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[Review] Garmin vivoactive HR Smartwatch

Garmin vivoactive HR

When I saw the Garmin vivoactive HR smart fitness tracker (as pictured above), it looked like a pretty big and wide watch. However, once I got it into my hot little hands it didn’t seem that bad at all. Unlike the above image, it is actually more long than it is wide. It is also pretty comfortable to keep on at once for long periods of time.

Setup was easy as it tells you to set it up first via an app on your phone. It did have trouble at first finding a connection between the phone and the watch, but after a second go it worked.

Garmin vivoactive HR 4
The heart rate difference isn’t too bad. Compare the sizes of the two watches: one is longer and one is square.

Upon first wearing the vivoactive HR, I noticed how little it intruded on my wrist. It didn’t feel like it added any additional weight to your wrist. It weighs in at just 48 grams!

The display looks like it is an e-ink display because of its ability to be viewed in high resolution from any angle. However, the highest backlight setting was still pretty dull so the display isn’t as easily seen as I would’ve hoped it to be. The Fitbit Blaze screen is nice and bright and is what I would’ve liked the Garmin to have.

Garmin vivoactive HR Sports

The vivoactive HR can measure a variety of workouts, ranging from walking, running, biking, swimming (yes it’s waterproof), skiing, paddle-boarding and even playing golf! The watch is waterproof up to 50 meters and is really a well received feature as not a lot of smart watches are properly waterproof these days!

When I haven’t been moving for a while, the watch will vibrate strongly to tell me I need to move! This is also shown by an “inactivity bar” on the homescreen and will have a solid line if you’ve cleared the bar.

Garmin vivoactive HR Notifications

If you’ve paired the vivoactive HR with your phone (which is basically a must-do), all sorts of notifications can be shown on the watch as opposed to only ‘supported apps’ like on the Fitbit Blaze. It might not be able to show the full text message or Facebook message, but it does show you who sent you that message or who is attempting to call you. Big ups to Garmin for that.

Each swipe of the watch from the homescreen shows a different setting: My Day, Steps, Intensity Minutes, Last Sport played, Weather, Notifications, Heart Rate, Calendar, Music Control buttons and a remote control for a VIRB action camera (if you have one).

Garmin vivoactive HR Incoming Call

There are actually a lot of things you can do with this watch and I’m having trouble whether to call it a fitness tracker or a smart watch! Let’s call it a smart fitness watch.

Because of its e-ink display, battery life is exceptional on this: 9-10 days use in one charge. And charging only takes 2 hours with its dedicated charger.

Garmin vivoactive HR Stats

Overall the Garmin vivoactive HR can be a huge motivator to getting fit or just getting out there and moving about. It’s virtually limitless counter can measure all sorts of stats ranging from the location you’ve ran via its GPS-enabled feature, to your stroke count when swimming. All of these stats are then synced to the Garmin app on your smartphone and you have an outlook of your day/week/month/year right at your fingertips.

The vivoactive HR starts from $449 NZD and can be purchased at retail stores around New Zealand.

For more information please visit: https://buy.garmin.com/en-NZ/NZ/sports-recreation/health-fitness/vivoactive-hr/prod538374.html