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Garmin vivosmart HR (picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by shadowolf713, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    I just recently purchased the Garmin Vivosmart HR wearable fitness watch earlier on November 10. My wife and I decided we would give wearable fitness a try. She decided to roll with the fitbit charge HR. And I was on the fence, looking for a watch that was waterproof. Truthfully because I'm not a fan of constantly taking watches on and off.

    So I just happened to be perusing Amazon when I stumbled across the vivosmart hr... Listed for half a months rent. Now don't have a heart attack! I did not pay that for this gem. As of this post the price on Amazon is gone and it says currently unavailable.

    Not to be discouraged I did some digging and found that Best Buy has rights to sell them until January 2016. Their price: Comparable to that of fitbit charge hr.

    So here is what you get:
    [​IMG]
    The device itself is one piece. A watch band, and screen/main body.
    The band is comfortable and adjustable.
    The screen is a high gloss and Polish. There is a soft back light that allows it to be read in low light conditions. (the light can be turned to automatic, everythime you raise your arm, or only on touch).
    It is a touchscreen, it will react to anything touching it. (works with gloves, but also in the shower the water will change screens and turn on the back).
    I am a little worried that the screen may scratch easy. I would like to get a screen protector for the device eventually.

    On the side of the screen there is one physical button that allows you to access the menu, and certain other features.

    The device is waterproof to 5 atm or 50 meters. I have tested it down to 12 ft and it did just fine. Garmin advises to limit how often you press the physical button underwater. I'm not gonna test them on it.

    Okay, let's dive into this review!

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    The charging cable is one of a kind. It clips on to the watch behind the face and band. Charge time is decent. From half to full took me ~30min.

    The battery life is supposed to last 5 days due to the drain from constant heart rate measurements. I'm looking at 4 days and getting the low battery warning. Now, I don't know how long that low battery lasts. But not bad in my opinion. I use it all day and have it connected to my phone constantly.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the optical sensors that measure the heart rate. Light is neat, at night if you move your wrist it can produce an eerie green tinge. But it isn't so bright to be bothersome. The HR doesn't do accurate at all underwater. So if you need to check it, come out the water and shake off your wrist to get it close to the skin.

    [​IMG]

    As far as the accuracy of the heart rate, I cannot attest to specifics, but I know that the rate is very close to my actual. I've bumped my HR to 200 (mountain trail run) and the vivosmart captured that. It takes about 3-4 seconds for the HR sensor to catch up with my heart rate. This could vary from person to person.
    You can also set the device to broadcast your heart rate to other +Ant products. Naturally, This will consume more power.

    [​IMG]


    The caloric burn is an estimate based on your steps and HR. I find it nice to keep me mindful of my expenditures and cognizant of my calories consumed. I don't count hardcore, but I like to be in the ballpark.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The above three images are specific to your watches connection to your smartphone. It will allow you to read/dismiss notifications, answer/end calls, and you can edit the programs that give notifications from the app.

    The watch also displays the weather, I'm not sure where it is pulled from, because I cannot specify what weather app it uses. So I'm going to assume it pulls from the garmin app as well.

    The music controls surprised me in how much I like to tinker with them. The app allows you to set your default music player. And when connected to your phone you can press the play button and the music player will automatically start on your phone.
    On a side note this device will pair bluetooth in the background, allowing you to continue to connect your phone to a bluetooth/car speaker system.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the mileage tracker.
    It calculates this based on the distance you travel per step.
    This can be tailored in two ways:
    Version 1 is you let the device decide automatically how far you travel in a step.
    Version 2 is you go into the app and customize your step length based on known distance and known steps for that distance. (double your Pace count for the military).

    [​IMG]
    On the app:
    [​IMG]

    This image shows the tracker of your active minutes. The device standard is 150min/week. Based on some heart folks that advise us to work out and what not. You can adjust this in the app.

    [​IMG]

    This is the screen for floors climbed. The device uses a barometric pressure measurement to calculate how many flights you climb and descend per day. The take away from this: don't use the stair master and expect the device to register your workout... You didn't actually gain significant altitude to register. Default is 10, you can adjust this in the app.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the pedometer. It shows you steps per day, plus your daily goal. I like to let the device set my goal for me because every time I meet the goal (or exceed it by x7 the mountain climbing days) it increases my goal.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is the activity mode. Engaged by pressing the physical button on the side of the device and then pressing the running man icon. This allows you to capture a specific workout/activity/run. It then swaps the color scheme from white text on black, to black text on white (for better visibility). You can adjust the device so that when you lift your arm the back light comes on automatically to better see your metric.
    The one downside to activity mode is that you cannot access those smart phone features. So once you begin, your stuck with your music selection. Plan accordingly. (I know, it's a snobby con).

    After you are done with your activity you press the physical button and select the save or discard activity on the touchscreen. Once you have done that you can view past activities by accessing the menu and navigating by swipe to the folder icon.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can look back at time, distance, caloric burn, and avg. HR.

    All of these can be synced with Garmin's Connect app.
    Overall I like the app. For the most part it is intuitive. There are a few redundancies that can stump someone looking to customize their step length, but after a minute I figured it out.

    [​IMG]

    When you first open the app, you arrive at a dashboard showing an overview of your metrics. You can go in depth with each one of these.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here you can see the sleep tracker. When first setting up, the device and app ask you what you estimate your time to go to sleep is going to be. At that specified time the device goes into Do Not Disturb mode.

    [​IMG]
    When you sync the device and your activities you can view them through the activities stats. Navigate to view all activities and you come to the list:

    [​IMG]
    Here you can name and specify what kind of activity you have, as well as look at specific metrics during your activity.

    Garmin also has a computer program called Garmin Express that let's you do similar things. I have yet to dig into it. But I've heard good things.

    So to recap:

    PROS:
    Feature laden
    Lots of metrics
    Waterproof at 5 Atm (50 meters)
    Smartphone sync and connection
    Comfortable and light
    Thus far durable
    Intuitive

    Cons:
    Must use garmin charger, no interchangeable Micro USB charger
    High gloss screen could be prone to scratches
    Battery life is less than a week.
    Once in an activity your smartphone features are unavailable.

    So overall I would definitely recommend this fitness watch to anyone!

    Well y'all, that concludes my review. I hope you found it informative! Please let me know if you need clarification on anything. I'll try to get back to you on that.
    Mods please let me know if I need to adjust anything I read the post rules, but I want to cover my bases.
     
  2. Bowman1911

    Bowman1911 EDC Mechanic

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    Appreciate the review! I've been eyeing a vivosmart since the first one came out!
     
    shadowolf713 likes this.
  3. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    So random update here:
    Was wearing my watch on an air assault. (wasn't even thinking). And at some point during the jump, I lost it!
    Now I gotta figure out if I replace it or grab something a little more heavy duty.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  4. Pardner

    Pardner Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the review. Lots of info.