6) QardioBase (£130)
What’s the story?
The super-stylish QardioBase targets the average exerciser rather than CrossFit obsessives, with friendly graphics, nifty haptic feedback and cute companion app. It tracks an impressive selection of body measurements including the usual weight, BMI and body fat percentage. Despite the fluffy inspirational language used, it also has a stab at calculating muscle, bone and water composition.
If you're petrified of numbers you can switch to Smart Feedback mode, which swaps pounds and kilograms for smiling, frowning or 'meh' emoticons, while still recording the hard data to your app.
Although not compatible with any third-party fitness trackers – Apple HealthKit doesn’t count – the app can also pull data from the Qardiocore ECG and Qardioarm blood pressure monitor. Both devices seem aimed more towards the ageing baby boomer than the gym bunny. That said, there's also a pregnancy mode that tracks progress week by week, both during and after birth, and no matter your weight, you'll always see a smiley face…which is a nice touch.
Turns out there's a pretty good reason why more bathroom scales aren’t small, stylish and round. They tend to wobble. The QardioBase's small 12.5in diameter was only just big enough for Stuff's size 10 feet and every single time we stepped on them it moved a bit. It's a niggle we can live with, but we wouldn’t recommend letting your gran anywhere near them.
The larger diameter of the Under Armour might be bulky, but it is at least stable. Set-up is straight forward and despite some misgivings there's something really pleasing about a big green smiley face looking up at you first thing in the morning.
Accuracy is on a par with the rest on test, although Body Fat % was consistently higher than the Fitbit and Nokia. Irritatingly though, despite having data on water, bone and muscle composition, there's not much information to help you make sense of the data. Still, there is a 'Set Goal' page which shows weight target and loss/gain per week, which should help you avoid setting unrealistic targets.
Weight, BMI, Body fat %, bone, muscle, and water composition
Battery life (max): 12 months
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Compatible products: Apple Watch, iOS, Kindle, Qardiocore ECG, Qardioarm blood pressure monitor (via Qardio App)
This gorgeous but wobbly design scale offers up plenty of stats, but the simple emoticon feedback will appeal to dieters rather than fitness nuts