Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

Garmin's Wristband Heart Rate Monitor vs Fitbit Charge HR?

The name Garmin is not always associated with wearable technology as they have carved a superior brand in the world of navigation. With the innovative Garmin Vivosmart HR, they have made a splash and shown technology of any kind is their forte.

This is a fascinating piece of technology that has entered the market and begun to create excitement. Whether it is the sleek look or the fascinating features, it is a complete package right from the get go.

This wristband heart rate monitor watch is half fitness tracker, half smartwatch and has a sunlight readable touch screen with five day battery life.

As a fitness tracker, it offers 24/7 continuous heart rate monitoring, smartwatch- style notifications, workout tracking and sleep tracking. A real direct competitor to the Fitbit Charge HR – one of our favorite fitness trackers (and in our opinion – the best fitness tracker).

Garmin Vivosmart HR has three factors going for it

  1. It can show caller notifications (both on iPhone or Android) that your phone receives
  2. The fitness heart rate monitor is waterproof for both swimming and when you shower
  3. It has a large touchscreen display, which permanently shows the time on the screen, and it is easy to read outdoors.

But these benefits makes it far more expensive than the Fitbit Charge HR.

The Part Smartphone Aspect

Adding smartwatch notifications is a smart move which gives it a big distinction over the Fitbit Charge HR. The smartphone alert buzzes and shows the kind of notification from text messages, emails, calendar events and social media alerts … and a snippet of the message.

The 13 Features

The Garmin Vivosmart HR features

  1. Provides Data For Steps, Heart Rate, Distance Covered, Intensity, Calories, And Floors Climbed
  2. Bar And Vibration Alerts To Encourage Activity
  3. Comfortable Band To Wear Around The Clock
  4. High-Grade Display Visible In Sunlight
  5. Control Music Through Garmin Vivosmart HR
  6. Calendar, Text, Call, And Social Media Alerts Offered
  7. Touch Screen For Easy Use
  8. Rechargeable Lithium Battery For Longer Battery Life
  9. Shock Resistance Offered To Better Performance
  10. Sleep Monitoring Provided To Assess Sleeping Patterns
  11. Automatic Sync To Connect With Computer For Transferring Data
  12. Customizable Screens
  13. Sleek Design For Easy Use And Aesthetic Appearance

A Video Snaphot of Garmin Vivosmart Hr

A 30 second video presentation of the Garmin fitness bracelet heart rate watch.

Accurate Tracking

How accurate is the tracking when it comes to steps covered, distance, heart rate and all of the other information relayed back to the user? It is as accurate as one would want it to be. It gets it down to a tee, and that is perfect for those who want pinpoint accuracy.

This is wearable technology which puts most of its emphasis on performance and does not let that fade away when it is running.

A watch that looks nice, but does not run well does not bode well for the user. The Garmin Vivosmart HR  makes sure both things are provided in one package for the user to enjoy.

Significantly Powerful Variation In Alerts

Whether it is alerts associated to Garmin Vivosmart HR built-in app or based on texts and calls being received, the alerts are exceptional. They are prompt and easy to discern when movement is taking place. It is easy to get lost while running or moving about, but these alerts are short and snappy enough to warrant attention.

The variation in alerts and how accurate they are can be exciting for those who are on the go.

Being able to remain calm while moving around knowing the watch will take care of itself is great news.

Is The Fitness Tracker Watch Easy To Use?

This is wearable technology made with an eye towards easiness. There are options which don’t come across as being comfortable to use, which can be disconcerting. Spending hours fiddling around with the watch to get it to remain accurate is troubling, and this is where Garmin comes out on top.

This is an easy to use option, which will go hand in hand with the activities that are being carried out. The touchscreen functionality is a delight.

Why use technology that is not easy to use and is going to give trouble? This is an exceptionally well-crafted option, which has refined what it means to buy wearable technology in this day and age.

The look of it

The Garmin Vivosmart HR is an appealing option being sold right now. It has the sleek elegance desired from a fitness heart rate monitor such as this. It is well shaped and lightweight for those who are hoping for something soft and smooth on the skin.

The Vivosmart’s design is similar to the Charge HR, and it also features the same wrist style wraparound band, with a standard watch buckle clasp.

At the back of this heart rate monitor watch there is a underbelly hump (just like the Charge HR). It sticks out slightly from the back of the device which monitors your heart-rate throughout the day.

Just like the Fitbit, the Vivosmart also measures steps taken, distance covered, calories burnt, flights of stairs ascended, sleep logging (both deep and light sleep) and your minutes or the time being active.

And you can set up a silent alarm that will buzz gently to wake you up in the morning, and there is a reminder feature to alert you after being inactive for a period of time. This “inactive alert” nag tech feature is quite effective.

But there are four issues

Firstly, the Vivosmart is bulkier than the Fitbit Charge HR. It is chunky.

Again, this is a personal taste, especially when it comes to the taste of the heart rate monitor watch design. The bulky design may suit others, but not me.

This is one of those choices that may meet all aesthetic requirements for you wanting perfection. Why get a solution that does not have the artistic elegance one would require? It should not be embarrassing to put on a watch such as this, and it is up to you if the Garmin Vivosmart HR wins.

Secondly, the Garmin’s mobile app is not versatile and not as stable for syncing. In fact, battery life was reduced during the issues with syncing. In contrast, the Fitbit App is far superior and far simpler to use.

Thirdly, the vibration mechanism inside the Vivosmart HR is terrible. Every buzz it makes is quite noisy and the sound frequency is too high pitch. as well

The fourth issue .. the Fitbit Charge HR fitness tracking capabilites are far more superior.

Personally for me, and for some people these four drawbacks matters. However, the Vivosmart is still one of the better fitness trackers and it is worth considering, especially for those who are looking for part fitness tracker and part smartwatch (for phone notifcations).

Garmin Vivosmart HR App

The Connect Mobile app is not as stable for syncing as the Fitbit app.

Overall the design and navigation is a little complex and a tad overwhelming. So if you are a beginner, it will be mind boggling.

As well, there are simply too many menus to browse through.It will take time to get use to the app, more than 2 weeks. Unlike the Fitbit App, it literally took me a few minutes to get it going.

The data it provides are detailed with a host of graphs and charts that track your activity, but it is a bit confusing.

The app itself provide newsfeed and snapshots of your daily acitvities, active minutes, historical data, periodical summary which you can compare over 7 days, 4 weeks or 12 months.

The Fitbit App has the edge over this one.

garmin vivosmart hr review

Should You Get The Vivosmart HR?

Garmin is a well-renowned company that has made its mark in the world of wearable technology. This is an exceptional product that has been crafted with care and the software within the Garmin Vivosmart HR is what makes it incredibly powerful and efficient.

The Vivosmart is more chunkier as the Fitbit Charge HR. It maybe an eyesore for some, but the fitness watch with heart rate monitor does a more than decent job at tracking heart rate and activities.

So if you are in the market for a fitness tracker that offers part smartwatch capabilities on your wrist then the Vivosmart is worth considering, especially if you want a water resistant fitness tracker.

Within the market of wearable technology, the Vivosmart HR does stand out because it is efficient with what it can offer. There are no disadvantages to having this around your wrist at all times while being active. It is quick to alert you and smart enough to make adjustments with tracking requirements as a person’s activity levels change.

That is why Garmin Vivosmart HR is on our list for best wrist fitness trackers – Visit Amazon Here.

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is Even Better

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is a fantactis upgrade to Vivosmart HR – whilst it performs much like it’s predecessor, HR+ now has GPS location feature for recording one’s running from distance, mapping, pace and more. As well, it has a dedicated mode for running, which makes it a perfect fitness watch band for runners and social runners. On top of all that it has smartphone notification smarts which is one of the best out there. And for around $50 extra, you get the GPS tracking, Move IQ and other activity modes.

Image sources : youtube video, App dashboard – Garmin