- Sleek, slim, comfortable design with color touchscreen display and wrist HRM
- Built-in GPS, LiveTrack and VO2 Max
- Activity and sleep tracking features + sport tracking
- Fully waterproof
- Strength training feature still isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be
- Always looks like a sport band (i.e. no way to make it more office friendly)
- Heart rate monitor is really only accurate for running
The vivosport is a good activity band for runners, but really doesn’t add that much over the vivosmart HR+.
You can think of the vivosport as essentially the vivosmart 3+ because essentially it is the vivosmart 3 but with GPS, a color display, and LiveTracking. That’s really it. Garmin is mostly targeting runners with this fitness tracking, given that they added GPS, but avid runners will still likely prefer something like the vivoactive 3 or Forerunner 235 because they have more training features and larger displays. That said, if you run every so often and you’d like an activity band with GPS built-in, the vivosport is your best bet, although the vivosmart HR+ is much cheaper and is basically just the version 1 of this product.
Garmin vivosport Review – What else is there?
This device looks nearly identical to the vivosmart 3 [see on Amazon], but it’s $60 more expensive with an MSRP of $200, however we have seen it as low as $150 [check on Amazon]. Additionally, it tracks your steps, calories burned, distance traveled, all-day heart rate, sleep, and more. It also has inactivity alerts, alarms, and supports smartphone notifications such as text message alerts, social media messages, and more. It has a rather small display so often times you’ll need to check your phone for emails, but simple text messages and calls are helpful to see on your wrist.
Also in terms of smart features, the vivosport will control the music that is playing on your phone, but it does not have native storage for music, unfortunately. You also can control the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 from your wrist using the vivosport. For most people that’s a minimal point, but if you actually have a Garmin VIRB action camera [see on Amazon], it can be very helpful to use your activity band as a remote.
Beyond activity and sleep tracking and smart features, the vivosport will track your workouts, including running, cycling, cardio, and others straight from your wrist. It uses its accelerometer and heart rate monitor to gauge effort level and calories burned. The big thing here is that you will now get much more accurate stats regarding distance, pace, speed, etc. with the vivosport as opposed to the vivosmart 3 thanks to the built-in GPS. That goes for running and cycling. This is also where LiveTracking comes into play. If you have your phone with you while your running or cycling, you can have others remote monitor your progress form their computer. This isn’t a particular new feature for Garmin, but it is new to their activity bands and can be helpful if you want to check up on a loved one that’s out running or cycling.
Additionally, just like the vivosmart 3, the vivosport will have a strength training feature where the band is supposed to track your reps, sets, and rest times as well as automatically recognize the exercise that you’re doing, however, it’s not that helpful. It’s largely inaccurate with what it infers about your workout and we have yet to find it really helpful. It’s a good idea in theory, but this is an immensely difficult technology to pull off—it’s just not perfected yet.
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In terms of battery life, expect 4-7 days depending on usage. Having Bluetooth switched on, plus the heart rate monitor and GPS means the battery life will be drained much more quickly than if you simply use it as an activity tracker. But what’s the point of getting the vivosport if you aren’t going to use GPS? There isn’t any, so expect to get around 4 days on a single charge.
The vivosport syncs with the Garmin Connect app (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and the web). That’s where all of your personal data will be stored. Garmin gives you a default steps goal, which you can edit, but this is how you’ll stay on top of your activity level. Garmin even adjusts your daily goal based on your prior steps history to make sure the goal is a stretch, but isn’t unreasonable. We think this Auto-Goal is a neat feature. The app will also keep all of your workouts together in one place as well.