Garmin Index Smart Scale vs Omron Body Composition Monitor Review

It’s time to take the first step …

Just one step can now tell you not only your weight but your body fat, visceral fat, BMI, muscle percentage, calories and even bone mass.

The Garmin Index Smart scale gives you a way to see the results from your wearables as data and review your progress with ease. The scale is designed to give you a full picture of health and connect with Garmin products to motivate your progress further.

Before there was Garmin, Omron scales were the most popular choice of body measurement scales in the industry, trusted by health professionals and PT’s to monitor weight, BMI, body fat, muscle and visceral fat. How do they compare? Will the Garmin Index Smart scales live up to the widely used Omron scales?

Omron Body Composition Monitor Scales
Omron Body Composition Monitor

Garmin Index Smart Scale
Garmin Index Smart Scale

Set Up

Garmin Index Smart Scale

The Garmin Smart scale setup requires wifi and bluetooth and connects with either the pc (via an extra usb extension) or to the Connect mobile app. Setting up the scale, according to the instructions, was simple. In reality, it’s only easy when you know how. I set the scale up via a connection with the mobile app.

Garmin Index Smart Scale

The scales first need to connect to your wifi connection and then once this is successful pair with your device. This was probably the most difficult thing with the scales, whereas with the Omron you can just get on and go (more about this later) the Garmin scales require some extra tlc. However, once they were eventually successfully paired, any data read by the scales will then be downloaded straight to the app. Simple.

Tip:If you don’t already have a user profile on the Connect app, you’ll need to set one up, all you need to fill out is your age, gender, height and weight. The weight will change automatically after you weigh yourself, so a rough guess is fine.

Garmin Index Smart Scale

Omron Body Composition Monitor

The Omron setup requires you to enter your gender and height manually on the device and then step on the scales holding the hand held attachment at shoulder level, it’s a simple and easy set up that is done within minutes. You can enter your details as a stored user, but the set up is so simple as a guest, using either method is fast and effective.

Omron Body Composition Monitor

Winner: Omron. Connecting to the wifi and then adding users was time consuming and so for the set up the Omron was quicker, although in the long run it will probably take more time.

Users

Garmin:

The Garmin scale can be set up to have up to 16 automatically detected users, however they do all have to be “friends” with the lead user via Garmin Connect. The main user can then use the app to send requests for other users to register on the scale. Every user sets up a unique name of up to four digits, for which I chose Vick, original. I know. Once I step on the scales, within a few seconds my name appears and the scales begin taking my readings. The scales automatically detect each user via their weight, so there could be issues if two users are of a similar build, however you can tap the display to scroll through users until you meet the right details.

Omron:

To set up a user profile on the Omron, you repeat the regular process, but instead of entering yourself as guest, you can select a profile number of 1- 4. This is where the Garmin wins hands down, as it can store 4 times the profiles of the Omron and recognises each automatically.

Winner: Garmin. 16 automatic vs 4 manually entered users, the smart scales quadruple the Omron.

How they work:

Garmin:

Once you’ve made it through the setup, using the Garmin scales couldn’t be easier.  Simply step on the scales and weight (see what I did there). The scales then guide you through your personal statistics, body weight to body fat %, water %, muscle and bone mass. Those are all the functions of the body fat scale in a nutshell.

These measures are taken via electrical impulses. The bodyfat on scales like these are measured by sending an electrical pulse up one leg and down the other. This is where some will argue that scales readings are inaccurate as your bodyfat will differ before and after a pedicure, with the condition of your feet affecting the readings.

Omron:

The Omron uses the Bioelectrical Impedance (BI) method and body fat is shown as a percentage of body weight. The scale also measures your BMI, muscle, visceral fat and resting metabolism. Using the Omron is simple and by holding the unit in front of you within a few moments you will have a reading. The screen flashes your results quite quickly, so you may have to watch the loop a few times before you can record all the details.

Winner: Garmin. It’s almost impossible to get the weigh in wrong with the Garmin scales, all you need to do is stand on them and Garmin does the rest. These details are automatically loaded to your app as well so there is no need to rush for a pen and paper. The Omron reading is fast, but once you’re off the scales, it’s down to you remember the units and take note.

Garmin Connect and Garmin Index Scales

The Garmin Connect scales claim to send your data directly to the app, which it does, however the findings are not obvious to find. Starting on the main page, rather than featuring your statistics on the “snapshots” page the data is stored in the weight section. This can be found via the following path Garmin Connect > More > Health Stats > Weight and then scrolling down to the bottom of the page. The app will give you an overview of your weight from the last 7 days, 4 weeks and 12 months.

When combined with a fitness tracker such as the Garmin Vivomove (link) this provides a complete picture of the user's health, enabling them to track their activity and progress to find the perfect fitness regime.

Results

Both scales boast accurate results, however the variation between the two scales was drastic. The weight remained consistent to within .1 of a kilogram between both scales, the body fat % was 10% greater on the Omron than the Garmin Smart scales.

Whilst there are differences between the scales readings, deciphering which of the two is actually most accurate isn’t necessarily important. Whilst bodyfat scales can give a good indication of body fat percentages, the only real accurate way to measure body composition is through hydrostatic weighing.

The other factor to consider with both these bodyfat scales is fat distribution. Why is this important? As for example those who carry more fat around the abdomen (apple shapes) are at risk of to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers, while fat in the thighs and hips (pear-shapes) is not a health problem and may even be protective.

Price

Omron scales retail with a starting price of around £50 compared with the Garmin Smart scale which retails at around £120.

Garmin Index Smart Scale vs Omron Body Composition Monitor


Measure

Garmin Index Smart Scale

Omron Karada

Weight

Body fat

Muscle mass

Body water

Bone mass

BMI

Visceral fat

Resting Metabolism


Verdict:

Winner: Garmin.

After the initial set up confusion, the Garmin was easy to use, saves all your data automatically and has the most user options available. For me, the scale wins because you can open your data as part of the app and view your stats alongside the feedback from the rest of your days activity, making it easy to associate weight loss/ gain and activity as well as your calorie intake. Using the Connect app has every area covered from calories burned to sleep, food intake and now weight. Combining a Garmin watch such as the Vivomove with the smart scale creates the perfect assistant to achieving your goals, you’re given all the metrics, the rest is down to you.

 

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