Garmin Vivosmart

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by mattjackson, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. mattjackson macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2014

    I'm considering buying a Garmin Vivosmart, and wondered if anyone on here has one/has experience of one and what their thoughts etc are?

    Reason I'm considering it is that I fancy smart watch/band of some sort, but am a bit of a 'minimalist' so to speak, and really can't get on board with these really big, flashy smart watches. Plus, I'm not really bothered about a lot of the extra functions they can do. What I really want is a wristband that has fitness functionality (i.e. step tracking etc), monitors your sleep (this is important to me as I don't sleep well), and pairs with your phone to give you text/email updates.

    The Garmin Vivosmart seems to tick all these boxes, and it is very neat and compact, and not flashy at all.

    Anybody have any thoughts on it?

    Thanks :)
  2. spriter, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    I have one and love it. Previously I had a Fuelband, Vivofit, and tried the 360. If you're into sports and have a phablet, it's a solid bet.

    Reasons I like the Vivosmart:

    1. Notifications. This is the killer app. No more missed calls or messages when I'm in the middle of something. Can customise which apps can send notifications (at least the Android client does). Can scroll through content if needed but it really just tells if I need to take my Note 4 our of my pocket or not.

    2. 5 to 7 day battery. I just leave it and it auto syncs quite a few times a day.

    3. Understated and sleek. Very thin (about half the width of the vivofit), light and comfortable when doing anything. I hardly notice it's there unlike a Fuelband. Nice feel and the strap hasn't come undone on me yet despite not using the extra safety clasp.

    4. Great for sports as well as tracking steps. 50m waterproof for swimming and works with my bike sensors (HRM, speed). The Move bar works well to remind you to stop being static which I find a great feature.

    5. Glance on off. I set it to show when I lift my wrist but you can have it always on our tap to wake.

    6. Auto goal. Set and forget. This adjusts according to your recent performance but not crazily so. Beat your goal and it'll rise a few per cent. Run a marathon and it'll increase a bit more without expecting you to run another marathon the next day.

    7. Sleep monitor. Set the band to a specific sleep and wake time or override it if needed. Tracks movement via a graph in the app.

    Other neat things: music control, alarm, find your phone (within BT distance but really handy). Works with Android and iOS.

    The app is much better than it used to be and keeps track of activities, calories and sleep etc. There's also social leaderboards and challenges if you like that.

    I typically just check the goal on the band at the start off the day and the app once a week, or when I've added a new bike activity or run. It can be as simple or in-depth as you want it to be.

    Scrolling is solid and rarely does it not register a swipe. Tapping needs a firm tap but I think this helps prevent accidental wakes.

    The only slight downside is that it can be a little hard to read in direct sunlight, even on full brightness.

    Aside from that, it's a thumbs up from me. Used mine since the US version was released and would buy another one tomorrow if I somehow lost it.
  3. mattjackson thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2014
    Thanks a lot for your info, really appreciated. Couple of questions if you don't mind:

    Can you log gym workouts (i.e. weight sessions etc) on the app as well as runs?

    Do you use the sleep monitoring at all? Is it good?

    Lastly, I'm stuck between which size to order. My wrist measures 17.1cm (171mm). Do you mind me asking a) what size your wrist is, b) which size you have, and c) which holes in the band you're on (i.e. do the studs go through the very last 2 holes near the end of the strap, or the first 2 nearest the display etc, or wherever else!)

    Thanks for your advice :)
  4. spriter, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    1 Can't see any option to add gym workouts. It's more for HRM / aerobic exercise rather than weights. I guess you could wear a heart rate monitor but no idea how accurate it'd be. However, it does connect with MyFitnessPal to bring in calorie burn info.

    2. I use sleep monitoring manually. That is, I tell it each night when I sleep and again when I wake. Just a couple of taps. There's an auto schedule if you're really regular. If you forget to tell it you're asleep or have woken up, you can adjust the times in the app and it'll update the info. Basically, it'll track your sleep regardless.

    The app then displays a graph showing movement and time. Not sure how useful this is as I tend to know if I've slept well by how I feel in the morning! Also, I'm a light sleeper so I tend to wake if I move too much. That said, it's good in the sense of historical data but it doesn't suggest how to sleep better or anything.

    3. I'm a skinny wristed cyclist and runner at 160mm. I wear the small and am right in the middle if I wear it snug (9 holes with 3 either side - the two studs have a one hole gap). Typically, I'll wear it loose by one hole so it can move away from my hand to prevent it coming undone if I flex my wrist too firmly, although it's never popped off yet. I guess you'd be on the limit at 170mm so better go large.

    Actually, just saw the Garmin site which suggests small is for 127-172mm and large 155-221mm.

    Hope that helps.
  5. mattjackson thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2014
    Yeah that helps a lot, thanks. I think I'm probably going to go for it. Really like how subtle it looks compared to most big smartwatches.

    is the Garmin Connect app decent?
  6. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    Much better after the 'modern' update they did a few months back. Cleaner and easier to see (or hide) relevant info.

    Along with your Vivosmart info it can also show data from other devices - my cycling data from an EDGE, and running info from a Forerunner, for example. There's also goal targets, trophies, and social challenges and leaderboards if you're into those.

    Best thing is being able to choose which apps can send notifications to the band so you don't get hammered non-stop. Not sure if that was the case with the iOS app last time I tried it.
  7. mattjackson thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2014
    Ah ok, yeah I think I read somewhere about choosing which notifications etc. It didn't make specific mention about not be able to be done on iOS so fingers crossed (I have an iPhone).

    Thanks for your help. Think I'm going to order a black one, probably in small initially and if it's too tight swap it. Cheers
  8. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004

    Cool, hope it meets your needs.

    The iOS app has been updated a few times since I last used it so they should have added the option to blacklist specific apps. Don't see why they'd only offer that on android.

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