Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

Garmin is a very premium name when it comes to anything to do with measuring distances and data. They have expanded beyond just the GPS game to also include the fitness atmosphere. The Garmin Vivosmart HR is an incredible band that combines all the functionality of a heart rate monitor and activity tracker with a smartwatch. Read on more to find out exactly what the Garmin Vivosmart HR is capable of.

Hardware

Unlike most watches, the Garmin Vivosmart HR has a low, sleek profile. It is a small little band with an OLED screen used to display things like texts, emails, notifications, and even incoming calls. Similar to the FitBit series of trackers, the Vivosmart HR is charged by a proprietary two prongs, which requires you to set the band in a cradle. It’s small enough to wear comfortably for the entire day, and shouldn’t cause any major discomfort issues if you use it for sleep tracking. On the inside of the band sits the heart rate monitor, which is nothing special – you’ll find an average amount of praise and complaints for its accuracy.

The Vivosmart HR is rated for water resistance up to 50 meters of pressure, which is impressive for any swimmers and divers. The battery is powered by a polymer lithium battery, and gets up to seven days (with a couple workouts a day) off a full charge. This includes the wake time thanks to notifications and buzzing.

Functionality

The Garmin Vivosmart HR is powered by the Garmin Connect app. This app is universal across all Garmin devices, and can even carry data over from a previous device to a new device. It also syncs with your app in the Google Play Store or iTunes account. The OLED display will track information about your workout, which will be logged in the Garmin Connect app. The Garmin Connect App includes a daily steps goal, distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate, and a whole lot more. All of this is visualized in a chart generated by the Connect app.


In addition, the Garmin Connect app includes the Move bar. This is a little line that appears on the screen of the band when you’ve been inactive for an hour, and the watch will begin to vibrate and give you instructions to move. The bar stays there until you move around for at least two full minutes, and then you can finally take control back from the Move bar.

The band itself includes all the typical smartwatch functions, such as notifications (emails, text messages, calls, social media buzzes), and whatever features you can control from the Garmin Connect app settings. However, you cannot read more than a couple dozen words of the email, nor interact with it by deleting it, archiving or, or forwarding it. The band will buzz every time a notification is interacted with, whether it’s from the band itself or from the app.

Finally, the band includes a whole host of features used to diagnose and control the environment it’s in. This includes battery life, date and time, exercise and sleep mode, as well as music playback controls.

The Verdict

To be completely open, fair, and honest, I believe that the Garmin Vivosmart HR is one incredible activity tracker. For the price of $98, you combine the purchases of both a smartwatch and an activity tracker into one nifty little package. The Garmin Vivosmart HR comes in black, purple, blue, midnight blue, and imperial purple. Reviews on Amazon all praise the watch, and thanks to constant firmware support and updates from Garmin, the Garmin Vivosmart HR will be a relevant activity tracker and heart rate monitor for some time to come.




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Steven Kahn
King of the Bears, Shark Tank enthusiast, failed network engineer, sour cream enthusiast, Nanchaku instructor, Techman, Mega Man X fan, vaporizing know-how

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