CNET First Look
The Garmin Vivoactive is an ultra-slim smartwatch with a few hiccupsCNET's Dan Graziano gives you a first look at Garmin's first smartwatch.
[MUSIC] The Apple Watch, the Moto 360, and the LG G Watch R. These are all really nice smartwatches that share one common problem. They don't have GPS, an essential feature for many runners and cyclists. Sure there's the GPS equipped Sony SmartWatch 3, but that suffers from poor battery life. That's where the Garmin Vivoactive comes in. It is part smart-watch, part activity tracker, and part GPS sport watch. It can display notifications for things like incoming calls, text messages, emails, and app and calendar alerts from your smart phone. It can also track the steps you take each day, distance travelled, calories burned, and your sleep at night. On top of all of that it uses the GPS and other sensors to measure your pace, distance, speed and more while running, biking, and even swimming. There is even an app store called Connect IQ that allows you to install third party apps and widgets. The thing I really like about the Vivo Active is the slim design. The device is incredibly lightweight coming in at only 38 grams and you barely notice it on your wrist. Even with that slim design and it always on color display, the battery life is really good. Garmin claims you will get up to three weeks in watch mode or up to ten hours with an active G-P-S signal. But I saw around seven to nine days of usage, but that included three 30 minute runs with the G-P-S enabled. While there is a lot to like about the vivo active there's still a lot that needs to be fixed. The Garmin app is dated especially when it comes to sleep tracking, and the selection of third party apps in the Connect IQ store is lacking. I also found that the watch software to be rather sluggish. And my phone randomly disconnect, and on occasion, the watch would completely freeze, forcing me to restart it. The music controls are also disappointing. While you can pause, play, and skip songs, it doesn't show you the title or the artist of the song playing, which most smart watches do these days. All in all, the Vevo Active has potential, but it still has a ways to go. Luckily a lot of these problems can be fixed with future software updates. The Garmin Vivoactive is available now for $250 in the U.S. For more information, be sure to check out my full review over at CNET.com. I'm Dan Graziano for CNET and that was our first look at the Garmin Vivoactive.