The Good There's a wealth of features here, including all-day activity tracking, phone notifications, built-in optical heart-rate sensor, GPS, multiple sport profiles and an always-on display. It can be worn in the shower and while swimming.
The Bad It's bulky, there are occasional connection and syncing problems, and the mobile app is confusing.
The Bottom Line The Vivoactive HR's versatile, multipurpose function and design make it one of the better smart GPS fitness watches on the market.
A versatile multisport watch for active people
I've had a busy month. I've been running, cycling, swimming, rowing and hiking. And I've done all of this while wearing a single watch, Garmin's Vivoactive HR. Unlike many of Garmin's other products, the watch won't appeal to just athletes. It's an everyday fitness band, but with smartwatch elements. It gives Fitbit a run for its everyday-fitness money and is a compelling solution for anyone with an active lifestyle.
The Vivoactive HR seems to be able to do it all. There's all-day activity tracking (for things like steps, floors climbed, calories burned and sleep), smartphone notifications from your iPhone or Android device, a built-in optical heart-rate sensor and GPS for tracking a variety of activities. In addition to the ones I mentioned above, the watch can track golf, downhill and cross-country skiing, indoor cycling, indoor rowing, walking, strength training and even paddle boarding.
Even more impressive is that it can do all of this without having to be charged each night. The watch will last up to eight days, or around 13 hours with an active GPS signal. I typically got about a week, but that included five days of GPS workouts of between 40 and 50 minutes.
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