Two minutes of review
The Garmin Vivomove is a stylish watch designed to deliver the best of both worlds: classic looks and key fitness tracking features – and for the most part, it delivers.
This is an unusual device for Garmin – a company best known for their GPS running watches, bike computers, and GPS devices. Not only is this watch lacking any kind of positioning system, it’s also not designed for sports at all and has limited options for monitoring activity.
Instead, the Vivomove should replace your ordinary wristwatch for everyday use. It looks like a more traditional watch, with an analog dial to show the time and only small progress bars on either side of the face to indicate that it’s not a regular watch.
These indicators show you at a glance how close you are to achieving your daily step count and how long you have been inactive. However, the smarts come when you sync them with the Garmin Connect app on your phone. In-depth view of your well-being.
This watch is the original from Vivomove and has now been replaced by Vivomove HR, Vivomove 2 and Vivomove 3. However, it has performed well and is still worth considering at the right price.
Price and availability
The original Garmin Vivomove was launched in 2016 and is priced at £ 139 ($ 149, AU $ 249) for the rubber-band sport version, £ 179 ($ 199, A $ 329) for the Classic model and £ 239 ($ 299) for the 479 AU $) for steel and leather Premium Edition.
Design and display
The Garmin Vivomove is as chic as you’d like it to be, but all versions are largely similar in design. This watch looks just like a regular, pretty sleek large watch, and if it didn’t have the Garmin logo in the center, I could easily have believed it was made by a regular watch manufacturer.
This is great news for those who don’t like the geeky look of most fitness trackers and smartwatches, although the design seems to be more geared towards men, at least in case we tested the premium version.
All Garmin Vivomoves have a 42mm dial, without the option of a smaller one, but the different color schemes optimize the design character a little. For example, get one with a gold face and white strap and the look will soften.
As always with such things, it’s a matter of taste.
The build quality of the Garmin Vivomove Premium is fantastic. The main part of the watch is made of steel with glass and the strap is made of leather. Garmin watches like the Fenix 3 feel tough to the touch despite being mostly plastic, but the Vivomove falls into a completely different category.
As with the look, the build is exactly like a high-end standard watch.
The premium version is the heaviest of the three Vivomove flavors at 67g, but it really isn’t any bulkier or heavier than a standard watch of this style. And – no prizes for guessing this – wearing it feels like wearing a regular watch.
The leather strap does not cause irritation and is comfortable. I have no firsthand experience with the silicone strap version, but given Garmin’s extensive watchmaking experience, it no doubt now knows which composites cause skin irritation in some people.
Performance and fitness tracking
The face of the Garmin Vivomove is as analog as it could be, without a screen that suggests the core of the technology. The elements that make the Vivomove a fitness tracker / smartwatch are the small display bars on the left and right of the face.
The left bar measures how close you are to your daily step goal. It’s white and fills with small black segments as you move (or white segments on models with black faces). The bar on the right is red and fills up when you are inactive. Move around for a few minutes and the red will go away – like your finances, you’ll want to be in the black if you can.
Like a Fitbit, the Garmin Vivomove tracks your movements with an accelerometer. There is no GPS and practically no additional functions.
The Vivomove has neither an alarm nor a vibration function and does not display any notifications. It’s a tracker with very few goals, but it’s this low-key approach that makes the watch so easy to use.
Everything you need to see is right on the watch face, and it will likely age better than virtually any smartwatch on the market. I can imagine wearing this watch in five years. From then on, wearing a current Apple Watch will seem hopelessly anachronistic.
But your data doesn’t just stay up to date. Like other Garmin watches, the Vivomove communicates with your phone via Bluetooth and uses the Garmin Connect platform to monitor your statistics over weeks and months. It doesn’t sync all the time, but pressing the button on the side of a second will sync. It’s a no-brainer.
The Garmin Connect software isn’t the prettiest though. I came to Vivomove with the Misfit Ray, and the Ray’s software is far more attractive and far smarter.
That said, it’s roughly the same interface you get with some of the best running watches in the world, like the Garmin Fenix 3 and the Forerunner 920XT, so it certainly isn’t bad. It graphs your daily and weekly activity and does the same for your sleep patterns.
I tend to take off fitness trackers when I go to bed, but I found the Vivomove comfortable enough to wear through the night, which was a surprise given that it’s quite large.
The app shows you how long you slept each night and how often you slept soundly. Of slightly more interest, the app also offers a more analog graph that depicts your movements through the night.
Is it useful? Not particularly, but you can see if you slept as badly as it feels on those rough mornings.
The watch’s pedometer algorithm is also clever enough to reduce movement while just sitting at your desk. No wrist-worn tracker will be very accurate, but at least you won’t be taking hundreds of steps just by tapping on spreadsheets.
I can imagine a lot of people who have no experience with Garmin’s running watches wanting a Vivomove. It’s perfect for those who are just looking for very light data. Because the Garmin Connect app is also designed to take in far more complex information from precursors and other exercise equipment, it doesn’t feel particularly well tailored to that particular watch.
It speaks for a much deeper fitness tracking that the Vivomove simply cannot offer and that can feel alienating. If you want a watch to monitor your marathon training, I would recommend using a GPS running watch instead of this one.
Compatibility and battery life
The Vivomove is extremely low-maintenance. Garmin says it will take a full year without a battery to begin with. It uses a CR2032 cell like many regular watches, and you will need to take it to a specialist to have it replaced. Proper execution is critical to maintaining the Vivomove’s watertight seal. So think carefully before buying a watch tool from eBay.
The watch is water resistant to 50 meters or 5 ATM so you can swim or dive if you want; However, you will likely want the sports model with the silicone strap rather than the more expensive version with the leather strap that I am testing.
The Vivomove works with almost every current smartphone. Support for Android and iOS goes without saying, but Windows 10 devices also work. As long as your phone has Bluetooth 4.0, the two should get along well.
We don’t like using a company’s own words to describe its products, but Garmin’s claims of “timeless design” are spot on. If you’re worried about spending a ton of money on a fitness tracker or smartwatch only to be ashamed of yourself a few years later, the Garmin Vivomove is worth serious consideration.
A major part of Vivomove’s appeal is how little of that appeal depends on the technology inside. It’s a beautiful watch, and the way it transfers its fitness data to the face is entirely subordinate to this classic “vigilance”.
We would like
Life with the Garmin Vivomove is like life with a normal watch. There are no problems, which means there are worlds outside of the Apple Watch or an Android Wear watch.
The activity indicators on the Vivomove bezel are great too, giving you a quick activity update that tells you what you need to know at a glance. The one-year battery life is also excellent.
We do not want
You can’t get close to the Garmin Vivomove to compare it to any of the other Garmin watches. This is a basic fitness tracker with very limited intelligent capabilities.
Garmin Connect software also lacks the glitz of the apps you get from Fitbit and Misfit, two of the leading makers of accelerometer-based trackers like this one. You might even ignore the app most of the time.
There are some features that we’d like to see in a future version of the Vivomove as well, even if it wasn’t designed to replace this watch. An alarm and a way to illuminate the watch face at night would be handy.
The Garmin Vivomove doesn’t seem like an ambitious watch. The Smarts are elementary school level and there is very little that could be added with further software updates.
However, the extent to which it harmlessly weaves fitness tracking into classic watch design is awesome. The hardcore gadget crowd may not like it, but it is a joy to just live with.
First review: August 2016
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/wearables/garmin-vivomove-1325181/review/