Garmin Vivoactive Review- Smartwatch & Tracker

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Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch

It comes a time when you wonder whether you should buy an ordinary watch, a GPS Running Watch, a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. What if you could get all of those features in one ? This is exactly what you get with the new Garmin Vivoactive Smart watch!


  • Change Watch Faces
  • Smart Watch/GPS Watch
  • Swim, Bike Run, Golf
  • Activity Tracker
  • Syncs with Smart Phone
  • Readable Screen in Sun!!

It's very thin and light weight. It's a smart watch with built in garmin sports apps that support biking, swimming, running, golf and also has all the great features of activity tracking watches.

While both options are great, a GPS running watch will always take the day since it offers many features that come in handy during a workout. GPS watch can measure your speed, heart rate, show you time and missed SMS or calls. Some can even help you get back to your starting point when you are lost. What it in action in this video below.

Garmin Vivoactive Features

running featuresOne of the best fitness watches out there is the Garmin Vivoactive. Being a high-end product, Vivoactive is a do-it-all fitness watch that takes care of many of your workout needs. No need to chart down your progress on a piece paper. It comes with a heart rate monitor, GPS and several other features for recording and displaying data.

When swimming, the accelerometer technology allows the watch to record your interval distance, lapse, time, calories burned, stroke count, length pace, and many other stats. You can pause and resume swimming any time you want. The watch can handle water pressure up to the depth of 5 ATM.


Garmin Vivoactive’s design is much of a lifestyle watch. It’s thin and has a square face shape like most fitness watches. The rubber straps are flexible and have holes running way up to fit individuals with small arms. If you find the strap to be unsuitable, you can choose from the silicon and leather versions available. There prices range somewhere between $10 and $30.


Garmin Vivoactive’s screen is probably one of the most powerful and efficient parts of this fitness watch. It has a 204 x 148 pixel LCD screen that’s hardly found in most fitness watches. Its high resolution makes it possible for you to read the data without stopping to get a clear view. The efficiency of this watch’s technology allows the screen to remain on for longer periods without the battery being affected.

At night, there is a light you can use to get the reading. You can set it to turn on anytime you use the watch. However, the light is a bit dim, so you may have to struggle a little if you don’t have good eyesight.

GPS Features

The Garmin’s GPS tracker offers accurate results for all GPS enabled activities. It allows you to track all your positions even during swimming. If you get lost while running, you can use the GPS to find your way back to the beginning position.

Golf Enabled

watch golf featuresI love this feature! You can download the course you are golfing at from this database of 38,000 courses. Sync that to your watch and you now have your own built in caddy to give you the distance from the hole, dog leg distances, count your steps, keep track of your score.


Vivoactive’s connectivity to tablets and smartphones makes data transfer a walk in the park activity. Its Bluetooth is compatible with many phones and tablets, and it’s used to transfer the data to external devices for analysis.

Speaking of connectivity, the Garmin Vivoactive will keep you informed about all the things that are happening in your Bluetooth enabled phone including the messages, missed calls, emails, and updates from your social circles like Twitter. Majorly, the data shown may include the sender’s name and the message subject (for emails). Text messages can be read in full.

Most Garmin fitness watches including this one automatically syncs with the Garmin Connect Mobile. This online platform can be used as your source of motivation as you compete with friends and earn badges. You can also see where your performance stands against that of others.

Activity tracker

Fitness training demands that you record all the stats of your body’s activities even during rest time. Though not so great at monitoring sleep, Garmin Vevoactive Black still manages to record calories and distance when going about your daily activities. The results are displayed on the swappable screen for viewing. However, it doesn’t show the actual number of steps on its home screen; you’ll need to connect it to third party apps or screens to view the data.

Battery life

The Vivoactive's battery performance is impressive. It can last up to 3 weeks in regular watch mode or when it's doing activity tracking.  When the GPS features are on the watch will last up to 10 hours. It should, however, be known that even the best batteries drain quickly when the GPS tracker is turned on. Remember to switch it off when not in use.

Garmin Vivoactive

This fitness wearable doesn’t come with a in-built heart rate monitor. You will need to buy a heart rate strap  separately or go for higher end Garmin watches. Nevertheless, at its price, it already offers quite a lot. This product’s package come with three main items:

  • Garmin Vivoactive watch
  • Charging/data transfer clip
  • manual
  • Heart Strap if you choose that package with it

Product Features

  • Its ultra-thin and light weight.
  • Has a high-resolution color screen readable in the sun
  • It's GPS enabled
  • Customizable with apps and widgets from connect IQ store
  • Vibrates when there is a new message, email or a missed call.


  • Tracks a wide range of sport and fitness activities such as running, hiking, golfing and swimming
  • Vivoactive has a good battery life
  • The screen can be read in broad daylight due to its high resolution
  • Customizable interface with third party apps and widgets
  • Shows mobile phone notifications like missed calls or SMS
  • It's ultra-thin and looks attractive
  • It is waterproof


  • Doesn’t have an inbuilt heart rate monitor


Garmin Vivoactive offers many great features than most watches at the same price range. Its LED screen allows you to read the data without stopping due to its good lighting and fairly big letters. It’s a better companion for those who love running, swimming, golfing and hiking. Even though it may have its downsides, it’s still a good fitness watch worth considering.

If this still didn't trip your trigger that are still other options out there that you can see in my gps running watch reviews here.

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