A lightweight in size but not in features, the Garmin Vivosport gets evaluated here.

PROS 

  • Extremely unburdensome
  • Built-in GPS
  • packed to the brim with options
  • Long life of the battery
  • Water-resistant

CONS 

  • The screen is quite small and sensitive.
  • No swim mode
  • Absence of assistance for sensors from the outside

A smartwatch isn’t something that everyone wants to have. Garmin is appealing to those individuals who favour using a fitness band with the introduction of the Vivosport. The wearable device may be thought of as a hybrid of the company’s successful Vivosmart 3 and Vivosmart HR+ trackers, with a few more features tossed in for good measure. Garmin has, in a way, created a completely new gadget by taking the finest aspects of these two and combining them with new features such as a colour display, a global positioning system (GPS), and a sleek new design.

In today’s market, fitness bands may be purchased almost anywhere. Nearly all of them keep track of your steps and distance travelled, provide an estimate of the number of calories expended, and monitor your rest. However, very few arrive with a GPS already installed.

Design 

The Vivosport is a relatively lightweight gadget that is constructed in a manner that is comparable to the Vivosmart 3. The small/medium size weighs only 24.1 grammes, while the big size weighs only 27 grammes. It is really comfortable to wear and fits quite snugly on your wrist. Its width is only 21 millimetres, and its thickness is only 10.9 millimetres, so you won’t even realise you’re wearing it.

The Chroma display has a resolution of 72 × 144 pixels, making it viewable despite its relatively small size and glass coating. The Garmin Vivosport is the very first wrist wearable device offered by the company to include a colour screen. This gives it a more vibrant appearance and breathes a little bit more life into watch faces.

The screen is always active and draws its power from the surrounding environment. The front light may be activated by flipping your wrist or tapping the screen, and doing so will make reading much more apparent. When you are, for instance, running outside, the display may be difficult to read, despite the fact that it is perfectly suited for providing you with a fast glance at your numbers. This is not a reflection on the screen’s quality but rather just on its size.

There are no actual buttons on the device. Instead, you navigate the display by swiping your finger across it and tapping it. Because it is difficult to handle anything this small only by touch, this is also the point when things can start to become a little more complicated. You swipe left and right to access further choices, and everything is arranged in a vertical menu that you can go through by swiping up and down. At first, it may look intimidating, but things will start to click into place very quickly. A steep learning curve might be expected.

The display may be used as a shortcut to start an activity or change the settings if you press and hold it for a while. Due to the fact that I was wearing a Forerunner 935 on my left wrist and a Vivosport on my right wrist for the sake of testing, this occasionally presented me with a dilemma. When I crossed my arms, the fitness band would sometimes detect that motion and register a lengthy push on its button, which would then take me to the activity screen.

This was a bothersome situation, but fortunately, there is a workaround for the issue. Simply choose the option that allows you to lock the screen after a predetermined amount of time has elapsed. To activate it after that, you will need to press it twice, which significantly lowers the likelihood that you will do so inadvertently.

The housing is constructed out of a fibre-reinforced polymer, which gives it the ability to resist water submersion to depths of up to 50 metres. Because the silicone bands on the gadget are non-replaceable and use a conventional watch buckle, you will have to decide which of the two sizes you wish to buy when you make your purchase.

When creating the Vivosport, it is abundantly evident that Garmin’s primary focus was not on the device’s appearance but rather on its functioning. The screen that is situated in the middle of the rubbery band looks quite similar to the screens that are seen on many of the sporty-looking fitness bands that are available on the market today. You do have the option of selecting different colour finishes for the underside of the band, but other than that, your style options are very much limited to that.

However, as you start digging further, things start to get a lot more interesting. The fact that Garmin was able to pack so much cutting-edge technology into such a little device is, in and of itself, a remarkable achievement.

This features a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, and optical heart rate sensor in addition to a GPS sensor. The GPS is perhaps the feature that differentiates it the most from similar fitness bands on the market. This allows for a more accurate recording of your running mileage, duration, and pace, in addition to route planning for your various runs. It also makes it possible to train without the use of a smartphone, which is something that is essential for runners who take their sport seriously.

Garmin products have a good reputation for having respectable battery lives, and the Vivosport is not an exception. On a single charge, the tracker can stay powered for up to a week, and it can run GPS for up to eight hours. That’s really excellent, and it should be plenty to run the marathon with the GPS turned on.

Features 

In spite of its compact size, the Vivosport has all of the fitness monitoring capabilities that are available from Garmin. This contains pretty much everything that you would receive with its larger brother, the “Jack of all trades” Vivoactive 3, with the exception of a few of the applications for particular sports and Garmin Pay.

The wearable device provides data on the number of steps taken, the number of calories burned, the distance travelled, the user’s heart rate, the number of floors climbed, and the quality of sleep. Because it employs typical Garmin sensors, you may anticipate an accuracy that is within the limit you would anticipate.

You will also receive motivating messages at various points during the day, and if you are having an especially sedentary day, the tracker will encourage you to get up and move about. There is also automatic activity detection, which means that you will earn credit even if you fail to enter an exercise. This feature ensures that you will always be able to track your progress.

You will remain linked to your loved ones thanks to first and third-party smartphone alerts; however, you will need to utilise your phone in order to fully read the messages that are sent to you. Reading them is made more difficult by the little screen, but it’s not ideal either. It is possible to dismiss alerts with a swipe, which is a feature that functions effectively. Additionally, you’ll have control over your music right from the fitness band.

While it is possible to check a variety of statistics on the trackers themselves, doing so is going to be a lot simpler if you use the companion smartphone app instead. The Connect app is utilised by all Garmin devices, including the Vivosport. The app is jam-packed with information, but it is not as user-friendly as some of the other solutions that are currently available. If you explore around for a sufficient amount of time, you will locate the information that you are seeking.

Following a recent upgrade, the app’s interface is now much easier to browse. The primary dashboard now compiles a summary of your daily and weekly information in the form of tiles, which can be viewed at a glance. 

If you tap on any of the metrics, you will be directed to pages that have detailed breakdowns of the data. The dashboard of the website has a great deal of additional, detailed information, as well as choices for exporting your statistics.

Your measurements for sleep are broken down by the programme into three categories: deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time. What is lacking here is the REM phase, which is information that can be found on some of Garmin’s more advanced devices. The application will, on occasion, provide you with a Sleep Insight, which will either provide you with tips on how to increase the amount of time you spend sleeping or information on how your sleeping habits compared to those of other people.

Additionally, Vivosport is inherited by Garmin’s stress monitoring function, which uses the readings of your heart rate variability (small differences in the intervals between consecutive heartbeats). This is something that can be monitored on a daily basis using the fitness band, and its progression can be viewed using the Garmin Connect app. Sessions of deep breathing and focused relaxation will be provided to you in order to relieve any anxiety you may be experiencing.

The optical heart rate detector on most of Garmin’s other fitness trackers is the same as the one found in the Garmin Vivosmart HR. The one and only change is that it is now positioned such that it is flush against the rear. During your workout, the sensor will provide you with specific heart rate readings and zone information, and first thing in the morning, it will record your heart rate at rest.

After putting the device through a series of tests, I determined that it had a good performance. The most significant advancement here is the incorporation of a GPS receiver inside the device itself, as was just indicated. This enables you to keep track of your running and cycling without having to rely on the GPS signal from your smartphone. It gives you the ability to utilise the fitness band in much the same way that you would use a sports watch.

You have the option to compare against your prior best using either free training, an interval mode, or a virtual pacemaker when you participate in the run activity. Training can either take place outside or inside, depending on the weather. If you select the outside option, then you will have to wait for Vivoactive to obtain a GPS signal after making your selection. This might take a few minutes or it could be done in a flash depending on the circumstances. Not too dissimilar from how long you would have to wait if you were using one of Garmin’s sports watches.

You are able to see your data on the tracker while you are out running. The data fields have been divided in half and swiping either downward or upward will advance you to the next screen in the process. When it comes to providing you with accurate real-time statistics, the tracker performs a respectable job of informing you of where you stand. As long as you don’t walk into this expecting an experience comparable to that of the Forerunner 935 or the Fenix 5, you should be alright.

The reliability of the statistics is satisfactory. The GPS functions quite well, and the heart rate monitor is on par with those seen on other Garmin products. I also compared it to the Polar H10 and discovered that the overall heart rate numbers were often spot on.

 This was the case when I used both of these products. It was just the maximum value that might occasionally be wrong by a few beats at the most.

Your VO2Max and fitness age will also be shown on the tracker for your reference. Those who own a Garmin sports watch might be curious about whether or not there are any more advanced performance measures. I’m sorry to say that the answer is not yes. Firstbeat metrics are utilised by several of Garmin’s high-end devices, which allow users to view information like recovery time, training status, and training load. There is not a place for Vivosport on that list.

There is also no compatibility for external sensors, which is another drawback of this system. For the vast majority of people, this won’t make a bit of a difference, but for the serious runners out there, it may be significant.

The Vivosport is a step up from a standard fitness band, however, you won’t exactly get the same experience when jogging that you would get from wearing a sports watch. It provides accurate statistics and performs an excellent job of charting out your runs.

Walking, biking, weight training, and cardiovascular exercise are just some of the different activities that may be simulated on Vivosport. These all come with their very own individual sets of performance measures. Garmin has decided not to put swimming on this list despite the fact that its products are extremely water-resistant. If you are thinking about making a purchase, you should keep this fact in mind because we are not exactly sure why this is the case.

Combining manual labelling of sets with automatic counting of repetitions for free weight and bodyweight workouts is how the strength training is carried out. It does much of what it set out to do, with the exception of one or two repetitions here and there. However, I did discover that it makes my workouts go more slowly as a result. Nevertheless, it is available to you if you choose to make use of it.

The final decision 

The Vivosport is best understood as an upgraded version of a traditional activity tracker. In addition to the complete complement of Garmin’s fitness tracking capabilities, this watch also features an integrated GPS receiver. Without the need for a phone, this enables you to do an extensive analysis of your running and cycling activities.

Although there are numerous positives to be said about Vivosport, there are also some drawbacks. The thin form factor feels wonderful on your wrist, but this also implies that you’ll need to make do with a little screen in order to accommodate its size. When dealing with anything of this scale, managing it just by touch might be a challenge. Swimming is not on the list of sports that can be tracked by the gadget, despite the fact that it has good resistance to water.

When it comes to tracking your fitness, the Vivosport definitely delivers. It is quite likely to be one of the greatest choices available today. Those looking for a more immersive experience with their running watch, however, could be disappointed. The built-in GPS makes it possible to precisely measure mileage, time, and pace, in addition to charting out routes. However, VO2Max and Fitness Age are the only sophisticated measures for measuring performance currently available.

Those who go for runs now and then but aren’t ready to commit to purchasing a full-fledged smartwatch are perhaps the greatest candidates for the device. Or those who are just looking for a fitness band that is loaded with features. However, if you are able to get by without an integrated GPS system, you might be able to save some money by going with the Vivosmart 3 instead

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