So its been a couple of months since I got the new latest Withings Smart Scales and they are great but are they worth the not inconsiderable sum of £130? Mmmm
Arrival and Setup
It all arrived in a lovely well protected box and was fairly easy to setup but you do need to use the app on the iPhone or Android. It worked very well on the iPhone but I have read in a few places it isn’t quite so easy on the Android equivalent so watch out for that.
Using the iPhone app made things easy but it is something that some people purchasing might not be aware of and it wasn’t something that I’d picked up on either.
Whats it like to use
Quick and easy is the answer. You step on top and as long as you are fairly central it shows your weight and for seconds later displays the three characters of who it thinks it is and its got it right every time. It then does the body fat reading followed by the pulse rate. The pulse rate is the most hit and miss part of the process I’d say 3 out of 10 times it fails to get the pulse rate. The C02 reading is a bit pointless if I’m honest, it does look accurate in that during the warmer days when the windows are open more you can see the drop so I can see the change I’m not sure of the benefit.
The First Few months
Well I got stuck straight in and decided to see if this could help me with some weight loss and the quick answer is it can, but only with a dollop of willpower and some extra exercise. But it was a great way to see that the effort that I’d made to do more exercise result in weight loss. So far I’ve lost a not inconsiderable stone of weight and I’m still stepping on it each day to see if I’ve made any further progress.
Review Rating – 8/10
Its a good gadget and I’d buy it again if I had the decision to make a second time. You need to use it with other gadgets and I’ve linked it all to my Fitbit and the two work really well together with the Fitbit app showing the updated weight form the scales quickly and easily. Its a far better solution than scales with just a display and if you can afford it I’d go for it personally.
So I like gadgets who doesn’t. But can they help me to lose weight?
Well I’m going to put it to the test and here is the plan.
Well firstly I’ve already got a Fitbit and it really helps me to get out and walk. Every lunch at work and at the weekend I go and walk around mostly running after the kids but its nice to log the steps, the stairs I’ve climbed and how any calories I’ve burnt. It only seems to need charging every few weeks so thats also a bonus I can’t stand being a nanny to gadgets that need to live in the background.
The Fitbit can also link into the Withings site and vice versa, Runkeeper and TACTIO on the iPhone also help to bring everything together in one place. You can then see how well you are going and they can even be set up to pester you to get off your arse and do something and we all need that sometimes.
All New Withings Smart Scales
So the scales are going to help me track my weight loss and as or more importantly my fat loss, no laughing at the back please. Also as an added benefit the new scales have a feature that track your resting heart rate and test what the CO2 levels are in the room the are kept. The resting heartbeat will be a good way to see if any walking and running is having a benefit but I’m not too sure about the CO2 levels but we shall see.
So when it arrives I will post a reviews along the way on the scales and my progress and let you know what software and gadgets are working to help me and which aren’t. Oh and I might even tell you what my weights and how much its hopefully falling so maybe we can help each other.
A little over a year ago the stalk arrived with a beautiful little boy who wanted for nothing but actually needed loads and loads of new things from toys to prams and the odd bottle or 6 all of which needed plenty of research. So here is a list of the things that worked for us and we would consider as essential buys.
So lets start off with the things that worked and were the real best buys. I will do a mini review for each item as to why it was good or just average. Note that some things just didn’t get used in the first six months but were great 6months +
Newborn to 6 months the essentials – The best Buys
1. Quinny Buzz Pram + Accessories Review
A pram for me took more research that just about everything else put together, do you go lightweight, a system, get something that has a crib as well as the seat and that it can have a car seat attachment the list goes one. But after much deliberation and the odd test drive or three we got it down to the Quinny Buzz.
Why? Well it ticked all of the boxes, it was a system pram which fitted the MaxiCosi Cabriofix car seat great to transfer the little man from the car straight onto the pram without waking him when needed. It wasn’t heavy or too big and it felt great in the show. But lastly it is very easy to collapse and to get back up, a flick of a catch and you just watch it rise.
We added the shopping carrier, shame this doesn’t come as standard and we bought the Crib and foot-muff all proved to be great and of a high quality. Its way better than the Mothercare equivalent and as a combination beat the Mamas and Papas to boot, look no further this is a cracking pram system if not the cheapest. We also bought the footmuff and the carrycot plus the shopping basket, not cheap but its been fantastic.
2. Maxi- Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat Review
Not much to say about this really, it worked at treat, managed well with the odd spill and bang. Its not that light but then again you want to be strong so thats a good thing. Its won many a review for its design and safety and it also fitted with the pram, you see lots of them about and thats because they are very good.
They expand as they do, take some padding out first then the head restraint and it lasted to over 12 months when we bought a front facing seat. Its best not to move them to a forward facing seat too soon as their neck muscles aren’t that well developed. In fact many say that a rear facing seat is the safest thing until they are 2.
We bought both an Maxi-Cosi Easyfix Base that can be used as ISOFIX and without if the car doesn’t have it fitted which mine at the time didn’t. Its so so easy to get it in and out and it always gave that positive firm click when it was in place. That first trip home is a very special one and this seat certainly helped me feel better having him in it.
3. Mamas and Papas Coastline Cot Review
We went for the Mamas and Papas Coastline Cot and Changer, they feel like they are built like granite, are easy to construct and look good. The Cot itself has the benefit that it can be converted into a bed when the time is right and obviously the hight of the base of the cot is adjustable.
To adjust it isn’t the easiest sometimes as the screws aren’t the best at locating sometimes but after dropping it a few times it becomes easier once you get the knack. There are cheaper alternatives out there but this the one we liked the most for the money.
4. Tommee Tippee Bottles + Steamer
At some point you will need bottles but which ones? We went for the Tommee Tippee bottles as they had won plenty of reviews and several friends have used them. We had no problems with them and our little boy hasn’t either which is the main thing.We have only upgraded the bottle teats to faster flow ones as he got older, they are still in use today for his morning and night feeds.
As for the steamer it work faultlessly for 12months without a single hiccup and oh my its been used a lot. It holds loads of bottles and works quickly. Not the easiest to port around maybe but hey you get used to that.
5. Tomy Starlight Dreamshow
Now there is a time when your baby can’t quite settle on his own, but is getting too old to need to be rocked to sleep, this projector light is perfect for this. Attach it onto the side of the cot point it at the ceiling and hey presto you have something to attack the attention of your baby for long enough for them to drop to sleep on their own. You probably won’t have to use it for too long or too often but its worth its wait in gold when you do.
6. Lamaze Toys
Quite simply the whole range of Lamaze toys are great not one thing that we bought or where given to us hasn’t been great for him. The textures, sounds and noises that they make are all brilliant and help them to develop in many ways. I think his favourite was the dog that barked, bright green and with squeakers and all sorts, you don’t need many of them but they are a worthwhile and quality purchase.
7. BT 150 Baby Monitor
Well this bit can be a bit of a mine field, lots of different makes to buy and the big question of do you go for one with a camera or not. We decided not to get a camera, many people advised us not to as if you aren’t careful you just keep watching them all the time. This is fine when they are very young but its the sound that they make thats important not what they are doing. Also you need to be relaxed about them when they get older and settle into life they don’t need as much watching. We didn’t go for one that sensed their movement either for the same reasons as not getting a video camera plus some are unreliable and I personally think you might end up getting a little neurotic about them.
So we got a BT 150 Baby monitor and its been brilliant, its does all of the things we wanted, its got great battery life and is really sensitive almost too much if you don’t turn it down but hey its great to hear your own baby snoring himself to sleep as you drop off. The new range of BT Baby Monitors also has some new features and I’m sure are just as good.
8. Your Baby Week By Week
I’m not that keen on books that tell you how to do what you think should be instinctive but this book was a godsend as a new parent. Its not pushy or opinionated like some are but it guides you through the process of bringing up your baby. We tended to read ahead a month or so and it was brilliant at helping us to not get into bad habits.
For instance don’t take your baby out in the car to get them to sleep as they get used to it and always want the same each time which isn’t good for them or for you, I could go on but if you only buy one book get this one, it was probably our single best purchase.
9. Grobag Sleeping bags
From an early age our little boy wouldn’t keep still when he was sleeping with the net result that he would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and be cold having kicked off his blankets. So we decided to get the smallest Grobag we could which had a nice extra feature of an extra set of poppers that meant he wouldn’t slip down inside it being so small.
From that point to today he is still in Grobags, the quality of the materials used and the designs of them all has been great. They help from a safety point of view and if you have a baby that moves around like ours does you will not be wanting to use a blanket thats for sure.
10. Fisher-Price Rainforest Gym
Last but not least the Fisher-Price Fainforest Gym again this is another essential purchase. It can keep your baby amused for hours before they get mobile and with the lights and the music they get to hear and see new things plus as they get older then start to reach out and play with the mobiles, hours of fun for everyone.
Yes Gumpdump has been around for a little over a year now, its no big website just a little blog about gadgets and photography and the odd review or three along the way.
But 25,000 people have visited this year generating just short of half a million hits, not bad for a little website hey.
Thanks to eveyone who have visited and Happy New Year.
Add us to your RSS feeds and the post will be coming thick and fast in 2010, roll on the next decade of advancement in gadgets hey, I can’t wait.
I’m sitting here writing this on a good old laptop with a keyboard and a lovely LED backlit 13″ screen. But could I do that with the new iState, well I don’t think so I quite like having a nice keyboard to use thank you very much. But maybe this isn’t the audiance for the new iState, well thats if what the new Apple Tablet is going to get called.
So what is it going to be used for?
Well I can see it as being a good way of viewing and surfing the net and looking at news articles and yes you guessed it reading books, how will Apple cope with having a device that doesn’t have a glossy screen. So thats good but I’m not sure I want to spend upwards of £400 or even more to get one. Surely its going to have to be more than that, it might be quite good for larger stratergy games the developers have been asked to look at higher resolution games after all and expect it to have 3D graphics chips to spice things up.
Yes it will be super thin, and have a nice big 10″ OLED screen which will help to improve the battery life, it will need to be quite light aswell. I’d expect it might also have 3G as well as Wifi otherwise how would it update when you are on the move, I bet the networks will love having more devices to deal with.
So we could be looking at a device that is going to start to shape computing into the next decade or a big flop and and expensive one at that. It will probably be a great hit that many will love and an equal measure hate, me I’m yet to be convinced but I guess we will find out more on the 26th of January, launch date? I’d go for April or May pre-updated iPhone etc. likely in June.