Withings BPM Connect – Smart blood pressure monitor review
I purchased the Withings BPM Connect recently for a couple of reasons. The first being that the cuff on my 20+ year old UA-702 was a tad too small for my swole muscle mass. My biceps were in danger of ripping it to shreds.
TL;DR – works, does what you think it will with the Health Mate app, one problem and 2 notes.
OK, my arm is normal sized, the cuff I got with it is just small and quite often in use it’ll look fine then bunch up and ruin the reading.
The second reason (this is why you might want to purchase a Withings BPM Connect,) is that I am recording my blood pressure for a doctor and keeping up with time, 3 numbers, etc honestly does get a little challenging when you’re recording a few times a day.
We’re in month 4 of recording as a note.
Some story you can skip
I chose to purchase a Withings BPM Connect because I was, and continue to be impressed by their Scanwatch. Lemme tell you, I took off the Fitbit I purchased in 2021 3 months ago and have not once regretted it. I will stress I purchased the Connect, I did not purchase the Scanwatch. Withing’s PR sent me that beauty a while ago and I’ve been using Withings’s Health Mate app to keep track of my blood pressure most of this year.
My BP as a note is somewhat of a mystery as I’m a 30+ year vegetarian and have had hypertense blood pressure since I was 13. It went from the 130/82 average my entire life (even when I was in shape for a 80 mile inline race,) to way way higher than I’m going to put on the internet over the course of about 5 months.
I did not really do a whole lot of research on other brands, really, you got to understand their watch impressed me that much I was willing to straight up pay retail and not beg a company for a review item.
Setup will be a breeze for most. It’s remarkably straight forward from the Health Mate app.
I found what I believe to be a bug however and here’s what it is:
WiFi passwords that have spaces just don’t work with the unit and it will not tell you why it failed.
You know know two of the characters of my fairly long WiFi password.
Here’s the quick rundown of how I determined this – main WiFi router has spaces in the password, did not work, no error given. I have a secondary WiFi through my ISP I can activate, activated it, it worked fine but it had no spaces. I put spaces in secondary WiFi password it failed. Made a guest network on primary WiFi with a space, it failed, removed space, it worked. I have contacted Withings and they say they’re forwarding to the right people. Spaces aren’t really common, but your password shouldn’t be common either.
My first and second readings were absurd. I totally was considering returning this and started documenting each reading, 20-30 over what I’d expect on the top end. Grabbed my trusty UA-702 and started filming it vs the obviously wrong Withings BPM Connect and… yeah.. the Withings and UA-702 were about the same reading.
Maybe 2 on the top off, and 3-5 on the bottom off. My blood pressure was that high. It had gone up 30 points on the day I’d gotten the BPM connect.
I did some more tests throughout the day, it got worse. At this point I didn’t blame the BPM connect but had no idea what was going on… TL;DR I was coming down with the funk. I got sick that night, popped a fever, became a completely exhausted sack of human, and spent the next day laying in a chair wondering what hippo had hit me. It wasn’t Covid, or at least that’s what the test I took would have me believe.
In normal use
I like this unit because the cuff, once about the right size, I don’t have to deal with every use. I just slide it on and take it off. It seems to be perfect for that for me.
There are two options you can choose from and these are take a blood pressure reading, or take 3 and get an average. While you would assume the 3 readings are more accurate, at least for me it seemed to be the same. Taking my BP multiple times a day for months may have taught me to sit still properly though.
Unlike the cuffs that inflate then gradually work their way down, this one appears to get your traditionally second reading first. Once it’s as tight as it needs it’s done and there’s a quick deflate.
As long as you’re near your WiFi it’ll sync up your numbers and that’s that. No need for the phone around once it’s been set up.
I have no idea how long the charge lasts in this thing (it’s rechargeable,) I haven’t made a dent in it after multiple uses.
Paul finds something wrong with everything
My only complaints are that the charging port is MicroUSB instead of USB-C, and that if the cuff is getting too tight trying to abort the pressure is a bit of a pain (you can just undo the cuff, but the button is flush.)
Should I get a Withings BPM Connect?
If you’re tired of logging your blood pressure sure. I’m a unique snowflake here in that I’m recording quite a bit of numbers in an attempt to see how new medicine affects me at different times, how a slight change of diet has worked, bp after sleeps, exercise, etc…
Basically I do not want to be on BP medication and whatever makes the biggest dent is going to get my devotion.
If I was just checking once a day, if I wasn’t trying to compile trends, I’d stick with my old A&D Medical UA-702. I mean, I’m a gadget freak and all but $99 is $99.
Grab a Withings BPM Connect on Amazon, or anywhere for that matter. [search on Amazon or wherever without clicking that link if you don’t want us to get a commission on sales]