VERDICT AND RATING
The Garmin vívoactive HR is the best all around multisport activity tracking band on the market. This product has surpassed the FitBit Surge. The Garmin vívoactive HR earns a rating in this review of 8.5.
Rating of the Garmin vívoactive HR:
• 8.5 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 = best)
Ø A clunky, unrefined, not very fashionable design drops the rating by 1/4 point
Ø Some overwhelming feature rich, yet confusing software UX issues drop the rating by 1/2 point
The Garmin Vivoactive HR is an everyday activity tracking fitness band enhanced with some useful smartwatch elements, not quite a smartwatch by any stretch just yet, but significantly better than all the existing fitness bands on the market, especially in its intended role designed for multisport athletes and fitness buffs with various workout sport routines.
If you’re an all around athlete and a connoisseur of multiple sports activities, then a healthy serving of the sports the Garmin vívoactive HR can track is in order. Here’s the list:
- Walking (outdoor, w/ GPS; indoor w/o GPS)
• Running (outdoor, w/ GPS; indoor w/ GPS)
• Biking (outdoor, w/ GPS)
• Swimming (does not support open water swimming)
• Cross Country Skiing
• Paddle Boarding (standup)
• Strength & cardio training (some manual entry set up & selections required)
If you consider sleep a sport, it also tracks a fair measure of that as well.
The Garmin vívoactive HR differs from the vívofit 3, vívosmart HR, and vívoactive in the following ways:
- It differs most from the vívifit 3, which does not offer a touchscreen, smart notifications, Connect IQ apps, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, or a GPS sensor.
- The vívoactive HR offers Connect IQ apps and a GPS sensor that the vívosmart HR does not have.
- The vívoactive HR upgrades the features of the vívoactive with a heart rate monitor and Garmin’s Move IQ activity tracking software.
The notification features for calls, texts, emails, social media alerts provide added value for this multisport fitness tracker. You can customize this smart activity tracker with 1,300 apps, data fields, widgets, and watch faces from the Garmin Connect IQ store. The battery lasts for up to 8 days in watch/non-GPS activity tracker mode and up to 13 hours in GPS mode-enabled activity tracking mode.
If you’re looking to make a seamless transition from being a non-wearables athlete to being a multisport smart activity tracking athlete or fitness enthusiast, Garmin’s Auto Activity Detection feature, which is currently enabled for some sports (not all), will allow you to begin recording a run or swim without any input or effort on your part, it just automatically knows which sport you’re actively engaged in based on special algorithms incorporating your body’s movement through time and space.