The Garmin Vivoactive is a great watch although a subpar smart watch or fitness tracker.
The battery life when not using gps on the watch is excellent, couldn’t ask for more. The other great part is that the watch is thin and has a relatively small profile which is great for smaller framed people like my self, I was excited to find one that fits my wrist.
The Vivoactive is sold as a smart watch and fitness tracker, as mentioned it does both of these things rather poorly. The smart watch function is not all that smart and has no way to reply to an incoming text, e-mail or phone call. Although you can dismiss a call or notification as well as read the message. Unfortunately it is also extremely easy for the rest of the world to read your messages as well.
Another advantage to the watch is it takes a normal watch band, and is comfortable to wear. You can also customize the watch with different watch faces. And it is water proof. That sums up the good, now we will move on to just a portion of the bad.
Heart Rate Sensor
The Vivoactive heart rate sensor is next to useless for the average person, it requires you to use a band around your chest, and this is something I was not able to do with any reliability. I do not carry the strap with me everywhere I go, nor do I leave it in the car and risk it being stolen. Each of the hikes I have done this year have been spontaneous for the most part meaning the strap is miles way sitting in a box, this is not exactly useful. When I go to the gym it is after work, and the strap again is at home. Not long ago I decided I wanted to hit Rockport and go sup was at work and decided the lake was more appealing and I knew there were sups I could use at the lake already so off a couple of us went, sadly the strap was left behind again.
Opened the box, and set the Vivioactive up and saw it had a good amount of charge left, so I decided to try the swim app out. Hopped in the pool started the app and realized the app was going to be completely useless to me as it had set pool lengths none of which were the standard size for a private pool and there was no way to enter a customized pool length.
I do not surf as much as my brother and friends do although this app seemed perfect and was one of the reasons for the purchase, off we went to the Weber River to do some surfing. Got to the river and got the app set up, got on the wave and had a blast. After my ride was done checked the app and noticed it didn’t work. Thought I was sitting in the line up to catch a wave, apparently the app does not work for river surfing.
Went to the gym had the watch and was ready to go….well almost ready to go forgot the heart monitor was at home. No big deal will use the watch and check the results online. Was their mainly to do cardio so navigated to the indoor bike app and went for it, the app did ok other than no heart rate and the valuable info one gets from having this info.
Decided to try it on weight lifting, went over and started looking for the app…no app to be found apparently unlike the band there is no weight lifting app.
When setting the watch up it asks what your normal bed time and waking time is, does anyone in the real world have either of these? So I set my times for what times I would ideally like to be asleep and when I would like to wake….although did not notice a weekend option. I set my phone to disable notifications and turned on the night clock and went to bed. All night the watch kept buzzing, the screen was lighting up and dragging me from sleep.
The following night went to a movie, and because it fell in the realm of my sleep time the watch recorded this as actual sleep. This unfortunately does not help at all and with no way to manually start your sleep session this is considered another failure.
Their is a lot of other issues with Vivoactive, and a limited number of positives how ever for the every day user and even some pros this watch is a failure especially at its high price point for so little use.