Design and ergonomics
The Withings Thermo stands out with its sleek design. It’s hard to tell at first glance that it’s a thermometer. All in matte ABS plastic, the Thermo is well finished and pleasant in the hand.
It is powered by 2 AAA (LR03) batteries housed under a discreet magnetic cover that is easy to open.
As easy to use as it looks
Handling is reduced to a minimum. The Thermo is ready to use just one second after pressing its button. The temperature is then taken by scanning the forehead, from its center to the temple.
There’s no need to slide it across the forehead, as the HotSpot Sensor Probe’s 16 infrared sensors work up to 1cm away from the skin. The thermometer then performs 2000 measurements per second as it scans, in order to find the hottest spot in the temporal artery. The Thermo indicates by a vibration that the measurement is finished. It is more discreet than a beep and appreciable for nighttime use on a baby, for example.
The result appears on the white LED display concealed under the plastic front panel, just to the right of the button. An indicator lights up in green, orange or red depending on the range in which the measured temperature is located. The ranges are different depending on the age of the user. For an infant under 3 months, the light will immediately change from green to red above 38°C, while it will simply turn orange between 38°C and 39°C for a baby of 3 at 36 months (red beyond). For children over 3 years old, the light only turns red above 39.3°C.
Memorization of measurements
Each time the temperature is taken, the Withings Thermo offers to associate the result with a user profile previously registered via the smartphone application. It is chosen simply by scrolling through the names by sliding your finger on the right of the screen, thanks to an invisible touch zone. The thermometer keeps the last 5 in memory, which can then be transferred to the free mobile application which has no recording limit.
Compatible with the Withings Thermo app when it was launched, the eponymous thermometer is now associated with the manufacturer’s all-purpose application, to better centralize information. Named Health Mate, it offers to enter the times of medication intake, as well as comments to indicate, for example, symptoms that one would have observed during a temperature measurement.
Accuracy and Speed
Speed and repeatability
Ready to use in just one second, the Withings Thermo only needs about 4 seconds to measure the temporal temperature – enough time to scan half of the forehead without going too fast. No waiting is necessary between two successive measurements, registration in a user profile being optional. A good point if you want to make sure that the measurement has been carried out correctly.
The Withings Thermo is however distinguished by the good repeatability of its measurements, thus not requiring them to be multiplied to average them. The impact of variations in the position of the thermometer on the forehead during scanning is also quite low, thanks to its intrinsic mode of operation.
Good accuracy with a few caveats
Unlike most forehead thermometers, the Withings Thermo tends to show a higher temperature closer to body temperature. One way to avoid false negatives, but be careful not to panic. It should be remembered in this regard that the temperature taken at the level of the forehead is by nature relatively unstable (see box below). It is more stable at the level of the temporal artery, however, which is why Withings chose this mode of operation. Nevertheless, the risk of error remains higher than with a conventional electronic thermometer in rectal or even oral grip. Be careful therefore in case of doubt about the measured temperature, especially for sensitive people (infants, elderly people, etc.). Withings also indicates that its thermometer is not suitable for taking the temperature of premature babies – like most non-contact thermometers.
Nevertheless, in good conditions of use, the Withings Thermo shows good precision, fully respecting the margin of error of 0.2 ° C indicated by the manufacturer.