I finally have a Garmin Vivoactive GPS Smartwatch. I’ve wanted a GPS Smartwatch for a while, probably ever since my Nike Fuel band broke 6 months ago and because I feel it will beneficial for my triathlon training this year.
I’ve looked at several options. I even toyed with the idea of the Apple Watch, but with some research and actually playing and touching several models, I finally settled on the one I wanted; the Vivoactive GPS Smartwatch. Then, if you remember my post What’s on this Runner’s Wish List this Christmas, you’ll see that this GPS watch was on it. And I guess I made the Nice List this year, or because my husband was attuned to my heavy hinting, but I did received it as a gift for Christmas. Yay me, and thank you to my wonderful husband!
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This is an activity tracker from Garmin that will help track my running, biking, swimming, walking, and even golfing (if I golfed). The features of the Garmin Vivoactive smart watch include:
- High resolution touch screen with a thin profile
- Customize your watch faces
- More casual looking watch, as opposed to the sportier looking ones, such as the forerunner
- The Vivoactive retails for $299 Canadian.
The Vivoactive Smartwatch comes pre-loaded with several widgets and apps.
The widgets appear on the watch face, you just swipe from side to side to scroll through them. They must be connected to your phone via Bluetooth for them to display.
The pre-loaded widgets include:
- Notifications: Notification displays information from your smart phone’s incoming calls, texts, emails, Facebook notification etc. You can’t send or reply directly from the Vivoactive smartwatch however.
- Music Controls: You can pause, or skip to the next song, or go back to a previous song using the music control.
- Weather: The weather app will display the current weather, temperature, the expected high, the expected low as well as the % precipitation.
You can download many more free more widgets from the IQ Connect Store. Widgets and Apps are created by thrid parties. You can download even a few games. The funniest, yet useless one I saw is called Internet Chuck Norris Database, where you receive Chuck Norris jokes directly on your watch! ‘Nough said!
Apps on the Garmin Vivoactive smart watch are downloaded and stored on your watch, meaning they stand alone and you don’t need your smart phone for them to work. The preloaded apps include:
Once you sync your watch to your smartphone you can view your stats. For example, the running app will collect information such as distance, pace, calories burned, elevation
You can download more third-party apps from the IQ Connect such as Maps, Workout Timers, more watch faces, compass, Workouts (A personal trainer on your wrist).
Downloadable Data Fields
As well as apps and widgets, you can also download various data fields for your Vivoactive smart watch, including heart rate with zone, graphical heart rate, animal speed, race predictors, and my favorite Beers earned.
The battery life is great. Using my watch for several weeks now, with all the activities I do, it lasts about 7 to 10 days before I need to charge it. If I do longer runs, I might have to charge it a day or two earlier. I love that I don’t have to charge it ever single day!Check out my review of Garmin's Vivoactive GPS Smartwatch Click To Tweet
- The Touch Screen: Since I’m a big apple fan, and usually don’t like non-apple products, I was quite surprised how well it did with the touch screen. This is one of the few activity trackers that have a touch screen. I love this feature since it makes it easy to navigate through the menus.
- It’s water proof: I want my activity tracker to track my swimming as well as my runs so this was an important feature. That’s one important reason why I picked this one over the Apple watch.
- Notifications: Although not necessary, it’s a neat feature to have your phone notifications pushed to your watch.
- Changeable watch faces: I love that I can switch the watch faces. You can pick a cute fun one on one day or a analogue looking watch face the next.
- Syncs with other smart phone: I love that the data can sync with other apps such s MyfitnessPal and Nike Running so that my twin sister and I have a common ground to compare our stats. Julie has the TomTom Multi Sport Watch which also pushes to those two apps. We can keep track of each other’s progress that way.
The Not So Good
- It’s not an Apple Watch: Although it is a smart watch, if you really wanted the Apple watch, you’ll be disappointed with this one. You can’t text from it and it doesn’t do everything the Apple watch does. However, if you are looking for a good multi-sport activity tracker, this one is perfect those training for a triathlon?
- It’s not an MP3 Player: One of my biggest disappointment was that you can’t download music directly to the watch. It would have been nice to go on a run with your music pre-loaded onto your watch and leaving the phone behind.
- No protection for the glass: I’m afraid of scratching or cracking the glass on the watch face. I wish there was a bumper we could buy to protect it.
- The glass gets dirty quickly: And finally, my biggest pet peeve is that the glass gets dirty quickly.
Overall, the good by far out weighs the bad with the Vivoactive GPS Smart watch and I’m extremely happy with it. I would definitely recommend it!
Join the conversation?
- Do you have a smart watch or an activity tracker?
- Which one do you use?
- Do you have any pet peeves about it?
- If you don’t have an activity tracker, how do you keep track of your running stats?