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Garmin Vivosmart: An activity tracker with smartphone notfications

Garmin's latest activity tracker can also display notifications from your iPhone or Android device.

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Dan Graziano
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1 of 15 Dan Graziano/CNET

The new Garmin Vivosmart can track your steps taken, distance traveled, sleep and calories burned. It can also display notifications from your smartphone.

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The band is thin, flexible and lightweight. Most of the time you forget that it's actually on your wrist.

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There is an invisible OLED screen that will display all of your data. The screen can be turned on with a double tap on the front of the device.

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There are two small prongs you push through holes on the rubber band to keep it on your wrist.

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There is also a secondary security slider that ensures the device won't fall off.

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A long-press on the display will open a submenu with additional options. Here you will be able to enabled a special workout mode, turn on sleep tracking, change the brightness, turn off Bluetooth, check battery life, and disable notfications, among other things.

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As the name implies, the Vivosmart also includes some "smart" features. The device will alert you with a vibration when notifications arrive from your smartphone.

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Notifications can be a little difficult to read and can't respond to them or delete them.

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The Vivosmart can also play, pause, go back, skip and increase the volume of music from your phone. Unfortunately the band doesn't display the artist or song information of the music you are listening to.

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An inactivity bar will show how lazy you have been throughout the day. You will also be alerted to "move" after long periods of being idle.

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You would think that with all of these extra features, the Vivosmart's battery may suffer. That's not the case. You can expect to get around seven days of usage from a single charge.

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To charge the device and transfer data to your computer, you use a USB cord with a clamp on the end. It's easy enough to use, but because its a proprietary charging dongle, you have to be extra careful to not lose it.

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There is also Bluetooth on board to connect with your Android and iOS device. The Garmin Connect mobile app will give you information on your daily activities from the past day, week, month or year.

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While the Vivosmart can track your sleep, it can't do so automatically.  Once sleep mode has been enabled, the device will simply record your movements throughout the night.

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The Vivosmart is available in berry, blue, black, slate or purple for $170 in the US, £140 in the UK and AU$200 in Australia. The device is compatible with ANT+ chest-based heart-rate monitors and is offered in a bundle for $200, £170 and AU$230.

For more information, be sure to check out CNET's full review of the Garmin Vivosmart.

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