Garmin Vivoactive Review: 10 Reasons its Awesome

Garmin Vivoactive

This little watch far exceeded my expectations and does so much more that the Garmin bar mounted units that I’ve used in the past.  This device will come with me on all my future adventures on and off the bike on land and in water.  After a few weeks use, I couldn’t imagine using any other GPS device.

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider the Garmin Vivoactive as your next GPS device:

1) The Garmin Vivoactive has a modern, ultra-slim, square face with a bright customizable display.  It has a sporty and pretty sophisticated look, unlike other multisport GPS watches.  I can go from shredding the trails and directly uploading my data to work or a dinner party.

2) It’s small, thin and lightweight.  Weighing in at 38 grams and measuring 8 mm at its thickest point, you almost forget that the watch is on.  It fits great on thin wrists  and doesn’t bounce around or rub even while mountain biking.  The two small rounded side buttons don’t get pushed accidentally while riding either.

3) It has a great battery life.  Depending on how much you use the GPS and other sensors the watch and activity tracker can last up to 3 weeks without charging.  The GPS mode can track 10 full hours of activity.  Charging is a breeze and comes with a magnetic USB cradle.

Garmin Vivoactive

4) It’s a tiny but powerful GPS.  The apps it comes pre-installed with allow you to track you cycling, running, swimming, indoor cycling, treadmill running and even golf.  It has a basic return to start GPS arrow incase you get lost, it won’t give you turn by turn directions, but will help you get out of the woods alive.  The satellites pick up quickly and have been quite accurate as compared to friends GPS that ride with handlebar mounted units.

5) It syncs with my phone to alert me when I get a call, email or text and who it’s from.  This seemed a bit overkill at first, but turns out to be really useful while my phone is tucked away in a bag or unavailable at work.  Now I know exactly who is trying to contact me via a small vibration on my wrist.  It was weird, however to get a text or email while I in the shower.

6) It’s an activity tracker.  This watch tells you when you are being lazy and you have been sitting too long.  It sets goals for your activity and tracks how you have been sleeping.  It gently reminds you to move by vibrating.  It tracks steps, calories burned and distance travelled and keeps it all synced with Garmin Connect, Training Peaks and Strava if you are into that.

 

Garmin Vivoactive

7) It’s got customizable straps and watch faces.  The watch comes in black and white, but you can change it up with different colored silicone straps.  The watch wirelessly communicates with the Garmin Connect IQ Store where you can download new apps for free.  There are more and more watch faces that can display more and more data or just customize the watch face to give it a different look.

8) It’s waterproof.  You can shower and swim with the Vivoactive.  It is rated to 5 ATM and you can submerge up to 50 meters.  You really don’t need to take it off until it needs charged, and even then it’s only for an hour or so until it’s fully charged.

9) You can actually see the display in the bright sun.  The full color screen it easy to see outside and has a great backlight feature that brightens the screen indoors any time you tap the watch face.

Garmin Vivoactive

10) It has a bunch of cool apps including one that can help find your phone.  The bluetooth enabled feature makes your phone alarm so that you can find it – so long as it is within range of the bluetooth (30 meters or so).  The widgets it comes with allow you to quickly check your activity, play music from your phone, see the weather forecast, look at your calendar and check notifications from your phone.  More and more apps are being developed on the Garmin Connect IQ free store too.

Retail Price: $250 without HR, $300 with HR

Garmin Vivoactive

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