The Garmin Vivofit jr 2 may be the company’s second generation fitness tracker that’s back to get kids to keep active. Exactly like Garmin’s trackers for grown-ups (Vivofit 4 or the Vivosport) it covers the fundamentals like counting steps and monitoring sleep. The method of those features is performed just a little differently for minds with shorter attention spans.

Garmin aims to gamify the knowledge and it’s really done that in several ways. Kids can earn virtual coins for real rewards or progress within an iphone app based game by hitting daily activity goals. But it’s not merely about entertainment. Garmin wants parents to reap the benefits of convincing their little kinds to wear a Vivofit jr 2. So you should have the opportunity to set reminders to brush those teeth before bed or be sure you do those weekly chores.

In a bid to create Garmin’s fitness tracker for kids all that more desirable, it’s teamed up with Disney to provide Marvel, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Star Wars themed bands. Therefore the hope is some familiar faces can help keep it around those wrists for the long term.

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Coming in at £80, the Vivofit jr 2 actually costs a lot more than Garmin’s budget option for adults, the Vivofit 4. While that’s cheap in serious fitness tracker realms, that’s still a decent sized investment for a number of parents. Therefore the question is, could it be worth spending almost £100 on an exercise tracker that may or may well not keep your kid from the iPad and out in to the garden for a run around?

To determine, I enlisted my six year-old nephew to place it to the test. Here’s how coping with the Vivofit jr 2 played out.

Garmin Vivofit jr 2: Design and comfort
If Garmin’s trackers for adults are about keeping things sporty, the Vivofit jr 2 is centered on fun. Size-wise, it’s somewhat bigger compared to the Vivofit 4, but there is no way you’ll receive the two confusing. This wants to stick out using its colourful silicone bands. As stated, you have your pick of Disney, Marvel or Star Wars looks. My nephew was quickly sold on The Resistance band he surely got to wear and it wasn’t a long time before he was playing around the home doing his best Finn impression.

These bands can be purchased in two styles. The stretchy kind that my nephew used, which aims to support wrists up to 147mm for a long time 4-7. The other adjustable bands fit wrist sizes of 130-175mm for a long time 6+. I was requested to greatly help him wear it the majority of enough time, because that watch-style buckle could be somewhat tricky for smaller hands. The band doesn’t sit too tightly around the wrist as you can plainly see from the pictures but I had no complaints about how precisely it felt to wear or any issues of irritation. Once it had been on, it had been there for good.

The bands are interchangeable with optional bands designed for a fairly pricey £27.99, so perhaps pick wisely right away and make certain they definitely desire to be stuck with a Captain America band rather than a BB-8 one.

The band holds set up the fitness tracker module, which sits within a polymer casing that houses a fairly decent 11mm x 11mm, 88 x 88 pixel colour display. There’s is a backlight and overall has more in keeping with Garmin’s budget trackers so far as screen visibility can be involved. It’s good enough, not the very best out there. There is no touchscreen support here, making a whole lot of sense since it would simply be too small a screen to swipe and tap on. Instead there’s a major physical button to change between data screens so when held down reveals additional features like timers, medals and the stopwatch mode.

As is standard with most of Garmin’s wearables, that is well suited for the pool. It has been slapped with a 5ATM waterproof rating, this means it could withstand a swim or running in the torrential rain and can live to track a later date. What I like is how securely the module is held set up in the strap. It’s evidently a deliberate move that replacing or switching up bands requires a grown-up to reduce the chance of losing that important tracking hardware.

Garmin Vivofit jr 2: Fitness tracking
So what precisely is it possible to do with the Vivofit Jr.2?

Actually, as I then found out a respectable amount. There’s just the solitary accelerometer motion sensor to track movement to count steps and unlock sleep monitoring. Garmin also contains its useful Move Bar to show when periods of inactivity have developed. A nice touch may be the fact that the tracker can store a month of data, if you don’t get in to the habit of syncing data to the companion iphone app everyday, you do have a decent buffer before you truly do have to sync.

Essential reading: Putting three kids smartwatches to the test

On the tracker itself, there are screens focused on enough time, calendar, step count total, tasks/chores to complete and just how many moves you’ve unlocked in your compatible game. Each version of the tracker offers its unique step count icons and games. Regarding the Star Wars one, you will see a stormtrooper alongside your day’s steps nevertheless, you can unlock additional icons according to fitness tracking progress. Completing daily 60 minute activity goals unlocks moves in the BB-8 adventure: A Star Wars story game (more on that later).

A second menu is where you will discover the pairing option, timer, stopwatch and activate the Toe-to-Toe challenges. That is a timed step challenge that lets users challenge friends or themselves to excersice.

The task idea is a good idea, but as I then found out with my nephew, he needed some assist with make usage of it which is the case with a number of the more complex features that lie within the Vivofit Jr.2. They’ll desire a helping hand.

So far as what my nephew enjoyed or used most, he liked to keep things simple. It had been about steps and he even started out challenging friends at school to step races. But he wasn’t using the features best made for this, simply because it had been too fiddly for him to create himself. That is among the problems with some features that might be considered basic features on Garmin’s fitness trackers for adults. For a kid, they remain complex or simply an excessive amount of an attempt to use.

Garmin Vivofit jr 2: The app
There’s far more to the Vivofit jr 2 both for kids and for parents once you explore the free companion Vivofit jr. smartphone iphone app (iOS and Android). If you are already a Garmin Connect user, you can log in making use of your existing details to help make the setup just a little easier as well.

It’s here where parents may take control of settings like adding multiple profiles, syncing and reviewing data. But there’s the possibility to open up the usage of the kids aswell. That’s through a youngster Mode that provides limited access to after they tap in a passcode to get inside. This allows them to complete their game adventures and tick off chores.

Once you’ve paired these devices, it’s time to setup a profile, which include selecting an avatar, going for a image or picking something from your own camera roll. The Vivofit jr iphone app is a something of a departure from the appearance of Garmin’s Connect app. It’s brighter and a lot more streamlined. On the key screen is where you will see a snapshot of activity minutes, rewards, chores and settings. Gleam Leaderboard tab where you could see step counts for all users assigned to the account (including adult step count scores).

In the experience section you will see active minutes, steps and hourly activity. Total amount of sleep can be included in another screen. In the rewards section, it’s here where one can create a physical reward (e.g. bike ride, buy a fresh game) along with just how many virtual coins necessary to unlock an award. While it isn’t a fresh feature to the Vivofit jr range, there’s very few trackers that provide something similar to this that’s simply executed and is truly a really nice, motivational feature to have.

There’s also Chores where you could assign daily or on a specific day that whenever completed earn virtual coins. Those coins that may come in useful so you can get the hands on those rewards. These chores incorporate making sure they’re brushing their teeth each morning and evening, doing homework or feeding a pet. You may also create your own chores so when they are set, create reminders that buzz these devices with an alarm, flashing up an icon to nudge the wearer that they still have to complete that chore.

The very last thing to discuss may be the Adventure mode. It is the themed adventure that one could only progress by completing the daily 60 minute activity goals. For the Star Wars version, you need to tackle adventures on earth Jakku alongside BB-8. Up to my nephew is an enormous Star Wars fan he did however quickly weary in completing this Star Wars adventure in under weekly. Given he could (try to) grab a phone to play an effective game, I could understand why that might be the case.

Garmin Vivofit jr 2: Battery life
Something you certainly do not need to worry an excessive amount of about is battery life. There is no charging cradle or dock to misplace, because of the actual fact this tracker is powered by a typical coin cell battery. Which should supply at least a year’s worth of tracking before it requires to be replaced.

That coin cell battery is placed within the tracker’s plastic body, which is held set up with four screws, this means it’ll need a grown-up to get anywhere near it.

Garmin Vivofit jr 2

By Garmin

The Garmin Vivofit jr 2 could be a fitness tracker for kids, nonetheless it needs a developed on hand to help make the almost all of its best features. It can the fundamentals well and I did so find my nephew experienced the thought of accumulating those higher step count scores. Whether he’ll stay with it long term, I’m not sure – exactly like any other kid, he can easily weary in things. Its real charm is in the initial features like creating chores and the rewards system – these features need adult involvement to be sure they’re put to good use, nonetheless they could be really rewarding. Until Fitbit decides to become listed on the fitness tracker for kids game, Garmin’s Vivofit jr 2 is your very best option. It isn’t perfect and it could possibly be a little pricey for a few, but it’s as near the complete package since you can get right now