It is not just a simple watch, it is a must-have watch!
Is it better that the Apple watch? That’s the question I get asked the most. I can’t tell because I haven’t tried out the Apple watch yet. But I can assure you that with all its functions, the Garmin Vivosmart is pretty complete by itself.
Calories, steps, floors and much more
I bought this watch last Christmas. Well, I call it a watch when I should call it a multitasking activity tracker, it would be more accurate. But for the purpose here, let’s call it a watch.
I wanted to get in better shape and know exactly (or the most accurately possible), what I was doing on an everyday basis. I wanted to know more than just how much steps I took in a day. I wanted to know how many calories I was burning, how many times I was climbing the stairs at home (with 4 kids it sure seems a lot when you are not monitiring it), how was my sleep pattern (which could help me understand why I was waking up tired all the time even if I slept for 8 to 10 hours a day – BTW my blood tests results were normal) or how fast was my heart rate at rest and when training.
But I got much more than that.
It gives you all kinds of information about your daily activities, including diagrams (!!) when you connect with the Garmin Connect app. But it also let you set goals for yourself. And it is sort of exciting and rewarding when you succeed in reaching one or two or more goals each day! Sometimes I just pace back and forth for five minutes in order to get all my daily steps done!
From the watch you can get your heart rate, your target heart rate (which is so useful when training), you maximum and resting heart rate of the last four hours, the number of steps you walk as you walk them, the number of floors you are climbing, the calories you have burned so far in your day, the distance you walk/run/swim etc so far in your day or the number of minutes of intense activity you do in a week.
Much more with the Bluetooth
But that’s not all, with the Bluetooth connection you can also, from your watch directly, see who’s calling you on your mobile phone, know the local weather, see the emails/texts messages you are receiving and you can also play music from your phone! Furthermore, you can start the timer for a training session, by selecting what kind of activity you are doing: bike, run, walk, cardio etc. You then see the elasped time and can adjust your training intensity to reach your target heart rate according to what you want to get from your training session (weight loss, intense cardio session, mild activity etc).
Garmin Connect app
When using the app, you have the daily data, but also the previous days, weeks and months data so you can compare how well you are doing according to your personnal goals. You can set your goal weight and monitoring your daily weight (which is not recommended – BTW once a week is enough).
Also, you can enter manual activities where you put all the details (type of activity you did, distance, time, elevation and much more) so the app can add it to what it has already registered. There is a list of many different activities you can choose from, or you can add “another”. BTW, sometimes, your watch recognizes by itself the type of activity you performed and registered it automatically in the app (even if you did not press start on the watch and you did not select an activity in the app menu). That is how smart this watch is!
The Garmin Vivosmart watch is fairly easy to use;
It gives you more than enough information about your daily habits and training sessions;
It is a complement to your mobile phone when you are busy or training. Imagine, you don’t have to pick up the phone to know who is calling or what incoming messages you are getting. Fabulous!
The sleep function is pretty accurate;
It has an alarm so you can wake-up just from a vibrating motion on your wrist (no alarm screaming!);
It is water resistant so no need to take it off when going in the shower;
The battery lasts up to a week which I find pretty good in itself.
The steps function is accurate most of the time. When I am at Costco pushing my cart, it seems like it doesn’t recognize that I am walking my way throughout the store…!?!
Their customer service is quick and easy to reach. I tried it and was amazed how quick they answered. And they even seemed please to help me with my issue;
It is comfortable to wear and it is not too bulky on my wrist (I have really small wrist and it fits well);
The app is well done and easy to use and understand.
The stairs function is not always accurate. Sometimes it doesn’t monitore correctly how many times I climbed the stairs. Some days it works really well, and some days it doesn’t.
I reached the customer service and they told me how I could improve the situation. Under the watch there are 2 holes. Between those holes is the elevation captor. Once a week or every two weeks, you have to clean the holes and the space between them if you want the captor to work correctly. You can use water or a compressed air bottle (the one you use to clean your computer keyboard) to do so.
Even if this function is not perfect, at least it is available. Most models I looked at did not have this function.
Other than that I don’t really have any cons to tell you about. I am really satisfy with my purchase so far.
Go buy it!
Before chosing which smart watch to buy, I read a lot of reviews on the Internet. I chose this one mostly for its positive reviews, including its battery life which is longer that the other models, and the price that is really good for such a device.
If you want to buy a smart watch for your training sessions or just to know what you are doing in a day in terms of steps, intensity, sleep or floors climbed, I highly recommend you the Garmin Vivosmart watch.