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Garmin vivosport, Fitness/Activity Tracker with GPS and Heart Rate Monitoring, Slate, L
- Work out inside, or use built-in GPS to accurately track activities outside
- Includes fitness monitoring tools such as Vo2 Max and fitness made estimates
- All-day stress tracking helps you stay in touch with your body's response to potential stressors
- Sleek, modern, and durable design
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There's a lot of get-up-and-move packed into this activity tracker. Though it's compact enough to suit any occasion, vívosport features built-in GPS, which lets you accurately track your activities outside while also including a variety of indoor activities. It brings you fitness monitoring tools and all-day stress tracking plus handy connected features, including automatic uploads to our Garmin Connect online fitness community. It's the complete activity tracking package.
From the manufacturer
Smart Activity Tracker with Wrist-based Heart Rate and GPS
There’s a lot of get-up-and-move packed into this activity tracker. Though it’s compact enough to suit any occasion, vívosport features built-in GPS, which lets you accurately track your activities outside while also including a variety of indoor activities. It brings you fitness monitoring tools and all-day stress tracking plus handy connected features, including automatic uploads to our Garmin Connect online fitness community. It’s the complete activity tracking package.
Slim Design, Vibrant Style
With all the features and sports it packs inside, you’re going to be surprised by just how thin this activity tracker is. Not only does it complement every outfit and every occasion, it’s perfect for all-day wear, especially since it’s safe for swimming and showering. The always-on Garmin Chroma Display color touchscreen is responsive and bright enough to see — even in direct sunlight. The vívosport activity tracker is available in 3 trendy 2-tone styles, so choose the color combination that speaks to you.
- Work out inside, or use built-in GPS to accurately track activities outside
- Includes fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age estimates
- All-day stress tracking helps you stay in touch with your body’s response to potential stressors
- Features always-on color Garmin Chroma Display and slim profile
- Get connected features such as smart notifications, LiveTrack and more
- Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; 8 hours in GPS mode
Sports on the Go or at Home
Built-in GPS gives you the freedom to take your activities outside. During a run, walk or ride, vívosport is able to track distance, time and speed or pace and even map it out for you on Garmin Connect. It’s also preloaded with additional timed activities, including strength training and cardio, so you can work out the way you like.
Daily Fitness Monitoring and Stress Tracking
Monitor key aspects of your fitness and wellness with help from Elevate 24/7 wrist-based heart rate monitoring. With the heart rate data it collects, vívosport is able to estimate your VO2 max and fitness age, 2 indicators of physical fitness that can improve over time with regular exercise. It also tracks your HRV (heart rate variability), which is used to calculate and display your stress level. The goal is to make you aware when physical or emotional sources cause your stress level to rise so you can find a way to relieve the pressure.
Once paired with your compatible smartphone, you’ll have access to a full suite of smart features that bring convenience and handy features to your wrist. Get text messages, social media updates, emails and more, find your phone, access music controls and use the LiveTrack feature to let friends follow your activities. With auto sync, your finished activities will even automatically upload to Garmin Connect.
Share and Compete
Syncing your activities to Garmin Connect is for more than just storing your data. Garmin Connect is a thriving online community where people on the go can connect and compete by joining challenges, encourage each other’s successes and even share their triumphs via social media. Garmin Connect is free and available on the web or on your smartphone with the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
|vívosport||vívosmart HR+||vívosmart 3||vívosmart HR|
|Wrist-based heart rate||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Built-in running apps||✓||✓||✓||-|
|Built-in cardio app||✓||-||-||-|
|Built-in strength app with rep counting||✓||-||-||-|
|Battery life||Up to 7 days; 8 hours GPS mode||Up to 5 days; 8 hours GPS mode||Up to 5 days||Up to 5 days|
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I woukd defintely recommend this device to someone who is after a fitness tracker with GPS and features of a smart watch.
Top international reviews
When I got it, I started using it immediately. The GPS can be a little slow to acquire a signal but maybe that is just based off of my location? Sometimes it takes less than 10 seconds. Other times I have had it take more than 5 minutes to acquire a signal while standing in the middle of a field without any overhead obstructions... The tracking for running and heart rate seems very accurate and the auto-sensing for weightlifting of reps and exercises is also fairly accurate.
My biggest complaint is the wrist strap (which is exactly what I was afraid of having read reviews before purchasing it). After only having worn it for 4 days, the rubber strap started to develop a tear starting from the inside corner of the hole that I wear it on. Once the tear started, it only got worse and larger. I am not wearing the strap too tightly as it can still move about my wrist rather easily. Conversely, it has to be born with a certain degree of snugness or it won't be able to get accurate readings for the heart rate sensor.
My second biggest complaint is Garmin's customer service, and more specifically, lack thereof. I submitted an email to their customer support department through their website on the 5th day after I realized the tear was only going to get worse. In it, I included my information and product SN. In an automatic reply, I was told it would take 1-2 business days to receive a reply regarding my issue. After 4 business days without a reply, I started an online chat with Garmin support. They took the position that "any band can tear" but did concede it to be unusual with it happening so quickly. Begrudgingly, Amber, the Garmin representative in chat, suggested I exchange the product with the retailer I bought it from. She said it would be faster if they replaced it instead of Garmin. She did give me the option to have Garmin exchange it though which I took her up on. Rather than give Amazon the burden of replacing this defective product, I wanted Garmin to have to deal with their own problem. Overall, the chat had an extremely unapologetic and rather unfriendly tone. It was almost as if it was my fault the strap tore in 4 days. Maybe my standards are too high having dealt with Amazon for years and others who value their customers and strive to provide great customer service?
In short, the wrist strap developed a tear in less than a week, Garmin did as little as they could to help me, and I have initiated an exchange for a new device (the entire unit has to be replaced, not just the wrist strap). I will update this should anything change.
(It’s worth taking a look at the rating breakdown. Overall, the Vivosport gets a 3.4, which is not great, and way below the Fitbit Charge2’s 4.1* But look below those numbers. Usually low-rated items are pulled down by a lot of 1-star reviews: shoddy workmanship, or a lot of people receiving lemons. It only has 17% here. The problem is, only 36% 5-star reviews. Only a third of the buyers love their watch. And the 4 and 5s together just hit 52%. About half the people rate it above average, half don’t. The 1, 2, 3 and 4-star numbers are all within a point of each other. That’s so rare. People don’t all hate this, they’re just widely dissatisfied. Note that the Fitbit Charge3 has a low rating in 2019, but check the dates on the huge mass of 1-star reviews pulling it down, and read them. That product clearly went to market unready in Fall 2018, with huge software bugs and quality issues the first month. You can tell by looking at the later reviews that they corrected them pretty quickly. Terrible mark against Fitbit, and those reviews will deservedly screw their score forever, but it’s no longer an issue if you’re buying now.)
Let’s start with why I switched to Garmin after years with Fitbit: 1) The wristband kept falling apart every 8-10 months on my Fitbit ChargeHR, and 2) Garmin had a longterm rep for heartrate accuracy. So I bought this model, disliked it immediately, but first thought I’d get used to it—and figure out work-arounds—and also I was too cheap to give up the price I’d paid. Meanwhile, Fitbit discontinued the bad model I’d gotten unlucky with, replaced it with a completely different band design for the Charge2 that hasn’t shown problems, and Wirecutter did exhaustive comparisons and rated Fitbit higher on heartrate. (And also noted how poor Garmin is on sleep-tracking, which also matters to me. They said it’s REM and deep-sleep calculations are less accurate, and it doesn’t even attempt to record naps.)
What really bothered me about the vívosport, though, was the user experience. I rarely put a lot of emphasis there, because I prioritize function, so the user interface has to be woefully deficient for me to choose on that basis. It is.
- It starts with the really thin design. I thought that was a feature, because I like slim, but this model demonstrates how you can push a good thing too far. It’s so small, they can get very little info on the screen. Look at the picture: they have to break up the time onto 2 lines to make it large enough to easily read. They can only get 1-2 pieces of data on the screen, vs 3-4 on my Fitbit. (I have my Fitbit home screen set to time, date, heartrate and steps, each on a separate line.
- Terrible user interface (compared to Fitbit). It's a tiny dark readout, so when I touch the face to make the light go on, the slightest movement is detected as a swipe--which can be hard to back out of. Often it starts a clock or something I don't want, and I just have to wait it out.
- There seems to be no way to get battery life in on the list of items to display. (This is insane.) Other reviews have also complained. I get one warning that I'm running low, and if I don't happen to notice that before it disappears (perhaps sometimes while sleeping?) it's dead. Fitbit made it incredibly easy to monitor. Why is it nearly impossible on this? It's a key item, since a charge lasts less than a week.
- It is super-easy (too easy) to delete sections from my iphone screen, but hard to get them back. If I move my finger slightly, it detects it as a swipe to delete. To get it back, took me awhile to figure out I have to drill down into edit My Day, and there's an item at the bottom to restore deleted sections. It should be the opposite: hard to accidentally remove an item (I hardly ever want to), and easy to restore.
- The Intensity Minutes is my favorite feature, in theory. So many problems. It only shows up if I have minutes that week. So Sunday night, it disappears, and I can't find ANY way to look back at the previous week until I earn some for this week--which I don't do every day. (Once I have some for the current week, then I can swipe back through previous weeks on my phone display. But until then, there seems to be no way to get to it.)
- The calculation of the intensity minutes is also a mystery (some very active situations, I get little or none, and vice versa)--and it doesn't correlate them to an activity--you just have to guess. It breaks out medium and full intensity (and doubles your minutes on the latter): but it bundles them together into a total, and then totals them up for the week. So the very first event of the week, you can see what you get for each, but them it’s all lost in total. You also can’t see what you earned that day (or that event), unless you write down the previous total each morning to subtract it. I couldn’t find any way to break it out, with lots of online searching.
- Bad at heartrate, especially on elliptical, etc: 20-30 BPM low. (When I walk around right after, much less strenuous, it jumps way up. Seems to be trying to guess what I'm doing, and when I'm stationary on the machine, it discounts the actual results. This has been 4-5 per week at the gym.
- The recognizing activities is terrible. On a 30-minute walk or bike ride, it will often recognize it the last few minutes. Sometimes as I'm coming in, it will advise me that activity started.
- I hated the setup of the primary My Day screen for many reasons. It doesn’t feel like they ever user-test any of it: some coding nerd thinks it’s a cool idea and designs it without ever consulting users.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It annoyed me in a dozen little ways. Nothing was easy to get to or work with. I had found the Fitbit incredibly intuitive, and was using it easily the first day I put a tracker on. I wondered if I had just gotten used to those old ways, but after a year, same exact issues. And I’m very much a tech-jumper: I switch platforms all the time, and adjust quickly, don’t mind it. This wasn’t an adjustment issue, just terrible user interface.
(I’m surprised how much time I just put into this review. But I spent a year of frustration, and hope to spare someone that—or at least fair warning.)
My biggest complaints about it are that it is not that accurate at stairs, and it seems to be confused by elliptical type machines. I have an ARC, and the calorie and step counts from the ARC diverge from garmin's interpretation of events pretty wildly. Also it's interpretation of my VO2 has me at the fitness equivalent of a 79 year old, which is a bit insulting. The down side of being a chill being.
Having said that, it has been my super ego in a successful attempt to lose winter weight and then to break through a 10 year old "set point" in my weight, finally. And is helping me get back into running, which I appreciate. Works for me.
It does take a little while for the Vivosport GPS to find satellites, but I think that is simply mostly a function of where I live. Locating satellites improves the more I search for them in the same area. So, now it picks up a signal within 15-20 seconds, but when I took a trip out to Montana and Wyoming it had to relearn satellites.
The heart rate function is fantastic so far, running continuously and accurately as far as I can tell. And the sleep data is so much better than what Samsung provides. The tracker is great for recording walks, runs, and bike rides. Sadly, unlike my Samsung tracker, it has no dedicated app for yoga, which I do every morning, so I need to edit the activity with Garmin connect after each yoga session, renaming and reclassifying it from "other."
That is a general complaint I have, not only with this tracker, but with all trackers, that there is no provision for downloading the specific activities I do most often onto the tracker. Neither my Samsung nor this Garmin tracker allows me to place a basketball app on my tracker, which is a bother because I play basketball several times a week. I've seen requests to add Basketball to at least Garmin connect, if not the tracker itself, dating back 5 years. But no response. How hard could that be to program? What are the company's paid programmers doing that is more important than responding to reasonable requests from users?
All-in-all, though, I have been very happy with the Garmin Vivosport. It does the job. The display is small but clear and easy to read and operate with tapping. The Garmin Connect companion app is much better than Samsung Health. Because I have accumulated so much data with the latter, I had to find ways to transfer information from Connect to SH, but it is possible to do this. Until Samsung comes up with a better tracker (this year's new model was actually a downgrade from previous models), I will be using the Garmin.
I also wish this device had more customization I could use for the home screen. How about tracking the time, steps AND HR?
One thing missing from this unit that other lesser units have is the SpOx measurement. This would be helpful for sleep tracking, but is completely absent on the device (other Garmin devices that cost less have this).
All in all, I think this is a good device, but the screen is just not there for me, and I'm not sure this will be my long term go to fitness tracker.
Looks great, and has all of the features that I'm looking for in an activity tracker/smart watch. I love the Garmin Connect app, which is the reason I selected Garmin over brands. Accurate step tracker, and GPS for running and walking, and is very durable with the rubber casing and strap. Originally, the battery life was very good, and only needed to be charged every 5-6 days, depending on use.
The workout feature with the rep counter does not work flawlessly (maybe operator error...who knows), and when swimming recreationally, the water can trigger the menu selections on the touchscreen. The battery life on my Vivosport dropped off significantly after 3 months of use. Originally, I only needed to charge it every 5-6 days, but now the battery only lasts 24 hours. I've contacted Garmin about this issue, and I'm currently awaiting a reply.
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase, but the battery life issue needs to be resolved. This issue is, most likely, isolated to my watch.....but if I'm unable to exchange it for a replacement, then I won't purchase another Vivosport.
I decided to try this one because I play contact sports as well as run and was hoping it would stand up better than some of the other Garmin's I've had.
My issue list for this device:
1) Inaccurate distance when running.
2) I'm currently on a run/walk program. The alert/vibrate is very limited (yes I know you can increase the intensity for more of a battery drain).
3) Not many options for anything outside of a few basic run programs.
4) Display is more difficult to read than expected.
All that to say - if you're just tracking steps or simply running on occasion and want some feedback there - perhaps this is a good watch for you.