When you are in the midst of your running journey, the latest gadgets are always fun! The great team at Garmin sent Megan a few of their products to try and review. Hopefully this will help you find your Garmin!
Garmin vivoactive HR
- Up to 8 days of battery life (13 hours if using GPS)
- Receive phone/text notifications (additional alerts can be added)
- GPS-enabled to keep track of running, biking, swimming, and more
- Activity tracking (steps, floors, sleep, intensity minutes)
- Heart rate monitor
- LiveTrack capability
This GPS smartwatch is a great way to stay connected all day long. Out of the box, it was very easy to set up. I gave it a charge, paired it with my phone (using GarminConnect) and I was off! The color display is easy to see (even in the sunlight) and it actually has a touch screen. After playing around with the different settings, I was able to set it up to only show the main screens I was interested in.
When it comes to size, it is a bit large on my wrist, especially compared to a Fitbit Charge. However, I quickly got used to it. (It is “slimmer” than the Forerunner 735XT, yet the screen takes up the entire length of my wrist.) The smart notifications are great, especially when my phone is tucked away in my purse. The watch will vibrate and show who texted or is calling!
When it comes to activities, the vivoactive keeps track of your normal day-to-day activities, as well as specific ones. Throughout the day, it will count your steps, as well as your sleep patterns at night. Even better, it syncs automatically with your phone, so you can take a look at the watch or the GarminConnect app to see how your activity is. And for those of us with desk jobs, the watch vibrates when you need a reminder to move!
Since running is the focus for runDisney races, I tried this out on the road. When you choose the run setting, the screen shows distance, overall time, and your current pace. If you swipe the screen, it will show the lap (which defaults to a mile) distance, time, and pace. This is most useful for tempo runs. Swipe again, and the screen shows your heart rate, heart rate zone, and average heart rate. For those using the heart rate method of running, this is a great screen to have. All screens can be customized, if you want something more specific for your training. When you finish, you can get a summary of your run, which includes the distance covered, overall time, and average pace.
Interested in other fitness activities? The watch does have a water rating of 5 ATM (withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters), so you can keep track of swim metrics. There is a cycling feature, but if you are doing so indoors, you will have to get the extra sensor. For the golfers, there is even a feature to measure shot distance, yardage, and even a digital scorecard! If you forget to set up your fitness activity, no worries! The Move IQ will automatically detect the activity (which it did during my time on the elliptical or while on a walk), which will show up in your summary on Garmin Connect!
Who is this watch for?
This watch is a great option for the runner looking for a more versatile watch. Along with the normal aspects of a GPS-enabled watch for running, it includes an activity tracker, heart rate monitor, and ability to measure additional fitness activities. If you are just looking for a running watch, the Forerunner 35 may be a better option. If you want more data to improve your running, the Forerunner 735XT may be best. The Vivoactive HR fits perfectly between these two options.
All-in-all, I would consider this a “mid-pack” watch. It goes beyond keeping track of your distance and pace, as it includes many features that smartwatches are now including.
Once again, thank you to Garmin for sending me these watches to try out!