WHAT: Garmin Index Smart Scales
COST: £119.99 (cheapest price currently from Amazon)
WHY: Because it knows your name!
WHO: Reviewed by How Many Miles (talk to him on the forum for more details)
Cheers, the bar where everyone knows your name. I’ll always remember the rapturous welcome that Norm would receive as he entered his home from home and I’ll always remember a former senior colleague asking a bemused door steward if he knew who she was. Apparently, he didn’t and not letting us in seemed to be a lesser insult than not recognising her position in society. Heck, even Beyonce is desperate for people to say her name.
Recognition is something that many of us strive for and most businesses know that one of the key ways to retaining our custom is to remember our names. So, in that respect, Garmin have added a nice touch to the new Index scales, that I have been testing for the last few weeks. Once the relatively quick and simple set up has been completed and after the Index scales have synced with your Garmin Connect account, each time you stand upon them, they call out your name. Well, they display your’s and up to sixteen individual people’s initials. I shared my scales with my girlfriend and each time it knew instantly which one of us had stepped on. We have quite different physical forms , so it would be interesting to see how this works for a larger group of similarly-sized guys.
But knowing my name is, alone, probably not worth shelling out £119.99 . That’s right. £119.99. For a set of scales. But what other selling points do you get for shelling out these many pounds to weigh your pounds?
Well, unlike me, the Index scales are slim and sleek. With their matt black or brilliant white finish, they certainly looks the part and sit well with our smartphone generation both aesthetically and with their functionality. In fact, the Index scales really only come alive via a smartphone. They transmit your data via Wi-Fi to your smartphone or tablet, where it, in turn, displays your progress (or in my case, lack of progress).
As you might expect in this data-rich age, it doesn’t just weigh you, it measures your body fat percentage, your bone density, muscle mass and your water levels. It manages this through bioelectrical impedance analysis and although it isn’t as accurate as a Dexa scan (which you can win right HERE) , it does provide a consistent means of measuring and is arguably better than measuring body weight alone. We can become too fixated on our weight and not on our shape.
During my trial, I had incorporated more weight lifting into my training and I had noticed that although my weight only dropped a few pounds, according to my Index scales, my muscle mass had increased by a pound. Too often, we are in a rush to shed pounds and especially for us larger guys, a loss of only one pound can be viewed, in our own minds, as a failure. By looking at the bigger picture and following the trends of our body measurements, including the trusted measuring tape, we can track our progress more accurately and use the data to identity trends.
I use Garmin Connect to track my steps, runs and heart rate via my Forerunner 235 (review coming soon) and the Connect platform is simple to navigate. The graphs and statistics are easy to interpret and I am confident that, over time, I will find the ability to monitor my muscle #gainz in addition to my fat loss via my phone very useful and probably addictive.
If, like me, you are a hardcore Garmin user, the Index could add some extra tracking joy to your running and cycling activities, but if you own a Fitbit, their Aria scales are probably a better match and fractionally cheaper. Equally, if you are happy with body fat, body mass, heart rate and room temperature and air quality measurements (WTF?) you could do a lot wore than the Withings Smart Scale. At £90 it is currently better value than the Garmin Index.
I’ve decided to keep the Garmin Index scales as I am determined to see how my graphs change over the next six months and my girlfriend is keen to see if she can out muscle me (she’s a girl who lifts). Remember my name!