Garmin Vivofit Activity Tracker

Garmin vívofit®
Garmin vívofit®

Garmin sent me their vivofit for review last year, and it’s spent plenty of time on my wrist, tracking my steps and my sleep, and reminding me to get off my butt and move. There are a lot of similar products on the market right now, and wading through them all to find the right one could be a daunting task. So here’s my take on the Garmin.

First off, I like the basic black model. They offer many other color options, but black goes with everything, and does not look out of place at the office either, which is a plus for me. Fashion aside, the vivofit also has a battery that lasts for at least a year, which means no worries about having to remember to charge it. And where just about every device like it tracks steps and distance, as well as sleep, the vivofit takes it a bit further. Each day, it reminds me how many steps I need to take to reach my personal goals. Over time, it pushed me to increase my overall distance. If I sit too long, the display tells me it’s time to get up and go for a walk. So once it’s set up, the vivofit is like having your own personal trainer and motivator, right on your wrist.

Of course, the vivofit doesn’t just tell me how many steps I’ve walked, and calories I’ve burned. It’s important that we all get enough deep sleep to recharge our system, and the vivofit helps in two ways. During the day, it prompts me to get moving, and records all my activity. Before bed, I set the sleep mode, and when I wake up and pair it to my phone, it gives me some feedback on how well I slept. There is a link between daily exercise, and quality of sleep, and the vivofit measures both. Speaking of measuring, my vivofit came with the HRM strap. I don’t usually use a heart rate monitor, but it’s nice to be able to set a baseline, and track fitness gains. There didn’t seem to be any setup necessary either. I put it on and it worked right away. When the weather warms up, and I start riding my bike, this will come in handy.

Garmin vívofit® with HRM strap
Garmin vívofit® with HRM strap

During the course of my review period, I lost a total of 15 pounds in a weight loss challenge at work, with nothing more than walking, and watching what I ate. The vivofit helped by tracking my steps, plus letting me know when I had been sitting too long. There were no comfort issues with the band, and it almost always paired with my phone on the first try. Garmin provides their free Connect™software, which lets you input your stats and check your progress. Of the three units I have tried so far, this software was not my favorite, but it comes down to personal preference – there was nothing wrong with the interface. And the extra features of the vivofit more than made up for that. Overall, it does a great job. If you are looking for an activity tracker that is a bit more interactive, as opposed to just recording data, then the vivofit from Garmin should be at the top of your list.

– Brian




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