The Garmin Vivosport – one of Garmin’s range of entry-level fitness trackers – is one of the smallest wearables capable of ensuring all-round activity control and health monitoring.
It might not have the stylish look of a Fitbit nor the high-tech vibe of an Apple Watch, but it incorporates the best available technologies in an affordable fitness band.
It’s not made for the pros, but if you don’t have high athletic ambitions, it offers outstanding value for money and has all the basics a fitness-savvy individual might need.
The minimalist Garmin Vivosport is a minimalist-looking fitness band designed to deliver enhanced fitness tracking and health monitoring.
It shares a wealth of features with the Vivosmart HR+ and is yet another addition to Garmin’s selection of affordable wearables such as the Garmin Vivosmart 3 and Vivoactive HR.
It offers complete activity tracking, but not at the levels specialised Garmin smartwatches do.
The redesigned version of the Vivosmart HR+, it has longer battery life, a slimmer band, and high-end features such as stress testing and the VO2 Max. It’s a worthy upgrade from the simpler models like the Vivofit 4 or Vivosmart 3.
At first glance, the Vivosport seems expensive compared with other wearables in its class. It’s hard to tell how capable it is by just looking at it, yet it packs a wealth of interesting smart and fitness tracking features that justify the higher premium.
If all you need is a step tracker, you might as well save money and opt for a Vivofit 4 instead. The Vivosport’s real rivals are sportsbands like the Fitbit Surge or Samsung Galaxy Watch.
However, a particularly welcome addition compared to other entry-level Garmin smartbands is the presence of GPS, as well as a traditional accelerometer and heart rate sensor.
Smart notifications deliver texts, incoming calls, e-mails, and push notifications directly to your wrist, while the wireless mode lets you control the music on your phone.
The battery life is not outstanding, but it’s in line with other Garmin smarts. You can expect about seven days of autonomy in smart mode and up to eight hours in GPS mode, which is quite impressive considering that the colour display is always on.
The Vivosport’s design is undoubtedly inspired by the Vivosmart 3. But while it has the same essential lines, it introduces important innovations, such as the colour display and the possibility to view it in both vertical and horizontal modes.
From an aesthetic standpoint, you can expect a sporty design in true Garmin style. There is nothing glamorous about the silicone strap, but it’s really comfortable to wear 24/7, even during the most extreme sports activities. Changing bands is impossible due to the unibody design, but you can pick from four band styles and two sizes.
An unwelcome change compared with the Vivosmart 3 is the slightly smaller display. Overall, this isn’t the most responsive or intuitive to use smartbands out there.
The Vivosport provides a wealth of fitness and health tracking features, and it’s extremely accurate. As you would expect from a sportsband of this calibre, it comes with multi-sport profiles, recognises training sessions automatically, and tracks your performance both indoors and outdoors.
The integrated GPS delivers accurate travelled distance data, and you can set personalised alerts and check live progress updates. Despite being waterproof, a slight drawback is the lack of a swim mode despite being waterproof.
For health tracking, the integration of VO2 Max and Fitness Age features is certainly welcome. First introduced on the Vivosmart 3, the VO2 Max monitors your blood oxygen levels during peak performance activity, helping you optimise your training sessions.
The Daily Stress function provides comprehensive reports about your periods of overload, while the Relax Timer enhances relaxation through timed breathing exercises – just what you need to ward off those stressors and negative thoughts.
Like every respectable fitness tracker, Garmin Vivosport incorporates heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking features, alongside calorie count, floors climbed, and auto goal challenges.
- Small but feature-packed
- Integrated GPS
- Accurate fitness tracking and health monitoring
- Good battery life
- Multi-sport profiles and smart notifications
- A rather small screen for a touchscreen
- No swim modes
- Bland design
|Garmin Vivosmart HR+||Fitbit Surge||Samsung Galaxy Watch|
|Display||Strengthened glass||Acrylic||Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass DX+|
|Resolution||72x144pixels||160 x 68px||N/A||360x360px|
|Size||9.7×19. x10mm||25.3×10.7x15mm||20.88×24.6mm||46 x49x13 mm|
|Weight||24.1 g||31 g||N/A||46 g|
|Water resistance||Swimproof||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, ANT+||Bluetooth, ANT+||Bluetooth||3G/LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life (Smart mode)||Up to 7 days||Up to 5 days||Up to 7 days||Up to 7 days|
How We Tested
To test the Garmin Vivosport, we wore it for all daily activities, from working and leisure to training and even to monitor my sleep. As I was expecting from a Garmin device, it delivers accurate metrics.
We particularly liked the always-on display that lets you use the smartband as a traditional timepiece. The anti-reflective display is fairly easy to see in daylight, although direct sunlight could make it a bit difficult to have a glimpse at it.
The Vivosport is lightweight and particularly comfortable to wear, albeit not fashionable. Yet, it’s a surprisingly capable sportsband.
Garmin Vivosport is a capable all-round smartwatch designed with the fitness-oriented individuals in mind. Perhaps not the best choice for the pros, who may be better off with a dedicated wearable, but definitely a smart pick for the regular guy or gal who wants to stay healthy and fit.
Sure, it won’t write history as the most remarkable smartband out there, but it offers an interesting mix of features and functions that are often lacking in similar devices. Undoubtedly, it offers good value for money.