Garmin Vivoactive HR: A Very Good Product

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I’ve had a busy month. I am running, cycling, swimming, rowing and hiking. And I’ve done all this while wearing an individual watch, Garmin’s Vivoactive HR. Unlike a lot of Garmin’s other products, the watch won’t appeal to just athletes. It’s a day to day fitness band, but with smartwatch elements. It offers Fitbit a run because of its everyday-fitness money and is a compelling solution for anybody with a dynamic lifestyle.

The Vivoactive HR appears in order to do everything. There’s all-day activity tracking (for things such as steps, floors climbed, calories burned and sleep), smartphone notifications from your own iPhone or Android device, an integral optical heart-rate sensor and GPS for tracking a number of activities. As well as the types I mentioned previously, the watch can track golf, downhill and cross-country skiing, indoor cycling, indoor rowing, walking, weight training and even paddle boarding.

A lot more impressive is that it could do all this without needing to be charged every night. The watch can last up to eight days, or about 13 hours with a dynamic GPS signal. I typically got in regards to a week, but that included five days of GPS workouts of between 40 and 50 minutes.

It’s pretty clear that I’m a fan of the Vivoactive HR. It’s a wrist watch that active consumers will enjoy and the $250 (£210, AU$400) pricetag is pretty reasonable (given all it can), but there a couple of things you have to know prior to going out and purchase one.

The look won’t appeal to everyone


I must say i liked the slim design of the initial Vivoactive, however the HR model is nothing beats the original. It’s like the Fitbit Surge, but that isn’t necessarily a very important thing. The watch is big and bulky, and it’s really not something you’ll want to wear to any office, let alone a marriage.

It isn’t all bad, though. The Vivoactive HR is waterproof up to 50 meters. In addition, it comes with an always-on display, which is simple to read outdoors, but can look just a little dull when inside.

Wrist-based heart rate gets better, but it isn’t perfect


The heart-rate sensor on the trunk of Vivoactive HR will be sufficient for many people. It’s relatively accurate on easy runs so when measuring resting heartrate (it can so constantly during the day). It is also far more convenient than wearing a chest strap.

But, like all wrist-based heart-rate solutions, it isn’t perfect. I did so notice hook delay of between five to seven seconds in comparison with heartrate data recorded on a Polar H7 chest strap, but that’s pretty standard for wrist-based sensors. I also discovered that it fluctuated when performing a hard interval workout, though it didn’t perform as badly as various other devices (just like the Gear Fit 2, for instance).

Garmin’s mobile iphone app needs work


The main problem I have with Garmin’s products is software. Exactly like I experienced when reviewing the Forerunner 235, there have been occasional hiccups with syncing and link with my Android smartphone (I came across the iPhone to become more stable). Connection problems weren’t as frequent much like the original Vivoactive, nonetheless it is still a location where Garmin must improve.

All the data from the watch is synced to the Garmin Connect mobile software on Android and iOS. The iphone app delivers an extraordinary amount of information and may hook up with numerous Garmin products, nonetheless it could be confusing to navigate. Even for someone like me who has used the software for recent years, I sometimes find it hard to locate specific metrics. To put it simply, Garmin needs an improved app.

Who can purchase this?


The Vivoactive HR is suitable for active consumers. It tracks all-day activities perfectly, and the waterproof design, long battery life and multiple sport profiles make it an improved value compared to the Fitbit Surge.

As the watch is fully with the capacity of tracking running, cycling and swimming, I wouldn’t recommend it for dedicated runners and triathletes since it is missing even more advanced features they could find useful.

Garmin’s Forerunner 230/235 adds intensive training, custom workouts, a recovery advisor and VO2Max estimates (a metric employed by athletes for measuring the utmost amount of oxygen that works extremely well during workouts). Meanwhile, triathletes would like to browse the Forerunner 735XT, older Forerunner 920XT or Fenix 3. Most of these have a car multisport feature that enables you to switch sports with an individual button press, that is a useful feature when competing in a triathlon or duathlon). You do not get these upon this Vivoactive.

For the everyday walker, runner, golfer, swimmer, biker or other people, though, the Vivoactive HR is a good buy. More solid than Fitbit? In hardware, yes. In software, maybe not.

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