Koogeek sent us another device from its line of IoT products to review. The Koogeek S1 Smart Health Scale comes as one of the lower-costing digital connected scales on the market. It takes eight measurements: weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, lean mass, total body water, bone mass, visceral fat, and basal metabolic rate (BMR). It was easy to set up, took fast measurements, and was accurate over repeated measurements. I spent a week with it, and overall I like it, but have a few reservations.
The S1 has a clean and beautiful design, with a one-piece ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) tempered glass face that Koogeek describes as being resistant to drops. The blue LED display is hidden at the top and lights up when somebody stands on the scale.
Weight is a standard measurement that the S1 consistently measured accurately. From the weight and the pre-inputted height data, the app calculated my BMI. These are two standard measurements taken at the doctor’s office and can be used to track long-term fitness goals. Easy peasy.
The fat mass and total body water measurements are extracted from bioelectrical impedance analyses (BIA), where the scale measures the resistance to electrical current flowing from one foot to the other (yes, that means no socks and no shoes while weighing yourself!). While not the gold standard for measuring these two metrics, BIA provides a convenient and robust estimate that’s close enough and is suitable for monitoring yourself over time to check how you might be shedding weight.
Lean mass, bone mass, visceral fat, and basal metabolic rate measurements are harder to understand. When I contacted Koogeek about how their scale calculates all of these measurements, they replied that the “technology is confidential,” but that the formulas are based on “tens of millions of user data statistics”. Koogeek advertises this scale as FDA-cleared, so perhaps the FDA has validated the accuracy. At any rate, the descriptions of what these measurements mean are hard to understand. For example, this is the description of bone mass on the app: “Skeleton is an important support to body. It’s critical to grasp one’s own bone-mass, care bout the supplement for loss of calcium and strengthen the bone density.” While highly amusing, this description doesn’t actually tell me anything about the value the scale is spitting out. I registered 8.1% on a scale that considers normality between 7.6% and 8.4%. So while I’m in the “healthy zone,” I’m not actually told what the percentage means. (It means that bones make up 8.1% of my body weight. Even further, this represents a DRY bone mass, which is what my bones would weigh if dehydrated.)
One convenient plus for the S1 system: it has a function to measure the weight of babies, where the user can first weigh themselves holding the baby, then weigh again without the baby. Afterwards, the app automatically does the subtractions to output the baby’s weight, and again, can be tracked over time.
The app is fairly easy to use and well-designed, but again, it’s littered with spelling and grammatical errors that, although hilarious, don’t do much for my confidence in this device. It’s the same app that runs all of the Koogeek products, and so the temperature measurements for the T1 thermometer I reviewed previously were still visible. Pairing to my phone was easy and automatic (I love it when Bluetooth just works).
Connecting to my Wifi network was also simple, and allows me to push my measurements to my phone when it’s not in range (HUGE plus to not have to carry my phone with me during weighings).
The output and trends over time were easy to read, although only the weight measurement could be graphed over time. It’s got automatic user detection (up to 16 people), which figures out who was standing on the scale simply by comparing weights. However, it can get confused between people with similar weights.
In the future, I hope that Koogeek will clean up descriptions of what the measurements mean, as well as give guidance on how to get more accurate readings. For example, total body fat from BIA goes down immediately after a meal, which leads to an underestimate, so it would be beneficial if the app gave a simple “do not measure an hour after eating” recommendation.
All in all, I’d describe the Koogeek S1 Smart Health Scale as very useable, but I have reservations in recommending it given the poor explanations in the app – it’s hard for me to trust the complex measurements when it’s obvious the team couldn’t run a simple spell-check before rolling out the product. For what it’s worth, the S1 does a great job in its primary job of measuring weight quickly and accurately, and makes recording a cinch. Secondary measurements of fat mass, total body water, and skeletal muscle were also fairly simple. Unfortunately, I’m unclear on how the other measurements are taken, nor what they mean, nor what steps I can take to change them. On the plus side, the S1 is one of the cheaper scales on the market, and further, Koogeek is offering our American and British readers a 10% discount on Amazon (expires March 15). For that price, it makes for a pretty good offering if you just take the weight, BMI, fat mass, and total body water.
Product page: Koogeek Smart Health Scale…