Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit - Black (Certified Refurbished)

Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker Regular Fit - Black (Certified Refurbished)

Wear today’s fitness goal on your wrist with vívosmart HR, activity tracker with Garmin Elevate wrist Heart rate technology. It's the touchscreen activity tracker with wrist-based Heart rate and a full Suite of smart notifications. The sleek band is comfortable to wear all day, and the always-on display shows your stats, even in sunlight. Displays steps, distance, calories, Heart rate, floors climbed and activity intensity. Receive text, call, email, calendar and other Alerts on your wrist when paired with your phone. Wirelessly syncs to your Garmin connect account, our free online community where you can join fitness challenges and save, plan and share your progress.


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Comments / reviews:
I purchased this Garmin activity tracker after having a similar Fitbit model for a year, so my review is mostly a comparison of the two. I definitely like the Garmin better than the Fitbit, but both have their positives and negatives.

For starters, the Garmin is more comfortable despite its bulkier design. Although it gets stuck on my sleeve cuffs sometimes, I frequently forget I have it on. I love that it's fully waterproof. I actually use it for health issues rather than actual activity tracking, and being able to check my heart rate in the heat of the shower is an important feature for me that was missing from the Fitbit. (I know most people won't care much about that, but thought I'd mention it since it's a plus for me.) One thing that's a little odd about wearing it in the shower is that the screen is constantly changing when the water hits it. Not a big deal, but I'm guessing it uses battery life.

Speaking of battery life, Garmin's is definitely better than Fitbit. I can go a full week without the need to recharge this. The on-screen indicator that starts flashing when the battery gets low is another positive. (Fitbit gives you a message in the app, a notification, or an email to tell you when to recharge.) Also, one of the biggest issues I had with the Fitbit was connecting the charger. It was very finicky and had to be held in an exact spot in order to make the connection, which was very frustrating. I like the design of the Garmin charging cable because it snaps on and makes a solid connection with no fuss.

The large screen is great, and I love that you can set it to show sideways so it looks more like a watch. I wish there were options on how the time and date show on the face, but it's not a huge deal. I like that you can scroll forward or backward through the stats, so I can set it to have my 2 most important stats (steps and heart rate) as first and last. I can scroll up from the main screen to see one and down to see the other without having to flip through every other screen.

I like that Garmin's sleep stats give you the distinction between light and deep sleep, but unfortunately the sleep tracking leaves the most to be desired for me. In your profile you set your standard hours of sleep, which is good because it then puts your Garmin on "do not disturb" during those hours automatically and "looks" for sleep during that time period. But so far it hasn't "looked" for sleep (or found it) outside of those hours, and that's a problem for someone like me with health issues who naps during the day. I have yet to have the Garmin pick up my naps, where the Fitbit was really good at this. And on the Fitbit, if it missed a nap I could go in and add a sleep log for the general time frame. I can't find a way to add a sleep log on the Garmin. Perhaps I'm missing something. I also haven't found the Garmin to be very accurate on tracking my actual sleep. The sleep log will show I went to sleep at say 9:30 when I really didn't go to bed until around 11:30, and it will even show that I was awake in that 2-hour time frame. So I have to go in and manually adjust the sleep record.

Garmin's notifications are far better than Fitbit. If you sync it to your cell phone, you can get all kinds of notifications and can even read them right from your tracker. I also like the addition of the weather showing up on the tracker.

Aside from the charging issue I had with my Fitbit, I also had an issue with the neoprene lifting from the screen (Fitbit did replace this under warranty, but the fact that it happened at all was disappointing). The Garmin tracker feels much sturdier and it's doubtful I will have any similar issues with this model.

Overall, it's a great tracker with only a few drawbacks and I'm glad I purchased it to replace my Fitbit.

Pretty Close to Perfect, but not quite there….

I'll note that I'm writing this review over an extended period of time so that I can go back and edit/update things as I discover them or my thoughts change about them.

First, let me start by saying that I am not a health enthusiast or fitness nut. I work out 4-6 times a week with a mixture of high-intensity bootcamp classes, running, and some yoga mixed in. I am was trying to find a replacement for my Garmin Forerunner 70 that I use for bootcamp class. I also have a Garmin 620 running watch. The FR70 tracks my time, heart rate, and calories burned using a chest strap for the HR. I wanted to purchase something that would monitor my heart rate throughout the day so that I could not only get a better idea of what my resting heart rate is, but also so I can just get an idea of how far I'm walking in a day and how many calories I'm burning just by doing my normal everyday things. Staying with a Garmin product was not even a question as I love their Garmin Connect (I've heard others may be better, but it's what I'm used to and it's what I love).

As far as fitness bands go, it looks great. Sleek. Large, but not so large that it looks bad. I'm a female with small wrists and it doesn't look over powering on me. When I wear a 'normal' watch, I have to have it low down on my wrist or it drives me crazy, so I was worried about this having to be worn above the wrist bone. Honestly, it doesn't bother me at all. The watch fits snugly but you don't feel it at all. I will say that I bought the 'Regular' fit and am somewhat surprised how small it is since it's worn above the wrist bone (if I put it below the wrist bone on my wrist, then I have a majority of the strap left over). I would consider my wrists to be small and I use about half of the available slots. If you're male, and you plan on wearing it above the wrist bone, definitely make sure you look at the sizing to verify you purchase the correct one.

The watch is super easy to pair with a smartphone (I paired it with an iPhone). The touchscreen is super easy. I've never had a problem with it not reacting to my touch. In fact, when worn in the shower, the water hitting the screen can cause it to flip to the next screen. I almost wish it were a little less sensitive to touch.

The information that can be displayed is pretty cool. Screen 1 (Time, Day of the Week, Date, activity bar when visible), Screen 2 (Total Steps Taken, Step Goal) Screen 3: (Flights of Stairs Climbed, Goal) Screen 4 (Workout Minutes for the Week vs Total), Screen 5: (Calories Burned for the day), Screen 6: (Distance Walked through the day), Screen 7: Music Controls, Screen 8: (Weather - includes Temp, High/Low, Chance of Rain...Can also swipe to the side and see a 4 day forecast), Screen 9: (Phone Notifications), Screen 10: (Heart Rate)

The watch will automatically detect movement. If consistent for 10 minutes or more with an elevated heart rate, the watch recognizes it as exercise. After reading the manual (which is online only as with most Garmin products now), the watch recognizes moderate and intense minutes of exercise. The default is 150 minutes a week; however, you can go in and change it.

If you want to specifically start your own workout without relying on the watch to recognize the change, just hit the button. You will be able to choose between 'Run,' 'Cardio,' and 'Other.' I chose the 'other' option for my bootcamp classes. I get three screens (HR, Time, Calories). Only one field/screen is displayed at a time, but it's no big deal. I was somewhat (a lot) apprehensive about the heart rate being taken through the wrist vs the heart strap; therefore, for the first week, I wore both watches to compare. I must say, I was pretty freakin impressed. The vivosmart was dead on (see photos). There were times when I would look down and the heart rate on the vivosmart was drastically different than the FR70; however, it was very quick to level out. And at the end of the workout when I compared the two on Garmin Connect, my Max HR & Average HR were off by about 2 beats per minute between the two watches. At the end of the day, two beats makes no difference to me at all. There's no way of knowing that the new vivosmart isn't the more accurate and my FR70 has been off all these years. It's two beats. Who cares? That's essentially dead on accurate in my book. The most it was ever off on calorie count between the two watches was 20 calories for an hour workout.

Having said that, it was HORRIBLE on runs. I wore it and my 620 during a 5k race to compare. When we hit the one mile marker, my 620 showed me running a distance of .99 miles. The vivosmart HR showed me running 1.3 miles! (It should be noted that I have the vivosmart HR, not the HR+ which includes the GPS). At the end of the 3.1 miles, my vivosmart showed me having run 3.9 miles. Because the distance was so far off, so was everything else. It showed me burning 590 calories (not even close) and running at a 9:00 min/mi pace (unfortunately this is not even close either, but I'm getting back to it!). So if you are considering using this for running, I would have to highly recommend something that has a GPS and/or that can be paired with a foot pod.

There are some things I am still trying to figure out. I tested the step count on a few occasions and it was again within a step or two, BUT when I wake up in the mornings, it shows me walking in my sleep. This morning, I already had 100 steps. Not sure what is causing that. If you go into 'settings' on your computer you can actually input your stride length which would improve accuracy. The second thing is the sleep function. If you go into the app, you can put what time you go to bed and wake up, causing the watch to automatically go into 'sleep' mode each night; however, unless you have a very structured schedule, that does not really work. To put it into sleep mode at night, you just hit 2 buttons. Having said that, when you put it into sleep mode at night, it tracks your sleep (deep sleep, light sleep, awake) pretty well, but when you have put it into 'do not disturb' mode to take a nap, it will not show up at as sleep.

Phone notifications -- I'm kinda confused about this. The first day that I had the watch, the text notifications would show up, but I did not feel the watch vibrate at all. I thought maybe because the phone itself was on vibrate. Not sure what changed, but I've been getting all my notifications for the last few days - and it doesn't matter if the phone is on vibrate or not. I'm thinking maybe the band was just a little loose on my arm so I wasn't feeling the vibrate alert?? Not sure….

I received the watch in the mail mid-day on Wednesday and it had enough of a charge to get me through about mid-day Thursday. That charge lasted until about 9pm on Wednesday (6 days) before the battery indicator came on. I ended up charging it around 2am on Thursday morning, so it gave at least 5 hours of notice. It took exactly one hour (to the minute) to fully charge.

There is an activity bar that appears after one hour of no movement. Another section of the bar appears every 15 minutes thereafter until there is movement. The manual only says that the line will disappear after walking a "short distance". I would walk in around the living room for what I considered "short distances" and the line didn't move. Figured out it's about 100 steps for the initial line to disappear and 25 steps for each additional section of the line. So if you're at the full two hours of no movement, roughly 200 steps will clear the line. BUT, and this is an important but, sometimes you just have to learn to ignore the activity. Your steps have to be 100% non-stop. Example: If you're getting ready in the morning, even though you are up and moving around, it is not considered movement because your standing there blow drying your hair and then walking to the closet, ect. I had a full activity bar (showing that I had not moved for the last two hours) when I walked into Target. I spent a solid hour walking around the store, but my activity bar did not clear because I was stopping to look at items. The steps HAVE to be consecutive without stopping.

Overall, I'm super excited about this watch. I'm confident that it is accurate enough for me after comparing it with my old watch (when used for bootcamp, definitely not running!) and I love that I can see my stats throughout the day. I would definitely recommend this watch to anyone looking for a fitness tracker.

The only thing that I can think of that I really dislike is the alarm & that's because the alarm options suck! You can set an alarm through the app on your phone; however, you can only set one time and it only gives you the option for 'everyday' or 'weekdays'. When the alarm does go off, it's still pretty powerful (my boyfriend woke up because the vibrating was so loud). The alarm does have a snooze option in 10 minute increments. BUT (again, this is an important but if you don't want to be late for work) if you set your alarm to go off during your normal sleep times, it will not because it's in a 'do not disturb' mode. I work 5 days and then have 4 days off. My schedule is very different during my working and non-working days. During my working days, I set my normal sleep hours from 0330-1030. When I set an alarm for 0900 without changing my normal sleep hours, it did not go off (for 3 days, luckily I had a backup set on my phone). I changed my normal wake up time and kept the alarm the same and it started going off again.

One feature that has the potential to come in handy - If you lose your phone that the watch is paired with, you can use the watch to set off an alarm (a very loud, obnoxious alarm) on your phone so that you can find it.

Overall, I love the tracker and am super glad that I bought it.

Works Great shipped on time!! I was a little hesitant to buy refurbished but there was nothing to worry about. I've been using this for about a month now and it works great. I've swam with it biked, run, had it on while i wake boarded it has been great!!!! So happy with this purchase!

Works very well. May need some adjustments walking stride length to improve precision, will depend on the person is using. The heart rate is accurate from the comparisons I was able to do. Tested with Strava (is not compatible with Endomondo) integration is OK, not perfect. Worked well with run, cardio or others not so well (in terms of HR tracking). To my expectations and my applications, is more than good - beginner/frequent user. Won't be enough for PRO usage.
Connectivity between smartphone and some android apps alerts is good too.

Works perfectly!! No issues With function. Just wish you could get a bigger or smaller band!! I have way too much excess!! But I'll live with it!
Love the notifications, accurate counters and the fact that it can get wet!

5 stars when it wouldn't work for me? Yep. I can not say enough good things about Garmin support. On three separate occasions I had truly dedicated support folks trying everything to solve my problem. For no reason known to anyone the Bluetooth sync with my Iphone 6 would drop after about two weeks. They sent me a new one. Same thing. Finally, the plug in to my computer stopped working. I LOVED the functionality of the device and am really sad it would not work for me. By the time Garmin support gave up, it was beyond Amazon's window of returns. Garmin is processing my return. It will take a long time (who knows why) but they are doing the refund. I'm truly sad this didn't work for me.

I received the VivoSmart HR (VSHR) about 3-weeks ago, and have been wearing it ever since. I purchased the VSHR after having first purchased the VivoFit-2 (VF2). They both have their good points, and some not so good points, but overall I would recommend the VFHR over the VF2. And by the way, I paid full price for both units, and did not receive either at a discounted price, or free, in exchange for an “honest” review.

The one thing I liked best about the VF2 was that it was powered by replaceable (watch type) batteries that were designed to last almost a year before needing replacement (they were not rechargeable). The other best feature of the VF2 was the changeable wrist straps. They were changeable (color and fancy designs) with many options available, through Garmin, and on the open market. The VSHR wrist band is not changeable, but in my opinion, more comfortable, and secure.

The VSHR is also battery powered of course, but more like your cell phone, in that the battery is not designed to be replaceable (much like the battery in most modern cell phones), and needs to be periodically charged (again, much like the battery in most modern cell phones). However, the charge seems to be lasting, for me, a little longer than the 5-days they say it will. The time between charges can vary on the functions that the tracker is capable of. For instance, when it reminds you to Move (get up and walk), it beeps and vibrates. It has an alarm feature, so if you use that often, that draws more battery power. When you reach a goal, it vibrates. So your mileage may differ on time between charges, but I need to charge my phone way more often than I need to charge the VSHR. The charging is faster than my phone also. The VSHR will fully charge in about an hour.

The VSHR counts stairs climbed. The VF2 does not. As you know, climbing stairs takes more energy than simple steps, and this is recognized by the VSHR, but not the VF2. The VSHR also has available notifications, like email, texts, and the weather (and others), whereas the VF2 does not. I think the VSHR is easier to read, and has a better overall display. It is touch-screen also. The VF2 changes screens only by pressing a button on the side (i.e no touch screen). The VSHR also has a function button on the side, but the most used screens are available simply by swiping your finger across the screen (again, much like most modern cell phones).

The VSHR monitors you heart rate, and the VF2 does not. The VSHR will graph your resting heart rate, as well as your activity heart rate, i.e. when say you are actively walking or running. The active rate is tracked, and graphed separately.

Also, both measure your sleep activity, such as deep sleep vs light sleep (as well as time overall time slept), however with the VF2 you need to manually put it into sleep mode by pushing the function selector button on the side. With the VSHR this is automatic. No fumbling to find a button just before you fall off to sleep.

They are both waterproof, so you could swim or shower with it on, but I take mine off prior to showering in order to limit any soap buildup in or under the band.

Now, just to give this review some perspective, I am 64 years old, 5’9” and 180 lbs. I am not your normal type person that is super athletic. If you’re like me, getting long in the tooth as they say, you will appreciate the ease of setup, and the hassle free operation of the VSHR, and the free phone app (Garmin Connect), along with the health info and tracking it provides. I also own the Garmin Index bathroom scale. For me, the combination of these 2 devices, combined with the ease of use on a daily basis, certainly has made me more aware of my health stats regarding activity and weight. They are also a subtle, but effective, motivator for me to be more active, and perhaps drop a few unwanted pounds. I figure that’s a good thing !

Now, the wish list. Garmin, if your reading… wouldn’t it be great to incorporate the ability to load Medical Alert type information into this wearable device? Like loading information that would be important for medical staff should you become incapacitated and couldn’t relay this info to those that needed it. Information like current prescriptions (type and dosage), primary care physician contact info, next of kin info, any allergies or unique medical situations. Also, how about Medical Directive information, and organ donor info. Seems like this would be an excellent, and relative function of this device that tracks other health type information, to be available on demand by health professionals.
If you are thinking about a wearable activity tracker, my recommendation would be the Garmin VivoSmart HR. It costs a little more than the VF2, but well worth it in my opinion.

I can't say enough good things about the Garmin vivosmart HR. I had been shopping for a tracker for a while and someone recommended this over the more popular brands (i.e. Apple Watch and FitBit). I have to say, this was by far way better than the alternatives at the same price range. My co-workers with other devices are jealous at all the features it has an how cost effective the purchase was.
PROS:
Literally does everything! I can get my text messages, notifications, etc. straight on my wrist without having to look at my phone (REALLY HANDY IN MEETINGS!)
Easy to use. Super easy.
Syncing is automatic, night is automatic, everything is perfect.
Reminder to move is very helpful

CONS:
I have been wearing my Garmin for almost 6 months and the only con I can find is that it doesn't always match with my outfit. If I am dressing up I have to take it off which is a bummer.

My favorite part about the Garmin is that it is extremely easy to use and does a great job at keeping me to move and meet my goals. It's not as bulky as some of the alternatives on the market, its affordable, durable, and pretty.

I bought the blue for me and the purple for my wife. They work great and give us everything at our fingertips. Within a few swipes you can see your step count, heart rate, floors climbed, and activity intensity minutes along with text and call notifications and music player control. I have the phone features disabled but my wife loves them. The units were very easy to connect to the phone and average battery life is about 5 days for me and 4 days for my wife, which I assume is due to the phone notifications adding additional battery drain. Word of note on the sizing, the regular fit is perfect for my wife but I wish I would have gotten the larger-sized unit as I'm typically on the 2nd to last or last notch in the band. We love the waterproof aspect as we don't have to worry about taking them off for showers, washing dishes, being in the rain, or swimming; we can just go. I know it doesn't sound like much but after a week vacation at the beach it was very cumbersome for our friends with Fitbits always having to stop and take theirs off and then remember to put them back on.

I am little bit of a data junkie - I like analyzing data and make data driven decisions. For someone like me, this is a great way to track how I am keeping up with my fitness. Rather than "thinking" or "feeling" that I've taken enough steps, I know exactly how many steps I've taken. It's also a great motivator.

The product is well made and I haven't had any problems. It does what it does. A few reasons why it's not a 5 star product:

* It is water resistant and I wear it when swimming. However, the touch screen, when wet, it will just scroll on its own and sometimes enough to change settings.
* The strap is surprisingly small. I am a regular sized guy and it's just fits. I seriously considered returning it and getting a XL. Measure your wrist before ordering.
* The battery doesn't last for 5 days esp. if you have linked it with your phone to receive notifications. Getting notifications on this device is nice (and not something I thought I would like, but I do) but if you get a lot of notifications, the device vibrates often and I suspect that this might be the reason for the battery drain. You don't have to configure to receive notifications, but as noted above, I kinda like the feature.

All in all, happy that I got the device and recommend it.

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