Garmin, as the knowledge goes, is a brand that specializes in creating products like GPS navigators. If you are living in Europe and the US, then most number of cars you come across will have Garmin GPS navigators. However, the company is also known for creating other consumer products like Fitness trackers. This article will give a full explanation on the Garmin Vivofit review. So, let’s get started.
Usually, you would expect Garmin fitness trackers to have a GPS feature installed by default. Well, Garmin has stripped out the GPS in the Vivofit and focused more on other fitness functions like Steps calculator and heart rate monitor. Fitness trackers are ideal for enthusiasts, who want to stay in shape or want to improve their fitness habits.
Using Vivofit, one can gradually develop his or her daily workout habits and stay healthy. Vivofit cannot be considered as a penultimate tracker as there are certainly some concerns attached to it, but what you get for the price is worth a second look. Here, we strip apart the Vivofit and perform a detailed dissection of every good and bad the device can offer to the users.
Garmin Vivofit Review
1. Design and Build
The moment you look at the device, it will be certain that you are not going to get a slick or stylish looking band. Instead, Vivofit is made from a rubbery material that feels like a cheap product, which resembles a lot like other regular bands. However, it is not the first of its kind, as there are many other fitness bands like Fitbit Flex that applies the same design principles.
Aesthetically, it has nothing on the table to make it an appealing device or even reflect as a higher quality plastic band like Jawbone UP24. What lacks in the appearance is more than makeup in its other department.
Unlike other fitness trackers, Vivofit Garmin is water resistant. There are no exact benchmarks set up for the device, but the company claims that it can remain water resistant until 50m. Hence, you don’t have to worry about removing the band while taking a bath and you can don the band on your wrist all the time.
The device weighs 25.5gms, which falls in the same category of its rivals like Nike Fuelband SE and Jawbone UP24. Along with the product, you get two different types of band straps, a small and a large. There are also many available color options in the market; you can get by paying extra bucks – Garmin Vivofit Replacement Strap Bands Small and Lager
The device has an LCD over the periphery of 25.5 mm width. Going through the current trends in the market, other fitness trackers like Samsung Gear Fit employs the use of AMOLED display, which is far better in comparison to the Vivofit.
However, you may not feel the need for the super impressive display as the current will do the job just fine. Another disappointing feature of the device is the lack of a backlight, making it almost impossible to see in the dark. The most probable reason would be to improve the battery life, but it is something that Garmin should have included already to make the proper use of the device in the dark.
The device has a single button, which practically display all the features such as steps were taken, distance covered, time, sleep tracking, calories burned, etc. The same button is also used for syncing and pairing purpose.
There are two variants of the devices in the market. The standard one comes as a standalone product, whereas it also arrives in a bundle with the inclusion of ANT heart rate monitor. The bundled version ramps up the price almost on the double. The ANT heart rate monitor is only compatible with ANT plus chest straps, and you may want to think twice before investing extra for a Vivofit heart rate monitor.
Overall, the design may not be as appealing to the users, but the band is durable and comfortable enough to wear all day long. There are occasional issues of the band falling off due to the poor stability of the clasp.
2. Fitness tracking
When you compare the product with all the latest set of fitness trackers on the market, you are not going to get any remarkable features on board.
It has an inbuilt accelerometer that senses the motion, which is present in almost every other devices. Not including GPS in the device is understandable, but skipping to add altimeter has turned out to be a fatal blow to the tracker. It gets tough to keep the track of the calories burned if working out at an absolute elevation. Activities like cycling or jogging can be entered on the device, but you need to add it manually.
Along with the inclusion of the heart rate monitor, if bought the bundle, you also get the option of syncing your fitness data on the smartphone. The inbuilt Bluetooth feature offers the users to store their fitness data in the smartphone using Garmin connect app to keep the track of the data and monitor the progress of fitness regime.
4. Personal Coach & Personalized Goals
An ideal feature if you are too lazy to initiate the fitness activities. The device employs the use of a red line bar on the display, which gets generated if you are inactive for an hour. The longer you stay idle, the larger the red line becomes, which in turn reminds you to follow up the activities. This feature is pretty much the same as the vibration feature used in Jawbone UP24 if you stay idle for too long.
It is more of a personal fitness expert that can help you to improve your workout sessions. At the time of setting the device, you are allowed to enter your defined goals on fitness regimes like step counts. The Garmin fitness band keeps the track of the targets established in the device, and if you have surpassed the daily limit, it will automatically increase the count to motivate you for better results. If not, it will reduce the number. Hence, it can be an ideal fitness instructor, which can help you improve every day.
5. Battery Life
The most phenomenal quality about the Vivofit is the battery life. No longer will you have to worry about recharging the battery of the device through USB cables or placing on any docks as Garmin has installed a marvel regarding the battery. The battery last for about a year without any need to recharge at regular intervals. Hence, you can practically wear this device for about a year without any need to take it off.
6. Performance and Usability
When it comes to performance, things start to get downhill for the Vivofit. The biggest problem is the syncing and synchronizing the data. It takes several attempts just to sync the device with the computer, let alone transfer any data. The same problem is persisted in connecting with the Garmin Connect app. It simply doesn’t let the band get connected to any of the devices in the first try, which can be extremely frustrating on a regular basis. To make matter worse, if you happen to connect the device, syncing the data will make the app crash or cause discrepancies in the data itself. Quite often, you will notice that full sync is a rare sight. The Garmin Vivofit review exposes a huge syncing issue of the band that can affect its overall ratings.
Comparing it with the device like Whiting Pulse O2, the daily step counts are also inaccurate. There is no clear reason for accuracy issues, but the difference is highly visible. Another problem noticed in the band is the sleep activity. Unlike Jawbone UP24, it doesn’t provide you the results on the quality of the sleep; rather it just informs you about the movements happened during your naptime. It may be simple to use, but it is filled with an own set of problems.
7. Price And Affordability
It comes at an extremely affordable rate of $56.99, which explains a lot of lacking features in the device. Considering the price, it has a good amount of features installed. The bundled version with the inclusion of Heart Rate monitor comes with a price tag of $79.99. In any considerations, it is one of the cheap models on the market.
The detailed Garmin Vivofit fitness band review pulls out many interesting features and issues concerned with the device. The final verdict relies on the user’s preferences. True, the product has got its fair share of issues, but its phenomenal battery life, water resistant, and extremely affordable price tag puts this product way ahead in the competition. The device is worth every penny, and not many options are available for the same price tag.