Hands-on review: Renpho Elis 1 Smart Scale
Image credit: Renpho
Track your fitness and fatness levels from any room in the home, in gloriously granular detail.
We're already one month deep into another new year. With the best will in the world, ambitious resolutions often lie discarded, the best laid fitness plans of mice and men ruinously abandoned at the seductive and delicious twin altars of food and booze.
Still, we persevere. It's good to at least keep a watchful eye on the state of our bodies, even if their temple status was regrettably withdrawn some time ago. With a set of smart bathroom scales, such as Renpho's upgraded unit on review here, cold, hard data will be captured, logged and tracked, making it ever trickier for you to keep lying to yourself about the state of you. This - whether you like it or not - is a good thing.
There's obviously a limit to how smart a set of scales can be. They're scales. They weigh stuff. You, mostly.
Where this Renpho scale applies its smarts is with four precision sensors that use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology to measure the components of the body as you stand on the silver sensing plates. In total, 13 body-health metrics are checked and recorded, offering a more complete picture of your health than just how heavy you are. These are weight, BMI, body fat, protein, BMR, fat-free body weight, muscle mass, bone mass, body water, skeletal muscle, subcutaneous fat, visceral fat and metabolic age. It's almost terrifyingly detailed.
Your weight - the most commonly desired metric - is displayed directly on the scale's 2.4 x 1.25 inch LED display. All other data is saved in the accompanying Renpho Health app.
This model has also been upgraded from its predecessor, ditching the AAA batteries for a fitted USB-C rechargeable battery (cable supplied) which seems to last pretty much forever (YMMV). They're also more amenable to being placed on any type of surface, be it bathroom tiles, wooden floors, marble or carpet (Renpho also suggests lawns, but let's be serious). The scale now has a "fully wrapped bottom" with more use of tempered glass (both above and below) to keep the scale stable, thus delivering more accurate weight measurement. The scale also has an auto-calibration function, so it self-adjusts to any surface.
With a stated weight capacity of 180kg/400lb, and an acceptable margin of error of around 0.05kg(0.2lb), this should be broad enough to accommodate most of the population. Incidentally, you can still view your weight in old-school stones, if that's a familiar gauge you prefer from your childhood, although this can only be seen in the app.
The Renpho Health app is where all your captured body data is stored, providing you with a comprehensive overview of all aspects of your physical form. Renpho's app also connects to other health apps, such as Apple Health, Samsung Health, Google Fit and MyFitnessPal, so you can save and interrogate your data however and wherever you prefer. The scale connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
If you're keen for more insight about your body's health, the data captured will give you the ability to track those 13 metrics over the long-term, building up a richer picture of how you're doing - which may then give you either a gentle nudge or a hard shove to do more of the right things, as appropriate. If you've set yourself health goals, the graphical encouragement presented can be a real motivator.
The scale and app also allow you to set up different profiles for different people, opening up this smart bathroom staple to anyone sharing your home. There's also a 'baby mode', whereby you can weigh another object that you're holding (Renpho also suggests pets, so you can weigh your dog, cat or giant lizard, too).
The scale is well-built and feels sturdy. It also looks pretty good in a thoroughly modern, minimalist kind of way. It should slot neatly and inconspicuously into most people's homes. Bathroom scales might not be the most exciting of consumer technology gadgets, but if you are sufficiently moved to build up a compelling portrait of all things corporeal, this is actually one of the best ways to go about it.
Available from Renpho's Amazon Store, £37.99
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