There are smart scales aplenty on the market but Xiaomi’s Mi Body Composition 2 is one of the most affordable options. It’s currently available for under £25 on Amazon in the UK and under $30 in the US. But does its attractive price point mean you should snap it up? Read on to find out.
Mi smart scale design
White LED display
Scale displays weight only
Battery powered (4 AAA batteries, not supplied)
The Mi Smart Scale has a lovely, minimalist design that belies its budget price tag. It’s not just a plate of glass plonked onto some feet: its underside curves pleasingly up to meet its shiny, tempered glass surface, and the display is in bright white LEDs. In the centre of the scale is a discreet, mirrored Mi logo and in the corners, four silvery discs.
If you’re not familiar with smart scale technology, here’s how it works. When you stand on the discs with bare feet, a small electrical charge is sent up into your body. By measuring the resistance it encounters, the scale is able to map your body composition.
You can’t feel it and it’s perfectly safe for most people, although anyone with a pacemaker or other medical implant should speak to their doctor before using one.
Smart scales aren’t necessarily perfectly accurate in determining your body’s makeup but as long as they’re consistent, they can be a really useful part of a fitness journey. If your motivation is ebbing, opening the app to view your progress can give you a real boost.
But the Mi scale does claim weighing accuracy at least, with a stated precision of 100g. While testing it, we compared it to other scales and believe that it was on target. However, it does take a couple of attempts to calibrate properly, so prepare yourself for some unlikely numbers the first time you step onto it.
The Mi scale is powered by 4 AAA batteries. If you’re thinking of buying it, stick a pack of batteries in your basket as well – because it doesn’t come with them. That’s really the first sign that you’re looking at a budget scale.
Using the Mi scale
Bluetooth only connection
Up to 16 profiles
13 body measurements
Once you’ve inserted the batteries and downloaded the free to use Mi Fit app (available for both Android and Apple), you just need to take off your socks and hop on the scale.
The scale works via Bluetooth and doesn’t have a Wi-Fi option. That means you’ll need to have the app open to log a weigh-in. Still, on the plus side, that means there’s no annoying Wi-Fi syncing stage. It just works instantly.
At your first weigh-in, you can create a profile for yourself. The scale can support up to 16 separate profiles and without a Wi-Fi option there’s less of a chance that the stats will be sent to the wrong account. Just make sure that other family members who use the scale aren’t nearby and on the app when you weigh in.
The scale itself will only display your weight (you can choose between kg and lbs) but the app will also tell you your BMI, body fat percentage, muscle mass, protein and water percentage, bone mass, visceral fat, body age and ideal body weight.
Usefully, it’ll also give you your basal metabolic rate, which lets you see how many calories your body needs a day to maintain its current weight. (Less usefully, the app describes your body type, with weirder options being “thick-set” and “lacks exercise”. This seems unnecessary and worse, users may find it insulting or off-putting.)
The app also defines the key stats and lets you know whether they’re in a normal range or not, by separating them into metrics that need your attention or into goals reached. There’s also a “history” section with clear, easy to read charts to follow your progress.
All of this makes it a solid option for the general user but where the app really comes into its own is for people who are already Xiaomi ecosystem users. If you use a Mi Band or a Mi watch, you’ll already have the Mi Fit app and that means your other health stats, including sleep and exercise tracking, are just a tab away.
Price and availability
The Mi Body Composition scale is priced at £29.99 in the UK and $40 in the US (although you’ll be able to buy it for around $10 less), making it a very affordable option.
The premium Withings smart scale, by comparison, retails for around £129/$149. What you’ll get for that is a much more comprehensive on-scale display, rechargeable battery power, plus heart rate and heart health information. If you’re already a Withings user, an investment like that makes sense but for most people, the more budget-friendly option will be enough.
A USB charging option would be preferable to battery power and it would be nice to see more measurements on the scale itself but if you can compromise on these points, the Mi Body Composition Scale 2 is a good buy for anyone: it’s very reasonably priced and well designed.
However, if you’re already a Mi smartwatch or fitness band user, it’s highly recommended.
For more options, have a look at our round-up of the best smart scales we’ve tested, or check out our reviews of the Mi Band 6 and the Mi watch.
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