Vivosmart HRby Garmin

  • Vivosmart HR
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Clearly above average. Only a couple of issues keep this from being best in class.
82%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • The total steps goal automatically changes every day, adjusting up and down in small increments.
  • The Vivosmart HR displays notifications, reports the weather, and controls music playback.
  • Your heart rate is tracked throughout the day, not just during exercise.

CONS

  • Like other wearable heart rate monitors, the Vivosmart HR provides somewhat iffy heart rate and step-tracking information.
  • It is easy to activate the touch screen accidentally, deleting notifications and turning on the backlight in the middle of the night.
  • The Garmin connection app, meant for tracking progress over time and competing with friends, is buggy and sometimes forgets data.
Comfy and discreet, Garmin’s Vivosmart HR measures your heart rate throughout the day, counts your steps, and tracks your sleeping patterns. It also displays notifications from your phone, letting you see entire emails and check the weather. The heart rate monitor and step counter are not perfect, but neither are those of the competition. The distance counter does its best without a GPS, but could be better. The weakest feature is the touch screen, which is triggered at the drop of a hat. The associated app is buggy but still useful for tracking progress and competing with friends.
NameVivosmart HRCharge HRSurgePulse Ox (O2)Microsoft Band 2
ManufacturerGarminFitbitFitbitWithingsMicrosoft
Techwalla Score
82%
79%
73%
71%
69%
List Price$150$150$250$100$250
100%

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If you use a Garmin Edge when cycling and a Garmin Forerunner when running, then all your data from all your devices will sync in the same place, making it easy to analyse results over time.

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94%

We’ve tested the Elevate system in the 235 and can confirm it’s highly accurate and immensely convenient.

We’ve tested the Elevate system in the 235 and can confirm it’s highly accurate and immensely convenient.

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87%

It is a bit bigger and can be a bit of an eyesore for some of you. However, if you can ignore that, the device does an excellent job of trac…

It is a bit bigger and can be a bit of an eyesore for some of you. However, if you can ignore that, the device does an excellent job of tracking your heart rate and fitness activities.

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80%

The vivosmart HR is slim enough (0.48 inches) that it didn't get caught on the sleeve of my coat or sweater, which is more than I can say fo…

The vivosmart HR is slim enough (0.48 inches) that it didn't get caught on the sleeve of my coat or sweater, which is more than I can say for some watches I've worn. It's also small enough that you won't notice it when you're sleeping.

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70%

It's secure and likely won't fall off your wrist, but you have to wear the band relatively tight so that the optical heart-rate sensor can g…

It's secure and likely won't fall off your wrist, but you have to wear the band relatively tight so that the optical heart-rate sensor can get an accurate reading.

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70%

You can read entire text and email messages directly on the screen, which is helpful when your phone is tucked away in your bag. However, yo…

You can read entire text and email messages directly on the screen, which is helpful when your phone is tucked away in your bag. However, you have no way to respond to messages, and a mere brush of the display sends them away.

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70%

There's no way we'd trust it for heart rate zone training in any sense. However, we also tested the Fitbit Charge HR at the exact same time,…

There's no way we'd trust it for heart rate zone training in any sense. However, we also tested the Fitbit Charge HR at the exact same time, and didn't find that to be any more coherent.

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It's embedded into a flexible, silicone band that mimics a regular watch strap, but this has rectangular notches rather than tiny holes. Tha…

It's embedded into a flexible, silicone band that mimics a regular watch strap, but this has rectangular notches rather than tiny holes. That subtle change makes it super easy to adjust and fasten, so you can make it as loose or as tight as you want depending on when you're wearing it (you'll want to have it on pretty tight when you plan on using the heart rate monitor heavily).

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The downside to a screen with a touch-toggle backlight is that I have a propensity for repeatedly toggling the backlight (and other settings…

The downside to a screen with a touch-toggle backlight is that I have a propensity for repeatedly toggling the backlight (and other settings like heart rate broadcasting) during my sleep. I guess I have dexterous elbows.

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To say I was impressed with how comfortable it felt is an understatement. Even when exercising it felt entirely comfortable. The nature of t…

To say I was impressed with how comfortable it felt is an understatement. Even when exercising it felt entirely comfortable. The nature of the build of the band allowed it to flex and move as my forearm/wrist moved and flexed.

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There are better sleep monitors that do track your HR during the night.

There are better sleep monitors that do track your HR during the night.

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What I’ve found is that most of the time (perhaps 80%) this works out well. But I’ve seen that often times when I’m in cities with high-ris…

What I’ve found is that most of the time (perhaps 80%) this works out well. But I’ve seen that often times when I’m in cities with high-rise elevators, it can be tricked. For example one day in NYC it thought I climbed 44 floors.

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It’s very disappointing that you can’t use GPS off your phone during an activity. I can’t see any reason why not, and can only guess it’s to…

It’s very disappointing that you can’t use GPS off your phone during an activity. I can’t see any reason why not, and can only guess it’s to make sure you look to Garmin’s GPS equipped gadgets for accurate tracking.

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The key thing is they have to be WEARABLE, they have to look vaguely nice. Even my mother-in-law wouldn’t wear this.

The key thing is they have to be WEARABLE, they have to look vaguely nice. Even my mother-in-law wouldn’t wear this.

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It acts a little like a smart watch, giving it a good edge. Reading text messages on the screen is decent, with it being sharp and readable.…

It acts a little like a smart watch, giving it a good edge. Reading text messages on the screen is decent, with it being sharp and readable. It basically uses push notifications from your phone, so you can’t use it like a smart watch, but it is enough for you to keep an eye on your phone, without having your phone out.

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While the fitbit charge hr shows you calls and texts only, the garmin vivosmart hr shows more than that (texts, calls, emails, calendar even…

While the fitbit charge hr shows you calls and texts only, the garmin vivosmart hr shows more than that (texts, calls, emails, calendar events, Facebook, Twitter, and more).

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In terms of functions, it is presently unmatched on the market in the same price bracket.

In terms of functions, it is presently unmatched on the market in the same price bracket.

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100% Said they'd buy it again. Would You?
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