Withings is a company known for health monitors and smartwatches that deliver features and style. So, when I got the chance to check out their Withings BPM Connect blood pressure cuff, I was excited to see what they could deliver. What I got was a health device that felt like it was pulled from a design meeting at Apple, and it just worked. What more could you ask for?
Because I am constantly sitting, and have a general interest in keeping myself healthy, I have tested my fair share of blood pressure monitors. They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all do the same basic thing. But when I unboxed the Withings BPM Connect, I was shocked at how much smaller and sturdier it felt compared to many of the leading options.
The sleek white device and soft cloth cuff all feel well-designed, and purpose built, delivering an efficient and comfortable blood pressure test that felt like a more modern experience all around. The BPM Connect is small and forgoes lots of wires or bulky tubes, making it easy to throw into most bags or purses, while still being large enough to fit most people’s arms comfortably.
“The Withings BPM Connect is built to be discreet and comfortable enough to use even in public.”
The Withings BPM Connect is built to be discreet and comfortable enough to use even in public. You will not find any loud beeps or sounds on the device, once you throw it on, you just need to push the single button, and the process will begin
When you have your phone connected, the BPM Connect will send the data over to your app, giving a sense of how your blood pressure is looking, along with a graph of historical data to judge if things are in line where they should be, or if you may want to consult a doctor. It would have been nice if Withings gave a bit more on-screen information, since pulling the phone out every time can be a bit cumbersome, but this is my only nit-pick with the design.
Since the Withings BPM Connect is a medical device, we wanted to ensure we compared it to a leading device you can find on most drug store shelves here in Canada. Looking at a Life Brand monitor, that from our testing is accurate for a home device under $100, it felt like a good comparison to see how well this more modern offering would fare.
I’ve run it through a series of tests over a few weeks just to get a sense of how it works, and I have to say I was overall impressed. The Withings device was in line with what the Life Brand cuff said and was far more comfortable to use when going about my day.
The BPM Connect inflates quickly while still being efficient and accurate. Taking about 30 seconds to run its tests, the Connect tests both the blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), and heart rate to give a clear picture of heart health. The app also allows up to eight different users, so a family can share the same cuff with it storing historical and accurate data for each user in a single household.
“Even the battery was impressive, with it only needing a single charge over the weeks of use.”
It should be noted that while the BPM Connect was accurate most of the time, we did find a few tests that were wildly inaccurate. These could have been caused by placement of the cuff, how I was using it, or the simple fact I did not sit down or properly set up the device before use. Even with these moments, I would say the readings were in line with the Life Brand monitor around 95% of the time.
Even the battery was impressive, with it only needing a single charge over the weeks of use. Whatever black magic Withings are using with the Connect, I want to know, since in that timeframe, my Life Brand needed to change its batteries twice, and they are far more frustrating than the simple USB charging the Connect needs, especially at night.
The BPM Connect is easy to use, and as discussed above, thanks to the Withings Health Mate app, your readings are displayed in a handy graph. But what makes everything so streamlined is the wireless connection the BPM allows. Given both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options, it was never an issue finding a connection for the cuff. Even when my phone was not near me, it synced the data up ensuring I could look back at the results anytime I felt like. It also made it easy to report to my doctor should they have any concerns of heart related issues, giving a general sense of how my body is tackling any number of issues.
These graphs give a general sense of your health and your heart health. For anyone concerned about health conditions, or anyone training or working out, this information is invaluable. The ability to see a general graph over weeks or months is fun to see, and useful if you are working to a goal, but please always make sure to consult your physician if you have any real concerns.
While it may seem like a gimmick, the Withings BPM Connect delivers on its promise, making it of the easier to use health tools I have had the pleasure of looking at. With the stylish design, simple apps, and overall feature set compared to a basic blood pressure monitor, the BPM Connect is an easy recommend, especially for the value it delivers compared to the competition.