Garmin Vivomove HR

The Garmin Vivomove HR is an elegant and ultra stylish fitness smartwatch. While it doesn’t offer GPS functionality, the watch delivers an array of exciting features for daily health and fitness tracking. Since the original Vivomove, the HR introduces a fashionable design makeover, a new heart rate monitor (hence the name), improved notifications, and a helpful new stress tracker. Keep reading to find out what the Vivomove HR does right and what could be improved for next time. 

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Pros & Cons
  • Beautiful design perfect for everyday wear
  • Cool subtle digital display
  • Provides accurate wrist heart rate data
  • Includes notable features like VO2 max and stress tracking 
  • Cons
    • Screen is tough to read outside
    • Display area is too small for useful notifications 
    • Not GPS enabled 
    • Key Features
      The Vivomove HR is an everyday watch that provides users with smart notifications and acts as a daily fitness tracker. It doesn’t have GPS, however, so expect estimates when tracking distance. Who’s it for? The fitness butterfly who isn’t loyal to a specific sport and doesn’t need to have their nose in their data 24/7. If you want a gorgeous looking timepiece and fitness tracker that you can wear every day, the Vivomove HR delivers. If you want GPS, look elsewhere. Users who spend most of their time outdoors may want to consider the display issues that come with the Vivomove (we discuss this later in our review).

      The watch is best suited for individuals for whom a fashionable timepiece is important. If you want a watch that you can wear on a run but also to that crucial board meeting, the Vivomove HR fits the bill. Thanks to its onboard MoveIQ functionality, you don't even need to think about recording your workouts. Forgetting to press start is yesterday's problem. The Vivo can recognize activities thanks to its accurate and clever sensors. Body pretzeling for yoga? Sweating it out and pounding the pavement on a run? Donning a helmet for a group cycling trip? No problem. MoveIQ can recognize a myriad of activities so you can worry about less and focus on getting in a great workout.

      Basic Features
      The gorgeous Vivomove features a simple analog display. The look is clean and uncluttered. Hidden behind that is a digital display so users can also see the digital date and time of day along with other stuff like step counts, stairs climbed, total daily distance traveled, and daily calorie burn. The watch also includes an alarm clock function and can be used as a stopwatch.

      At its most basic level, the Vivomove HR is a watch. Of course, it also provides daily fitness tracking thanks to its built-in accelerometer. Count your steps and keep track of the distance you travel during the day. The step counting also includes goal setting features so you can continuously strive to #BeatYesterday.
      Advanced Features
      On the surface, the Vivomove HR looks like a stylish timepiece, but a digital display hides right beneath the surface. The cleverly designed and subtly lit screen hosts an array of additional fitness-related features.

      The watch keeps track of intensity minutes so users can keep an eye on how much of their active minutes were spent doing vigorous activity. Users can control their music via the watch, too. You’ll need to connect the move to your phone since there’s no onboard music storage with this device. Connecting to your phone also keeps you apprised of the weather, and of any incoming messages or calls

      Users also get access to metrics like VO2 Max and Fitness Age. An optical heart rate monitor allows users to monitor their resting heart rate over time and look at how stress is impacting their daily lives.

      While you wear the beautiful watch on your wrist, it automatically tracks things like running or cycling with the MoveIQ function. Users can also manually start a workout by tapping and holding the screen. The watch can also be used for strength training. Keep track of repetitions and avoid losing count.

      When you hit the hay, the watch can automatically detect when you’ve decided to get some shut-eye and track movement that might occur during sleep to provide you with data on your light and deep sleep cycles.

      While workout tracking isn’t particularly comprehensive - you don’t get a whole lot of detail about your training as you might with a more sport-specific tracker (e.g., Forerunner series) - you’ll still get the basics. For those who are data hungry, however, the Vivomove might not satisfy. Thankfully, the device is TrueUP compatible, so you can wear the move all day while you work and live your life and switch to a running or cycling watch (as long as it’s TrueUP compatible, as well) without duplicating data.
      Users reported that Garmin’s Elevate heart rate technology is fairly accurate. The watch doesn’t track via GPS, though, so distance will just be an estimate but the watch still does feature a built-in accelerometer so the step counts should be fairly accurate. Overall, users were pleased with the step count accuracy.

      Most reviewers also found the sleep tracking on par with other Garmin watches, though some found the specific bedtime and wake times were a little off. Things like reading in bed or pre-Zzzz Netflix viewing can throw off the logged bedtimes. So can scrolling through Instagram for thirty minutes before you finally get out of bed to run or shower.

      The watch works with Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ technology. Users can use Garmin’s LiveTrack feature to alert friends and family of their whereabouts on the run by connecting to the Garmin Connect app on an iOS or Android device. If you have loved ones who worry about your safety while you're out and about running or cycling, it can help relieve some of their stress. Plus, you'll know you have someone looking out for you.

      The watch can also connect to Garmin’s VIRB camera and work as a remote to control it.
      Use Garmin Connect to get tons of detail on the data collected by your smartwatch. You can customize the fields displayed on your watch by way of the Connect app. The app delivers an incredible amount of useful data, including graphs and tips to help you continue improving as you set new goals for yourself. While the watch itself is very functional, connecting it to Garmin Connect brings you a whole bunch of added data analysis. The app content is fairly dense and since it's constantly being updated, the features keep coming. The app even provides helpful tips based on your data and you can view comparisons to others in your age group to see where you fall in terms of sleep quantity, mileage, and many other metrics. The web-based application is equally useful but feels a little less up to date compared to the iOS and Android apps.
      Reviewers liked the fit of the Vivomove band and none had any complaints about sizing or comfort. Many also noted that the watch was a good fit for those with smaller wrists because of its dainty screen size.
      The Vivomove looks like a regular everyday timepiece but features a hidden display in the background. The incredibly stylish Vivomove has a few tricks up its sleeve so users can get a combination of fashion and function with their watch. The gorgeous design comes in two main styles: sport or premium. The sports style is all-black and made of cheaper materials (still a classy looking option, though). The Premium styles include a white and rose gold option, a tan and black choice, and a leather and metal combo.
      The Vivomove HR is tough enough for its intended use for daily tracking. It also features a chemically enhanced glass face and is well-protected for swimming.
      A simple tap or flick of the wrist displays the digital data fields on this device. The round touchscreen OLED display has a simple aesthetic so those looking for details like that of more sport-specific watches will be disappointed.

      Reviewers commented on the fact that the digital display is very difficult to see outdoors. The text is much too subtle and extremely hard to read even when it’s not sunny outside. This makes the watch almost unusable if not indoors.

      The display measures 9.6 mm by 19.2 mm, and the digital portion is fairly small, so notifications are really just that, a way to let you know that someone is calling or texting. The tiny display area makes reading long messages difficult without having to peek at your phone.
      Like with other Garmin bands, the move’s strap is made of soft silicone and can be swapped or easily replaced if damaged. The band is about 22mm wide and doesn’t take up too much wrist real estate.
      Sizes Available
      The Garmin watch’s weight depends on the style you choose. The sports option is lighter than the premium ones. For the sports style, the weight is about 40g. The premium watch options weigh about 57g. The watch is available in two sizes small/medium (122-188mm) or a larger option (148-215mm around) for those with thick wrists.
      Ease of Use
      The Vivomove is easy to use, but outside, the display is virtually non-existent making it a tough sell for those who spend most of their time outdoors. Even without harsh sunlight, the screen is tough to read. Notifications are tough to read through, too, especially if they happen to be long text messages since the digital display area is so tiny.
      Power Source
      The watch has a rechargeable battery and can live up to 5 days with smartphone notifications enabled. If you prefer to keep notifications disabled, you can extend the battery up to two weeks, which is a much more impressive battery life. The max battery life with notifications on is a bit disappointing, though.
      For the style factor alone, the price is more than fair. It’s up to you to decide whether the devices’ weaknesses decrease its value. While the previously mentioned screen issues are a huge letdown, the fact that it tracks and displays an array of information is a bonus. If you can live without GPS and don’t mind squinting at your wrist or waiting until your inside to view the info, the Vivomove isn’t a total waste of time. Think about the price you’d pay for a stylish analog wrist watch. What about one with countless health and fitness related features that could help you on your way to achieving your lofty goals?

      The Vivomove can be connected to a Garmin VIRB camera and function as a remote. That’s the extent of compatible accessories available to be used with the Garmin watch.
      Key Features
      - NEW Built-in Elevate heart rate monitor
      - NEW Stress tracking tool
      - Text and call alerts
      - Daily fitness tracking: steps, distance traveled, RHR, calorie burn
      - Control your phone’s music
      - Analog and digital display
      - VO2 Max and fitness age
      - MoveIQ and TrueUP enabled
      - Bluetooth Smart and ANT+
      - Waterproof
      - Available in sport and premium styles
      - OLED display
      - Built-in accelerometer and barometer
      - Move alerts
      - Strength training mode for rep counting
      Bottom Line
      The elegant design of the Vivomove almost makes up for its shortcomings. For some, the poorly conceived digital display will be a dealbreaker, for others, it’ll be a minor annoyance for such a fashionable and feature-packed timepiece. If you’re more interested in looks, you’ll no doubt be pleased with Garmin’s Vivomove HR. Let’s not ignore the fact that it’s a definite improvement, both in terms of style and function, over the original Vivomove. The beautiful watch is accurate, convenient, and though it misses the mark with its faded display, it’s a great first attempt at marrying fitness functionality and classic elegance.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      Holabird Sports Link
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      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 02. 2021

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