Garmin Vivoactive HR: Master of Sports

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Smart watch Garmin Vivoactive HR

Garmin releases devices with a sporting spirit for a different taste and color: watches, bracelets and fitness trackers. The smart watch Garmin Vivoactive HR, which keeps track of the daily activity of its owner and measures his heartbeat, records GPS tracks, shows notifications from the smartphone and is friends with the heaped application for iOS and Android. At first glance, a fairly standard set of functions, but Garmin constantly improves its “smart” hours, and the novelty certainly should look closely.

Garmin Vivoactive HR specifications

  • Screen: transflective TFT, 0.86 “, 148×205
  • Wireless interfaces: Bluetooth 4.0 LE, ANT +
  • Sensors: heart rate, barometric altimeter
  • Protection: water resistance 5 atm, up to 50 meters
  • Navigation: GPS, GLONASS
  • Working time: up to 8 days
  • Dimensions: 30,2х57х11,4 mm
  • Weight: 47.6 grams

Packing and equipment

The clock is supposed to have a small instruction and a charging cable, with which they can also be connected to the USB port of the computer for data synchronization: suddenly, by an incredible coincidence, the owner of Vivoactive HR does not have a smartphone.


The design of the device is extremely simple, for athletes or connoisseurs of laconic design – just right, but if you want to wear a fashionable, elegant accessory on your hand, it’s better to look at other models.

“Appearance” of the watch is 100% male, the girls they did not like. However, if you select a device for functionality and use it sporadically, as a special equipment, there are no questions to the design.

The body is entirely made of black plastic, its matte coating is not dirty or scratched, there are no traces on the surface.

The strap is also plastic and is attached to the clock so that, if necessary, it can be replaced with another one – they are produced in two sizes. A strap with a corrugated texture on the outside, but inside it is smooth, the hand does not rub during various activities.

The case at the watch is thick, on the back side of it a heartbeat sensor is issued, and on the side is a contact group for connecting the charger.

Under the screen are two large mechanical buttons with a tight stroke. The left one is responsible for turning on the backlight for 10 seconds, and the right one starts the menu with sports applications.


The clock is not heavy, it is convenient to sit on the arm and do not hang out, the strap with a lot of holes helps to choose the optimal length. The watch can be worn constantly, except that during active activities under the strap the hand sweats, as in all similar gadgets.


The display of Vivoactive HR is small: 0.8 inches with a resolution of 148×205 pixels. The surface is covered with a scratch-resistant glass with a good oleophobic coating. The clock lights up if you turn your wrist or move it by hand. To save battery life, you can turn off this function and light the screen manually by pressing the button.

The display device is touch sensitive, with good sensitivity. Switching between applications and selecting all the functions are carried out by simple gestures and tapes. Despite the small diagonal, the watch perfectly copes with its duties and shows all the necessary information.


In standby mode, the display shows the time and activity scale. In addition to controlling using the touch screen, you can navigate through the menus by pressing the physical buttons. So, the right key chooses the training mode: running, running indoors, biking, golf, swimming, rowing, snowboarding, cardio, strength training, cycling or rowing. For clarity, the modes can be assigned one of a dozen color labels: so they will be easier to distinguish.

If you move your finger on the screen up or down, the program switches between the programs. By default, the following are available: power consumption per day, pedometer, active load time, last type of workout, weather, smartphone notifications, pulse. The order of these windows and the programs themselves can be configured through the application on the smartphone.

The device is in operation

Pre-configuration can be performed both on the device itself and through the application for the smartphone Garmin Connect. Specify gender, weight and age. You can also calibrate the step length for jogging to more accurately capture the data.

Garmin Connect works on smartphones running iOS and Android. There is also a web-version for computers. In it, you can create training plans, set routes for jogging and cycling. To prevent the watch from constantly vibrating on the hand, when letters are being written to the mailbox or SMS-reports about purchases are coming, you can turn off unnecessary notifications in the smartphone application.

The settings specify a minimum of daily activity, for example, 10,000 steps. As you walk, the activity scale is filled, and as soon as the norm is fulfilled, the clock will report this by vibration. If the day was very active, you can overfulfill the plan, at the same time receiving a reward for your achievement. Over time, the system “gets used to” its owner and sets new goals for it, gradually increasing the load.

In the application on the smartphone there is a list of “achivok” – the element of competition always motivates to do something else to get a pretty badge in the treasury of prizes. At the same time in Garmin Connect added the capabilities of social networks. Here you can find new friends and compete with them, as well as share the results of your workouts on Facebook or Twitter.

The new Move IQ function automatically determines the types of activities: cycling, jogging, swimming, walking, practicing on an ellipse or rowing. Its practical benefit for athletes is that the application more accurately determines the burden on the body.

The clock works around the clock and remembers everything that is possible: steps, distances, and at the same time, idleness. If you sit in place for an hour, the device vibrates, calling to move your legs. For office workers who spend hours in front of the monitor, this is a small incentive to arrange a short break and pass a hundred meters.

In addition, the clock considers the so-called “time of increased activity”, necessary for the full functioning of the human body. By default, it is 150 minutes or five half-hour sessions per week. For a trained person, these are ridiculous figures, but for a connoisseur of beer in front of the TV on the couch – a real challenge. The figure is not taken from the ceiling, but recommended by medical institutions, so pay attention.

With the help of an accelerometer, the clock keeps track of the distance traveled, and the altimeter indicates the number of floors that have been overcome. The device “understands” that a person is moving, rising higher, which means that it is going up the stairs.

The clock collects statistics on sleep cycles and graphically shows them. In the morning they wake up with a vibration on the arm, and with such a helper, it’s easier to wake up, of course, but the function of repeated triggering or several alarms would not hurt.

A built-in heart rate sensor called Elevate helps you monitor your progress during training. The sensor was developed in Garmin and put it in new models this year. The conclusions after its use coincide with the impressions of other Garmin watches: for maximum accurate results, a chest strap with a strap is needed – the clock makes mistakes. However, the difference in figures is not at all critical for the amateur of jogs, and it is easier and more convenient to study without the additional “body kit”.

Unlike more advanced models, these watches do not consider the VO2 Max indicator and do not determine the time for recovery of the organism after running. But if you do not exercise professionally, this is not decisive.

During the voyage, the clock shows the number of strokes, tempo, time, and even the type of strokes. The device also calculates the SWOLF scores based on the time and number of strokes on the standard length of the pool.

GPS-receiver in hours does not require connection to the phone and works independently, helping to determine parameters such as time, speed, distance and burned calories. At the first inclusion it is recommended to go out and spend fifteen minutes on the initial setting, so that the system works more accurately with satellites. In winter, it’s interesting to ski or snowboard with a clock: the meter measures the 3D speed using a coordinate system and distance data. And, if you wait for the lift and do not move, the device automatically stops counting. If you are not impressed by this, then we add that Garmin Vivoactive HR helps even while playing golf, recommending the direction for the strike and displaying the score.

Sync with smartphone

The bracelet shows notifications of any applications installed on the smartphone: SMS-reports about purchases on the card, comments in Telegram, letters Gmail and incoming calls. Going for a run with an accessory, can be distracted only noteworthy occasions, and all the extra posts in advance disable the settings so as not to interfere.

The clock can work as a remote control to switch tracks while listening to music, also have launched a smartphone search feature if you happen to forget where you put it, and find their own does not work.

Garmin Vivoactive HR works fine with Cyrillic, no cracks and strange characters in the messages will not. Unless there are difficulties with emoticon emoticons, they come to the bracelet with a set of signs, not a drawing, but this is not very critical. More importantly, the screen in the device is small, so reading the mail on it or long messages from social networks will be inconvenient. Therefore, this function should be treated with understanding what is happening to notify the bracelet will be, but for comfortable work with e-mail or correspondence in the messenger will have to get a smartphone.

Wireless Connectivity

The clock costs a Bluetooth 4.0 LE module with economical power consumption. In conjunction with the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Garmin Vivoactive HR worked stably. Receiving data from the smartphone, the clock shows information about the weather for the next few days. Through the wireless channel, even the firmware of the clock was refreshed.

The GPS-module works autonomously, in hours you can go for a run or do other sports without a smartphone. The positioning accuracy is high, the exact coordinates are determined without errors.

Battery life time

To charge the Garmin bracelet, you need to use a special cable with a “clothespin” on the end, the recovery of the charge takes 80 minutes.

The manufacturer declares for the device up to eight days of operation in the mode of hours or activity tracker and up to 13 hours of operation in the GPS tracker mode. As the tests showed, with a constant GPS operation, the sports accessory lasted almost 14 hours, and nine days without navigation. Rarely when the data in practice are obtained more than the ones claimed, but Garmin just has this case. But nine are in lazy mode, when there are no runs with “gluttonous” GPS, if you include it at least for the duration of training, you will have to charge the clock every 3-4 days.


With Garmin Vivoactive HR can walk, run, play sports or simply to wake up in the morning by the vibration on the hand. Need activity statistics for the day? Please, here are the results. Ready to conquer the trails and jogging in nature or want to ride a bicycle? We start GPS – and in a way. It’s very simple and fast. The clock collects a lot of information and helps you monitor your status both through the application on your smartphone and on your computer.

A device with a sporty bias will help during training, will be an incentive for additional activity or will show notifications from the smartphone, working with usual “smart” watches. Garmin Vivoactive HR knows a lot and, like a real trainer, will help improve the level of preparation for both the beginner and the former sportsman.


  • Data on the screen is perfectly visible on a sunny day;
  • Built-in heart rate sensor works constantly;
  • Excellent autonomy;
  • Fast and accurate GPS.


  • Overloaded interface of the Garmin Connect application;
  • Extremely unpretentious design.