Sleek enough to pass acceptably through your presentation to the board, the Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS stealthily utilizes wrist-based heart rate reading to take your daily activity tracking and training data analysis to the next level. Whether you're keeping tabs on your daily steps, training for a multisport event, or running after your adventure cat who has just squirmed out of its harness, this watch is there to capture it all.
The big news about the Vivoactive HR GPS is its ability to continuously monitor heart rate through its proprietary Elevate optical sensor at the wrist, eliminating the need for a bulky, uncomfortable chest strap. The continuous data stream lets the watch not only provide feedback on current heart rate, but also accurately assess your resting heart rate in addition to all its other activity tracking features. This can help indicate fitness and health changes over time and is a huge perk for athletes looking to catch early signs of overtraining. While Garmin claims Elevate is appropriate for tracking intense activities and training zones, it may be a good idea to stick to your traditional chest strap for interval sessions until Elevate's accuracy is proven, given the issues with many of the other optical sensors currently on the market.
The Vivoactive is GPS-enabled to track routes, distance, speed, and other metrics depending on your choice of activity, which can be uploaded to Garmin Connect for in-depth analysis. It connects to Garmin's app store, Connect IQ, which opens the unit up for virtually limitless customizability through third-party apps and features. It also comes with some unexpected features, like activity goals—assigned based on inveterate activity levels—and sedentary alarms—which warn you when life at the desk is threatening your daily activity goals.
The Vivoactive HR GPS also brings the usual functionality that we've grown to expect from smart wearables, including text and call notifications, calendar synching, playlist control, steps taken, calories burned, sleep patterns, and even social media alerts, so you know the moment someone poaches one of your Strava segments.
For all these features, the Vivoactive's strongest selling point may be its body. The screen is a huge, always-on affair that's readable even under the bright Kona sun. Despite the impressive display, Garmin still manages to keep the claimed weight to just under 48g, and the profile is slim enough to transition seamlessly from saddle to pool to track or even to the golf course in the event you want to ruin an otherwise restful recovery day with a frustrating 18 hole walk.
- A do-it-all wearable for training and everyday wellness
- GPS tracks external data for smart training
- Wrist-based heart rate sensor for monitoring biometrics
- Calorie and sleep monitoring extend utility beyond sport
- Lifestyle features help keep you focused on staying active
- Syncs with smartphones, training apps, and social media
- Connect IQ store opens the Vivoactive up for third party apps