Thursday, December 24, 2015

Garmin Index Smart Scale setup and review

Contrary to what my wife may say, I don't have a eating disorder.  

I am interested in keeping my weight stable. I can lose weight pretty easily when running a lot, and can also pack on some pounds when I let my diet go to shit. Lose weight, my clothes don't fit, gain weight, my running slows and my joints start to creak. Over the past decade, I've ranged from a high of about 195 to a low of about 163. Right now, I'm in the 165-170 range for a 72 inch tall guy, which puts me at a very healthy BMI of 22.6. I'd like to stay around this weight.

A scale does help me track my weight - sending a signal if I'm going too far in either direction. A wifi scale is helpful to me --  I bought a Withings scale a few years back and found I was more likely to use it regularly with an online feedback loop in place. The scale flaked out almost a year ago - it didn't seem to work even with new batteries, and I was not interested enough to try and fiddle with it beyond an unsuccessful reset. When it worked, it was fine, but I like the idea of consolidating as much health tracking under one roof to make it easier to follow with one app.  

I pretty much live in the Garmin world -- tracking steps, sleep, intensity minutes, and total activity minutes in one app (I am also a big Strava fan, but that's for my running miles for the most part). So of course, I was very excited to read about the new Garmin smart scale from DC Rainmaker. His mini-review was promising, so I bought immediately from Amazon once it got stocked.  

I'd like to add a few things to Ray's review for those unboxing on Xmas:

- The setup was very easy in terms of connecting to the Garmin app for Android, but a little funky during the part where you connect to your wifi network (you have to do both). The app worked flawlessly, but the scale wasn't communicating with my home wifi network using the standard Verizon router. My network displayed in the menu, I selected it, I pasted my password, and waited for the connection. Even though the scale was feet away from the router, it didn't successfully connect.  I did a manual connection -- entered the SSID (network name) and then entered the password - and this worked.

- Garmin Connect mobile has a two device connection limit, and I have a Vivosmart HR + 920XT with bluetooth on and connected. Once I successfully connected and weighed, I turned off my bluetooth on my 920XT watch so I could connect the scale. This is no big deal for me, but it would be a nice feature to be able to connect three devices at once.  

- The scale is good looking - better so than the Withings scale, and has a nice set of stats, including BMI, body fat, % water, muscle and bone mass. I like the way it displays in Garmin Connect mobile.

- The scale seems to only display your last weigh in during any given day - LIFO (last in first out).

- Garmin says you should not weigh yourself within two hours of eating, drinking, exercising or bathing.  I guess that would rule out my entire day.  

So far, so good.  I'd definitely recommend for data weirdos who like the Garmin family of tracking devices.  

This post would suck without photos.

 Weigh-in (pre-run, with shorts on, to spare all of us any unpleasantries)

Recognizing me as MPB (midpackbiped) 

Shorts-on BMI

Shorts-on body fat %

Percentage water - definitely not dehydrated

Bone mass in pounds (should be 15% of my body weight - about 24 pounds -- but not sure how accurate this is, and I am small boned)