- Easy to use
- Looks great
- Simple smartphone integration
- Some inaccuracies
- A bit expensive
If you know about Fitbit already, it's probably for its Fitbit Ultra wireless activity tracker, which plots how much exercise you get, day-by-day and minute-by-minute. Its latest health-obsessed gadget works along similar lines. However, the Fitbit Aria tracks your weight and body fat percentage rather than how much you move about.
To look at the Fitbit Aria in-situ, you'd simply guess it is a normal weighing scale, and a pretty stylish one at that. It comes in either a white or black finish and its top is a hardy slab of 0.3in thick glass, giving it a slick look and feel that you don't get with most bathroom scales.
At first we assumed the glass was there to aid the body fat measurement, but it's actually primarily to give improve strength. Regardless, we imagine the scale will look the part in most any bathroom - to stereotype we might suggest black for gym obsessed "lads" and white for those who'd rather let the Fitbit Aria melt into bathroom lino.
Adding to the stylised approach, the Fitbit Aria uses a perfectly circular porthole-style display of crisp, bright LEDs. Functionally it works well, providing excellent clarity - and in a relatively high-tech product it brings with it a slightly retro kitschy feel.
The underside of the Fitbit Aria sports an embossed circles pattern, while four feet buffer its bottom. In the centre of this rear is where the battery cover sits. What we found initially surprising is that the Aria needs just four AA batteries to operate, given its relatively advanced wireless connectivity.
The Fitbit Aria's job is to measure your weight and body fat percentage - preferably daily - and upload the information to a cloud-based account over your home Wi-Fi network. Fitbit says the four batteries will last up to six months. And it comfortably lasted the few weeks of our test time without running out.
Another claim made for the battery is that its stamina is helped-out by the dual antennae inside, where some rivals feature just the single antenna. It coped with our notoriously flaky home Wi-Fi network signal very well, seemingly never missing out on an upload.
The Fitbit Aria can sense up to eight different people, using historical data to work out who is whom. In our testing, it worked too, labelling any new people as Guest.
To use the Aria as a "dumb" scale is to miss the point, though, and setup is mostly painless.
The main aim of the initial setup is to get the Aria hooked up to your home Wi-Fi, but without any way of tapping in a WEP key, this is a little more involved than you might assume. You have to connect the Aria to a PC or smartphone directly, from which you can then share your home Wi-Fi.
Thankfully, no screws or cables are required.
Taking out the Fitbit Aria's batteries for 10 seconds and putting them back in puts the scale into setup mode, in which it pipes out its own Wi-Fi hotspot. Connect to the Aria's network using a compatible smartphone (iPhone/Android) or computer with app installed and you're good to go. This is the last time the Aria has to interface with another device too, as from this point all uploads are handled automatically - taking place every time a new measurement is made.