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Want a scale that tells more than your weight? Smart scales are it

It used to be that your bathroom scale told you what you weighed, and you had to wait for your doctor to tell you the details.

The new wave of smart scales, though, are able to provide a lot more information about your body. Some even give advice on reaching health and weight goals. Many of the most popular scales calculate BMI, while some also calculate measurements from muscle mass to water weight and bone mass.

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Several scales add the ability to upload all that information to a smart phone or computer to track body measurements and even share results with your friends.

If you’re in the market for a smart scale, we’ve gathered some intel on the most important things to know about the types and prices of smart scales.

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When you consider whether you want a scale that tells you more than your weight, keep in mind that these scales are either Bluetooth-enabled, or both Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled, according to Jill Duffy, a contributing editor who ranked smart scales for PC mag. 

She noted that Wi-Fi scales tend to cost more but are also more convenient. "To get your daily weigh-ins off of a Bluetooth scale and into the app where they'll be tracked, you need a Bluetooth device by your side," Duffy commented. "If you leave your companion smartphone, fitness tracker, or running watch in the other room, you're out of luck until it's within Bluetooth range." 

Duffy also gave Wi-Fi enabled scales a thumbs up because their syncing is more reliable. 

Other considerations range from the scale's appearance to price to whether you want to commit to a scale that will make recommendations on your approach to healthy living. Among scales with "smart" options, here are six to consider:

(Contributed by Weight Gurus/For the AJC)

Withings Body Cardio
Ranked first on the Men's Fitness compilation of the Top 5 Smart Scales 2017, this Withings model measures full-body composition, body fat, water percentage, muscle and bone mass. Men's Fitness deemed it perfect for fitness and health fiends, because it is calibrated for athletes and is the only one currently on the market that measures pulse wave velocity. Other pluses included its accuracy and compatibility with the most third-party apps and devices of current smart scales.

Price: $180/ withings.com

Withings Smart Body Analyzer
Decribed as a "one-stop health tracking scale," the Smart Body Analyzer measures your body's stats and then gives you an idea of how healthy your living environment is. It automatically syncs weight, body fat composition, heart rate and environmental data to a personalized dashboard on the company's free app. It also allows automatic uploads of measurements in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This is the No. 2 among smart scales on BestOffers.com, with a 97 percent approval rate (second only to the Body Cardio scale, which scored 99).

Price: $100/ withings.com

Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Body Fat Scale

Also top-ranked at Best Offers, this smart scale measures BMI, body fat, muscle mass, water weight and bone mass. Its auto user detect function allows as many as eight separate people to use the functions. Another plus: it has a substantial getting started guide and video for those who find setups challenging.
Price:$100/ greatergoods.com

QardioBase
The No. 2 pick from Men's Fitness, QardioBase measures BMI, water and bone mass, muscle and BMI. It's the model for those who want reminders to weigh themselves, with an alarm and "Smart Feedback" mode. It also notes progress (or not) toward weight-loss and strength goals.

Price: $150/getqardio.com

Fitbit Aria
Fitbit users will segue right into using this smart scale, which measures BMI, weight and lean mass, and body-fat percentage over time. It also includes a way to set fitness goals and use Calorie Coaching to achieve them.

$130/ fitbit.com

Wahoo Balance
According to Men's Fitness, this is the no-frills smart scale for Apple users and anyone else who's seeking a bargain. It measures BMI and weight and tracks weight trends. It's built for accuracy on its minimal functions and so easy to set up even a weight-conscious caveman could do it.

Price:$80/wahoofitness.com

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