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My Garmin Vivosmart Review after 10/mo

August 21, 2015

I purchased this fitness tracker about 10 months ago and it has really stepped up things in my fitness game. I really can’t say enough positive things about it, but here goes.


Design. It is sleek, understated and can take a beating. I never take it off. I has endured horses, moving furniture, brush hauling, wakeboarding, circus training, motorcycle touring and my pitifully clumsy nature. It has a few little nicks and scratches both on the stainless steel back plate and on the soft coating on the face.

The sleep tracking feature. Even if you are too lazy (or forget like me) to put it in sleep mode, it magically does the work for you and sends to the application on your phone via Bluetooth.

The app. I have mixed feeling here, but I do like the work Garmin developers are doing to make this more esthetically pleasing. It tracks steps, sleep, goals, activity calorie burn and if you have the Heart Rate Monitor it does a nice job of showing heart race, pace and so on, for a variety of activities. Sync to the watch has not been an issue. I had a hard time syncing with my HRM in the beginning and occasionally that comes up but it’s 9/10 times OK. Cons to come later…

Notifications. I like that I have the option to receive texts and other notifications on my wrist. It is not something I use often, but if I’m out at dinner with friends, or it a client meeting, rather than having my phone out (rude), I can know if I receive something, and read it right on my wrist.

Music controls. This was the MAIN reason I went for this particular band. I use Flip Belt, and changing songs can be a nightmare when jogging. It works great on both Spotify and Google Play. I especially like it at Happy Hour on my patio with my Jawbone speaker. My neighbor thinks that is the coolest thing ever. Since purchasing, I have acquired some BlueBudX wireless headphones (love) so it is a fitness feature I use less and less.

Auto Step Goal. Based on previous performance, your Vivosmart will auto calculate a new step goal for you.

OTA updates. I like that it pairs and updates with my phone when plugged in to charge.

“Raise arm, face on option”. I have mine set for during activity periods only and it is really nice to not have to touch the face when I’m struggling to breathe with Shaun T shouting at me.


The app. Ok, so here is the deal. Others do it better. The fact that it is seemingly impossible for Garmin Connect and Myfitnesspal to sync correctly really beats me down. IMO Jawbone and Fitbit have nicer apps, but it’s a trade-off as this is a superior device in my mind.

Battery life. The only reason I say this is a con, is I know some devices have a year-long battery life. With that said, I only charge mine every 10 days or so (I generally don’t have vibrate notifications on).

Price. Pricey for what it is, but I guess you pay for what you want.

Manufacturer Specs:

Physical dimensions Band sizes: 127-172 mm (small); 155-221 mm (large)

Display size, WxH 1.35″ x 0.14″ (34.4 mm x 3.5 mm)

Display resolution, WxH 128 x 16 pixels; OLED (illuminated) display

Touchscreen Yes

Negative mode display Yes

Weight 19.0 g (0.67 oz) (large); 18.7 g (0.66 oz) (small)

Battery (mAh unspecified)

Battery life Up to 7 days

Water rating 5 ATM

Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone) Yes

Vibration alert Yes

Accelerometer 3-way axis

Heart rate monitor Yes(optional)

VIRB® control Yes

Here is another good review:

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 4, 2015 7:03 am

    Thanks for linking my review!

    Liked by 1 person

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