If you’ve been following my fitness tracker journey, you know that I have gone through two Fitbit Flex and now two Fitbit Charge HR. Once my replacement Fitbit Charge HR broke, I decided to look into a completely new fitness tracker and I found the Garmin Vivosmart HR. I’ve had the new fitness tracker for about 3 weeks now so this is my Garmin Vivosmart HR review:
The Garmin Vivosmart HR is similar to my previous Fitbit Charge HR in that it tracks all of the usual activities (steps, sleep, floor climbed, etc.). Both fitness trackers also track heart rate which was important to me.
I got a discount on my Garmin Vivosmart HR for being a Prime member and, it arrived in two days! Out of the box, the fitness tracker comes with it proprietary charger. I really like this charger because the Garmin Vivosmart HR snaps right into place and you know it’s charging very easily.
The first thing I noticed about the Garmin Vivosmart HR was the large display and the soft, flexible band. The look and feel is nice and it’s comfortable to wear which is important for a band that’s meant to be worn 24/7.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR looks more serious and less cutesy than the bright, colorful Fitbit. It’s something that I’ve had to get used to because I really enjoyed the Fitbit and their app; I just hated how they would break in less than a year. The Garmin Vivosmart HR has a soft, black band with a watch closure. It comes in two sizes (regular and large); I bought the regular. The fitness tracker is sleek and not overpowering on my wrist. It’s lightweight and smooth and doesn’t snag on my clothes.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR has a LCD touchscreen that is really cool to use. I changed the orientation of my display to be vertical and I love being able to swipe through my stats, my notifications, and the time. The display has a backlight that automatically turns on when you touch it and it senses darkness. I like it because, the light is not on constantly and the display is large and very easy to read.
I’ve never had a smartwatch or any fitness band that showed notifications from my phone, so when I bought this tracker I didn’t plan on using this feature. However, it synced up automatically when I paired it to my phone and I didn’t know how to turn it off (you can’t… unless you turn off all notifications from your phone), so I started using it and I love it. It’s so great to be able to glance down at your wrist and see a short snippet of your message or alert and know if you can just ignore it, or if you should respond.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR also displays the weather, and you can control your music on your phone. I find the music control feature really awesome when I am playing my music through my treadmill and I need to change songs.
There is a “Move Bar” that slowly fills up throughout the day if you are sedentary for 2 hours. This can be motivational for some, but I don’t care for it at all. A little nagging alert displays every few hours to tell you to , ‘MOVE!”; it’s so annoying. I can’t find out how to turn it off….if you know, please share!
You can set a silent alarm through the app. The vibration is strong, long, and loud — so, not as silent as I’d like, but it definitely wakes me up.
I’ve been getting ~7 days of battery life between charges but, apparently ~5 days is what you should expect. I have a few tracked runs a week, and constant HR monitoring on, so I’m very happy with the battery life.
Heart Rate Monitoring + Workout Tracking
One of the main reasons I selected the Garmin Vivosmart HR was the heart rate monitoring. Like the Fitbit Charge HR, this fitness tracker can monitor your heart rate throughout the day. The Garmin Vivosmart HR seems to lag a little with accurate heart rate readings. When I workout, it’s in a continuous tracking mode, but the range of my heart rate seems to drastically jump all over the place. After the workout, the overall heart rate average is similar to my Polar chest monitor, but the transition between high intensity and lower intensity segments of my workout seems extreme.There is one physical button at the base of the display on the Garmin Vivosmart HR. This button can take you into a few settings, but it’s also where you start tracking a workout. While in Workout Tracking mode,
Garmin Vivosmart HR – Mobile App
The Garmin app is available on iOS and it has a lot of information available. It’s taken some getting used to from Fitbit bright, easy to navigate dashboard, but I do like the Garmin app. There’s a lot of detailed charts and graphs to show you your sleep patterns, your heart rate over time, your steps for the day, sleep patterns and more. My Garmin Vivosmart HR syncs easily with my phone and it’s super fast compared to how it was with my Fitbit Charge HR.
Garmin Vivosmart HR – Conclusion
I’m loving my new Garmin Vivosmart HR. It’s a nice transition for me from the Fitbit Charge HR and it’s super comfortable to wear. The only thing I don’t care for are the Move Reminders. I especially like the notifications and the battery life.