Today I’ll be writing a review for the FitTrack Dara Scale. A marketing agency contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I’d like to review this smart scale. They offered me a FitTrack Dara 2.0 Scale, but I was sent a Dara 1.0 scale, which was confirmed by Google searching both the model and EAN number. But, that’s OK, FitTrack has over 1.2M worldwide customers, so one would assume mostly using the 1.0 generation Dara scale. The difference between the two models is the accuracy rating, with an improved 20% accuracy rating and a 35% larger base for increased stability.
Anyway, The FitTrack Dara Scale consistently measures +/-3% off from the DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray) scan, the Gold Standard, in measurement. You get dual BIA technology that uses 2 frequencies to accurately measure body measurements. It is accurate up to +/- 250G.
The associated FitTrack app by Hume has come with lots of online criticism by FitTrack customers. These include thousands of negative review comments from the Google Play Store. But why? Well I’ll get more onto that within this review. I also discovered a free alternative that is simple, works well, and offers everything FitTrack customers want/or had previously, for free! The official Hume app currently wants users to pay £59.99 per annum, to view previously freely available information and user recorded metrics. More on that later.
So, is this scale any good? Accurate? Time to test it out!
Packaging and Contents.
The FitTrack Dara Scale comes packaged in a white cardboard box, which shows product images and specifications printed on it. The box measures 31.0cm x 30.5cm x 4.0cm and weighs 1.3KG.
Inside the box you’ll find the following: 1x Scale, 1x Multi-Lingual User Guide.
You need 4x AAA batteries too, one of the positive battery contacts isn’t in correct alignment and just makes contact when a battery is inserted. Another has a damaged contact.
FitTrack Dara Scale.
The FitTrack Dara Scale measures 26.0cm x 26.0cm x 1.6cm and weighs 1176G. The scale is made from glass, with four metallic contact patches. The glass measures 4.6mm in thickness. It’s quite small, if you have large feet they’ll certaintly hang over the edge of the scale, but so long as you’ve made contact with the four metallic areas, you’ll still get a reading. On the underside you’ll see four rubberised feet which provide grip whilst in use on hard floors. You can’t use the scale on carpet.
I really like the compact design, it’s sleek, modern looking and easy to wipe clean. Each of the metallic contact areas measure 69.7mm x 49.8mm and are slightly raised by around 0.2mm to ensure maximum contact.
The FitTrack Dara Scale can be used by persons weighing up to 400 pounds/181 KG/28.5St.
The FitTrack Dara Scale measures 17 vital body measurements. I’ll briefly go onto to explain each one and what they mean.
- Weight: Kind of obvious, but the scale measures your weight.
- BMI: BMI (Body Mass Index) is the standard formula of body weight in relation to a person’s height. It’s worth noting that FitTrack uses the US BMI scale, which is different to the UK’s NHS readings. For my readings the NHS BMI reading was around 0.2 less. In any case BMI isn’t an exact science, a BMI calculation does not include muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. This means muscular adults and athletes may be classed as overweight even though their body fat is low.
- Body Fat Percentage: The proportion of adipose tissue in body composition, it reflects the level of fat in our body.
- Muscle Rate: Muscle Rate is the relative proportion of your body comprised of muscle mass out of your total mass. A higher rate indicates higher levels of athleticism or lower levels of fat.
- Body Water: Body Water is the percentage of your total body weight that is made up of fluid.
- Bone Mass: The mineral content (mostly calcium and phosphorus) and bone matrix (collagen, fibre, ground substance, inorganic salts) within a certain volume of bone.
- BMR: BMR (Body Metabolic Rate) is the rate your body uses energy when at rest/inactive.
- Protein Rate: Protein Rate is the percentage of your total body weight that is made up of protein (muscles, bones and organs).
- Metabolic Age: Metabolic Age compares your BMR score, which is calculated weight, height, muscle and fat, against the average BMR reading for a specific age. Age becomes the benchmark used to determine your body’s efficiency.
- Visceral Fat Index: Visceral Fat is the fat that is located deep in your abdominal cavity and surrounds your vital organs. A higher number increases your risk of developing serious chronic health conditions.
- Subcutaneous Fat: Subcutaneous adipose tissue is fat located between the outer layer of skin (dermis) and the connective tissue (fascia layer)
- Standard Weight: Standard Weight is a recommended weight based on benchmarks for someone of your age, sex and height.
- Weight Control: Shows the difference between your actual weight compared to your recommended weight.
- Fat Mass: Ratio between body composition and fat tissue.
- Weight Without Fat: The total weight of everything in your body excluding fat.
- Muscle Mass: Your total muscle mass including skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle.
- Protein Mass: Protein is important in cells. This measurement shows the protein content within the body, measured by weight, is an indicator of physical health.
As you can see, the FitTrack Dara Scale offers so much, all with accurate (within +/-3% off from the DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray) scan) readings. This data is transferred onto the FitTrack Hume app. Although you’ll need to go premium to retrieve historical data, something which has upset a lot of users, especially as they had this data available for free, on a previously available app by FitTrack, now features that were once free, are behind a paywall (or are they 😉).
FitTrack Hume App.
Right, let’s start with the FitTrack Hume app, this is the official app that’s recommended by FitTrack. It’s available for free in both the Google Play Store and App Store. I downloaded the app, and immediately you need to register for a user account, which isn’t anything unusual, many brands do this. The next stage is pairing the Dara scale to the account, and this is where I started to notice glitches and errors. I paired the scale, and the first of many errors occurred.
The something went wrong message wouldn’t disappear. So I checked out the help centre, although there was no link to take me to the help centre, so I had to manually search for this section within the FitTrack website. The solution? A typical IT reply of turn it off and back on again answer! Literally, shut down the Hume app, remove the batteries from the scale, turn off/on the Bluetooth on your device, re-pair the scale all over again.
It did work…for about 5 minutes until I tried to weigh myself again. Had to do all the turn off, back on, fix one more time. Eventually I got my recorded data. You can expand each reading into a new app window to understand each metric and see your progress. Well, that’s the idea, except opening certain metrics such as Protein Rate crashes the app and closes each time. Oh, and every time you open the app you get pestered with popups for notifications and continuous premium sign up spam.
FitTrack says you can have multiple people registered on the Dara scale. This is kind of true, yes, you can have multiple people use the same scale, but not on the same registered Hume app. Each user will need their own app and sign up credentials, which ultimately means, each person will require a premium account to access historical data. Let’s not forget this costs £59.99 for a yearly plan, or £8.49 for a monthly plan, which works out as £101.88.
Originally FitTrack offered all these premium features to users for free. So those that originally purchased their scale and used the FitTrack app are now being forced into purchasing premium plans. Some of the features FitTrack say that bolster their premium package include personalised health insights and recommendations, nutrition tracking and food scanning technology, a science backed fitness program and progress reports. But let’s be real here, most of this is available elsewhere for free too. You literally can go onto YouTube or download some other freely available apps to gain all this information.
From within the app you’re supposed to be able to change the reading from the standard Pounds to either KG or Stone, but despite doing this from within the app, the Dara scale still showed Pounds. I had to manually change the reading via the button located in the battery compartment.
Here’s a strange one, on the scale itself and within the printed user guide there’s a QR Code. Scanning this QR Code will take you to this website which is for an app that can be downloaded for free from both the Google Play Store and Apple Appstore. In fact, previous Dara users may even recognise this app, yes, it’s the original FitTrack app, but under the app developer Shenzhen ElinkThings, this developer assumingly produced the original FitTrack app and sold a white label service to FitTrack. One can then assume Hume or whoever runs that company then purchased the rights of the app.
I downloaded the TrackFit app, there’s a simple registration to complete, and that’s it. You can add multiple users on the same app, see historical data, all for free. No premium plan is on the app at all. The TrackFit app is actually more clean than the Hume app, menu’s open, no crashing at all and the Dara scale paired instantly and remained paired.
Eagle eyed Dara users may even recognise the screenshots from within the paper user guide. That’s right, they’re screenshots from the above TrackFit app. You’re able to do so much from within the TrackFit app, easily see historical data, view improvements, set up reminders, change the unit measurement on the Dara scale (which actually works via the app), link up with Google Fit (yes TrackFit is recognised by Google) and also sync with your Fitbit device. All for FREE!
You can even share your progress and download your progress too. Multiple users (up to 8) can be registered on the same app, simply switch between accounts in the top left area.
The app developer has several apps available on the Google Play Store. There are even more that work with the Dara scale than just the TrackFit app, one named AIFit for example gives you more enhanced and comprehensive data, again, all for free.
No one wants an overcomplicated, unusable interface that keeps shoving premium packages down your throat. And, FitTrack customers are no different, the recent reviews on the Google Play Store are absolutely shocking, thousands upon thousands of unhappy customers, all with a common issue…the Hume app.
The same story amongst the thousands of negative reviews. A quick Google search brings up FitTrack TrustPilot reviews, again, the same story, the Hume app!
FitTrack needs to take this feedback on board and actually do something about the level of complaints they’re receiving, some of this can be prevented if they were more open on their website. For example, they don’t mention the features/functions are paywalled on the sales page, they do mention the features/functions but fail to imply these are available to premium users.
Miraculously all the reviews on the FitTrack website are 5 and 4 star rated. Totally legit innit 🙄
- Brand: FitTrack
- Model: Dara Scale
- Manufacturer Code: FT-DARA-WH01-GL
- Manufacturer Reference: N/A
- EAN: 860002552408
- ASIN: B07PYZ5P2F
- Compliance: CE, RoHS
I really like the FitTrack Dara Scale itself, as a product it’s simply brilliant, it’s accurate and compact enough to be easily stored away. But the associated software is a complete nightmare, it’s clunky, overpriced, and comes with nothing but negative feelings. However, the free TrackFit app manages to save what could end up being a completely useless product. It’s a shame as FitTrack initially had a great app, customers were happy, but then they brought out the Hume app update, users were forced over, most lost historical data and now they’re effectively forced into an overpriced and unnecessary premium package, I’m also not sure about the legality of forcing a paywall upon previously registered users who had used feature for free and now aren’t unless they cough up for subscription packages that cost almost double the product item value.
As a scale, the FitTrack Dara Scale is simply brilliant, but as for the Hume app, there’s no way I can recommend this. The only saving grace is the free alternative TrackFit app by Shenzhen ElinkThings Co.
If you’d like to purchase this item, please check out the purchasing options below. The RRP for this product is £59.00.
Product sample provided by FitTrack in exchange for a detailed, unbiased review.
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