Garmin VivoSmart HR Review – Activity Tracker

Garmin VivoSmart HR Review

Whatever happened to the days where if you wanted to get in shape, you would just exercise and you would watch what you eat on a daily basis?  Well, those days are gone.  With technology, we now track and chart every aspect of our lives.  Personally, I think we go a little overboard on some of the metrics, I think the activity watch crazy has been pretty cool.  I first got mine about a year ago and have to say it has made me more aware of my activity.  So today I thought I would share the Garmin VivoSmart HR Review with you.

Garmin has been in business since 1989, so while wearable watches are new, Garmin isn’t.  Garmin started out designing a GPS unit that sold for $2,500.  Their first customer was the US Army.  I am pretty sure you understand why the Army wanted this.  While the Garmin VivoSmart Hr isn’t a GOPS watch, it does offer some very cool features and let’s just say it does have it’s hiccups.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Review – Activity Tracker

Garmin VivoSmart HR Review

Garmin VivoSmart HR Price

As of the date of this article, the price of the Garmin VivoSmart HR is about $100.  During the holidays and spring, you should be able to get a little bit better deal.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Overview

Garmin VivoSmart HR ReviewThe VivoSmart is by no means the top of the line activity tracker, in fact it doesn’t even have GPS.  The ideas of the VivoSmart is a simple solution to help keep you up to date on your daily activities and provide you with some basic metrics.

Besides using the tracker as a watch, the VivoSmart HR will track

  • Daily Steps (You can change the daily goal in your app)
  • Floors Climbed
  • Activity Intensity – Tracks daily, but shows you the weekly number
  • Calories burned per day
  • Miles traveled per day
  • Current heart Rate & resting heart rate

Garmin VivoSmart HR Review

You can also track various activities such as running, walking, cardio or it has an option for other.  This is done by the button on the front of the watch.  This button will also allow you to see various options, battery life, sync and more.

Garmin VivoSmart HR ReviewGarmin designed this to be used as your daily activity tracker.  Now Garmin didn’t stop there and release the watch and say we are good to go.  They also tried to put some important features on the watch to make it more smart and more useful.

With the watch you can check the weather, control your music and even get alerts right on your phone.

Since this is an activity tracker, the watch has an alert which tells you to “Move” if you have been sitting to long.  We all know that we sometime sit down and time passes very quickly.  It’s nice to have that reminder to tell us to get off our butt’s and get a little walking in.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Specifications

I am not going to get into all the specification as Garmin does a great job laying them all out for you on the Garmin Website.  There are a couple things I do want to cover and let you know about.

First the watch is water proof.  I am not sure the exact rating, but I have taking showers with the watch on and it works great.  I do a ton of swimming and leave the watch on and never have had any problems.  I have been caught in the rain and it still works.  So for your daily activities, you don’t have to worry about the water ruining the watch.

Second is the battery.  The watch uses a rechargeable battery and you will get between 3 to 5 days before you need to recharge it.  The length really depends upon how much you are using it on a daily basis.  If you are looking at the weather and all our text messages, obviously you will get less battery life.

The screen is a touch screen and very responsive.  Just swipe to the next screen and you can see any of your metrics.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Style

The style is really up to you.  For me, i like the looks of the watch.  I do have a buddy who doesn’t like the looks of the watch, but he is very into watches where i am not.  Personally I like the lower profile, the all black, sleek look.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Durability

I am probably not the best person to seek advice for durability since this is only the second watch i ever have owned.  The first watch lasted about 3 days and broke.  The only reason i have this watch is for the activity tracker.  If it was just a watch, I wouldn’t be wearing it.

In regards to durability, this watch is amazing.  I am not a softy on products and could say i am a little rough around the edges.  I tend to walk into walls when going around corners and the watch is always hitting the wall.  I wrestle with my kids all the time.  I am in construction settings.  With all this and a ton more, the watch has made it through the past year, which is amazing.  Who every designed the durability of this watch, well let give them a raise.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Functionality

Garmin VivoSmart HR ReviewI am a huge fan of the functionality of the watch.  Using the watch is very easy.  I can set up what i want to see on each screen using the app.  Then all i have to do is swipe screens and I can see my information.  There is a small button on the front of the screen which allows me to check the battery life and set up an activity such as running.

The functionality of the watch is very user friendly.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Software

Garmin uses their own software called Garmin Connect.  Through this app you can set up your watch and look at all your metrics in greater depth.  I love how they layout out the software.  The main screen is a very nice overview of what you want to see.  You can scroll through more screens and get more in depth such as your sleep patterns, your steps, activities and more.  The color combination is easy on the eyes.

Every screen allows you to drill down to more specific metrics, plus you can see all your goals and highest levels achieved such as most steps in a day.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Pros

There is a lot to love about this watch.  The watch is comfortable and the activity tracker seems fairly accurate

  • I love the durability of the watch.  The watch has made it through some of the toughest conditions that I have throwing at it and it still works great.
  • I love the ease of use with the watch and the software.
  • The customization with your workouts and what to show on the watch face

Garmin VivoSmart HR Cons

Software updates are awful.  I get it that some updates aren’t as planned, but if that’s the case, yo should fix them right away.  One update showed my stairs climbed as way off.  I was getting about 50 floors climbed per day.  It took two weeks to fix with the next update.  I had one update where it wouldn’t sync my workouts.  So I lost a bunch of workouts.  I ended up calling after a week of this.  They told me they new about the issue and would be having an update soon.  Well it took another two weeks.  I just really feel like every update has it’s issues and Garmin is very slow to fix the issues.

Garmin VivoSmart HR Final Thoughts

Overall I think Garmin did an awesome job with the design of the watch.  The watch is comfortable and stylish.  Not only is the watch easy to use, bu the software behind the watch is just as easy.  I love how I can drill down and really see all my stats on the app.  While they have a long way to go with their coding and software updates, for the most part the watch is daily accurate and will help you achieve your goals.

I love the simplicity of the watch and the ability to see my activity while having a couple smart features on my wrist.  The watch has pretty good reviews on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars, so that says a lot about the watch.

Software Interface
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I grew up in a small town in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I worked my way through DePaul University in the construction industry. After college I worked in the financial industry and school system. I have also been in the technology field for a couple of years. Currently I write for GT Today and another power tool publication, plus I am a part time firefighter. My only hobby is spending time with my wife and kids.


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