Review: Garmin Vivoactive HR
Summary: Really good, highly recommended for my use case. When I had to wait for a repair last year I missed it a lot.
I bought mine in June 2017 so I've had good time to think about this, in fact I guess this particular model is not being sold anymore but I might very well consider another Garmin the next time I shop for a watch.
It is a watch: It shows the time and date. Importantly for my use case it can show seconds, since I use that a lot.
It has a alarm clock built in: I can set it to 0557 (when I have to grab my backpack and head for the bus). This way I can work more efficiently from work.
It can find my phone: I've added an app that signals the phone to start chiming and blinking its camera light. Finding my phone is now more or less a solved problem, even in a hurry.
It tracks my activities: I'm no athlete, but I try to be somewhat active. In practice this often limits itself to walking (or running) to the grocery store, shunning elevators etc. With a watch that actually tracks my activities in the background and lets me see them I have more than once found that I walk a little more. I'm easily fooled that way, and I take advantage of it.
It also tracks sleep: This is nice nice since it gives me a reason to actually try to sleep a bit more. (I'm an early riser and I like it a lot but as far as I am aware getting enough sleep is healthy and beneficial in a number of ways.)
Battery life: I don't know how long the battery lasts. I guess it must be well above a week, because it doesn't bother me.
It is waterproof: somewhat waterproof at least. The repair I mentioned above was after I used it while swimming last summer. Usually it handles that great it seems but for some reason it failed last summer. Luckily getting it repaired or rather replaced costed me nothing, thanks to the staff at my local Elkjøp store who wrote an explanation and sent it back for repair.
Watch bands can easily be replaced when worn out: for me who keeps my electronics as long as possible this is important.
- getting it to connect and sync in the first place was messy (ended up restarting both the watch and the phone) after that has synced more or less flawlessly.
- while getting a replacement was quick and painless, it would of course have been better if I didn't need to get a replacement.
- don't accept a challenge (steps or floors) from a FitBit user: my older FitBit and my wife's current one seems to be far more liberal about steps. And my Garmin might easily fail to count 10 or more floors in a day (yes, I do take the stairs instead of the elevator on almost every opportunity). I haven't studied this problem closely, but here are some observations:
- it seems if I open the app from time to time during the day it is more likely to count the floors
- if you care about the statistics, don't run in stairs, walk slowly. It seems mine just doesn't believe how fast I can move between floors
- sometimes it will (would?) forget my 0557 alert or other alerts.
As usual: this is draft. I might have forgotten a lot but time is running out. Feel free to ask if you have questions and can find a way to contact me.
Edit: turns out I had forgotten to write anything at all about why this device isn't perfect