Fitbit Aria 2 WiFi smart scale hands-on: Accurate, convenient weight tracking designed to help you achieve your goals

Aria 2 vs Aria 1, bottom view

I bought the first Fitbit Aria scale five years ago and at that time there was very little competition in this space. The new Aria 2 was recently released at a price of $129.95. While it was easy to recommend in 2012, I think the only reason to purchase this new model is if you are embedded in the Fitbit community.

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According to Fitbit, the improvements in the Aria 2, compared to the first Aria, include easier initial setup via Bluetooth to your phone, weighs people up to 400 pounds rather than 300 pounds, and improved accuracy. The design looks just about the same on top with a different design on the underside, as you can see in my image gallery. It also comes in white or black.

Hardware

The Fitbit Aria 2 has a glossy glass top and a circular LED display. The top is glass so that Fitbit can run a very small current up through one foot and down through the other as it measures BMI and body fat percentage. I like that Fitbit uses this method to try to capture BMI rather than just using algorithms based on weight and your body dimensions.

There are four load cells above the four feet of the scale to try to capture an accurate weight. The weight appears to be accurate, when compared to my doctor’s scale too.

The round backlit LED and scale is powered by three AA batteries, included in the retail package. The display shows numbers and animations as it processes your weight and BMI. Initials of the person on the scale also appear.

Software

The Fitbit app is excellent and I am using it to try to lose weight. You can set goals and then track those goals with the Aria 2 and the app. I am on a mission to lose 20-30 pounds and the widget on the Fitbit app home screen gives you a visual summary of your goal progress.

Tap on that widget and you are taken to the weight management portion of the Fitbit application. Here you can see a weight trend plot for the past 30 days. Swipe right to left to see plots for body fat percentage, lean vs fat weight, and BMI. Tap on any plot to then switch to view stats for a week, month, three months, one year, and all time. It was actually a bit depressing to see that I was at my weight goal four years ago and the trend since then has been upwards.

Below this chart you will find the goal progress and below that the daily weight log on the bottom half of the page. Tap on any weight log line to see the date, weight, body fat percentage, and BMI.

Someday when I achieve my goal I will tap on the share button at the top. This lets you share your weight goal progress, current weight, and current body fat percentage with either the weight log or a picture you take as the background. This can be helpful to motivate you to improve, but I first need to commit to lifestyle eating changes to lose the weight I desire.








Usage experiences

If you already own an original Aria scale, then I honestly cannot see any reason to upgrade to this model. It looks about the same, I keep getting the same weight readings, and setup only happens once so using WiFi (original) or Bluetooth (Aria 2) is not really an important differentiator. I had a physical during my testing and the weight at the doctor’s office closely matched that on the Fitbit Aria 2.

At times, I actually found the Aria 2 scale a bit annoying as the animations seem slower than on the first Aria scale and feet moving would often appear rather than the resulting weight and body mass calculation. I would then step off the scale, as the feet animation implied, to then see the result seconds later. Overall, I found the experience to take a bit longer on the Aria 2 than on the first Aria.

The power of the Aria is really in the Fitbit application that does let you track your weight over time, which is where the motivation to lose or manage your weight comes in.

The convenience of WiFi in the Aria 2 is fantastic as I just step on the scale each morning and let the scale sync up to my Fitbit account. You don’t even need to have a Fitbit tracker close at hand to measure your weight. I had to purchase a third party app to then have my weight synced to Apple Health since Apple and Fitbit don’t want to play together.

The Aria 2 is an attractive scale and gets the job done, but I think it would be a more competitive choice at $99 rather than $130. The convenience of stepping on the scale and having my measurements taken without having to do anything else is excellent and over the past month of use the scale has not failed me once.

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Honor 7X review: Better than its predecessor and priced 20 percent less

Earlier this year I posted a full review of the Honor 6X and we now have its successor that offers a better processor, improved dual rear cameras, and large 18:9 display at a price $50 less than the Honor 6X. It’s one of my best cheap smartphones for the holiday season.



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The $200 Honor 7X is available now in the US and I’ve recommended it to several people already. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and I still cannot believe it’s priced at one fifth the price of the Apple iPhone X.

There are a few compromises that are made at this price, but there is nothing major that would prevent most people from being completely satisfied. The pros far outweigh the cons and when you realize the Honor 7X is priced at just $200 it is great to have as a spare or emergency phone.

Specifications

  • Processor: Kirin 659, octa-core with Mali T830-MP2 GPU
  • Display: 5.93 inch 2160×1080 pixels resolution 18:9 LCD (407 ppi) with 2.5D glass
  • Operating system: Huawei EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7 Nougat
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB internal with microSD card slot
  • Cameras: Rear dual 16 megapixel and 2 megapixel cameras with phase detection auto focus and depth of field effects. Front 8 megapixel camera.
  • Battery: 3340 mAh
  • Wireless connectivity: FM radio, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm and 165 grams

Compared to last year’s Honor 6X, we see a newer generation Kirin processor, a larger 18:9 format display, a newer version of EMUI with Android 7, and a better dual rear camera setup. The Honor 7X is slightly thinner and just 3 grams heavier too.

There is no NFC radio so you won’t be able to use Android Pay and there is no water resistance, but that’s about it. Unlike the new flagships, Honor still includes a standard 3.5mm headset jack so that is one benefit over the much more expansive Android phones.

Hardware

Huawei builds gorgeous hardware and their typical design language that includes a brushed aluminum shell, extremely responsive rear fingerprint scanner, curved glass edges, and rock solid construction is present here on the Honor 7X.

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Something you will not find on competing sub-$400 phones is the 18:9 FullView display with minimal bezels. At about the same size as a 5.5-inch phone, you get a 5.93-inch display. The 1080p LCD display looks great with vibrant colors and good viewing angles. Honor implemented curved metal back sides so that the Honor 7X rests very comfortably in your hand and presents a very clean appearance.

The cameras work well with the dual camera setup supporting bokeh effects like we see on higher end devices. Check out my recent portrait mode shootout to see how the Honor 7X stacks up with seven other smartphones. You will also find advanced camera modes, such as light painting, time-lapse, slow-mo, and even manual mode options.

You can expand your storage with a microSD card. The mono speaker blows away what we saw on the low cost Moto devices and lets you enjoy music or make speakerphone calls comfortably.

Honor advertises a two-day battery life and even as a fairly heavy smartphone user I am almost able to go a full two days. We often see claims of multi-day battery, but I tend to kill a smartphone in a day. That just isn’t the case with the Honor 7X and the 1080p display, Kirin 659 processor, and large 3,340 mAh battery proves to keep you going through at least a day or two.












Software

The Honor 7X runs EMUI 5.1, based on Android 7 Nougat. This version of EMUI provides a fairly stock Android experience with a few Huawei apps. These include Backup, Email, Calendar, FM Radio, Gallery, Health, Messaging, Mirror, Music, Notepad, Voice Recorder, Weather, Videos, and Themes. Most of these are utilties and other apps that enhance the stock Android experience. Unlike US carrier branded devices, there is no dumb games or excessive bloatware installed.

There are several different options for customizing your experience, including navigation button arrangement, detailed notification and status bar customization, smart assistance settings (double tap to turn on display is one option), and more. I also enabled the standard app drawer home screen setup on the evaluation device.

This is sold as a GSM unlocked phone so it is free of carrier bloatware. It does not support CDMA so it will not work for Sprint or Verizon customers.

Pricing and competition

Flagship smartphones are priced at $800 to over $1,150, but over the past couple of years we have seen lots of competition in the sub-$400 price range. The Honor 7X is even more competitive at a low $200 price.

Looking across the market for phones in this sub-$250 range, we see the Nokia 6 at $150 with a smaller display, single rear camera, and smaller capacity battery, along with the Moto G5S Plus at $240 with a smaller display, better dual rear cameras, and a smaller capacity battery. There is growing competition in this sub-$250 market and that’s a great thing for consumers.

Daily usage experiences and conclusions

While using the Honor 7X as my daily driver, I completely forgot it was priced at just $200. It feels like a much more expensive phone and performs at a level competitive with those at $400 or more.

I’m a fan of the 2.5D curved glass on displays and this combined with the curved back metal edges make the Honor 7X a real joy to hold in your hand. It has a bottom-mounted headphone jack and a great sounding bottom mono speaker that I used to enjoy my podcasts and music.

Dual cameras from Honor and Huawei offer some fun effects and once you spend the time to learn some of the different modes you will come to really enjoy using your phone for photography. The quality is not as good as the flagship phones, but at a fourth to a fifth of the cost the camera is good enough for social networks and having fun with your family and friends. The camera and phones are easily much better than the low priced Android phones from a couple of years ago. You can get creative with the camera and the image editing software too.

The Honor 7X provides a large full screen, minimal bezel experience at a killer price. I honestly can’t think of one reason not to recommend this phone for just $200. Just the insurance on the Apple iPhone X is the same price as this phone.