Image source: Garmin

Garmin Index S2 vs S1 smart scale: what’s new and different?

Garmin has quietly unveiled the second generation Index S2 smart scale yesterday. Read on to find out what’s new and different.

The original device has been around for some five years now. We knew a successor was coming due to regulatory approvals Garmin has snagged over the past year.

Garmin Index S2 vs S1: hardware & design

For starters the S2 is slightly smaller than its predecessor. It comes in measuring 320 x 310 x 28mm versus 350 x 310 x 30mm. Not only is it smaller but it is also not as heavy. Garmin has shaved the weight down from 2.8kg to 2.0kg.

As before the thing is powered by 4 AAA batteries. With normal use, this will keep S2 going for up to 9 months. Up to 16 people can use the scale, although if you have a family that large we imagine the battery might struggle to keep going that long.

Both the S1 and S2 are BLE, ANT and WiFi compatible. The difference is that the newer scale can connect to up to 7 WiFi networks. We imagine most people will need only 1 or 2 but the option to connect to more is there if you need it.

As far as design, the last important upgrade is the display. S2 has a high-resolution colour one while the one on S1 is only black & white.

S2 S1
Release date Q4-2020 Q4-2015
Dimensions 320 x 310 x 28 mm 350 x 310 x 30 mm
Weight 2.0 kg 2.8 kg
Battery Up to 9 months; uses 4 AAA batteries (included) Up to 9 months; uses 4 AA batteries (included)
BLE capable Yes Yes
ANT compatible Yes Yes
WiFi Yes, 2.4GHz. Can now connect to up to 7 WiFi Networks. Yes, 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Colour display Yes No
Colours Black/White Black/White
RRP $149.99 $149.99

Garmin Index S2 vs S1: functionality

Rather than just refreshing the hardware, Garmin has also made some iterative upgrades to features. Mind you, the basic functionality is still the same.

Both scales will dish out info on weight (lbs, kg, st), body mass index (BMI), body fat, water percentage, bone mass and skeletal muscle mass. If you don’t want to be bothered with the other metrics, the S2 allows you to choose a weight only option. It also allows for customisation of widgets.

The scales facilitate multiple daily weigh-ins for each person. To remind, when the original S1 was launched it would only remember one weight-in per day. The last one. This was upgraded later down the line via a software update.

garmin index s2 vs s1 smart scale what new and different 1 - Garmin Index S2 vs S1 smart scale: what's new and different?
Image source: Garmin

The S2 scale should be more precise. Garmin says it has increased the sensitivity of sensors. Useful for the weight metric but we would still take all the other metrics with a pinch of salt. Anyone who has ever used a smart scale will know that they can fluctuate quite a bit from day to day.

Other new functionality includes a 30 day weight trend that is shown directly on the display along with a comparison with the previous weigh-in. This last one is useful for athletes as they can use the info to tell how much they need to rehydrate after a hard workout.

S2 S1
Weight trend – 30 days of data on scale display Yes No
Previous weigh-in vs current weigh-in data difference to screen Yes No
Ability to customise which data (widgets) are shown on scale. Includes weather widget. Yes No
Increased sensitivity of sensors Yes No
Number of users 16 16
Metrics weight (lbs, kg, st), body mass index (BMI), body fat, water percentage, bone mass and skeletal muscle mass weight (lbs, kg, st), body mass index (BMI), body fat, water percentage, bone mass and skeletal muscle mass
Weight only option Yes No
Multiple daily weigh-ins Yes Yes

Garmin Index S2 vs S1: price, availability, should you upgrade?

Overall, the S2 comes with some nice new features. The successor to the S1 has been a long time coming.

It has a sleeker design, colour display whilst retaining the same 9 month battery life. As far as functionality, you get enhanced accuracy of sensors and some useful features which allow you to follow your trends without reaching for the smartphone app.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

If you’re in the market for a new scale it’s a no-brainer. Get the new one. It costs the same as the old one. However, if you have a working S1 scale, we feel the S2 doesn’t really bring enough to the table to warrant an upgrade.

You can check out both scales on Garmin’s website.

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