn’t be this complicated. The design also feels more like a cheap digital watch than cutting edge health monitor.
It’s not ugly, but compared to the slick interior-friendly appeal of the Fitbit and Nokia there’s no comparison. Still, once you’ve set up your account and start to record your health data, you’ll be treated to an enormous amount of information.
The Health Planet app is well laid out and displays more at-a-glance stats than we know what to do with. Understanding just what’s being recorded takes a degree in sports physiology or at least a thorough Googling.
We’re not sure on the accuracy of all the stats – this 37-year-old reviewer has an unlikely metabolic age of 22 – but like any health data the important thing is knowing which direction the figures need to go in.
Weight, BMI, fat %, muscle mass, physique rating, bone mass, visceral fat, BMR, metabolic age, total body water
Battery life (max): 6mnths
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
Compatible products: iOS
Best for… Stat monkeys
Like having a full medical each morning, but you’ll need to be clued up to make the most of the data