BR Solution

Garmin Vivoactive HR In-Intensity Assessment


It’s been a couple of months since Garmin introduced the Vivoactive HR whilst at Cellular Global Congress in Barcelona.  The unit began delivery final month and I’ve been dressed in it on my wrist 24×7 since then.  The Vivoactive HR sits in Garmin’s mid-range watch pricing scheme, at $250.  It’s a bit of of a Swiss Military knife with regards to capability.  It may well monitor runs, rides, and swims – heck – even golfing, snowboarding, and rowing.  It’s now not most sensible of the road in any given class, however it’s nonetheless relatively appropriate in lots of classes.

After a month of the usage of it, I’ve were given a sexy excellent thought of what works neatly…and what kinda sucks.  Greater than that, I’ve were given a far clearer thought of who precisely this watch is absolute best for, and the way it ranks up in opposition to different competition.

Prior to we get going, be aware that Garmin did ship over this unit (a last manufacturing tool) as a loaner.  Once I’m carried out right here I’ll ship it again to them in Olathe, Kansas – similar to customary.  Then I’ll pass out and get my very own.  So, for those who discovered this convenient, hit up the make stronger hyperlinks on the finish.  With that – let’s dive into it!



I love simplistic unboxings.  And this falls relatively properly in that class.  If you’re questioning what doesn’t fall neatly into that class, it might be maximum motion cam unboxings.  They generally tend to have boatloads of mounts, attachments, and small portions that take without end to {photograph}.

We’d slide the internal of the field out slowly, revealing the watch under.  You’ll be able to upload Barry White tune right here for those who’d like.


Throughout the field you’ll in finding simply 3 issues: The watch, a charging/sync cable, and a few paper junk.


First we’ll get started with the paper junk.  This simply tells you the entire issues to not do along with your watch.  It additionally means that you can know what you’ll be able to’t blame Garmin for later.


Then we’ve were given the watch itself:


You’ll see the optical HR sensor at the again.


Additionally, be aware that the bands can detach within the tournament they want to get replaced because of needless roughness in your phase.

After all, the charging clip.  This will likely give it juice, however it additionally permits you to sync/obtain over USB in case you’re smartphone-less.


What’s that?  You wish to have a video model of the unboxing as a substitute? No downside – right here ya pass:

Whilst I perform a little measurement comparisons in that video, let’s transfer alongside to photographic-based comparisons.

Weight & Measurement Comparability:

In the case of measurement, the Vivoactive HR is indisputably relatively a bit of other than the unique Vivoactive.  For starters, the unique Vivoactive used to be all about measurement.  And now not in a large approach – however within the ‘be the smallest GPS tool ever’ kinda approach.  And it did neatly there.  With the exception of any such measurement doesn’t but allow including an optical HR sensor.  So the unit were given a bit of chunkier:


In some ways, the unit may be very an identical in measurement to the Fitbit Surge. The Vivoactive HR maintains the similar intensity around the entirety of the unit, while the Fitbit Surge is deeper at one finish, and shallower on the different.  At the face of items even though, they’re lovely an identical:


(Left to proper: FR920XT, Fitbit Surge, FR735, FR630, Vivoactive HR, Vivoactive authentic)

You’ll be able to see above that the Vivoactive HR & Fitbit Surge are skinnier than maximum round-faced watches (or the broader FR920XT).  Then again from a intensity point of view, it’s about the similar (all thin):


If truth be told, to reveal this I put those 4 watches in a row (Vivoactive authentic, FR735, Vivoactive HR, FR920XT):


Then, I decreased the digital camera equivalent to the desk.  The unique Vivoactive is clearly a lot skinnier, however the FR735XT, FR920XT, and the brand new Vivoactive HR are all just about equivalent.  The point of interest on this image is at the HR sensor of the Vivoactive HR:


What’s fascinating even though is that whilst the Vivoactive HR display screen seems larger than the unique Vivoactive, the underlying presentations are in truth equivalent.  What’s now not equivalent even though is the brand new touchscreen layer used at the Vivoactive HR.  Additionally, the display screen is turned around 90°.  The brand new contact layer together with a refreshed consumer interface offers the watch a brighter and crisper really feel.  One thing that some lamented the unique Vivoactive lacked (felt dim/uninteresting).


Additionally, at the new Vivoactive HR you’ll be able to regulate the backlight brightness, must you want to.

As for weights, ask and also you shall obtain:

Left to proper: TomTom Spark, Fitbit Surge, Garmin Vivoactive authentic, Garmin Vivoactive HR

Good enough, sufficient sizing round – let’s get onto the usage of the darn factor.

Job Monitoring & Sleep:

Given the very base of the product identify is ‘Vivo’, it stands to reason why that within the Garmin global that implies that it comes from a protracted lineup of task trackers (Vivofit, Vivoactive, Vivosmart, Vivonachocheese, and so on…).   The Vivo lineup used to be traditionally founded in step and basic task monitoring, together with sleep.  And that’s all true nowadays, excluding it’s been prolonged to incorporate computerized workout popularity, known as Transfer IQ.  However prior to we get there, let’s communicate fundamental steps and sleep.

The Vivoactive HR will monitor your steps the usage of the accelerometer within it.  It does this 24 hours an afternoon.  You’ll be able to see your steps for the day through simply swiping the display screen to the stairs widget.  That still displays you distance walked and flooring climbed.


You’ll be able to faucet that and get a weekly graph of steps or flooring:



The flooring climbed metrics is measured through the barometric altimeter inner to the watch.  The theory being that while you pass up vertically similtaneously you stroll, it approach you’re going up stairs.  It may well additionally may imply you’re pacing in circles in an elevator even though.  Nonetheless, for essentially the most phase I discovered it labored slightly neatly and I were given a long way fewer false positives in elevators than I’ve up to now on different gadgets.

Whilst state of being inactive indicators are not unusual now, they weren’t all the time the norm.  Garmin has lengthy had their state of being inactive bar, which fills up in chunks of crimson over the process an hour for those who’re lazy.  You’ll be able to see it alongside the left facet.


The state of being inactive bar is cleared through strolling about 100-150 meters.  Whilst I had some problems with this till nowadays on my unit, the day gone by’s firmware replace seems to have mounted the unsuitable clearing of the transfer bar that I noticed.  I’ve by no means had problems with function in previous Garmin gadgets, so optimistically this used to be only a one-off worm.

Under, you’ll be able to see the state of being inactive chunks cleared off the crimson bar – which means that I’ve walked the specified distance.


Subsequent is depth mins.  This used to be presented final 12 months inside Garmin wearables, and is designed to encourage you to succeed in a function of 150 mins of workout every week.  Principally, actions that get your HR up.  That follows basic well being suggestions of five days of half-hour of workout every week.  So, 5*30 = 150.  You’ll be able to swipe to look your depth mins at any time:


I’ve noticed a host of strange numbers proven for the depth mins.  At one level previous this week I may take a seat at the sofa and set up to get depth mins to acquire.  Then again, with the firmware replace the day gone by, I appear to be excellent once more and I’m no longer receiving credit score for being a sofa potato (for higher or worse).

Like with the opposite widget pages, you’ll be able to faucet on them to get an summary of the week.


Subsequent we’ve were given Transfer IQ.  This may be new, and the primary Garmin tool we’ve noticed it enabled on.  The theory here’s computerized workout popularity, even supposing you disregard to press the beginning button in an task.  Now there are some boundaries.  First is that it’s now not going to be tremendous exact.  It’s truly designed to seize walks and rides round the city, greater than it’s designed to seize an in depth exercise.  When you’re the usage of the unit, there’s no interface to look the Transfer IQ knowledge being captured.  As a substitute, all of it occurs at the back of the scenes.  The one approach you’ll be able to see the Transfer IQ captured ‘exercises’ is at the calendar web page (a 1hr stroll on this case):

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As you’ll be able to see, there’s no distance displayed for actions like biking, swimming or strolling.  As a substitute, simply length.  That’s since the unit doesn’t permit GPS.  That is purely accelerometer founded.  The following problem is that it’s handiest indexed within the calendar view at the app. I do not know why it doesn’t display up as exercises/actions love it does on different platforms (Fitbit, Withings).

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Nonetheless, I do in finding it helpful for higher quantifying the ones lengthy walks and fast rides round the city.  Those being actions that I don’t generally tend to start out the GPS for, since I don’t in most cases in finding it profitable.

Be aware that I indisputably wouldn’t use it for any of my exercises.  I would like exact accounting of that, and that’s in the long run why you purchase a GPS watch.  When you didn’t wish to seize that knowledge as it should be, then you need to in truth save a host of money and get a more effective tool (just like the sub-$100 Vivofit3), which additionally has Transfer IQ.

After all, the unit has computerized sleep monitoring.  There’s no want to press any buttons, it simply does its factor at the back of the scenes.  To permit it even though, it is very important setup/inform Garmin Attach your standard sleep occasions when the usage of the app.  Regardless that, I’ve discovered this surroundings has just about no relating accuracy of sleep monitoring (in a great way).  I’ve tracked sleep outdoor of those occasions with out factor.

2016-05-20 12.52.30 2016-05-20 12.53.15 2016-05-20 12.53.45

In the case of accuracy of the sleep monitoring, there’s two components to it.  First is whether or not it will get the falling asleep/wakeup occasions proper.  For that, it sort of feels lovely as regards to spot-on.  For comparability, only a random day the place I will display the Garmin knowledge from the Vivoactive HR, in addition to the Withings Charisma and Emfit QS knowledge:

To start out, right here’s the Garmin knowledge. It displays me me falling asleep at 3:24AM, and waking up at 9:40AM.  That’s about proper, give or take a pair mins.


Then, the Withings Charisma and Emfit knowledge (each sleep techniques positioned under your bed).  The Withings Charisma knowledge displays just about equivalent occasions.  On this case, it displays me as conscious for some time on each ends (proper).


While the Emfit knowledge turns out to suppose I right away fell asleep.  The Emfit knowledge is extra detailed even though (on many extra ranges than I’m appearing right here), showing to more or less fit what the Garmin is pronouncing with regards to sleep states/categories (i.e. deep sleep).  While the Withings turns out to separate the variation on sleep states (however were given timing extra proper).


As you’ll be able to see, issues usually development in the best techniques, however there may be nonetheless a bit of of variation from tool to tool for sleep states.  Given I haven’t any approach to independently verify my sleep states, we’ll must desk that piece.  While for falling asleep/get up occasions, that’s simple for me to substantiate and usually talking the unit will get that proper.  For me with some of these merchandise, I focal point extra at the sleep length, fairly than the precise sleep states.


I steadily get started with working in my critiques, just because it’s a excellent basis level for different sports activities.  With regards to maximum gadgets, lots of the identical ideas elevate over to different recreation modes.  As an example, knowledge displays and configuration choices are all very an identical.

To start an out of doors run with GPS (it helps each indoor and outside runs), we’ll press the decrease proper button, which displays off the to be had recreation modes.  Then we’ll faucet ‘Run’.  At this level it’ll get started in search of each GPS sign, in addition to a greater lock in your HR by the use of the optical HR sensor.  The standing of each is displayed on the most sensible of the display screen.  GPS in a bar that may ultimately flip inexperienced, and the HR icon will keep lit/forged as soon as locked.  Be aware under the HR icon isn’t but illuminated, even supposing I’ve HR proven (61bpm).


Then see how the HR icon is lit forged, because of this it’s excellent to move.  I’ve discovered this takes a bit of longer than different Garmin gadgets (upwards of a minute now and again).


If you wish to exchange any settings prior to or right through your run, you’ll cling down the decrease proper button once more (lengthy cling), which opens up the settings menu.  To begin with you’ll be within the basic settings menu, then again you’ll be able to faucet ‘Run Settings’ to get to the sport-specific settings.  This development follows for all sports activities.  Inside this space you’ll be able to configure knowledge displays, indicators, lap choices (computerized lap or handbook), auto pause, auto scroll, and GPS kind.  Plus visible sides just like the background and accessory colours.


Maximum other people might be within the knowledge displays.  The Vivoactive HR will give you 3 customizable knowledge displays.


Each and every display screen may also be custom designed with both 2 or 3 knowledge fields:


The to be had knowledge fields as of this writing are:

Timer Fields: Timer, Lap Time, Remaining Lap Time, Moderate Lap Time, Elapsed Time
Distance Fields: Distance, Lap Distance, Remaining Lap Distance
Tempo Fields: Tempo, Moderate Tempo, Lap Tempo, Remaining Lap Tempo
Pace Fields: Pace, Moderate Pace, Lap Pace, Remaining Lap Pace, Most Pace, 30s Avg Vertical Pace, Vertical Pace
Center Charge Fields: Center Charge, Moderate HR, HR Zone, Coaching Impact (got rid of), HR %Max, %HRR, Moderate HR % Max, Moderate %HRR, Lap HR, Lap %HRR, Lap HR %Max, Time in Zone
Cadence Fields: Cadence, Moderate Cadence, Lap Cadence, Remaining Lap Cadence
Temperature Fields: Temperature, 24-hour max, 24-hour Min
Elevation Fields: Elevation, Overall Ascent, Overall Descent
Different Fields: Energy, Heading, Laps, Daybreak, Sundown, Time of Day, Steps, Lap Steps

Phew! Quite a lot of choices.

As for satellite tv for pc kind, I generally tend to go away it on GLONASS.  You’ll take a few 20% hit on GPS battery lifestyles, however it will give you extra choices for satellites, which might lend a hand maintain GPS protection in difficult scenarios.

With all that in a position to move, we’ll head out and run.  Merely press the beginning button and it’ll start recording.


The unit will give you the choice to make use of both autolap or handbook lap.  I choose handbook lap, which is enabled within the settings.  When you permit it, the decrease left button turns into your lap button.  To switch displays whilst working, you’ll merely swipe the display screen up/down at the touchscreen to rotate throughout the 3 displays.

The moment-pace is lovely darn solid at the unit.  Right here’s an instance of it right through a run as I stay a gradual speed.  I then forestall and get started, to turn how briskly it reacts:

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Be aware that like just about all Garmin wearables in the previous few years, speed is proven in 5-second increments.  That is to offer a bit of extra steadiness.  All corporations (Garmin/Polar/Suunto/Apple) must easy GPS knowledge someplace alongside the road.  This appears to be the clearest approach to do it.  Be aware that for those who’re looking to hit an period speed at particular time (i.e. 6:22/mile), you’ll be able to simply use Lap Tempo as a substitute (which displays all the way down to the per-second digit).  Plus, that’s a greater approach to speed sections anyway.

It’s price declaring that the Vivoactive HR doesn’t have a beeper of any type (for audio indicators).  As a substitute, it’s simply vibration indicators.  I didn’t truly in finding this an issue even though, both right through working or in a different way.  The vibration motor used to be robust sufficient for me.

After all, to prevent/pause your run, you’ll hit the decrease proper button once more.  This then permits you to save the exercise.


It’ll at this level provide you with any PR’s (private information) that you could have induced right through the run.


And then, your run is sync’d by the use of your telephone to Garmin Attach, the place you’ll be able to analyze it extra deeply.


To your interest functions, you’ll be able to dig into the run above as an example, the usage of this hyperlink right here.

Total, for nearly all of runners, the Vivoactive HR is a forged working watch.  Be aware even though that regardless of previous statements from Garmin in a different way, the Vivoactive HR does NOT have 1-second recording charges (makes use of Good Recording).  This implies it is going to seem that the unit is reducing corners on some maps, when in truth that distance is accounted for within the overall distance, it simply didn’t plot the issues.  In my opinion, I believe that is kinda foolish since all it does is building up make stronger calls to Garmin and reduce shopper happiness.  Plus, the record sizes even on 1-second recording charges are tiny.  There’s no reason why in 2016 to have Good Recording to any extent further (heck, there wasn’t a reason why in 2010 both).  Expectantly they’ll exchange that during long term firmware updates.  I wouldn’t let that be a buying blocker, however fairly, simply one thing to pay attention to.



The Vivoactive HR can be utilized whilst biking through enabling the motorcycle mode.  Inside this mode it’ll acquire optical HR knowledge out of your wrist, or, you’ll be able to mount it for your motorcycle the usage of a easy motorcycle mount (after which acquire HR knowledge by the use of a chest strap).  The unit too can pair to ANT+ Pace & Cadence sensors.  It does now not pair to biking continual meters or Bluetooth sensors.

I’ve used the unit on a large number of motorcycle rides, and as an eye fixed it really works most commonly neatly. I’m the kind of individual even though that quite prefers a devoted motorcycle laptop.  One thing I will mount to the motorcycle, as opposed to having to rotate my wrist from anyplace it’s at the handlebars to look my watch.  However to every their very own.

Inside the biking mode (both GPS outdoor, or sensor-based indoors), you’ll get your same old pace & distance, in addition to cadence in case you have a cadence sensor.  You’ll be able to see this information at the watch in real-time through including the cadence fields.  It may well make stronger a couple of paired sensors, so you’ll be able to successfully save a couple of motorcycles (it makes use of the ‘sensor pool’ thought).  It does now not have motorcycle profiles.

Or, you’ll be able to glance at it afterwards on Garmin Attach, which can display any attached sensor knowledge (see the ‘Motorcycle Cadence’ segment in orange):


Now’s additionally a great time to discuss HR rebroadcasting.  That function permits you to depart the watch in your wrist, however broadcast the center price sign from the optical sensor to any other tool.  This fashion in case you have an ANT+ tool (like a Garmin Edge), you’ll be able to pickup the HR and show/file it.  To permit this mode, you’ll cling down the settings button and pass into the sensors menu and make a selection the optical HR sensor and permit broadcasting.


The one problem here’s that whilst within the broadcast mode, you’ll be able to’t do the rest with the watch.  You’ll be able to get started an task even though prior to you get started broadcasting, in case you wish to have to file it that approach.  However when you get started broadcasting you’ll be able to’t return for your different displays.  The task will stay recording within the background even though.  All Garmin optical HR gadgets paintings this fashion.

(Replace Would possibly twentieth: In final evening’s firmware it seems that to have damaged even that capacity, now you’ll be able to handiest permit broadcasting outdoor of an task. Sigh.)

As a result of Garmin seems perplexed on why you’d wish to do that, let me make this transparent: The sector doesn’t revolve round Garmin. The theory right here being you’ll be able to nonetheless file your exercise in your Garmin tool/platform, but, you’ll be able to additionally broadcast to any other app/tool/platform. Indoor coaching apps are exactly this reason why: Zwift, TrainerRoad, PerfPro, and so on… Biking studios, and so on… Why upload such capability handiest to cripple it?)

Now this sounds excellent in concept, and I’ve had excellent success with the concept that on different Garmin optical HR sensor enabled watches.  However at the Vivoactive HR I’ve had a large number of problems with this.  The broadcasting would finish nearly right away after enabling it (a couple of seconds).  Different customers reported it finishing after a couple of mins.  I introduced the problem as much as Garmin previous within the week, and it sounds love it can have been mounted final evening as a part of a huge firmware replace with many worm fixes in it.  I’ll verify again as soon as I will validate that replace right through a exercise (an extended length).


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The Vivoactive HR helps the recording of swim knowledge, even though handiest pool swims and now not openwater (lake/ocean/river/and so on…) swims.  The reason is that the Vivoactive HR lacks the algorithms required so that you can maintain the satellite tv for pc dropouts that happen every time your wrist dips under the outside right through an openwater swim.  While within the pool, it makes use of inner accelerometers together with a recognized pool duration to calculate distance.  Be aware there are some third birthday celebration Attach IQ apps that may do openwater swims even though (with various ranges of luck).

I’ve used the VAHR on quite a lot of pool swims now, and had just about no problems with it.  To start you’ll want to setup the pool duration.  That is required for the unit to resolve the laps you’ve swam.


Subsequent, you’ll be able to customise a unmarried knowledge web page for swimming.  As soon as within the water, the contact display screen is disabled, so that you’ve handiest were given one web page to paintings with:


When you press get started, the unit will monitor distance and different metrics as you swim.  You’ll be able to do each turn and open (non-flip) turns and it gained’t have any problems.  In my pool I steadily transfer backward and forward between the 2 of them, as other people like to face round on the finish of the lane traces and talk about the finer qualities of baguettes and cheese – thus blockading turn turns at one finish.

As a way to create units (or durations), you’ll be able to use the left (lap) button.  This will likely pause the watch and mark the top of a collection.  As an example, on nowadays’s swim I did an 800m warm-up.  On the finish of that, I hit the decrease left button to pause it.  Once I did that it went forward and inverted the display screen, letting me understand it used to be in paused mode.

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After my transient leisure, I pressed the lap button once more and it began a brand new set.  This time protecting tabs inside that set at the show fields I decided on.  Additionally, in a while it’d display those units inside Garmin Attach:


When you’re carried out, you’ll be able to press the decrease proper button (forestall) to prevent the task.  A couple of seconds later the contact display screen will re-activate and it’ll assist you to save your task.  Once more – whilst swimming the contact display screen is disabled.

Afterwards it’ll display you a short lived evaluate of your swim task.  Regardless that, it’s a long way more straightforward to dive into the main points on Garmin Attach.


In my case, I handiest had 2-3 laps lacking in overall throughout all my swim classes.  In all of the ones instances they have been simply defined through other people preventing mid-lane in entrance of me, hosing up my skill to stay fairly constant directional commute.  Keep in mind that accelerometers search for patterns, and preventing mid-way down a lane is a transparent development that you just ended that duration of the pool.

Be aware that the Vivoactive HR does NOT hook up with both the HRM-SWIM or HRM-TRI from a swimming knowledge point of view.  It may well use the ones straps for directly center price knowledge whilst above water, however it can not obtain HR knowledge from the ones straps whilst within the water.

Moreover, the Vivoactive HR disables the optical HR sensor while you get started a swim task.  Smartly, sorta.  It in truth does appear to ballot every now and then in your 24×7 HR knowledge.  This can be a little bit of a transformation from the previous when it didn’t do that.  You’ll be able to see that right through my swim it did select some knowledge issues and plot the ones:


That stated, what would occur for those who left it completely enabled whilst swimming?  And simply how neatly would it not paintings for those who went openwater swimming in working GPS mode?  Smartly, I figured I’d give each a whirl.  So…off I went right through a contemporary lake swim.

As you’ll be able to see under, the solution at the GPS monitor is lovely crappy.  The monitor seems like I used to be relatively inebriated.  However this can be a commonplace having a look monitor for a unit with out openwater swim algorithms.


Right here’s the similar swim at the different wrist through a FR920XT – a long way cleaner and the place I went:


As for the optical HR whilst swimming, it’s now not superb (therefore most probably why it’s now not enabled).  Under you’ll be able to see the way it in comparison to the HRM-TRI chest strap worn after which paired to the FR920XT.  Positive, it is going to glance love it kinda developments accurately, however for those who glance nearer lots of the peaks/valleys aren’t relatively proper.



My basic advice is that if you wish to file openwater swims that you just position it on your swim cap and easily file it as an ‘Different’ task after which manually re-categorize it on Garmin Attach in a while (it takes two seconds to do).  This time-tested and neatly used answer provides you with essentially the most correct openwater tracks.

Different Sports activities:


I simply sought after to in short contact on the entire different sports activities that the Vivoactive HR comprises inside its repertoire.  The whole record of recreation modes are:

– Run (GPS/Out of doors)
– Motorcycle (GPS/Out of doors)
– Pool swim
– Golfing
– Stroll (GPS/Out of doors)
– Row (GPS/Out of doors)
– SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard)
– Ski/Snowboard
– XC Ski
– Run Indoor
– Motorcycle Indoor
– Stroll Indoor
– Row Indoor

Then there are those modes which might be to be had so as to add:

– Power
– Aerobic
– Different

Don’t see a style you wish to have?  Smartly, you’ll be able to upload apps, which might be mainly sports activities (in truth, they truly are sports activities technically talking).  For that you just’d hit up the Attach IQ app retailer.  The entirety in stated app retailer is unfastened.


I wish to in short touch upon a commonplace query: Why does the Vivoactive HR have ski/snowboard mode, however now not the brand new FR735XT, at two times the cost?

For the ones now not acquainted, the ski/snowboard mode permits you to mechanically monitor your ski runs.  I’ve utilized in a large number of ski journeys, equivalent to those semi-recent journeys, on different Garmin gadgets.  It really works superbly neatly.  Most likely one of the crucial unswerving watch options they have got.  It pauses while you pass up the raise, after which begins a brand new ‘run’ every time you get started snowboarding/skiing. Natural awesomeness.

Then again, that function calls for a barometric altimeter.  The Vivoactive HR has any such function as it counts stairs for task monitoring (which calls for the altimeter).

Now, as to why the FR735XT doesn’t have a barometric altimeter when gadgets 1/2 as a lot do? Eff if I do know. Yeah, I agree, it’s silly.

Optical HR Sensor Accuracy:


The Vivoactive HR comprises Garmin’s Raise optical HR sensor constructed into the ground of it, which I used each in exercises in addition to in 24×7 persistent HR tracking mode.  Garmin presented this sensor this previous fall, after in the past the usage of optical HR sensors from Mio.  Whilst to start with it used to be a bit of tough in different merchandise, next firmware updates have considerably progressed accuracy.  Those updates have in large part been carried out to current Garmin merchandise the usage of the sensor (i.e. Vivosmart HR, Fenix3 HR, FR235, and so on…).

With every next new unit launched I re-visit sensor accuracy.  Whilst it’s the similar bodily {hardware}, one can see the have an effect on that firmware updates make.  Moreover, every watch has a relatively other shape issue (external design), which will have an effect on accuracy with regards to exterior gentle coming into the sensor space (which degrades accuracy of optical HR sensors).

Prior to we transfer directly to the check effects, be aware that optical HR sensor accuracy is fairly various from person to person.  Sides equivalent to pores and skin colour, hair density, and place can have an effect on accuracy.  Place and the way the band is worn are *an important* items.  A unit with an optical HR sensor must be comfortable.  It doesn’t want to depart marks, however you shouldn’t have the ability to slide a finger underneath the band (no less than right through exercises).  You’ll be able to put on it a tiny bit looser the remainder of the day.

Good enough, so in my checking out I merely use the watch all the way through my customary exercises.  The ones exercises come with all kinds of intensities and prerequisites, making them nice for accuracy checking out.  I’ve were given lengthy/secure runs, exhausting period exercises on each motorcycle and working, in addition to pace runs.  Evening and day runs, rain and solar runs.

For every check I’m dressed in further gadgets, in most cases 3-4, which seize knowledge from different sensors.  Usually I’d put on a chest strap (in most cases the HRM-TRI), in addition to any other optical HR sensor made through Scosche.  I usually believe that sensor to be essentially the most correct optical HR sensor for health/exercises nowadays.

We’ll start with a pace run of varieties from a pair days in the past (Would possibly seventeenth). It right away adopted a motorbike, so I used to be already a bit of warmed up.  I’m beginning with this run, as a result of I believe it absolute best represents what I see with the sensor.  In particular that if it stumbles any place, it’s nearly all the time within the first couple mins.  As soon as it will get previous that time, it’s in most cases fantastic.  You’ll be able to see this under.


Right here, I’ll zoom in a bit of.  You’ll be able to see the Vivoactive HR is off through as much as 25bpm for a pair mins, in comparison to everybody else.


However, as proven above, after that time it settles in properly for the remainder of the run.

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Let’s then dig into an period run, which has quite a lot of forestall/pass sections, thus hanging a pressure at the optical HR sensors with regards to maintaining a tally of issues.  We’ll get started with an more straightforward period run, longer units.


You’ll be able to see that it handles the paintings parts with out fail, it nails that.  However it does battle slightly bit at the restoration segment, particularly within the first period the place it completely misses the restoration.  However once more, in opposition to the top in the ones 4 spikes (30-second exhausting durations), it in truth tracks the paintings portion very carefully.  It’s simply the restoration that it sort of feels to leave out a bit of.

However in this period run under (other than above), it handles lovely neatly.  And has no problems right through the warm-up.  You spot some slight variance from the Scosche early on, I believe that’s as a result of I simply found out one of the most 3 Scosche LED’s died (2 years previous, a couple of washer journeys).  Nonetheless, after that, everyone seems to be most commonly satisfied.


And there are lots of instances the place the HR tracks simply fantastic right through a run.  This easy 5K run is a great instance of that:


As is that this pace run, the place handiest in short in opposition to the top it perceived to commute up (I consider it matched my cadence in short down a brief downhill segment):


Shifting to biking, we’ll get started with an indoor teacher.  This can be a longer period exercise.  Generally, it’s excellent, however there are those random issues the place it simply will get misplaced for a brief bit.  I’ve added a 15-second smoothing to this graph (Would possibly tenth) to enable you to spot those oddities:


Going outdoor, right here’s a 2hr 30min trip (Would possibly eighth).  The primary 1/2 of this trip (up till that bizarre hole) is in truth 3 straps: Scosche, HRM-TRI, Vivoactive HR optical.  Then again, the Scosche battery died on the 1hr 15min marker (I forgot to rate it), so I switched the Edge 520 over to the HRM-TRI.  However the textual content displays in a different way.  In the end, up till that time, the 3 gadgets agreed relatively properly.


Afterwards, which is more or less after I began pushing a bit of extra, is after I began seeing extra variation.  Quite a lot of variation.  The above graph is smoothed at 30-seconds because of the duration, to enable you to see variances.  There’s a large number of the second one 1/2 of the trip that simply doesn’t pan out neatly for the Vivoactive HR.

Shifting to any other trip, this one has preliminary town sections at each get started/starting (so rougher roads), after which I do laps/loops round a park within the center.  So you notice some (slightly) consistency within the center.  However through and big it’s a complete mess.


Even indoors, on this easy teacher trip the day gone by (Would possibly nineteenth), either one of Garmin’s Raise optical HR sensors (one on every wrist) gave the impression completely perplexed for the primary 5 mins.  Then they locked on and have been highest after that.  But two days prior on an almost equivalent exercise, each gadgets treated most commonly neatly right through that period of time.


Be aware that every one of my exercises whilst the usage of the tool are to be had so that you can analyze your self.  They’re within the under desk.  You’ll be able to see the opposite comparability gadgets for every one.  This identical desk may be within the GPS segment, the hyperlinks are identical.  The dates for every of the graphs above are within the higher proper nook.

Vivoactive HR Information Units

Date Exercise Kind Information Kind Comparability Hyperlink
25-Apr Biking GPS/HR Analyze
26-Apr Swimming Simply pool N/A
28-Apr Operating GPS/HR Analyze
1-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
2-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
3-Would possibly Biking GPS/HR Analyze
4-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
6-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
6-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
7-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
8-Would possibly Biking GPS/HR Analyze
8-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
9-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
10-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
10-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
11-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
12-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
12-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
13-Would possibly Pool Simply pool N/A
14-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
15-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
17-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
17-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
18-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
19-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
19-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze

Prior to I proceed to the resting HR segment, do take into account that I coated HR rebroadcasting throughout the biking segment (for loss of any place else to place it).  In that mode it merely declares your HR as though in recreation mode.  So from an accuracy point of view not anything is other there (regardless of my connection problems).

After all, we’ve were given 24×7 HR knowledge.  Generally, I in finding the true monitoring of my center price to be correct. Which is to mention that if I glance down on the watch at any time limit right through the day, the HR is proper.  As an example, as I take a seat right here typing this it’s transferring between 48-55bpm relying on how briskly my hands are typing.  All’s excellent there.


The place issues get a bit of messy even though is what occurs after I go to sleep, in addition to the way it computes my RHR.  First, let’s get started with RHR (Resting HR).  This price is usually agreed upon as being the bottom HR price you notice.  The place there may be some war of words amongst organizations is whether or not to rely sleep in ‘resting’.  That’s fantastic even though, that’s a philosophical debate.  We’ll set that apart for the instant.

What’s now not fantastic is the above (click on to zoom).  On this case, as I kind this paragraph it displays me at a HR of 53bpm.  And the bottom HR price it displays for the 4 hour time block is 49bpm.  But as you notice above – one way or the other my RHR price is 55bpm.  Huh?


Subsequent there’s the RHR monitoring web page.  This displays my RHR developments for the previous few days. You’ll be able to click on on a given day to get extra information about it.

2016-05-20 13.16.57 2016-05-20 13.17.09

So what about sleep that I discussed?  Smartly, there’s two problems right here.  First is that when I go to sleep, Garmin fails to stay checking in on my HR.  As an example, the under.  There are large multi-hour gaps there.  It’d be something if it simply checked in a couple of occasions consistent with hour (nonetheless low btw), however 2 hour+ gaps?


Garmin has carried out some paintings in different Raise founded watches to extend polling right through the motion (sunlight hours), and that’s significantly better than prior to.  However the failure to ballot accurately at evening remains to be a subject.  I’m now not certain why it’s so tough to easily have the optical HR sensor take a look at in each quarter-hour even supposing there wasn’t sufficient motion to warrant a take a look at in a different way.  Fitbit, Foundation, and others are greater than able to polling each moment, so no doubt Garmin can take a look at in 4 occasions an hour (Simply 4 seconds of three,600).

Oh, for loss of any place else to discuss battery, I’m going to plop it right here.  In spite of everything, the optical HR sensor is (on all optical gadgets) one of the most greatest battery drains there may be.  So how neatly does the Vivoactive HR’s battery cling up?  Smartly it’s a bit of difficult to mention, as a result of I’ve were given about 1hr of GPS runs/rides consistent with day jumbled together there (for much longer on weekends), in order that affects issues a bit of with regards to collection of days it lasts.  However I’d peg it at about 4-5 days between fees, inclusive of the GPS knowledge for outside actions.

GPS & Altimeter Accuracy:


Subsequent up, GPS accuracy.  For my checks, I choose to easily trip and run all over the place introduction.  Which means that I’m out working the quite a lot of and distinctive routes, it’s simply that I’m sporting a couple of GPS gadgets on the identical time to measure that exact run.  I believe it’s tremendous important that you just’re evaluating knowledge from the similar precise run, as stipulations can range each day.  I additionally suppose it’s precious that you just run all forms of other stipulations, thus working the similar path time and again isn’t as precious to me as working/driving all over the place.  Be aware that since I reside within the town, maximum of my working/driving has a tendency to start out there.  Regardless that, it then in most cases heads out into the geographical region or huge parks.  Thus I am getting a sexy large number of environmental stipulations.

Let’s get started with a 10-mile run I did on Saturday (Would possibly 14th).  For this, it used to be mainly a easy out and again.  On the super-high degree, you don’t understand any unit being an evident outlier:


And the totals on the finish appear to replicate that:


However nonetheless, let’s see the place (if any place), issues went mistaken.  If I zoom into the top (decrease proper nook), on the turnaround, you notice a bit of of war of words.  That space turns out to account for just about all the variations between those gadgets.  A few of that used to be brought about through a big bridge/overpass and going under that.  Positive gadgets did higher than different gadgets, even though the Vivoactive HR in truth treated this segment relatively neatly.


Every other space that has a tendency to motive watches problems on my runs, is that this activate/off this particular bridge.  I don’t know why, however it many times journeys up gadgets.  However this time, all gadgets made it on/off the bridge with out an excessive amount of factor.  One may poke a bit of on the Ambit3 Vertical right here, however we’re handiest speaking a pair meters variance in a single route.


Switching to a unconditionally other run (Would possibly twelfth), I sought after to turn how neatly it tracked throughout a bridge.  All 3 gadgets agreed, and much more fascinating, all 3 gadgets even were given the right kind facet of the bridge nailed:


At the turn facet, a couple of hundred meters away, all 3 gadgets struggled a tiny bit as I went down a highway in between two 5-8 tale structures.  This can be a little bit of a GPS canyon, and plenty of gadgets battle right here.  None have been horribly off, however indubitably a bit of into the structures.  Oh – and a reminder.  You’ll be able to click on to zoom in any on any of those maps the usage of the desk under (therefore why I’m bringing up the date).


Whilst I may stay on appearing sections the Vivoactive HR did neatly (or minor spaces it fumbled in short along others), I discovered that around the board it did relatively neatly in GPS accuracy.  However once more, you’ll be able to dig into any of the GPS actions under and poke round your self.

Vivoactive HR Information Units

Date Exercise Kind Information Kind Comparability Hyperlink
25-Apr Biking GPS/HR Analyze
26-Apr Swimming Simply pool N/A
28-Apr Operating GPS/HR Analyze
1-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
2-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
3-Would possibly Biking GPS/HR Analyze
4-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
6-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
6-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
7-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
8-Would possibly Biking GPS/HR Analyze
8-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
9-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
10-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
10-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
11-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
12-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
12-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
13-Would possibly Pool Simply pool N/A
14-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
15-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
17-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
17-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze
18-Would possibly Swimming Simply pool N/A
19-Would possibly Teacher HR Analyze
19-Would possibly Operating GPS/HR Analyze

Oh, after all, what about barometric altimeter knowledge?  Smartly, that knowledge is within the research tables too.  However simply when you sought after an summary of what it displays – right here’s a have a look at a couple of examples.  First, a run.  On this case you’ll be able to see the Vivoactive HR tracks alongside relatively properly with the additionally barometric founded FR920XT.  In the meantime, the GPS-altimeter founded FR630 is everywhere.


Right here’s any other instance, this one from a trip.  You’ll be able to see it in comparison in opposition to the Edge 520 (additionally barometric).  Each gadgets replicate every different, even though with a slight offset.  I don’t in most cases hassle to switch/set altitudes manually until I’m within the mountains and in finding an altitude marker someplace.  On this case they range about 5m offset from every different till about half-way throughout the trip.  It’s at that time that it began dumping out (hurricane coming in).  It’s then we see the Vivoactive HR drop a bit of in altitude, even though nonetheless fit the development right here.  At the flip-side, the Edge 520 rises relatively.  Be aware that within the center segment the ones are loops round a park, so the altitude could be equivalent every time.


Right here’s any other instance of a trip to that very same park.  On this case, the Edge 520 & Vivoactive HR get started off relatively a long way aside, however through the years the Vivoactive HR comes to a decision the Edge 520 is true, and slowly converges on it to identically fit through time I end the loops and head house.  In the meantime, the FR630 is off beating to its personal drum.


And after all, one final trip instance.  This one is in truth truly blank – displays great settlement.  I believe the rationale you notice such excellent settlement all the way through all of the trip, is this used to be after the usage of the watch outdoor at that location (with GPS), so the unit had time for the barometer to settle.


Be aware that you’ll be able to calibrate the altimeter at the Vivoactive HR, in order that would most probably cut back any of the slight transferring that I’ve noticed.  It simply seems that the Edge 520’s computerized calibration algorithms are a bit of awesome to that of the Vivoactive HR.

To get admission to the altimeter calibration menu at the Vivoactive HR, you’ll cling down the decrease proper button, then Settings > Sensors > Altimeter > Calibrate > [Enter your altitude].  Beautiful easy truly.  There aren’t another altimeter choices past that even though (in contrast to some extra complicated watches just like the Fenix3 collection).  Nonetheless, for most of the people this surroundings together with the defaults will almost definitely provide you with what you wish to have with regards to ascent/descent values.

(Be aware: All the charts in those accuracy sections have been created the usage of the DCR Analyzer device.  It permits you to examine continual meters/running shoes, center price, cadence, pace/speed, GPS tracks and many extra. You’ll be able to use it as neatly, extra main points right here.)

Smartphone Integration:


Like every Garmin wearables at the present time (heck, any wearable at the present time), the Vivoactive HR connects for your smartphone to offer further capability.  On the fundamental facet of items it’ll sync often the usage of Bluetooth Good to replace Garmin Attach cellular, which is the applying that permits you to view your exercises, steps, and different day by day well being goodness (equivalent to knowledge from the Garmin WiFi scale).

2016-05-20 13.19.55 2016-05-20 13.19.45 2016-05-20 13.18.56

Then again, greater than that, the telephone can push notifications for your watch.  Those notifications are configured the usage of your telephone’s notification regulate panel.  The Garmin Attach Cellular app is to be had for iOS, Android, and Home windows Telephone.

The notifications display up similtaneously (mainly in an instant) with your telephone’s notifications.  In order you get one at the telephone’s display screen, it’ll buzz your watch.  You’ll be able to then transparent the notification at the watch, which additionally clears it out of your telephone’s house display screen.

Read Also:  Arms-On With Apple WatchOS 9’s New Triathlon Mode in a Race

DSC_0915 DSC_0914

Subsequent, the watch makes use of that Bluetooth Good connection to get knowledge for quite a lot of widgets.  You’ll be able to obtain all collection of widgets/apps from the Garmin Attach IQ retailer.  However out of the field you’ll have a climate widget, a calendar widget, together with ones for controlling tune in your telephone.


All of those paintings slightly neatly.  Be aware that those knowledge/data provider targeted widgets usually require connectivity for your telephone to look knowledge.  In different phrases, the calendar widget gained’t paintings in case your telephone isn’t in fluctuate.  Nor will it paintings if the Garmin Attach cellular app is closed (background is ok).

DSC_0918 DSC_0920

However, basic notifications will paintings simply fantastic if the Garmin Attach cellular app is closed.  That’s as a result of that connection occurs without delay between the telephone’s working machine and your watch.


The knowledge sync of exercises in most cases occurs within the background with out you even knowing.  Normally talking an hour-long GPS founded exercise might take 30-60 seconds to sync.  That depends upon how a lot sensor knowledge there may be, or how a lot GPS motion there used to be (because it makes use of Good Recording).  For steps, that’s continuously syncing all the way through the day.  There’s little or no have an effect on to battery for both your telephone or the tool.  At the tool facet it occurs by the use of the low-power Bluetooth Good protocol/connection.

Product Comparability Charts:


I’ve added the Vivoactive HR into the product comparability device, which lets you examine the Vivoactive HR in opposition to another watch I’ve reviewed.  For the sake of comparability, I’ve framed it up in opposition to a couple of competition that I believe maximum other people might be evaluating in opposition to.  Moreover, I’ve made up our minds so as to add a couple of fast ideas forward of that.

Vivoactive HR vs Fitbit Surge: On a natural function foundation, there’s truly no festival right here.  Whilst each gadgets are priced the similar, the Vivoactive HR has roughly 3,283 extra options than the Fitbit Surge.  Good enough, perhaps similar to 80 additional options.  However, none of that truly issues for those who’re excited by counting steps and all of your pals are at the Fitbit platform.  Or for those who use different Fitbit wearables/gadgets.  From an accuracy point of view, the Garmin optical HR sensor has progressed sufficient to mention that it’s higher than the Fitbit optical HR sensor.  And, the Vivoactive HR does extra with regards to modes (swim, golfing, sensor make stronger, and so on…).  The Fitbit Surge is set 18 months previous, so its beginning to display its age on this fast-paced marketplace.

Vivoactive HR vs Garmin FR230/FR235: That is in truth more straightforward than you suppose.  Whilst the FR230 & Vivoactive HR are priced just about the similar, the FR230 lacks an optical HR sensor.  If you wish to have that, it prices any other $80 (FR235).  However why is it extra?  Smartly, the FR230/235 are working watches.  They’re now not all-rounders just like the Vivoactive HR.  In order that they’ve were given extra complicated working options.  Such things as VO2Max estimation, structured exercises, period modes, and so forth.  For many of us, the ones options gained’t topic.  So in that approach, the Vivoactive HR is almost definitely the most productive throughout look forward to runners at a less expensive value level than the similarly optical-equipped FR235.

Vivoactive HR vs TomTom Spark: This can be a lovely forged aggressive comparability.  Each gadgets make stronger working, biking, and pool swimming (neither make stronger openwater swimming).  The TomTom Spark has some further working targeted modes round durations.  However extra importantly, the TomTom Spark has tune garage.  So you’ll be able to attach Bluetooth headphones to it.  From an optical HR sensor accuracy fluctuate, each are in the similar ballpark.  Garmin has extra recreation modes (and customization), and usually updates the firmware extra steadily.  However once more, the TomTom has tune.  So if that’s a significant factor for you, it’s indisputably a unit to believe

Vivoactive HR vs Polar M400: The Polar M400 is getting a bit of lengthy within the teeth, nearly 2 years now (Aug 2014).  Regardless that, it’s gained some modest firmware updates through the years to stay it within the sport as a moderately excellent low to mid fluctuate working watch.  It doesn’t have an optical HR sensor, nor the entire partnerships that Garmin or Fitbit has.  However it’s a greater working watch than the Fitbit Surge is with regards to options and information.  It’s simply going to require a separate HR strap.  As for evaluating it to the Vivoactive HR, that’s harder.  It’s more or less $80 not up to the Garmin, so that can be an element for some.

Vivoactive HR vs Apple Watch: This can be a little bit of an ungainly comparability, however I do know I’ll get requested it 98 occasions…within the first day on my own.  The Apple Watch isn’t a GPS working watch, it calls for your telephone to get GPS knowledge.  Differently it makes use of an accelerometer, which isn’t super-accurate according to my checking out.  The Vivoactive HR will get quite a lot of days of battery lifestyles, while the Apple Watch will get 24-36 hours.  At the turn facet, the Apple Watch has a gazillion apps for it that you realize the names of (Instagram, United Airways, and so on…).  The Vivoactive HR has a crap-ton too, however 99.99% of them you’ll by no means have heard of.  However neither issues truly topic: If you wish to have a health watch, pass to a health corporate.  If you wish to have a each day/workplace watch, get the Apple Watch.

As for the comparability tables, right here ya pass:

Serve as/Characteristic Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Copyright DC Rainmaker – Up to date Would possibly 14th, 2021 @ 3:16 pm New Window
Worth $249 $249 $249 $149-$199 (Options Range)
Product Announcement Date Feb nineteenth, 2016 Oct twenty seventh, 2014 Oct twenty first, 2015 Sept third, 2015
Precise Availability/Delivery Date Q2 2016 Dec tenth, 2014 November 2015 October 1st, 2015
GPS Recording Capability Sure Sure Sure Sure
Information Switch USB, BLUETOOTH SMART Bluetooth Good USB, Bluetooth Good USB/Bluetooth Good
Waterproofing 50 meters ATM5 (~50m), however no swimming 50 Meters 50m
Battery Existence (GPS) 13 hours GPS on 10 hours GPS on (5-7 days in time/step mode) As much as 16 hours As much as 11 hours (varies)
Recording Period Good Recording 1-second 1-second & Good 1s
Backlight Greatness Just right Just right Just right Nice
Skill to obtain customized apps to unit/tool Sure No Sure No
Acts as day by day task observe (steps, and so on…) Sure Sure Sure Sure
Track Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Can regulate telephone tune Sure No Sure No
Has tune garage and playback No No No Sure
Connectivity Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Bluetooth Good to Telephone Importing Sure Sure Sure Sure
Telephone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/and so on…) Sure Textual content and Name notifications handiest Sure Sure
Are living Monitoring (streaming location to website online) Sure No Sure No
Staff monitoring No No No
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts) No No No No
Integrated cell chip (no telephone required) No No No No
Biking Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Designed for biking Sure Sure Sure Sure
Energy Meter Succesful With some Attach IQ apps (however can not file knowledge) N/A WITH SOME CONNECT IQ APPS (BUT CANNOT RECORD DATA) No
Pace/Cadence Sensor Succesful Sure N/A Sure Sure
Strava segments survive tool No No No No
Crash detection No No No
Operating Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Designed for working Sure Sure Sure Sure
Footpod Succesful (For treadmills) YES (Additionally has INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER) NO, HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER YES (Additionally has INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER) No (Can use inner accelerometer)
Operating Dynamics (vertical oscillation, flooring touch time, and so on…) No No No No
VO2Max Estimation No No Sure No
Race Predictor No No Sure No
Restoration Marketing consultant No No Sure No
Run/Stroll Mode Sure No Sure No
Swimming Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Designed for swimming Sure No No (safe even though simply fantastic) Sure
Openwater swimming mode No N/A N/A No
Lap/Indoor Distance Monitoring Sure N/A N/A Sure
Document HR underwater No N/A N/A NO (NOT ENABLED IN SWIM MODE)
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/and so on.) No N/A N/A No
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/and so on.) Sure N/A N/A Sure
Indoor Drill Mode No N/A N/A No
Indoor auto-pause function No N/A N/A No
Exchange pool measurement Sure N/A N/A Sure
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths 17M/18Y TO 150Y/M N/A N/A 15m-50m
Skill to customise knowledge fields Sure N/A N/A Sure
Captures consistent with duration knowledge – indoors Sure N/A N/A Sure
Indoor Indicators Sure N/A N/A Objectives handiest
Triathlon Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Designed for triathlon No No No Sorta
Multisport mode No No No No
Exercises Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Create/Practice customized exercises No No Sure No
On-unit period Characteristic No No Sure Sure
Coaching Calendar Capability No No Sure No
Purposes Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Auto Get started/Prevent Sure No Sure No
Digital Spouse Characteristic No No No Sure
Digital Racer Characteristic No No No Sure
Data PR’s – Non-public Data (diff than historical past) Sure No Sure No
Tidal Tables (Tide Data) No No No No
Climate Show (reside knowledge) Sure No YEs No
Navigate Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Practice GPS Observe (Classes/Waypoints) No No No No
Markers/Waypoint Course Sure (to pre-saved spots) No No No
Routable/Visible Maps (like automotive GPS) No No No No
Again to start out Sure No Sure No
Impromptu Spherical Shuttle Course Introduction No No No No
Obtain lessons/routes from telephone to unit No No No No
Sensors Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Altimeter Kind Barometric Barometric GPS GPS
Compass Kind Magnetic N/A N/A None
Optical Center Charge Sensor internally Sure YES YEs Sure
Center Charge Strap Appropriate Sure Comprises optical HR SENSOR Sure Sure
ANT+ Center Charge Strap Succesful Sure (Too can broadcast ANT+ HR) No Sure No
ANT+ Pace/Cadence Succesful Sure No Sure No
ANT+ Footpod Succesful Sure No Sure No
ANT+ Energy Meter Succesful No No No No
ANT+ Lights Regulate Sure No NO No
ANT+ Motorcycle Radar Integration Sure No NO No
ANT+ Teacher Regulate (FE-C) No No NO No
ANT+ eBike Compatibility No No NO No
ANT+ Tools Transferring (i.e. SRAM ETAP) No No No No
Shimano Di2 Transferring No No NO No
Bluetooth Good HR Strap Succesful No No NO Sure
Bluetooth Good Pace/Cadence Succesful nO No NO Sure
Bluetooth Good Footpod Succesful No No NO No, has inner accelerometer
Bluetooth Good Energy Meter Succesful No No NO No
Temp Recording (inner sensor) Sorta (To be had handiest in Snowboarding/SUP) No NO No
Temp Recording (exterior sensor) Sure No YES (TEMPE) No
Tool Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
PC Utility Garmin Categorical – Home windows/Mac Home windows/Mac Garmin Categorical MySports Attach
Internet Utility Garmin Attach Sure Garmin Attach TomTom MySports
Telephone App iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android/Home windows Telephone iOS/Android
Skill to Export Settings No No No No
Acquire Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Amazon Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink
DCRainmaker Garmin Vivoactive HR Fitbit Surge Garmin Forerunner 235 TomTom Spark
Assessment Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink Hyperlink

Once more take into account that you’ll be able to mix ‘n match and make your personal comparability tables right here the usage of the product comparability device.



Total the Vivoactive HR is a sexy forged multi-tasking unit.  It kind of feels to as it should be monitor GPS on biking and working, and I haven’t had any problems whilst within the pool both.  It’s now not essentially the most complicated watch Garmin makes, however it’s additionally now not essentially the most fundamental.  It sits properly in the midst of the street, and gives what 90-95% of runners would wish in a working watch.  Or, what the vast majority of other people would wish in a each day health smartwatch.

As famous all the way through the put up, I did see a handful of insects.  Each with the optical HR sensor, in addition to simply different random issues.  One of the vital non-HR sensor items seem to have been addressed in a firmware replace that used to be launched the day gone by afternoon (Would possibly nineteenth), equivalent to spaces round transfer notifications.  However spaces equivalent to resting HR quantity inconsistencies Garmin says is slated for a long term firmware replace.

Since I already defined the way it compares to quite a lot of aggressive gadgets within the earlier segment, I’d merely summarize that it’s a shockingly aggressive watch with regards to options vs value.  Whilst it’s on no account as skinny as the former Vivoactive, I believe the marketplace is obviously going in opposition to optical HR sensors being the norm.  So it is smart for them to take the Vivoactive line on this route, regardless of making the unit a bit of chunkier.

With that – thank you for studying!

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Garmin Vivoactive HR (make a selection dropdown for sizing)

Moreover, you’ll be able to additionally use Amazon to buy the unit (even though, no bargain). Or, the rest you pickup on Amazon is helping make stronger the website as neatly (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). When you’re outdoor the United States, I’ve were given hyperlinks to all the primary particular person nation Amazon retail outlets at the sidebar in opposition to the highest.

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