CNET First Look
Garmin's Vivosmart HR gives Fitbit a run for its moneyCNET's Dan Graziano goes over the advantages of Garmin's latest tracker, including its water resistance and showing smartphone notifications.
Watch out FitBit. Garmin has a new fitness tracker and I have to admit I kind of like it. The Vivosmart HR is comparable to FitBit's Charge HR, and it's offered for the same price, $150 in the US. That gets you a tracker that can measure steps Distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, and heart rate throughout the day. It can also automatically track your sleep at night. But Garmin's device has two notable advantages. It can display notifications from your iPhone or Android device and it can be worn while swimming or in the shower. I'm also a fan of the large and always-on touchscreen display, which is very nice for quickly checking the time and viewing activity progress. In addition to notifications, the Viva Smart includes widgets to view the weather and control music playback right from your wrist. But it doesn't show any information on the song that's playing or the artist, which is a bit disappointing. I'm also not the biggest fan of Garmin's mobile app. It has a lot of menus and can be a little confusing to find and change some basic settings. And while the band can collect an impressive amount of data, I'm left not really know what to do with it. I walked 10,000 steps. So what? I only slept six hours? Is that bad? I wish there were some sort of coaching or personalized feedback, sort of like what Jawbone offers with its up activity trackers. The Vivosmart also isn't as discreet as the Charge HR. As for battery life, you should get about 5.5 days, which is pretty standard for a device with continuous heart rate tracking. Overall, the Vivosmart is definitely worth considering, especially if you're interested in receiving smartphone notifications on your wrist. But not yet ready for a full blown smart watch. For more information check out my full review over at cnet.com. I'm Don Graziano and that was a first look at the Garmin vivasmart HR