Garmin has simply introduced the brand new Index S2 good WiFi scale, constructing barely upon the earlier first-generation Index WiFi scale launched practically 5 years in the past. This new mannequin switches to a shade show that’ll present weight trending info, serving to to visualise the conventional everyday fluctuations. It additionally provides a handful of tweaks like having the ability to customise the information widgets on-screen, displaying distinction to earlier weigh-in, in addition to rising the sensitivity of a number of the sensors driving the algorithms associated to physique fats & impedance-based measurements. General it’s a minor improve.

I’ve been utilizing the dimensions for a bit now, but in addition simply as importantly the unique Index scale for fairly a while earlier than that. So I’ve bought a fairly good thought aspect by aspect on how they work. So I’ll dig into all of the nuances between the 2, so you may work out if it’s well worth the money, since, it’s fairly costly at $149.

Be aware that I used to be despatched a media loaner of the Index S2 scale, which as ordinary I’ll ship again as soon as I’m completed right here. In case you discovered this evaluation helpful you may hit up the hyperlinks on the finish of the evaluation to assist assist the location. Oh, and the Index 1 scale is one I purchased myself some time again.

Lastly, look, I get it – it is a weight scale – so I’m gonna strive my finest (and possibly fail) at making this evaluation semi-digestible. Want me luck.

What’s new:

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Now, to run by way of what’s new on this scale, I’ve bought the Index 1 and Index S2 aspect by aspect. Each actually and figuratively. I’ve been utilizing them aspect by aspect, seeing how they evaluate for a bit now. Right here’s all of the variations between them (and sure, these are principally minor):

– Added new shade display
– Added weight pattern to point out 30 days of knowledge
– Added earlier weigh-in vs present weigh-in knowledge distinction to display
– Added potential to customise which knowledge (widgets) are proven on scale
– Elevated sensitivity of sensors
– Tweaked some algorithms associated to physique fats & different impedance-based measurements (based mostly on elevated sensitivity of sensors)
– Can now join as much as 7 WiFi Networks
– Lowered scale dimension (dimensions) very barely

That’s along with all of the baseline bits it beforehand did:

– Measures weight (lbs/stones/kg)
– Physique Mass Index (BMI)
– Physique Fats Proportion
– Physique Water Proportion
– Skeletal Muscle Mass
– Bone Mass
– Helps as much as 16 customers
– Most weight of 400lbs/181.4kg
– 9 Month Battery Life (4xAAA batteries)
– Uploads through WiFi, configuration through Bluetooth Sensible
– Each black and white variations (Professional Tip: The black model is unimaginable to maintain clear, white is half-possible).

So simply placing the 2 scales aspect by aspect you may see the primary variations are principally visible (the white one beneath is the older scale). The scale is a bit smaller, although not massively so. And naturally, that shade show versus the black/white one beforehand. Albeit, I can’t say having a shade show on my weight scale subsequent to the bathroom has been a significant enchancment in my everyday life. Now, if they may run YouTube on that factor…then we’re talkin’!

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The opposite factor Garmin says they spent appreciable time on was WiFi connectivity, seeming to acknowledge a number of the issues folks have had with the unique Index scale. Although, it does look like most of these issues have tapered out during the last 6-Eight months.

Okay, with these fast newness bits coated, let’s get it out of the field.

What’s within the Field:

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Crack open the comparatively skinny field of the S2 and also you’ll discover the dimensions chilling inside a paper wrapper, with a little bit of directions floating within the field someplace. Beneath the dimensions are four AAA batteries, and 4 toes for use if the dimensions is positioned on carpet.

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Right here’s a better have a look at the toes and batteries. You don’t want the toes if positioned on a tough floor, however the batteries are required if you need the dimensions to do something aside from act as a paperweight.

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And right here’s the dimensions sitting atop its wrapper. That is the cleanest it’ll ever be. From this second ahead it’ll look worse, even in case you by no means contact it. Mud collects at an astonishing price on this factor.

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Oh, and right here’s the guide. Don’t fear, we’ll cowl all of the bits as a part of this evaluation right here.

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Okay, let’s get all of it arrange.

Setup & Configuration:

First up we’ll want to stay the batteries contained in the S2. I belief that in case you’re investing in a WiFi linked good scale, you’ve bought the technical prowess to accurately insert 4xAAA batteries.

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Additionally, whereas on the again of the dimensions you’ll discover two issues you may poke at (moreover the springs on the battery compartment). The primary is a reset button, which kicks the dimensions into pairing mode, and the second is a selector to modify between Kilos, Kilograms, and Stones.

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I’ve at all times discovered it kinda humorous that for a digital scale that reveals a gazillion metrics based mostly on info in your account, that it depends upon a bodily change to alter the way in which weight is proven. Maybe there’s a lot of folks that want to modify shortly between the modes, I don’t know.

In any occasion, by the point you’re completed dorking round with that change, you’ll discover the Index S2 displaying off its new shade display, ready so that you can pair it up.

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That is the place you’ll seize your smartphone to set it up, utilizing the Garmin Join app. It’ll discover the gadget similar to a watch. And, as soon as this publish goes reside the picture and codename Garmin makes use of will magically change to the proper product picture and actual title as a substitute of placeholders (Garmin does this for all merchandise, to reduce leaks).

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It’ll ask you to substantiate the PIN quantity, to make sure you’re not snooping in your neighbor’s unconfigured scale or one thing.

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After which lastly, it’ll ask you for the WiFi info.

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You possibly can choose and save as much as 7 WiFi networks throughout the Index S2 scale. I suppose that could be priceless to be used circumstances the place a coach/doctor/employees/athlete is shifting the dimensions between places on totally different WiFi networks, maybe having a hotspot one + a traditional workplace/dwelling location.

I did have some preliminary points making an attempt to get the dimensions to pair with my Google WiFi visitor community, nonetheless, as soon as I set it for the first Google WiFi community it labored tremendous. There’s no technical variations between these two to my information, and Garmin isn’t clear both if maybe it was resolved by a software program replace that occurred moments afterward the dimensions.

Talking of which, when you full that connection, the dimensions will go off and obtain a software program replace for itself through WiFi.

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In truth, each time you step on the dimensions it’ll test for software program updates, and if there may be an replace, it’ll set up it the next evening between 1AM and 4AM.

Additionally, backtracking a step or two barely, you’ll outline the initials the dimensions shows once you step on it. Primarily your title, however in some way solely 4 characters are allowed. Fortunately, in my case, my first title suits simply into that.

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The app will ask you in case you’d like to ask another customers to the dimensions. You possibly can invite as much as 15 folks (thus presumably making 16 folks in complete). Whereas it’s unlikely your Brady Bunch is that huge in your home, that is extra for staff eventualities the place a number of athletes are weighing in.

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With all this completed (which actually solely takes a minute or two), you’re good to go.

Weigh-ins and Knowledge:

By now the dimensions could have up to date itself and be prepared to make use of. To make use of it, merely faucet or kick it. Which can wake it up. It is a slight change from the Index 1 scale, the place I can merely step on. In my case, merely stepping on the Index S2 does nothing. As soon as it’s awake, it’ll present the zero/empty weight:

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Go forward and step on the dimensions, and also you’ll see the load fluctuate a bit for a couple of seconds earlier than deciding on a remaining weight.

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As soon as it decides on that remaining weight, the little weight icon will flip inexperienced, indicating that weight is locked in.

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At this juncture you may step off the dimensions, it’s completed its factor, and can flash the initials/title of who it thinks you’re, based mostly in your weight and the historic weight knowledge it has. If it will get it flawed, you may merely use your foot to faucet left or proper, which iterates by way of the identified customers on the dimensions. Additionally, if you wish to discard a weigh-in, the best approach to try this is simply merely go to the “?” consumer, after which let it vanish to nowhere. Or, you may simply delete the information level afterwards on Garmin Join (smartphone or net).

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You’ll discover above it reveals +0.2 above my title, this implies I gained +0.2lbs for the reason that final weigh-in. The concept right here being that in case you wished to do a exercise (resembling a long term on a sizzling day), you may evaluate the load metric to the earlier worth shortly and simply. So that you’d weigh your self pre-run, after which once more post-run. For instance, I’ve discovered that for many 45-60min indoor coach exercises I are likely to lose about 2 kilos. Of which, the overwhelming majority of that might in fact simply be water weight.

And whereas the aim isn’t realistically to try to have 1:1 alternative of fluids throughout a exercise (particularly working), you may a minimum of use the data to information your hydration selections.

The saving of a number of knowledge factors per day definitely isn’t new within the Garmin Index scale world, it’s been doing that for fairly some time with the older scale, but it surely wouldn’t present the change in weight.

What’s new with the S2 scale although is that this little trendline chart seen on the dimensions. That is mainly the pièce de résistance of the Index S2 scale, displaying your weight during the last 30 days, in addition to progress in direction of a aim line (in inexperienced).

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Nevertheless, in case you’re coming from the earlier Garmin Index scale, you’ll first must reside with a little bit of disappointment: This marquee characteristic doesn’t truly pull any of your historic Index 1 weight knowledge in to the dimensions itself.

Significantly.

A linked scale that has all the information on the earth, in some way doesn’t pull the information in from arguably Garmin’s finest prospects (those who’re shopping for yet one more scale from the corporate). It’s mind-boggling.  So in my case, I’ve bought piles of knowledge that might present up right here – and most significantly from an arrogance standpoint, present up with a pleasant lowering trendline over the previous whereas. However nope.

And it’s straightforward to say ‘Positive, it’ll fill in over the course of the following 30 days’, and sure, it can. However that’s not the purpose. Its complete level in life is to be a CONNECTED scale. It fails in some way at this most elementary process for probably the most pro-Garmin prospects. But, it pulls within the climate knowledge simply tremendous.

In any occasion, after it’s completed displaying you that trendline, it’ll iterate by way of the next metrics: Physique Mass Index (BMI), Physique Fats Proportion, Physique Water Proportion, Skeletal Muscle Mass, Bone Mass, and Climate. One other new characteristic with the Index S2 scale is the flexibility to customise which of those metrics it’ll present every time you step on it. So in case you don’t need to see a specific metric you may disable it throughout the settings on the smartphone app:

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Be aware above although you could’t have a ‘Greatest Loser’ type scale and never present weight in any respect (simply take readings).

Because it iterates by way of every of those knowledge factors it’ll present an icon above to it indicating what it’s, resembling muscle mass beneath.

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Or bone mass or physique water share:

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And yup, even the climate, displaying the slated excessive/low for the day in addition to the present temperature. The concept right here merely being that in case you’re preparing within the morning and simply stepping into or out of the bathe, this might information your clothes selections for the day.

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In any case that’s completed, it’ll show your weight one remaining time, after which shut itself off – ready patiently for its 30 seconds of use every day.

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Behind the scenes, this knowledge is saved on Garmin Join, and thus accessible from Garmin Join Cellular or Garmin Join. There’s a widget you may add to the dashboard to point out your present weight. Alternatively, you may view extra particulars within the ‘Weight’ part beneath ‘Well being Stats’

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Within the weight part you’ll see each particular person weigh-in, in addition to trending and even the variance of a number of weigh-ins on a single day (the little gray blobs indicated on sure days with a number of weigh-ins).

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(Be aware: Above, I used to be purposefully taking a bunch of weigh-ins barely in a different way to point out a number of weigh-ins on a single screenshot)

You possibly can delete weigh-ins if you need, in addition to add a weight aim, which is able to present up in your trending charts each on the app and on the gadget itself:

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For the load scale itself there are a couple of choices within the Units menu. As famous earlier you may change the widgets, in addition to invite further customers to the dimensions.

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Now – what about accuracy? Nicely, given the present world local weather it’s a bit tough proper now to waltz in and get a flowery physique fats evaluation and such completed. Although, I’ve completed so previously and recruited a bunch of individuals to check numerous units. After I have a look at the Index 2 vs Index 1, the load is sort of at all times practically an identical – resembling .1lbs aside. The physique fats nonetheless was fairly considerably totally different, often about 2-2.5% (typically increased) with the Index 2.

I requested Garmin about this, and right here’s what they needed to say:

“For physique fats and the opposite impedance-based metrics, there’s been some under-the-hood adjustments together with tweaks to the algorithms.  The tweaks had been to permit for extra accuracy and extra sensitivity within the measurements.  There’ll nearly definitely be some noticeable variations between readings on the unique and the S2. With extra sensitivity, the S2 will enable for extra fluctuations and motion over time in these metrics in comparison with the unique.”

Now throughout the Index scales you may tweak your profiles Exercise Class (seen above), which in idea improves accuracy for physique fats measurements on extra athletic folks. Although, in my case it made no distinction. Sometimes this may be for folks nearer to single-digit physique fats %’s. There’s been too many late evening Stroopwafels for me currently for that to affect my testing.

In any case, as I used to be saying – if I have a look at impedance metrics like physique fats and muscle mass, based mostly on all of the testing I’ve completed traditionally, I don’t focus an excessive amount of on absolutely the values, and as a substitute look extra at trending. In any case, the truth that one scale has me 2.5% increased than the opposite aspect by aspect is a superb instance of that. Undoubtedly Garmin would argue (maybe accurately) that the newer know-how/sensors/algorithms within the newer scales are certainly extra correct.

In the end although, for me, I don’t put a lot worth in these prolonged metrics utilizing electro impedance like different scales (nor do I put a lot worth in folks utilizing calipers, most people screw that up – regardless of having completed it ‘a whole bunch’ or ‘hundreds’ of instances).

Machine & third Celebration Integration:

The principle attraction of shopping for a Garmin Index scale over another scale is in case you’re within the Garmin ecosystem. In case you don’t have Garmin units, then frankly the attraction evaporates fairly shortly, and there are different scales that price simply half of the Garmin scale with mainly the identical options.

However inside that ecosystem it’s fairly good. For instance, your Garmin watch will mechanically replace your weight anytime it syncs along with your telephone, which, is mainly 24×7:

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In order that’s helpful in case you’re targeted on shedding weight, moderately than discovering out three months later that your watch weight continues to be at a considerably increased worth.

Shifting to third events, issues are tremendous blended. Some platforms assist it, however many disappointingly don’t. This isn’t completely the fault of Garmin, but it surely’s additionally an space they may put some effort into convincing their companions (cough, Zwift). Assuming an app is supported although, you may hyperlink it as much as get weight knowledge mechanically despatched to it. For instance, right here’s TrainingPeaks:

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Be aware although that it is a totally different setup than your common Garmin exercise/structured exercises sync, see beneath how there’s each a Well being Sync possibility for weight knowledge, in addition to one other one for exercises/exercise knowledge. Ideally this may be extra cohesively introduced to a consumer upon any link-up, but it surely’s not at this time.

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However not like Withings or Fitbit, there’s no clear touchdown web page on all of the providers/companions Garmin helps right here. So that you kinda must determine them out your self. And, when there’s gaps, you’ve gotta determine these out too.

For instance, with the large surge in indoor coaching, apps want right weight info to precisely simulate biking programs/speeds. And whereas Zwift does assist weight scale integration, they haven’t lit up the Garmin aspect of that equation. Nevertheless, some artistic third get together apps have mainly made a bridge the place you are able to do that through a Fitbit account, however, that third get together app (SmartScaleSync.com) prices $15/12 months.

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Whereas I don’t use it myself, a bunch of individuals appear fairly pleased with it. Alternatively, for iPhone customers, there’s additionally the HealthFit app, which may pull the information that Garmin Join Cellular places into Apple Well being, and from there ship it off to third get together platforms.

However realistically, this sorta factor shouldn’t be on third events. Garmin has a strong API/platform for this knowledge, however simply appears to lack the advertising or one thing for getting these third events onboard immediately.

Abstract:

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For probably the most half, we don’t actually see main iterations in linked weight scales nowadays. Or these years. The repeatable sample is each few years Withings, Fitbit, or Garmin will launch a minor replace of their scale with a handful of recent options. Positive, a couple of folks will improve their models, however for probably the most half that is simply making certain that the product doesn’t seem like from practically 5 years in the past. Which is ok, it doesn’t must be main upgrades every time. Within the case of the Index S2, it retains the identical costly value as earlier, however now provides the brand new shade show and trending info.

Nonetheless, I hoped for a bit higher third get together assist right here – albeit that’s not completely Garmin’s fault. Whereas Garmin has completed that growth work, there’s gaps in companions selecting it up. Nevertheless, what’s firmly in Garmin’s management is the dearth of weight trendline info correctly accounting for historic knowledge for current Garmin Index scale customers.

As with all my scale evaluations, whether or not or not you discover worth within the prolonged metrics past simply easy weight is as much as you. For straight baseline weight, I discover most of those scales (even low-cost division retailer scales), are usually surprisingly constant and correct. Past that, for electrical impedance-based metrics like physique fats, the accuracy varies fairly a bit from mannequin to mannequin, and the worth may also be a bit extra questionable too.

I do typically discover WiFi scales a much better possibility than Bluetooth solely scales. WiFi scales are usually ‘set it and overlook it’, versus a Bluetooth scale often has dependencies on having your telephone close by, the app opened, Apple or Google not having damaged one thing within the latest replace, and many others… Whereas a WiFi scale doesn’t care about your telephone and does all of it behind the scenes.

In the end, in case you’ve bought a Garmin gadget and wish weight mechanically up to date in your account/units, there are usually not many clear choices. There are some third get together integrations which have half-heartedly labored through the years (like MyFitnessPal syncing), however often they finally break. This one tends to simply work with minimal fuss, even when it’s at a considerable premium in comparison with competitor choices. Now, how do I get YouTube working on that show?

With that – thanks for studying!

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