Category Archives: Consumer Gadgets

Withings Smart Scale real world review

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.

Withing-Smart-Scales

 

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.

Will the New Withings Smart Scales help me lose weight

So I like gadgets who doesn’t. But can they help me to lose weight?

New Withings Scale

New Withings Scale

Well I’m going to put it to the test and here is the plan.

Fitbit

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.

So what is the Apple iSlate going to offer us?

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.

apple_islate

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.

Are Canon about to launch a New 3D Semi-Pro SLR?

The SLR market never stands still with Nikon and Canon looking to get as much market share as possible. Canon recently surprised many with the launch of the 7D, a Crop sensor SLR but with many of the features and nearly the same level of Auto Focus as many of the pro models.

So this leaves the 5D Mark II in a tricky spot, yes it has a stunning Full Frame sensor and excellent dynamic range but many complain about its outer focusing points not being up to the job. Now this isn’t a view I hold having used one it seems to do a great job. However I can understand the frustration of those that want a FF sensor and more of the pro level features without needing to get a huge 1D body.

So what are Canon going to do? Well if rumours are to be believed they are going to launch a 3D specifically at the Wedding / semi-pro market in early 2010. Canon  Rumors have recently reported the following specs,

3D Specs:
16.7mp FF
7.2 µm pixel pitch
DIGIC V
Small magnesium alloy body similar to the 5D2

However there is still no news on the AF or any more of the features.  Fingers crossed they add all the features from the 7D onto a FF sensor, the reported 16mp is just about perfect as well. The only worrying thing is the price, it seems that they might pitch it way higher than the 5DII but this would be a mistake. Nikon is close on Canons heals and are about to release a D800 with an updated sensor to challenge the 5DII and it has the full Pro level focusing and remote flash triggers built in.

So come on Canon get it launch oh and with eye focusing please and for not too much money and I might be about to upgrade my 40D to something new.

Could the new Google Nexus One mobile phone challenge the iPhone?

google-Nexus-One -1Now this is going to be interesting. The Android OS is pretty good, allows for background tasks and is as easy to use (just) as the iPhone so could it challenge the iPhone.

Well the Nexus One pictured above seems to be a potential challenger  and could be coming as early is January 2010 . Some would say that will be the  first of its kind to really start to push Apple’s iPhone. Checking out the specs must have Apple a bit worried. Its going to have a nice quick processor, be thinner (yes thats a shock to me as well) and have a high resolution OLED screen.

The camera appears to be a none to shabby 5Mpix and also has a flash, looking good so far? yes I think so as well. Add to that a couple of microphones (one on the front the other on the back) to help with noise cancellation and even dictation to text and its looking even better. The proof will be in the pudding however but it looks like for the first time in a very long time there could be a phone that could genuinely (sorry I don’t count the Pre or Nokia’s frankly hard to use rivals) be able to challenge the all conquering  iPhone.

So then Apple, we need a better camera, an OLED screen with a higher resolution and the same fantastic usability oh and go on better battery life in the new phone please, over to you.

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