Review of Garmin VivoActive

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Review of Garmin VivoActive

02nd Mar 2017

Connected watch for an active lifestyle

Got a FitBit but need more?
Want a relatively inexpensive GPS device?
Try the Garmin Vivoactive!
I did, so that I can tell you all about it...

To set the scene, I run a bit...I have a fully featured Garmin 310XT running watch for running cycling and swimming. The 310 is quite big but fully featured with ability to create and upload routes and workouts and I do still love it. But not everyone wants or can afford the full-on versions. I also have a basic fitbit - but often my clients you need need a bit more than that device. So, there is the Vivoactive.

I bought mine second-hand from another runner who had hardly used it in the year she had owned it. It was easy to set-up, that is, connect to my phone and 'Garmin connect' apps. I decided to take it on holiday with me as I did not plan to take my dress watch and whilst my Garmin would be good as we were skiing as I say it is bulky.

The watch is easy to use in it's basic forms, as a watch or simple GPS. I did have to look up how to set intervals but once you know how to do this it is easy. With two buttons only and touch screen swipe for options the device seems quite intuitive and far more so than my husband's Garmin GPS watch which constantly puzzles both of us as to where to find settings.

There are settings for walking, golf, running and swimming as well as indoor modes for use with a foot pod. It will connect to my heart rate monitor (I already have this so did not buy the HR version of the Vivoactive) although I have not done this yet as I found the HR band battery to be flat.

It is very quick to acquire the GPS 'lock', much quicker than the other watches we have at home. This could be as I have the sensor on standby most of the time I suspect whereas my other devices remain switched off until they are needed.

The battery life is very good in watch mode and in 'active' mode it has lasted for my runs to date, however I have not gone past two hours so far whilst wearing it. It also charges quickly.

Although I had planned to sell the device after writing this blog I am now going to hang onto it! I like knowing who is calling or what emails and updates are reaching my phone before I pick it up and this watch does this very well and it works well for basic training runs. I have 'customised' it with a downloadable face - there are lots on the Garmin site.

I recommend this device to those who have an active life and need more than a fitbit but don't want to carry or wear several devices or spend several hundred pounds on a full GPS or even an Apple watch.