Garmin has been making health and activity trackers for quite some time now, and maybe one of the beefiest, jack-of-all-trade choices from the company so far is the vívoactive HR.
The vívoactive HR comes with a built-in GPS, a nice water resistance rating, an accurate heart rate monitor and 8-day battery life, however, are all of those features worth the excessive price tag? Or should you opt for a less costly, less feature-packed option? We reply all of these questions in our full review.
The Garmin vívoactive HR is far from the most beautiful fitness tracker available on the market. It’s a small step up from the design of the unique vívoactive fitness watch, but it’s still not excellent. It has a massive, bulky design that will most likely look too massive on most average-sized wrists, and will certainly look too massive on smaller wrists.
The one upside to become a bigger device on your wrist? You also get a greater screen. The vívoactive HR has a 1.38-inch color touchscreen display that provides more than enough room for viewing your current workouts, the climate, daily stats and more. The screen isn’t particularly simple to learn outdoors. However, it’s far from the worst we’ve seen on a fitness tracker. You’ll be able also to adjust your backlight intensity and timeout length when you’d like in the settings menu, however truthfully we haven’t found the backlight to be all that helpful.
Below the display you’ll find two buttons. The back button on the left, whereas the menu button sits on the right side. Each button looks nearly similar, though, so it may be a little difficult to differentiate them from each other – especially during an exercise.
One other main selling point the vívoactive HR has up its cover: water resistance. The fitness tracker comes with a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, which means it can withstand pressures similar to a depth of 50 meters.
The band on the vívoactive HR is quite good, too. It feels high-end however not to0 rubbery, making it comfortable to wear on the skin all day. Additionally, when you aren’t a fan of the standard black model, you’ll find Force Yellow, White and Lava Red replacement bands on Amazon for about $30.
Features and Performance
As we talked about at the start of this review, the vívoactive HR is a type of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink device. Not only does it provide your standard step, distance, calorie and sleep tracking, it also gives smartphone notifications, lots of customizable watch faces, detailed weather info, current and past heart rate trends, GPS tracking and far more, right on the watch itself. It may get a little confusing when swiping via all the menus on the watch for the first time. Garmin announces the vívoactive HR is a “GPS smartwatch,” and they’re not kidding. You will get pretty much any notification from your phone to seem on the device, like missed calls, new voicemails, texts, incoming calls, emails, and even other applications like Slack, Hangouts, Facebook and more. Even if you can’t reply to any of them of your wrist, we’re happy the vívoactive HR gives many more notification options than other devices just like the Fitbit Blaze.
When it comes to step tracking, the vívoactive HR is pretty much on par with most other higher-end fitness trackers available on the market. As per normal, we went out and drive 500 steps with the vívoactive HR, whereas also comparing it with the Garmin vívosmart HR and Fitbit Surge.
Garmin says the vívoactive HR will be ready to last up to 8 days on a single charge. In fact, the battery will diminish much faster the more you use issues like the guts price sensor or GPS, so make sure to keep that in mind.
Heart rate monitor: Yes
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Sleep tracking: Yes
Battery life: Up to 8 days
Compatibility: iOS, Windows 10, Android
Colors: Black (with interchangeable bands in Force Yellow, White, and Lava Red)
Like we’ve talked about in the past, Garmin’s Connect app is a type of difficult to get used to. It’s confusion, not super intuitive to navigate and a tad slow, though there are some excellent issues right here when you look hard enough.
Connect is divided up into a few major sections: Leaderboard, Calendar, News Feed, Insights, and Snapshots. Swiping left or right from here will carry you to more detailed pages on steps, sleep, exercise, weight, and the Garmin Community. You may also add more Snapshots by tapping the top-right menu button.
Tapping on a special Snapshot gives you more detailed info on that metric. For instance, the working Snapshot only shows distance, time, pace and your miles over the last 30 days, however tapping on any one of these areas gives you more detailed workout information.
Should you buy it?
For those who’re looking for a fitness tracker with a large screen, GPS, water resistance and aren’t bothered about size, the vívoactive HR is for you. It’s not low cost at around $250. However, we can honestly say that, for the cash, this is one of the better fitness trackers available on the market. Whereas Garmin does have some room to progress with its Move IQ technology and Connect app, those are very small signs in the grand scheme of issues.
Where To Buy
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