Garmin Vivofit Review
The fitness tracking industry is starting to feel more crowded every day. Garmin Vivofit is one of the newest members of the industry, joining competitors like the Jawbone UP24, Samsung Gear Fit, Nike Fuelband SE, and FitBit.
What kinds of unique advantages does the Garmin Vivofit have over the competition? Find out today in our Garmin Vivofit review.
What is the Garmin Vivofit?
The Garmin Vivofit is one of several different Garmin entries into the the fitness tracking market. Over the years, the company has expanded its product lineup to include four difference devices:
— Vivofit 2: A basic activity tracker
— Vivosmart: An activity tracker which links with your smartphone to provide email, call, and text notifications.
— Vivoactive: Smartwatch which includes a built-in GPS tracker and full LED screen
— Forerunner: Advanced GPS tracking with a traditional sport watch interface and style.
Garmin is a multinational corporation which is best-known for its lineup of GPS devices. The publically-traded company was founded in Lenexa, Kansas and currently maintains headquarters in Olathe, Kansas as well as Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
In addition to fitness trackers, Garmin sells GPS tracking software, marine GPS units, handheld GPS, automotive GPS, fish finders, avionics equipment, mobile apps, and more.
Garmin Forerunner: The First Fitness Tracker
Garmin may seem like a relative newcomer to the fitness tracking industry, but the company was actually one of the first to realize there was a market for wearable fitness tracking devices.
Garmin released the first Garmin Forerunner way back in 2003. It has released dozens of different Forerunner models over the years, all of which feature a traditional sport watch interface with advanced GPS functionality and basic smart watch features – like fitness tracking and links with the Garmin Connect mobile app.
Garmin has continuously released the Forerunner over the years. In 2014, Garmin released the Forerunner 15 and 920XT, for example, which have heart rate trackers, activity trackers, and full-color screens.
Anyways, if you thought that Garmin didn’t know anything about fitness trackers: think again. They were one of the first to enter the market – which is why the Vivofit is a fitness tracker you should pay attention to.
Garmin Vivofit 2
The Garmin Vivofit 2 is Garmin’s basic, entry-level fitness tracker. It features a wristband-style design with a digital display. Its built-in watch battery should last for over a year.
Key features of the Vivofit 2 include:
— Backlit Display
— Calorie Tracking
— Daily Step Goals
— Sleep Monitoring
— Water Resistance
— Heart Rate Monitoring
— Auto Sync
— Time Display
— Activity Timer
Essentially, the Vivofit 2 does everything a fitness tracker should do: it tracks your activity throughout the day and lets you analyze your fitness and health goals.
The Vivofit 2 does a few things differently than other fitness trackers. First, it has a unique “Time to Move” bar. Vivofit will keep track of the time you spend sitting down. When you’ve sat down for two long, the Vivofit will remind you to move by slowly adding onto a red bar. The fuller this red bar becomes, the longer you’ve spent between movements. Take a quick walk to reset this meter – and become headliner.
Vivofit 2 also functions as an effective sleep tracker. You can monitor your sleep activity on your personal Garmin Connect page, which will list total sleep hours as well as the amount of time you spend moving and resting in your sleep. Unlike Jawbone trackers, however, it won’t list your REM sleep cycles or “deep” and “light” sleep.
One final advantage of the Vivofit 2 is that it’s water-resistant. You can safely swim up to 50 meters deep while wearing the Garmin Vivofit 2. Other competitors like the Fitbit don’t offer this same water-resistance functionality (most, however, are rain and sweat-resistant).
You can keep track of all the data Vivofit 2 collects by using the Garmin Connect app or website. You can log into your profile or download the app to view information on-the-go. The app displays your amount of activity over the week, including steps taken, total calories burned, and percentage achieved towards daily goals.
One thing the Vivofit 2 won’t do, however, is track your heart rate. If you want the Vivofit 2 to track your heart rate, you’ll have to buy an additional heart rate monitor, which wraps around your chest.
The Vivofit is available in two adjustable band sizes. There are also 13 different colors from which to choose.
The basic Vivofit 2 retails for $129.99. Buying the Vivofit 2 plus heart rate monitor will set you back $169.99.
Garmin has officially discontinued the original Vivofit, although you can still find it on some store shelves. Garmin previewed the Garmin Vivofit 2 at CES 2015 and now uses that Vivofit model on its official website.
The Vivosmart is Garmin’s next level up from the Vivofit 2. It retails for $169.99, which is the same price as the Vivofit 2 + heart rate tracker package.
The Vivosmart, however, won’t track your heart rate (unless you purchase the additional chest strap). In fact, the main difference between the Vivosmart and the Vivofit 2 is the OLED display which syncs with your phone to reveal call, text, and email data.
Every time you receive a text, email, or call from your compatible Bluetooth device, your Vivosmart will gently vibrate on your wrist and display relevant information on the OLED screen.
Other than that, the Vivosmart is virtually identical to the Vivofit 2 and includes all of the following features:
— Water-Resistant Rating Of 5 ATM, Which Means It Can Be Used Up To 50 Meters Deep
— Personalized Daily Fitness Goals Based On Your Distance Traveled And Steps Taken
— Bluetooth Connectivity
— Pair Vivosmart With A Chest Strap Heart Rate Sensor Or A Bike Speed Sensor (both Sold Separately)
— Use Garmin Connect To Keep Track Of Your Fitness Data On Your Mobile Device Or Computer
The Garmin Vivosmart is available in 2 different band sizes: small and large. You can also purchase one of five different colors.
Garmin Vivoactive Review
Finally, we have the Garmin Vivoactive, which is Garmin’s smartwatch. The Vivoactive has a built-in GPS as well as a high-resolution color touchscreen.
Comparing the Garmin Vivofit 2 with the Vivoactive, there are some unique advantages, including:
— Built-in Sports Apps
— Built-in GPS
— Full-screen Color GPS
— Distance Tracking For Golf Courses With More Than 38000 Connected Courses Around The World
— Custom Watch Faces
— Water-resistant Up To 50 Meters Deep
The Garmin Vivoactive retails for a price of $249.99.
Conclusion: Which Garmin Fitness Tracker is Right for You?
Garmin offers dozens of different fitness trackers and wearable GPS units. The Vivofit 2 is the company’s fitness tracker and will suit most users perfectly well.
However, if you want a smartwatch, then Garmin also offers the Vivoactive, and if you want a fitness tracker which can display calls, emails, and text data from your phone, then there’s the Vivosmart.
If you’re comparing Garmin devices against competitors like the Fitbit, then there are a few unique advantages to consider: one major advantage is that all devices are water-resistant up to 50 meters underwater, which means you can wear them on your wrist 24/7 whether you’re swimming, sweating, showering, or whatever.
Other key advantages are the accurate GPS tracking – which is obviously Garmin’s specialty.
If those advantages are important to you, then the Garmin Vivofit 2 and other Garmin fitness trackers may be the right choice for your next fitness tracker purchase.