Depending on your point of view, you can call Garmin’s Vivosport a high-end fitness band or an entry-level sports smartwatch. It started out too pricey at $200 (£170, $AU300) but after being on the market for several months, its price has come down online, making it a better value.
The Vivosport has a robust feature set for a fitness band, and according to Garmin it gets up to 7 days worth of battery life. I was regularly able to go 6 days between charges when not using GPS. Like Garmin’s other smartwatches and activity trackers, this model is fully waterproof and can be used while swimming.
I found it slim and very comfortable wear. The band is pretty thin — perhaps a bit too thin for people who have big, thick wrists. I liked its look and feel on my normal-to-thinner wrists, however, especially since I find that some of the other watches just feel too big.
Along with a built-in optical heart-rate monitor that seems pretty accurate, there’s GPS tracking, an always-on color touchscreen display, notification alerts and 15 built-in sports widgets for everything from strength training to cycling and cardio.
Unfortunately, because the display is small, it can be a little tricky to navigate through all the widgets and settings. At least the touchscreen is significantly more responsive than the monochrome touchscreen found on the lower-priced Vivosmart 3.
In a lot of ways the Vivosport is simply a better version of the Vivosmart 3. The two models have similar features, but the Vivosport adds the aforementioned GPS and LiveTrack5, a feature that tracks your activity and location in real time and sends alerts to designated friends and family members, telling them where you are on a web-based map.
The Vivosport automatically tracks activity, including steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, sleep and more. As part of its 24-7 heart-rate monitoring, the device will measure your heart-rate variability and translate it into a stress level, then prompt you to breathe and relax when that level is elevated.