- Accurate weight readings.
- Large weight capacity.
- Durable, tempered glass top.
- Syncs with Fitbit and other fitness devices.
- Secondary readings can be affected by your environment.
- Will only read weight for family members under age 18.
In an ever more health-conscious society, it makes sense that people are monitoring their weight. But the pandemic has pushed many of us to the brink in terms of weight gain. And with life getting back to normal, many people are trying to drop those extra pounds. Bathroom scales are far from a new technology, as anyone can attest. However, modern technology has made it possible for a scale to do more than just give you your weight. Nowadays, smart scales are changing the way people think about tracking their weight and fitness.
That said, there are plenty of options on today’s market. With so many choices available, how do you find a smart scale that’s right for you? There’s no single best answer. But one easy way to find a reliable scale is to go with a brand you already know and trust. Etekcity is one of those brands. We’ve reviewed a handful of their scales, as well as their Smart Foot Massager. Along the way, we’ve been pleased with most of what they’re offering. As a result, we like to keep an eye on their new products. So when we saw that they were selling a new bathroom scale, we decided to take a closer look.
Today, we’re going to review the Etekcity ESF-551 Smart Fitness Scale. This is a standard-sized bathroom scale that’s made primarily for accuracy. It also supports a host of smart functions, such as the ability to monitor your BMI and bone density. But does it work as well in practice as it does on paper? To find out, we needed to dig a little deeper into how the ESF-551 works. Now, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this new scale. We’ll discuss the physical design and the quality of the construction. We’ll look at how it’s used, and how accurate it is. Last, we’ll talk about the app and the fitness tracking features. With all of those factors combined, we’ll have a complete picture of this scale. Let’s begin!
The Etekcity ESF-551 Smart Fitness Scale is a standard-sized scale. This means it measures 11 inches square, large enough for most feet but small enough not to cause an obstruction. It’s also fairly slim, at only 1.1 inches thick. This makes it easy to slide away under furniture or a raised vanity. Despite the generally square shape, the corners are rounded. This means you won’t jab your feet or ankles on any sharp corners. On the bottom, you’ll find a set of anti-skid rubber feet. They do a good job of keeping the scale from sliding, even on a slick bathroom floor.
The main body of the scale is a deep charcoal grey, with jet black trim and accents. One thing we liked about it is the tempered glass top, which lets you see some of the inner workings. The glass is 5mm in thickness, providing a sturdy platform for even very heavy individuals. In total, it will support up to 400 pounds. This is right in line with many other home scales, and meets most people’s needs. If you need more than 400 pounds, you’re probably looking at a special order scale to begin with.
Beneath the glass, you can see a set of four metallic sensors. These are oval in shape, and are located towards the corners. They’re angled towards the center, however, which creates an X-shaped pattern. In contrast with this, there’s a dark black cross-shaped accent going through the center. It’s all very well tied together from an aesthetics perspective. One thing we didn’t like is that the words “Designed by Etekcity” are printed in the center. A simple company name or logo would have sufficed.
At the front of the top of the scale, you’ll see the LCD display. This display shows your current weight, as well as any errors. For example, if it’s calibrating, it will tell you to wait. It also shows you when the Bluetooth is active, as well as whether your weight is in pounds or kilograms. The numbers are large and easy to read, even in a brightly-lit room. This is particularly important when it’s first thing in the morning, you’re groggy, and you’re not wearing your glasses. The display powers on automatically when you step on or tap the scale. Otherwise, it remains powered down to save electricity. It’s powered by three AAA batteries, which install in the back of the scale. A set of batteries is included in the package.
Like most scales, the Etekcity ESF-551’s accuracy depends on the weight range. The larger the weight the fuzzier the measurement. Conversely, it gets more accurate the smaller the weight is. For objects or people between 22 pounds (10kg) and 400 pounds (180kg), it’s accurate to 0.1lb (0.05kg). For objects less than 22 pounds, it’s accurate to 0.05lb, or 0.02kg. It’s capable of accurate measurements as low as 3.5 ounces (100 grams). This makes it suitable as a kitchen scale, as long as you don’t need to make any tiny measurements. Moreover, the scale is self-calibrating. You don’t have to worry about setting the tare weight whenever you turn it on.
For measuring tiny humans, the ESF-551 has a special baby mode. In this mode, the scale remembers your weight. You then step on the scale while holding your baby, and it reads out the difference. This way, you can measure newborns without waiting for them to hold still. You can also reliably weigh your pets. Not only that, but Etekcity has built a zero-current mode into the scale. In this mode, the electrodes are turned off to reduce EMF radiation. This is great news if you want to keep your baby as safe as possible. That said, most of the app features and biometrics won’t work in this mode. But it’s good to have options either way.
This scale comes with a companion app for performing advanced functions, which we’ll discuss more shortly. The app is free to download and install, and is easy to find on both Android and iOS. Once it’s installed, you’ll need to pair with your scale before you do anything else. Pairing is performed via Bluetooth, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a positive because you don’t have to mess around with WiFi. You won’t have to enter any passwords or figure out WPS pairing with your router. That said, you also won’t be able to remotely access your scale. You’ll need to be in the same room in order to connect.
For most people, a Bluetooth scale will work just fine. On the other hand, WiFi provides a certain flexibility that might be better for your needs. In that case, consider the Etekcity ESF00+ WiFi Smart Fitness Scale. It’s similar to the ESF-551 in most respects, but connects via WiFi instead of Bluetooth.
App and Extras
The Etekcity app gives you access to a number of useful features for tracking your personal fitness. To begin with, it provides readings for 13 other biometrics. For this purpose, it uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Essentially, sensors track your body’s electrical field and the computer makes some rough estimates. BIA is an inexact science, and you shouldn’t take any of these readings as gospel. For one thing, they can be affected by factors like whether your scale is on tile or carpet. That said, it can still give you a rough estimate of where you stand on various metrics.
The ESF-551 can track your weight, body fat, muscle mass, fat-free body weight, and visceral fat levels. It can also estimate your BMR, metabolic age, bone mass, subcutaneous fat, body water, protein, and skeletal muscle. That’s a ton of data, and it can be overwhelming to track. Thankfully, Etekcity’s app provides a number of graphs to help you visualize your data. You can see any of these metrics over days, weeks, or months. This makes it easier to understand than reading a table or keeping a diary.
If you want more accurate measurements for some of these metrics, there is a way. This scale will sync with Fitbit, Google Fit, Apple Health, and Samsung Health. If you’re using one of these other personal health devices, just pair it with your scale and sync your data. Once again, keep in mind that the ESF-551 is Bluetooth-only. You won’t be able to sync remotely via WiFi.
One thing you won’t be able to do is enter data manually. For that, you’ll need the FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale. It’s like the Etekcity scale in most respects, including accuracy and weight capacity. However, it also allows you to manually enter BMI and other data for tracking purposes.
Within the app, you can create an unlimited number of profiles. There’s even automatic user recognition. When you step on the scale, it will recognize you and track your metrics accordingly. You can even set individual weight and body fat goals for each user. This is a great choice for families, since everyone can track their own information separately. One unfortunate drawback is that the app won’t allow anyone under age 18 to obtain accurate 12 essential biometrics; only weight. You can always lie about your age, but age information is used to track certain metrics. So even if a minor household member sets up a profile, they will only be able to accurately see their weight.
The Etekcity ESF-551 is a powerful fitness scale with a couple of drawbacks. We would have liked more reliable biometric data, and support for minor children. That said, most of the other features are tough to argue with. This is an accurate scale for large or small weights, with a high maximum capacity. It’s well-engineered, with a durable tempered glass top. It’s also very affordably priced for what you’re getting. All in all, it’s easy to recommend this scale.