The Garmin Vivosport is a sports band-style fitness tracker that checks all of the right boxes. It records steps, distance, sleep, calories burned, heartrate, activities, stress level, and more. In addition, it functions as a smartwatch, delivering notifications from your own phone to your wrist. At $169.99, it’s just a little expensive weighed against other bands in this category, including our Editors’ Choice, the Fitbit Charge 2. But it surely gives on functionality, and is a fantastic tracker if you are into its design.

First Impressions
Out of your box, the Garmin Vivosport comes off as a straightforward and sporty wristband with a slim design. To look at and functionality, it’s most like the Fitbit Alta HR and Huawei Band 2 Pro. For my taste, the Alta HR looks just a little less sporty, therefore i prefer its style.

You can decide on three color options and two sizes, nevertheless they don’t mix and match perfectly: Slate (obtainable in small/medium and large), Fuschia Focus (only in small/medium), and Limelight (only in large). Small size fits wrists with a circumference of 4.8 to 7.4 inches, and large works on 5.8 to 8.4 inches. It’s light, too, weighing 0.85-ounce (small/medium) or 0.95-ounce (large).

Weighed against other Garmin devices, the Vivosport appears just like a baby version of the Vivoactive HR, an extremely capable watch-style tracker with great fitness tracking options which has been around for a couple of years and shows its age in its thickness and weight. The Vivosport appears such as a pared down version, with fewer features, but all of the essentials, such as for example all-day heartrate monitoring, GPS, and a good similar but smaller transflective memory-in-pixel display.

The display stays on 24/7 but remains dim until you lift your arm to check out it. During setup, you can customize the default watch screen showing enough time, date, weather, remaining battery, etc. Also you can choose whether you want to buy to maintain portrait or landscape orientation.

Without physical buttons, the Vivosport uses touch input, namely swipes, taps, and long presses. It’s responsive and is effective, though I favor to have at least one physical button in order that I could operate the watch whilst wearing gloves. Those people who are differently abled in fine motor skills could also find that device has too small of a screen (0.38 by 0.76 inches) to allow them to operate it easily.

In conditions of ruggedness, Garmin includes a good reputation for building watches that last, and the Vivosport appears like it will endure well with long-term use. The lens is a chemically strengthened glass, as the case is polymer and the strap is silicone. Though not especially fashionable, these materials are durable.

Battery
The battery of the Vivosport stands up well. Be prepared to get in regards to a week’s worth useful from it in smartwatch mode or more to eight hours with all the GPS. That’s enough for a rigorous run training and a good marathon.

Using the Vivosport in smartwatch mode means getting push notifications from a linked Android or iOS device. The notifications aren’t tied to iphone app or character count, which is nice. In the event that you get a text, for example, you can observe both sender and the complete contents of the message. You will not see photographs attachments, emojis, or additional non-text elements, however.

These devices ships with a proprietary USB charger, although it is the same charger that complements the Vivoactive 3. Among my common gripes about fitness trackers is that ends that hook up to the devices are unique, so that it is difficult to talk about chargers with other persons in the same household. At least this charger connects with an increase of than one Garmin device. I wish Garmin would make sure they are uniform over the board.

Fitness Features
The Vivosport collects all of the typical fitness data you’ll expect, including steps, distance, stairs, sleep, and calories burned. In addition, it monitors active minutes, assisting you differentiate between puttering around and training. Remote music controls to your phone and a weather summary also arrive on the display as you swipe through it.

Several newer devices from Garmin, like the Vivosport, report stress level predicated on heartrate variability. You see them as lots alongside a chart in order that the information is practical whether or not you do not really know what heartrate variability is. (In a nutshell, it’s a measurement of just how much variability there is in the amount of time between individual heart beats, wherein more variability indicates better health or a lesser stress level.) While I didn’t have a heartrate variability sensor readily available to have a comparative reading, I did so get yourself a sense that the info was accurate. On the average day, my stress level was reported as low, and on a day when I had three very important appointments and felt anxious about every one of them, the Vivosport showed my stress level as high.

Garmin has done an excellent job of incorporating data that fitness enthusiasts prefer to see, such as for example VO2 max and heartrate zones, and I’m impressed that the business includes those capacities in practically all its fitness products, like the Vivosport. I assumed the Vivosport could possibly be aimed at market segment it doesn’t put much stock into these advanced metrics, but there they are if you wish them.

In conditions of supported activities, the Vivosport comes pre-programmed to enable you to record walks, runs, bicycle rides, weight training sessions, aerobics, and a catch-all “other.” For almost all of these options, you specify whether you’re indoors or outdoors, which dictates if the Vivosport will turn up the GPS. For weight training, the device comes with an computerized rep counting feature. You can even wear the Vivosport while swimming because it’s water-resistant, nonetheless it doesn’t actually track swims.

From the mobile app, you can permit computerized activity tracking, if, for instance, you want the band to start out recording a walk or run session if it recognizes you’ve been moving for a predetermined number of minutes (e.g., “EASILY run for just one minute, then start recording a run”). It’s a good feature for folks who forget to record runs and walks. Similarly, you can permit MoveIQ, which automatically records a lot more activities, such as for example elliptical training and bicycling, whenever the Vivosport identifies you are doing them.

Vibration alarms for waking or other reminders are included, too, as can be an idle alert or move reminder.

As the Vivosport embraces a lot of what the bigger Garmin brand provides, it does not hook up to the Garmin Connect iphone app store, which means you can’t install non-standard widgets. The iphone app store has some neat items in it, nevertheless, you aren’t really missing out in a significant way by devoid of access to it.

Accuracy
In testing the Vivosport over a couple of days, it reported accurate results weighed against those reported by a treadmill; the Wahoo Tickr X, which is both a chest strap heartrate monitor and a task tracker that’s especially for walking, running, and cycling; and the Misfit Ray.

For step count, the Vivosport reported virtually identical numbers to the Misfit Ray. Across three periods, the common difference between them was 349 steps. That’s close. Generally, I view it as an excellent sign when fitness trackers are only about 500 steps, or around 25 % mile, different typically. In my own observation having worn it for practically 2 yrs, the Ray has organized as accurate for step counts.

Throughout a one-mile treadmill walk, the Wahoo Tickr X reported 0.95-mile (so significantly less than one-tenth difference), as the Garmin Vivosport reported 0.88-mile. That reading, while rounding to one-tenth of a mile different, is far enough off to cause some concern-except you have the option to improve such data in the Garmin Connect app, and doing this helps calibrate these devices. I certainly took good thing about that capability and saw more accurate results thereafter. Not absolutely all fitness trackers enable you to correct statistics in this manner, but it’s hugely beneficial when you’re able to.

After calibrating, a half-mile treadmill jog arrived as 0.52-mile on the Vivosport and 0.48 on the Wahoo Tickr X. Both of these readings are close enough for me personally to be satisfied.

Heartrate readings were in line across three devices aswell. When I walked at jogged at a reliable pace, all three reported practically the same reading, usually with simply a second or two lag time. Occasionally, the readings were off by two beats each and every minute or so, nonetheless they generally swept up with one another. Heartrate at rest looked equally accurate.

Conclusions
If you want the design of the Garmin Vivosport, there is no reason never to get one. It’s reliable, durable, and accurate. If you are not sold on the Vivosport’s design and would prefer to get yourself a more fashionable tracker, browse the Vivoactive 3, a current favorite device from Garmin, and an Editors’ Choice. Though it costs more, in addition, it has more to provide. The Fitbit Alta HR and Charge 2 are also strong alternatives.