Garmin Vivoactive - with GPS - alternative for runners?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by paapplefan, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. paapplefan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    #1
    I am looking into the Apple Watch, but was concerned about the lack of GPS while running / jogging (without iphone). I just saw the Garmin Vivoactive. Looks interesting (comes out in April too). I like the up to 3 weeks (w/o GPS active) battery time, and smart watch notifications. It's also $100 less. I'm still using the Garmin 205 - which is like having a calculator on my wrist (although it works great). Just curious what everyone else thought of it? It's a tempting alternative, but I am wondering if I'll wish I got the apple watch and just use the old garmin on runs?
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    I still think the other Smart Watch threads are off topic.....but...

    The Vivoactive is $300 w/HRM, so only $50 less and is a little ugly to me. It would also be a lower choice to me. I have a 620 and it is a true runners watch. If buying now I might get a Fenix 3 since it has limited smart watch features and is still a good running watch.
     
  3. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Norwood, Ohio
    #3
    I'm probably going to go that route--get an Apple Watch and use my Garmin 310xt on runs. My Holy Grail is a GPS-enabled, music-playing Apple Watch that will monitor my HR all day long--while I'm sleeping, while I'm sitting at my desk, and while I'm running--monitor my sleep, and track my running/cycling distance while playing music over wireless headphones. At the moment, though, that doesn't exist. The dedicated sports watches (like our older Garmins or the newer Garmin vivoactive) are lousy smart watches. And so far, the better smart watches are lousy for serious multi-sport tracking.

    It will be a few years, I'm afraid, before someone combines the Apple Watch, Garmin 310xt, and something like the Jawbone Up3 into a single device that does everything well and has decent battery life.

    My strategy will probably be to charge my Apple Watch while I'm running. That's at least an hour every day. I'm hoping that's enough charging time.
     
  4. paapplefan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    #4
    Yeah, it will be nice when those two functions are combined someday. I love my Garmin, as I know a lot of runners love theirs. I might just wait to see both in person, but there will probably be a big part of me that will regret NOT getting the Apple Watch, if I get another Garmin.
     
  5. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    I will be running with my :apple:Watch on the left and my Garmin 620 on the right. Already have been practice running with it on the 'wrong' wrist.
     
  6. 01jeremy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    #6
    I'm planning to get both because they do different things. I swim for workouts, and obviously the apple watch can't handle that. The rest of the day the apple watch will probably estimate activity and calories better with the all day heart rate monitoring. And just be a better experience for notifications, etc. At night, switch back to the Vivoactive which monitors sleep. The apple watch probably won't do that, especially if you have to charge it every day.

    For running, I'll probably use the apple watch so I don't have to bring my phone for music. As long as it's accurate enough without gps...I suppose I could use both, the apple watch just for the music, and it would be better than bringing a big square phone even with two watches. Though maybe a little weird.

    So you really have to switch between watches if you want everything. There isn't one that does it all well yet. And as for the Fenix, it's not only much thicker than the Vivoactive, but it's practically twice the price for the same features. If you're just casually active and not a serious trekker or triathlete, the Vivoactive is a better use of money than the Fenix or 920xt or Ambit 3.
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    In my view, there is not yet a product that is both a good running watch and a good smartwatch. The current offerings are either from good running watch makers that haven't quite got the "smart" stuff down (e.g. Garmin) or smart watches made by tech companies that don't truly understand what serious runners want.

    I think we will see such a product in the not too distant future, maybe even this year, but everything currently out there clearly comes at the problem as a device that's good at one thing and trying to be good at a second but not quite getting it right.

    (I put "fitness trackers" in a third category, which holds less than zero interest for me, so I can't speak to how well it has or hasn't been merged with either running watches or smart watches.)
     
  8. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    Feb 23, 2010
    #8
  9. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #9
    Just got the fenix 3 on Friday. So far, it is a very nice upgrade to the fenix 2. I have been wearing it nonstop since yesterday at about 730 am. It has been connected to my iPhone via Bluetooth for notifications, tracking steps and sleep, connected to Wifi, and then the normal new gadget use. It is now a little more than 24 hours later and I have 93% battery left. It doesn't have a touch screen, I cannot reply to texts/emails, and the screen, while nice, is absolutely nothing compared to the :apple:Watch. But it does have GPS, it is waterproof to 100 meters, and will track all of the activities I do (hiking, running, cycling).

    To be honest, I don't want to reply to notifications on my watch. I am not interested in viewing photos on it. I don't actually want to interact with it for more than a few seconds at a time. This, to me, is where Apple misses the boat. If a lower res screen works fine and gives a week's worth of battery, you need to justify why you went with a screen that sucks the battery down in a few hours. I don't think Apple has.

    Both are compromises. Garmin compromised for usability. Apple compromised for features most won't use or need. I like Garmin's compromises better.
     
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    Perfect example, IMO, of a terrific running watch with very limited smart watch functionality. Definitely a great product, but really not comparable to the apple watch as they're wildly different in what they excel at.
     
  11. Cashmonee macrumors 6502a

    Cashmonee

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #11
    Agree completely! The Garmin, Suunto, Polar products are fitness first. There is a market for those types of devices. It remains to be seen if there is a sustainable market for notification first watches.
     
  12. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Norwood, Ohio
    #12
    I hadn't looked at the Fenix 3. It looks like a great product. I wish it had integrated HR sensors, but I know how tough those are. Most of the other fitness trackers are having issues with accuracy, and we've yet to see how well Apple Watch works. Otherwise, it hits most of my wants/needs.

    You may have cost Apple a sale, at least for the first gen. :) Now I just have to see if the Fenix 3 Sapphire looks as nice in person as it does in pictures to justify the $100 premium over the "sport" models.
     
  13. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Big D
    #13
    I have to say, I go for long walks and bike rides around a lake, and as much as I'd like to be able to leave my iPhone home, I really don't want to be out there without the ability to make a phone call if you get my drift. I love how the watch will allow me to secure the phone away in my Camelbak and not worry about dropping it. Plus, with Apple Pay, and onboard ID, I can leave my wallet home. With the Touch ID, first responders can use your finger to access the phone.
     

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