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Garmin VIVOSMART HR – activity tracker with wrist-based heart rate
The VIVOSMART HR is Garmin’s first fitness tracker that will monitor your heart rate around the clock, and provide you with pertinent info such as workout info, calories burned and even sleep patterns. There is no shortage of fitness trackers in the market, but what makes the VIVOSMART HR distinct from the rest is it will tell you off for sitting too long! This wrist bound device is basically a revamped version of the Vivosmart band introduced over a year ago, and this latest iteration comes with a fancy crisp touchscreen display, few new features and an optical sensor.
The range of Vivosmart fitness trackers isn’t new, but started last year with the original Vivosmart, which blended smartphone connected features such as notifications with the activity tracking features of the Vivofit. Before moving further, the VIVOSMART HR is not to be confused with a product most retailers termed and sold as the VIVOSMART HR last year as they simply included a heart rate (hr) strap. The 2015 VIVOSMART HR is integrated with a heart rate sensor so you don’t have to buy one separately.
Highlights of the VIVOSMART HR
In the box of the VIVOSMART HR you receive:
What’s new with the VIVOSMART HR compared to the VIVOSMART?
Common features of the VIVOSMART HR & VIVOSMART
VIVOSMART HR Design and Features
First things first, the VIVOSMART uses your stride length to calculate distance, which you can alter if you know it or simply use a treadmill to figure it out. This fitness tracker is appointed with an exclusive optical sensor, which Gamin likes to call Elevate technology. The heart rate tracking is done 24/7 apart from heart rate tracking during a specific workout regime.
As mentioned earlier, this is the first Garmin device to display stairs climbed, and does this by using an onsite barometric altimeter. The display will show a goal flight of stairs next to how many you’ve been able to achieve. In addition to the stairs climbed feature, the VIVOSMART HR displays Intensity Minutes or simply Workout Minutes. The goal here is to help you achieve 150 intensity minutes per week, and these results are displayed on a weekly basis rather than daily.
150 intensity minutes is not a number Garmin picked out of a hat, but is a recommended 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week by several esteemed health organizations including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and the American Heart Association. Workout minutes or intensity minutes are calculated for all exercise sessions that provide a minimum of 10 consecutive minutes of moderate to vigorous active motion.
The VIVOSMART HR is outfitted with an amazing display, superior waterproofing (5 ATM – 50 meters) and unmatched workout tracking, and is a few notches ahead of its completion in virtually every other metric. The VIVOSMART HR bands can be ordered in large and extra large, and in black, dark blue and dark purple colors. Like its predecessor, the VIVOSMART HR is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and comes with its own proprietary charging cable.
The battery life is a bit shorter at 5 days compared to a 7 days with the VIVOSMART, but this hit is probably due to the constant operation of the heart rate monitor. Good news is that you can switch off the heart rate monitor at any time to save battery life. The band material is thin, soft and flexible and makes the device feel comfortable on your wrist. A touchscreen display is a new addition to the VIVOSMART HR, and is complete with a push button for instant access to a wide variety of displays and menus.
Adding to this, Garmin was thoughtful to add a backlight, which can be activated on the fly if you need help viewing data in low light conditions or on a bright day. Furthermore, the display of the device is completely customizable, and you can choose the data to show, the order to show it in, and the data that will always be displayed on the home screen. You can even activate a “Do not Disturb” mode when you do not wish to receive notifications.
In order to view the weather, the app of the VIVOSMART HR will need access to your location, and will then stream weather information from your paired smartphone. The VIVOSMART HR is able to track estimated calories burned, steps, estimated distance based on your stride length and number of steps taken and displays your current heart rate and resting heart rate. This fitness tracker also allows you to set your own goals, and it can also suggest a step goal based on your activity pattern of previous days. In addition, it also allows you to time workouts to be viewed later, and you can even edit the workout type later via the Garmin Connect app.
After an hour of inactivity, a “move bar” appears at which point the device will vibrate twice and display the message “Move”. If you walk, jog or simply move around, you will be presented with another notification “move bar cleared”. If you ignore the “move” message the first time around, a new segment is added to the move bar with a maximum of four – 15 minute segments. The VIVOSMART HR continuously monitors your heart rate as you go about your day and even when you sleep. You can view this heart rate data directly on the touchscreen, and even broadcast it to another device such as a bike computer.
Pros of the Garmin VIVOSMART HR
Cons of the VIVOSMART HR
The VIVOSMART HR is a comprehensive fitness tracker that you can even take in the pool (water resistant up to 50 meters). It measures your heart rate constantly, and the sunlight readable display eliminates the need to faff with buttons to check your data. The VIVOSMART HR can also be programmed to control a Garmin VIRB camera, and helps you stay connected with smart notifications such as texts, emails, etc.
All in all, a fitness device with an onsite heart rate monitor and add to this a touch screen display is impressive, and Gamin makes this possible with the VIVOSMART HR.
Starting from 1st May, 2015, Garmin in Thailand is planning to reduce price for vivofit 2 –
4,750 THB, 3,990 THB.
Considering that vivofit 2 on Garmin’s website is listed for USD 129.99, which is approximately 4,300 THB, the promotion price 3,990 THB sounds very attractive.
Vivofit 2 key features:
Some more information about vivofit 2 on official Garmin’s blog (2-4):
If you are not too active and commit yourself for a change, you should definitely consider buying one of those: vivofit 2 (from 1st May – 3,990 THB) , vivosmart (5,990 THB) and the latest GPS Smartwatch Vivoactive (9,700 THB) . I had started with the very first vivofit, and after months of using, I have to admit that it did help me to get into the right habit of exercising and being more physically active on daily bases. Some of us may think, that these devices are just gadgets. I thought similarly, but I did change my mind after using them to improve my life and the most valuable gem – health!
Garmin has recently introduced the Vivosmart – more than just a savvy activity tracker! The fitness and smartwatch band segment today is literally overcrowded, but it’s rather disappointing how many of them actually do not address both aspects. Some of these implausible offerings include the now discontinued Fitbit Force that was designed to display incoming calls on iPhones, and the Gear Fit and Gear 2 by Samsung, which do have a few useful features, but only work with Samsung phones. The Vivosmart is a promising effort by Garmin to help you stay on top of your fitness and wellness regime, while still allowing you to access your emails, phone calls, calendar reminders, texts and more from your smartphone.
This stylish activity tracker familiarizes itself with the user’s current activity levels, and encourages them to work a bit harder towards a healthy lifestyle with personalized daily goals. To add to this, the Garmin Vivosmart offers easy operation and is appointed with a touchscreen, which displays steps, time of day, distance travelled, goal countdown, move bar, calories and much more. Garmin Vice President Dan Bartel claims that the Vivosmart is just like having a personal fitness coach and assistant only on your wrist.
Garmin Vivosmart First Impressions
At first glance, the Garmin Vivosmart resembles a wide plastic bracelet similar to the aesthetic appeal of the Nike FuelBand. It will be made available in 5 vibrant colors (purple, blue, black, berry, and slate) and at an affordable price considerably lower than other gadgets in its segment. The onsite Vivosmart OLED display stays hidden until you double tap on it to wake it up, which will highlight any notifications you may have. It calculates the amount of time you sleep at night, and is equipped with a vibration motor, which allows you to configure wake up alarms. With regards to sleep, the sleep tracking feature of the Vivosmart silently measures the number of movements you make in your sleep, where less movement means a more relaxing and restful sleep. The results generated from the sleep tracker can be also viewed through the Gamin Connect page.
When connected with your MyFitnessPal account inside the Garmin fitness application available at the App Store and Play Store, the Vivosmart is able to perform food logging too. The Vivosmart offers an impressive 7 days of battery life thanks to its low energy Bluetooth Smart Radio. Unlike other models in its class and one of the notable features of the Garmin Vivosmart is that it is waterproof up to 50 meters. So you can rejoice in the shower or take a swim with it and still be able to check your notifications. Additionally, the Vivosmart carries over some of the other astounding features of Garmin’s other fitness trackers such as the Foreunner 15 running watch and the Vivofit.
These include the Move Bar feature, which is a line that runs parallel across the screen and alerts you whenever you’ve been watching your favorite TV show for more than an hour. This feature eradicates the use of a rather irritant beep or vibration alert, which can be ignored if you’re in a meeting, but the move bar will not disappear until you get up and walk. Other carried over features include compatibility with bike speed monitors and heart rate monitors, which you will have to buy separately.
With regards to the move bar, it features 5 segments that are indicated after each hour of inactivity. It is synced with a timer that alerts users of the time they’ve been inactive even if it hasn’t been a complete hour. As these segments are populated, the Vivosmart vibrates and displays the move bar to motivate you to stay active throughout the day. This can be turned off by simply walking around for a minute or two. Users can also control their smartphone’s music player and use the Vivosmart as a remote for the Garmin VIRB Elite and VIRB action camera and even a GoPro camera. To add to this, they can capture more of their active lifestyle with the onboard timed activity feature
Staying Connected with Garmin Vivosmart
Garmin Vivosmart is designed to allow you to move more and miss less, which is made possible with its vibration alerts that display notifications for calendar reminders, calls and incoming text when mated with a Bluetooth compatible smartphone. Users are alerted with a gentle vibration, which displays an icon respective to the type of notification and the preview of the message, which can be read completely by simply touching and swiping the screen. The built in alarm clock can be programmed to have the device silently alert you of the time to start the day, without disturbing others.
With the Garmin Connect Mobile app, the Garmin Vivosmart can be synced with a compatible Bluetooth device to track daily activity, periods of sleep and movement, join challenges and earn virtual badges for added motivation. Adding to this, it also keeps you informed when goals are met or when you’ve considerably progressed since the last sync, and you can compare and share this data with friends all across the world.
One of the smart features of the Garmin Vivosmart is that it can acquaint itself with your current activity levels, and respectively delineate an achievable activity goal. As you meet these goals, this smartwatch cum fitness tracker adjusts your goals for the next day in a gradual effort to boost your fitness levels. After you adjust with the goals set by the Vivosmart, you can move your fitness level up a few notches by pairing it with a compatible heart rate monitor to gather more accurate information with regards to zone data, calorie burn information and heart rate for literally any fitness activity.
What’s gives the Garmin Vivosmart an added edge over its competition is its ability to display notifications from your smartphone drawer. So basically anything that appears in your smartphone drawer such as email notifications, social media updates, messages and missed calls will be displayed clearly on the OLED screen of the Garmin Vivosmart.
The new features of the Vivosmart beyond Garmin’s previous activity trackers include:
The Vivosmart is a promising wearable fitness tech ring that will be available in two sizes: small and large. This gadget doubles as a smartwatch to help you stay connected with other things apart from your fitness regime, and includes some of the liked features of its predecessors. After first reviewing the Garmin Vivosmart, it exemplifies a much sturdier design than its competitors specifically the Samsung Gear Fit. The Gear Fit is also a fitness tracker and smartwatch that is appointed with a touchscreen to display vital data.
The difference however is the that the display screen of the Fit is extremely sensitive so much so that you literally have to slow down your breathing or pause it completely just to interact with it. Simply put, it is challenging to toggle between the screen of the Gear Fit and exercise simultaneously. From initial toying with the Vivosmart, it does not deliver such an inconsistent experience. There are several fitness trackers available in the market, but the features of the Garmin Vivosmart definitely make it distinct from the rest.
|Personalized daily goal?||yes||yes|
|Heart rate compatible||yes||yes|
|Battery||1+ year||Up to 7 days|