Garmin Vivosmart HR, with optical pulse sensor and intelligent notifications : Complete analysis


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The wristband and activity monitor industry is becoming increasingly overloaded. It's mature now, and it's hard for manufacturers to surprise us with anything. In essence, they all do the same thing: count steps, calories and help you keep track of your activity. They did that a couple of years ago, so now we have to make more demands on Garmin Vivosmart HR.

Smart notifications or more control over your activities is already becoming a must, and in this case Garmin adds the optical pulse sensor to that whole recipe to create a bracelet with a stunning look.

I have to thank Garmin for temporarily releasing the Garmin Vivosmart HR bracelet. Once the test is completed it has been sent back. I always like to make it clear, so you know that I do not receive compensation of any kind from the manufacturers. The reviews I do are totally independent and there is no pressure of any kind to give a favorable opinion.

Don't forget that if you want to show your gratitude for the content I make and want to help support the site, you can buy the Garmin Vivosmart HR bracelet through the links I provideThat way I get a small commission for each device (or any other item you buy), which is what allows the website to continue and covers some of the work I do.

Now that we're clear, let's go with this review. Everything you wanted to know about the Garmin Vivosmart HR bracelet: the good, the improvable and the bad.


The Garmin Vivosmart HR bracelet comes in several versions: three different colors (blue, purple and black) and two sizes (normal and extra large). The box and its contents are common as there are no versions that include sensors of any kind.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

On the side of the box there is a guide to know which size will fit your wrist. Generally the normal size will be valid for everybody, and the only reason to choose the big version is that you have a quite thick wrist. I am a wide wrist and the normal size is perfect for me, so in your case the normal version will probably be the best one too. However you can download the size guide from here.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

This is what we found inside the box. Little thing: the bracelet, the charging cable and something that more than a manual, 1TP10We could say that it is a "ma", because it is quite escuento. The truth is that to learn to use the bracelet you will not need it either, for that you have this test.


Garmin Vivosmart HR

Let's go with the wristband. It has a multi-function button that will serve to turn it on and off (if you hold it down), enter and exit the menu or start or stop an activity. For everything else you'll use its touch screen, both sliding and tapping it to select options.

The screen is 25.3 mm x 10.7 mm in size and has a good resolution of 160 x 68 pixels. The graphics and typography shown are of quite good quality.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

When you turn around, the jewel in the crown appears: the new Garmin Elevate, developed entirely by Garmin. The sensor is surrounded by three green LEDs. They will not only record your heart data during your activities, but also take constant measurements 24 hours a day.

However, it will not be constant, but depending on the movement it will record data more or less frequently, to save battery. When you are training the recording will be the normal in this type of devices, recording data every second.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

New device from Garmin, new connection cable. It doesn't fail, there is always a new connector. You will probably use this cable only to charge the bracelet, since the usual thing is that the synchronization is done by connecting it to your mobile phone.


Garmin Vivosmart HR

The battery charge is very fast and the duration is about 5 days between charges.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

The bracelet is waterproof up to 50 meters, so you can swim perfectly with it on, but keep in mind that it doesn't measure any activity in the water, but you don't have to worry about getting in the shower or swimming with it on.

Monitoring of the activity

The monitoring of the activity that makes the Vivosmart HR bracelet is, in its basic functions, the same as any other monitor of the brand activity. However the incorporation of the optical pulse sensor allows to add some additional functions not seen until now.

Before we get to those specific functions, let's take a quick look at where Garmin Activity Monitors are currently located (either as a wristband or integrated into a GPS watch).

The Garmin Vivosmart HR tracks your daily activity by estimating the steps you take, giving you an approximate distance traveled and consequently your caloric expenditure on activity. It does this automatically without having to activate any specific operating mode, simply by putting the wrist strap on and going about your day.

It also has an inactivity alert, which will be displayed on the wristband screen as a bar that is completed as time goes by without you walking for a while. When the bar is completed you will receive a warning asking you to move. If you want to set the activity bar to zero you will have to walk for about one minute, about 100 meters.

So your goal will be to fight against that bar, trying to keep it from appearing on the screen and as soon as it does, move to make it disappear.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Inactivity alert

If you scroll the watch screen you can see the steps you've taken so far, along with the step target for the day. You can set this target manually through Garmin Connect or, as is the default and I find it much more interesting, dynamically. It will be the wristband itself that will vary the target, based on your activity over the past few days, by moving that target up or down day by day.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Steps

These estimated steps also translate into distance that you will see on the screen if you continue to scroll through them.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Distance

The distance is calculated by multiplying the number of steps by the distance travelled in each step. By default, it is automatically calculated based on your height. However, within the Garmin Connect options you can set a step length for walking, for more accurate data.

If you start from a known distance (e.g. an athletic track), you just have to count the number of steps you take to go around, or have the bracelet count them for you. Then you enter that distance and number of steps in Connect and will calculate the length of your stride directly. Personally, when you walk, I let the calculation do it automatically.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - adjusting steps

Another estimated value is the calories consumed. This includes the calories you burn off during the activity along with the calories you need to live. That is, if your basal calorie intake is 2400 (this depends on your age, sex, height, weight, etc.) and you do an hour of exercise burning 600, the total consumed at the end of the day will be 3000 calories.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calories consumed

So far, the usual behavior of the activity monitors. But there are some other metrics present in the Vivosmart HR. To start the counting of floors climbed.

To make the estimate the Garmin Vivosmart HR has a barometric altimeter capable of calculating the height. The detection is the same as the steps, approximate, because there is a dwarf inside the bracelet that knows if you're climbing stairs or not.

The calculation is made by the variation in height along with movement. That is, if there is variation in height (by atmospheric pressure) along with movements that correspond to the ascent of steps, the bracelet will know that we have gone up one floor. Therefore if you go up six floors in an elevator there will be a change in height, but as there is no movement it will not compute those floors. The objective is to go up ten floors during the day.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Raised floors

Another new feature of the Garmin Vivosmart HR is that it will now also mark the minutes of intense activity. Several organizations (such as the WHO) recommend 150 minutes of intense activity per week, which I think is a more interesting approach than the classic goal of daily steps, especially for use by people like us, the athletes.

On more than one occasion, it may happen that the day after a long or very intense outing, you get a break. The activity monitor would tell you that you are not reaching the minimum step target that day and that your fitness is going to get worse, when the truth is that the day before you have taken a beating.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

To all these screens are added those of the intelligent notifications and other functions that depend on the connectivity of your mobile phone, which I will tell you about later, but I leave you a gallery of all of them.

But wait a minute. You don't like having it upright? Well, don't worry, because you can change the orientation and put it horizontally. And depending on which wrist you wear the bracelet on, it will be oriented to one side or the other.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Change of direction

And then you'll be able to see it on the screen horizontally, instead of vertically.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Horizontal

After data synchronization, you can find all your activity reports in Garmin Connect, both on the web and in the mobile application, where you can review your daily activity.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Garmin Connect

You can check the data both in its corresponding section and in the control panel that you can configure to see the information at a glance as soon as you access the web with your user.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Garmin Connect

Sleep monitoring

In addition to tracking your daily activity, and like almost all activity monitors on the market, the Garmin Vivosmart HR also tracks your sleep. There is no need to activate any specific mode, as the recognition of sleep periods is done automatically at the server level.

The automatic calculation works quite accurately, although if you're used to lying in bed reading or watching TV before you go to sleep, the data may not be up to the minute. You can edit your sleeping hours manually from Garmin Connect.

Comparing the readings of a Garmin Forerunner 230 and Garmin Vivosmart HR, each on a wrist, the results are very similar.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - FR230 Sleep Comparison

This is a clear example of detection starting too early. The pink lines indicate moments of being awake (as it was), I was simply in bed writing with my laptop. But you can see how in both cases the time to go to sleep is the same, 12 o'clock at night. Likewise the time to wake up is the same.

Beyond the hours themselves, what is important is the effective rest time, which normally coincides with the period of deep sleep. These are the values that should be most important to us.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - FR230 Sleep Comparison

In addition to sleep levels, Garmin Connect also features a sleep movement chart.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Movement during sleep

At the level of relevance, the truth is that I do not find what importance it can offer, nor what information we can obtain from these data.

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24/7 pulse monitoring

But if there is one thing that stands out above all else on the Vivosmart HR, it is the ability to measure heart rate throughout the day. This is nothing new in the industry, as Fitbit already offered it a year ago on its models Charge HR and arises.but it works a little differently.

Data sampling is based on movement. To try to save as much battery power as possible, the data logging time varies depending on the activity being performed. If the activity is low (sitting or sleeping, for example) data will be logged every 10 minutes. When you are in motion the logging time decreases, based on the intensity of movement, but always in a variable way. In the case of Fitbit it is every second in training and every 5 seconds in the day to day.

For example, on a day with little movement, the graph will appear in this way, with reading periods quite disconnected from each other.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - All-day pulse monitoring

But when there are moments of activity (or when training is recorded) the sampling time will be every second, the industry standard.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - FC activity log

In addition to 24-hour monitoring, you will also have your resting heart rate calculated.
Garmin Vivosmart HR - Daily Resting Pulse

This data is more useful than you think. It is a clear indication of how you have recovered from a workout and when it is a good day to do an intensity workout. If the minimum heart rate rises quite a bit from the average it is a symptom of fatigue, so be careful with the workout you do because you can fall into the dreaded over-training.

Strangely enough, sometimes data is not synchronized with Garmin Connect, even if you have been wearing your wristband all day.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - FC Resting

Knowing those ranges will take some time. I know that my resting CF is around 40-42 ppm, so when I see it above that figure I know something is up (for example, Friday in the chart above).

Running with Vivosmart HR

Within the Vivosmart HR options, the first one that appears is that of performing a workout (marked by a monkey in running attitude). It will create a separate activity, which you can later review in Garmin Connect. If you do not start your activity, when adding minutes of exercise intensity and calories it will be exactly the same, but you will not be able to review the specific data after synchronization.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Start of activity

Vivosmart HR puts a lot of emphasis on running training. It has no GPS, so rhythms and distances will be estimated by the steps you take. Automatically and based on the height data you enter in the initial configuration, a stride length is set, which you can modify manually from Garmin Connect.


When you go for a run, you have several screens that you can configure with specific data. The choice is not very wide, but it is within what you can expect from a device of this type. You have four pages of data (plus the time) in which you can configure one or two data. The metrics you can select are distance, calories, heart rate, heart rate zone and time of day.

Garmin Vivoactive HR - Display Configuration

When you're running, you can switch between screens by sliding your finger across the screen, passing between them.

You can stop the activity by pressing the multi-function button, and you will be asked if you want to save the activity or discard it.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Stop Activity

When you've finished running, after synchronisation you'll find your training data in your control panel, with distance and pace estimates, both in figures and graphs. All the information is pretty basic, so if you need more advanced information you should look at the Forerunner range.

Garmin Vivoactive HR - Synchronized Running Activity

As far as recording distances, it mainly depends on how you have set up your stride length. In this table you have examples of some trainings I have done, comparing them with other devices, both with the automatic adjustment and after adjusting the stride length.

Vivosmart HROther device
Night out 19 November6.07 km5.69 km (FR230)
Progression at night8.62 km8 km (FR230), 8.04 km (Ambit3)
Night out loaded with gadgets8.34 km (manual pitch correction entered)8.47 km (Fenix 3), 8.29 km (FR230), 8.32 km (Ambit3)

Vivosmart HR and other activities

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Weights

Of course you can not only measure running training, you can also use the bracelet for your activities in the gym, spinning, cycling or whatever. The procedure is the same, the difference is that logically you will not have data on distance traveled. But the calories will still be counted.

For example this cycling activity.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Cycling activity

The only relevant data are calories consumed, activity time and heart rate graphs. Unfortunately there is no possibility to pair the bracelet with a speed sensor that would get accurate data on distance traveled, something that the previous model, Vivosmart, did.

Another sport in which I wanted to test the sensor has been during swimming. First of all I want to make it clear that although the Vivosmart HR is submersible, it is not designed for swimming, nor does Garmin ever propose it. But my geek side asks me and I test it, to know if it is possible to use the bracelet for swimming training in which, despite not having specific metrics (distances, strokes, etc), we could take advantage of the sensor data.

And the answer is... no. By recording a swimming activity together with an Ambit3 the pulse results are totally disparate, with erroneous readings. The algorithm is probably not prepared to eliminate the noise produced by the impact of the bracelet in the water with every stroke we take.

Pulse transmission

And accompanying the optical pulse sensor, another star feature of the Garmin Vivosmart HR is the ability to retransmit pulse data via ANT+. That is, the Vivosmart HR would become a pulse sensor and could be used with any ANT+ compatible device such as Forerunner watches or Edge cycling units.

It is a quite important point of the device, and a selling point for many potential buyers. Mio Link as an optical pulse sensor or for a little more money to be able to get hold of this device, which is much more complete and has more features in many aspects; you will most likely choose the Garmin option (if you don't need Bluetooth connectivity).

The activation of this function 1TP10It could be simpler. Something like a long press of the button on the heart rate display (by default the long press turns off the device), or two taps on the touch screen. Instead you have to enter the settings menu, access the "Heart Rate" submenu, then "Broadcast Mode" and finally activate the function (which, by the way, has not yet received translation for these screens).

Garmin Vivosmart HR - ANT+ transmission

After activating it, you will see a transmission icon on the heart rate screen, which indicates that the function is active. In this mode you will not be able to access any other bracelet function. You will not be able to check activity data or access the menu (although notifications will be shown). You will only be able to see the heart rate screen.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - ANT+ transmission activated

But if activating the function required navigating through the menu and entering two different options, to deactivate the function you simply have to press twice on the screen, once to display the screen to deactivate the function and another to confirm the option. But it is very easy for this to happen in an undesired way when pressing on the screen or simply due to drops of sweat or rain, as the screen cannot be blocked.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Disable ANT+ transmission

When you have activated the option, you simply have to perform the sensor search from your watch or device.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - ANT+ Sensor

And with everything ready, you can start your training.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - ANT+ connection

Once completed and synchronized the activity will include the heart rate data obtained from the Vivosmart HR on your wrist.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - pulse transmission

Now let's talk about the accuracy of the data read with the new Garmin Elevate sensor.

Optical heart rate sensor

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Optical Sensor

If there was one main reason I wanted to try out the Garmin Vivosmart HR, it wasn't because of its activity monitoring capabilities, but because it was the least of my worries, as in that respect it is very much on par with the other offerings on the market.

The main innovation is that it incorporates an optical pulse sensor integrated into the device itself. It is not the first Garmin device to offer this (the first was the Garmin Forerunner 225It is the first device announced to incorporate the sensor that Garmin calls Elevate.

And not only is it important that it's Garmin's first optical sensor, but the same sensor is the one we'll see on their watches, starting with the Garmin Forerunner 235.

So there's a lot to test to determine whether or not the new Garmin Elevate delivers what it promises: to be as good as the Mio sensor it was previously equipped with. To do this, there's nothing better than pitting it against other pulse sensors. And thanks to the graphical comparison, see how it compares to them.

This first graph corresponds to steady-state training. The Garmin Forerunner 23o was paired with a premium band HRM-Run sensor. After finishing the training, instead of stopping the activity I continued to record it while continuing to walk, to evaluate how well it recorded the recovery period.

The graph starts surprisingly well. Usually on cold days the start of activity is more problematic for optical sensors. Good proof of this is the Garmin Forerunner 225, which until after two or three minutes I didn't start getting a correct pulse readingIn this case, they are quite close to each other at the beginning.

The development of the rest of the activity is very similar, marking the same pulses. In the 16:40 minute there is a pronounced peak in the graph of the Vivosmart HR, but I attribute it to a correction in the adjustment of the bracelet and not to the sensor itself, since it is a fast peak in which also my rate drops, probably by being checking results or that same adjustment.

Where he does not behave so well is in the final zone of training, when we enter the recovery of pulses, where he loses quite noticeably.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Pulse Sensor

Another training with the same suspects. The graph of Vivosmart HR this time is purple. This day, with a little more cold than the previous one, you can see how in the beginning is somewhat slower to raise the pulse. It is a training in progression, with the last kilometer at an average of approximately 4 min / km.

Except for the first minute and a couple of strange peaks that come out of tune, the measurement is totally parallel to the one made with the HRM-Run sensor. Until that last kilometer where I increase the pace. It is likely that at that moment the pace will cause the reading problems.

In optical sensors, the complicated part is not in the sensor itself. That's easy to implement. The complicated part is the algorithm that deals with processing the reading and eliminating the noise produced by the movement. And I think that at that last moment is what you can appreciate, the difficulty to process the reading correctly due to the intense movement of the sensor. Even so we talk about differences of 4 or 5 pulses for a few seconds, the result is still satisfactory.


Now we go to a graph that I love, because you can see perfectly represented the errors that the cold causes in each type of sensor.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Pulse Sensor

It's the classic example of behavior. First of all the sensors that go in the chest, are the ones that are giving tremendously high readings. In that period of the training I was still warming up and the pace was quite comfortable. And it's not only that I know this kind of failures that are produced by the cold and the lack of humidity (I hadn't wet the sensor tapes before going out), but I've run enough time to know what my feelings are according to the pulse.

At the same time you can see the problems with the optical sensors when it's cold. The blood flow decreases so it's more complicated for the sensor to read.

Interestingly, all three graphs are joined at virtually the same point (actually the first to arrive at valid data was the Suunto Smart Sensor), from which they share data throughout the training. By enlarging the graph you can see that all three sensors show the same results.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Pulse Sensor

The light is not totally blocked by the device, so finding moments when the reading is not correct will be more common.

There are moments when you slightly lose track with peaks outside the correct reading. Even so, the recording is moderately correct, until the final stretch in which, probably because you are pedalling standing up and turning your wrist, it is possible that light enters the sensor area confusing the reading.

Garmin VIvosmart HR - Cycling FC Comparison


The truth is that I am missing a comparison I was doing tonight, facing Vivosmart HR with the Mio sensor and the HRM-Run in an interval training. Double bad luck, because at the beginning of the second interval a puncture in the calf made me stop. And when it was time to save the activity to have, at least, the warm-up and the first interval and rest, by mistake I deleted the activity.

From what I was seeing while I was training the conclusions were the same as the ones commented until now. Slightly slower start (today especially by the Mio sensor, which until 5 minutes marked 80ppm) than the sensor in the chest. Good performance during warm-up and part of the interval work, but slow in reacting at the time of recovery.

In short, it's a new sensor with points that still need to be improved and polished, but the overall results are quite satisfactory. If I had to evaluate it we would be talking about a 7.5, but hoping that it will improve even more with the software updates that will come.

Intelligent Connectivity and Notification

As is common with all newly released devices, the Garmin Vivosmart HR takes advantage of Bluetooth connectivity and its good resolution screen to display notifications from your mobile phone. This feature is compatible with iOS and Android phones.

Vivosmart HR will vibrate and display the notification you receive on your mobile phone.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Notification

It also allows you to access all the ones you have in your notification center and have not deleted.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Notifications

But notifications aren't the only wireless features you can use - you can also control your phone's music player, have a screen to check the weather, or control a VIRB camera.

You can activate or deactivate these screens from the mobile application, leaving only those of interest to you.

Thanks to the permanent connection to your mobile phone, the activity data will be constantly synchronized.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Mobile Synchronization

So you don't have to connect the wristband to the computer every few minutes to analyze your activity data, minute by minute.

Errors, failures and problems

Garmin Vivosmart HR

When we talk about failures or things to review can be due to two fundamental causes: By design of the device or technology used, such as the lack of a specific function (such as distance measurement when running. It does not have GPS, so the distance is estimated); or by a failure of the device or its software. The first case is because the device is like that, is the way it has been designed and thought. The second is a more important problem because it is something that should work, and it does not.

I don't mention these bugs in the previous sections simply so that in the future, as Garmin fixes these problems (because I hope they do), it's much easier for me to come to this specific section and indicate that the bug has already been fixed and on what date it happened. Otherwise I would have to go through the whole article and modify specific paragraphs, which is much more laborious.

Well, once that has been clarified, I will also be clear with the Vivosmart HR. Garmin should not have put this device on the market when it did, simply because using it gives me the impression of using a development version that is not yet ready for sale to the public.

Right now it is not only failing on new functions in the range, which might be understandable, but it is also failing on such basic elements as counting calories twice.

Garmin has released a product that is not finished and is not ready to be presented to the general public. These are the main failures I find of features that, in many cases, should not even be expected to fail:

Duplicate calories of activity - Fixed, probably in version 2.90. The Vivosmart HR, like any activity monitor, tracks activity during the day. It also has an exercise tracking function, allowing you to have that specific activity with data on heart rate, time, calories, etc. The problem is that if throughout the day we burn 3,000 calories and also make a workout in which we burn 600 calories, the total of the day will not be 3,600, but will appear as 4,200 calories (because those 600 calories are counted in the specific activity and, besides, is added to the daily activity).

In these images you can see two days of activity. On the left side the measurement made with the FR230, on the right side with Vivosmart HR. As you can see the calories at rest are the same, but it counts the calories in activity in duplicate.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison      Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison

And here, exactly the same. Calories during activity include duplicate workout calories, counting your specific activity and adding those same calories to the overall daily activity count.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison      Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison

This is totally unacceptable. If there is one thing an activity monitor has to do, it is provide us with calorie consumption data. For your potential client it is the most important thing, since many structure their diet according to the calories they consume (usually to lose weight). If your activity monitor tells you that your total calorie consumption is 3,500, and you eat 3,000 to have a deficit at the end of the day, but the reality is that your actual consumption has been 2,800, it is a very bad business. Not only are you not going to lose weight, but you are going to gain it.


The main problem with Vivosmart HR, which was calorie accounting, has now been satisfactorily resolved. There has been no official announcement or reference in the updates, but it was probably after the major update to version 2.90. 

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison     Garmin Vivosmart HR - Calorie comparison


Autolap functionSolved through Garmin Connect. When running we always like to activate the automatic lap function, usually every kilometre. It allows us to receive a warning every time we complete a kilometre and we can calculate the pace at which we are running.

When you run, the bracelet vibrates every time you estimate you have reached a kilometer (this estimate will depend on the values entered for the step length). So far so good.

The problem comes when you want to review the activity and see how your training went. In Connect those laps do not appear and there is no division. The only thing that appears is the block training, without separating each kilometer of the training, so the function lacks the possibility of further analysis.


ANT+ retransmission stops workingFixed in version 2.60When using the Garmin Vivosmart HR as an external sensor with another compatible device I have found that there are many disconnections. They occur without any notification and although the device continues to show that it is transmitting, the truth is that the unit that receives the data loses the connection. To reconnect you have to disable the transmission and enter its corresponding menu to reactivate it, which is extremely tedious, especially in the middle of training.

For example, in this cycling training I had paired the Garmin Vivosmart HR sensor with a Garmin Edge 520. After a while I saw that it was not receiving a signal (even though there was pulse data on the screen when I started the activity). After deactivating and re-activating the function, it worked again without any further disconnection.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - pulse transmission

In this case, exactly the same thing happened, leaving much of the training without pulse data.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - pulse transmission

I repeat, all this without any error appearing on the screen of the Garmin Vivosmart HR and maintaining at all times the symbol that the transmission function is activated. You only realize the failure if the screen that records the activity has a specific screen for the heart rate. And since that HR can be seen on the bracelet itself, in many cases it is not usual.


Screen that cannot be locked - Fixed in version 3.10. The touch screen cannot be locked. While this may seem purely arbitrary during use, it is most noticeable when it is raining or when you are in the shower. Or simply when you sweat. Every drop of water that falls on the screen is interpreted as finger pressure. Normally nothing happens, but a shower can cause the unit to start entering the different menus by altering the device settings, deleting activities, etc.


The minutes of activity are not always reflected - Revised in version 3.10. New to Garmin Vivosmart HR is that now, in addition to a step target, we have an activity target. 150 minutes per week as recommended by several organizations. In Connect we find this information regarding those minutes of activity.

Garmin Vivosmart HR - Minutes of activity

The problem is that those minutes of activity it computes are totally arbitrary. It may be that after a workout the minutes of activity are computed. Or it may not. For example, cycling workouts usually don't show up unless they are really serious.

My guess is that not only does it take into account the pulse sensor to account for activity, but there also has to be movement which, in the case of cycling, doesn't exist. But then call it "minutes of running" or "minutes of moving arms in circles", but not "minutes of intensity".

Garmin has to give the idea a twist, because obviously not all users will have the same activity. 120 ppm for someone who is untrained can be a leisurely ride through the countryside, while for someone fairly fit it can be the heart rate they have after four hours of cycling.


Display visibility with illumination - This is where we enter the terrain of failures without any solution. The visibility of the screen in full daylight or with artificial light is very good, from any angle. The same as indoors if there are lights on. A quick look at the wrist serves to have all the information.

The problem comes when we have to activate the illumination (by a touch on the screen). The readability is complicated, and we have to focus the view quite a bit because the illumination is very low. Also the angle of vision with this type of illumination is very small.

I would show you an image, but the truth is that it wouldn't look the way it does in reality. Especially because by retouching it I can make it look perfect, or look worse than it does.


Impossible to connect ANT+ sensors - And this is the "Garmin, I don't understand why you do this" section. Although the model that precedes it, the Garmin Vivosmart, allowed connection to external sensors (pulse and speed for cycling); inexplicably this option is not present in the Vivosmart HR. Well, we have the integrated optical sensor, although at certain times we may be interested in using a pulse sensor on the chest; but what is lost is the ability to pair it with a cycling speed sensor.

Strange, when the hardware is perfectly capable of receiving ANT+ signals and the previous model offered the possibility, and the only thing that happens is that doors are closed to the possibility of selling an additional sensor and cover another type of use.

While some of these things can be considered as concessions to design or autonomy (for example, low screen illumination), there are some that are unforgivable. And they make you wonder what kind of tests are done at Garmin before launching a product to the market, if they have done any with the Vivosmart HR. I understand that launch dates are important depending on which campaigns, such as the Christmas season, but you cannot launch an unfinished product to the market.

Fortunately, many of these bugs can (and should) be solved with firmware updates. But a customer does not have to buy a product that is not finished. And the truth is that, today, the Vivosmart HR is quite green.

My opinion

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Update 2 February

Garmin has been polishing the initial details. The main problem, the duplication of calories during the activity, has been solved. The retransmission of ANT+, another of the main points of sale of Vivosmart HR, has also been solved. Right now Garmin is polishing other featuresThe intensity minutes for activities other than running or detecting raised floors.

In the last few workouts I have also found some improvement in the heart rate graphs, so the sensor has also received some improvement. Also, Garmin has added a heart rate graph with the data from the last 4 hours, so after these improvements I can fully recommend Vivosmart HR.

Update 2 April

New update, more news. Garmin listens to its users and reads the reviews, because it keeps correcting everything I highlighted at the time as problems in the bracelet. The new version 3.10 adds the display lock, which can be set to automatic lock or manual lock (leaving the button pressed to display the off or lock menu).

But that's not all that's new in version 3.10. Like other new features, you now have an additional screen in the weather forecast, if you click on the day's forecast you will access the forecast for the next 4 days, which is quite convenient. And not only that, Garmin has also improved the algorithms for heart rate at rest, minutes of activity, floor ascent and increased vibration intensity for notification and call alerts, and a number of other errors have also been corrected.

All in all, a big step forward.

From what I pointed out at the time, I only have two problems left, the visibility of the illuminated screen (which cannot be improved by software updates) and the absence of connection possibilities to ANT+ sensors, which does not affect all users. So, if the question is whether I recommend this bracelet, I have to say that just as I criticized Garmin for launching a device that was very green (as you can read in the paragraphs below), now I have to be fair and, once they have solved almost all the present problems, I can't do anything but recommend her totallyI think with the price you have on Amazon there is no better choice on the market right now.


-- Original opinion

The truth is that I tried to like the Vivosmart HR. In many ways it is a very interesting unit, because not only provides many possibilities to those who are only looking for an activity monitor, but it is the perfect bridge to upgrade devices for users of earlier models that do not have the latest advances (optical sensor, notifications, activity monitor). That is, it allows users of watches like Garmin Forerunner 220 or 910xt access to features of contemporary models, leaving the clock exclusively for training can use Vivosmart HR as a device of daily and also as a pulse sensor. And all this at a price that I consider quite interesting.

As Garmin polishes the device, I will have to edit the test again and, above all, the ratings you find at the end of the article, to reflect the reality of the device. It is clear that with a new sensor there can be slight problems with the algorithm that have to be touched up over time. Strangely enough, even though the sensor is not at 100%, I do think I could give it a 7.5 grade.

But it's things like double calorie counting or minutes of intensity that get me out of my head. You can't miss something that basic in this device. It's like a GPS watch counting twice the distance in every workout. It's missing the core of the product, its most important mission.

Am I being too hard on Garmin? Some of you may think so, but you can't come to market with an unfinished product. And I say this not only from the customer's point of view, but especially from the manufacturer's. Of course, software problems will be solved in time, and in 6 months (I hope less) all these words will be a thing of the past.

What these updates will not be able to solve is the lack of confidence of the client. Also, as I do this test there will be other means that also perform it and find the same problems. I do track updates that appear on the devices (in the weekly summaries you can find it) and I come back to edit the articles to make them as relevant and current as possible.

But there will be many others who will do the analysis, write down the problems and so leave it forever. And all that will be recorded in Google, so the potential customer who looks for opinions within a year, before buying the product will find reviews that indicate that Vivosmart HR is a source of problems.

With all this I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy it. In fact, I can think of certain cases in which, despite the initial problems, it is the best option (and some I will give away at this time). What I'm saying is that you shouldn't do it if these problems can affect your use, at least until they have been solved.

Once Garmin puts things in order, Vivosmart HR clearly has the capacity to become the best activity monitor on the market. And not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of price/quality ratio, since for 149 euros it is capable of doing many things. And the latter is not something that is often said about Garmin.


Did you like the test?

My hope is that these tests will help you get to know the device fully before you spend your money, so that you know at all times whether or not what you are going to buy fits your needs. I guess you have realized that each of these tests takes many hours of work. If you like what you see here and want to support the site, you can buy your Garmin Vivosmart HR (or any other item) through the links you can see belowNot only will you get a good price, but you will also return a small commission for the page, which is how it is sustained. And best of all, it is free of charge for you.

Do you have any questions? Do you want to comment on what you think of the device? Leave your comment below and I assure you that you will receive a reply. And don't forget to share this test with your friends because I'm sure they will be interested too. Do it on social networks or, as we have done until a few years ago, by word of mouth.

Buy Garmin Vivosmart HR

There are three colors available: blue, purple and black. And in each color two strap lengths, normal and large. If you want to know which size is convenient for you, you can download and print this fileNormally, the standard size is valid for everyone, but if the circumference of your wrist is greater than 188mm you will need the large size. I have a fairly wide wrist and with the normal size I feel perfectly comfortable.


Operation - 5
Connectivity - 10
Design, finish and comfort - 9
Battery life - 8
Applications - 8.5
Price - 9



User Rating: 3.54 ( 18 votes)

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Morning,

    I have to congratulate you for the good review you have done. The truth is that you have tested it in all probable areas, discarding its pros and cons.

    Reading the article, I see that you must be a triathlon or duathlon runner, and I understand that you need more specific devices for the activities you do.

    I think Garmin has brought out this device for those who want to measure their daily activity but need something more than what the Xiaomi mi band offers. I'm the kind of user who works in an office, goes to the gym to do weights 2-3 times a week and plays soccer on the weekends. I was about to buy the Fitbit Charge HR but it also offers notifications and I consider it more complete. What do you think?

    That said, I think the article is very good and covers the whole range of possibilities. As you say, many of the problems you have encountered can be solved with a firmware update and hopefully so.

    Thank you.

    1. That's right, it's a simple device and not intended for intensive use, for which there are better options at Garmin as well as other brands.
      When comparing it with Fitbit Charge HR, if the notifications for you are important then I wouldn't hesitate. Knowing what the current problems are that, depending on your particular use, can be more or less important, there is no major problem. The price difference between both models is small, but there is a big difference in features.

      The only thing I recommend is to make the purchase not with future promises in mind, but with the current situation in mind. If knowing the current state fits your requirements, then it is a good purchase.

      1. Good Eduardo, the truth is that the notifications is not the main thing to decide, so I asked you if as a bracelet of activity, app and pulse meter which do you think is better? At the price level vary about 2-3

        1. Except for notifications, in the specification sheet the Garmin option is more complete. But today Fitbit offers a stable and mature product. If the purchase is for already opt for Fitbit. If not in a hurry, wait a while to see how Vivosmart HR evolves.

  2. Now I have been indecisive, I have an edge 520 whose HR band produces burns in my torso, I also pass with the band of a Tomtom multisport Cardio, the tb band produced that burn, but it was going well with the optical sensor, it is expected that they fix the disconnections? I need to look for a HR device to carry with the edge 520, any recommendation?

    a greeting

    1. Yes, it is logical that it will be fixed, but right now what they are working on most urgently is to solve the problem of calories.

      You also have the Mio Link option, if you only want the pulse sensor function

      1. Thank you very much for your answer, I will wait a little bit to see if the disconnections are fixed, because the other functions are also good to have them for little more than my link.

      2. Hi, Eduardo.
        Are you aware that they're already trying to solve it? Kings are coming and I would have given it away if it weren't for that mistake.

        By the way, your reviews are great.

        1. Vivosmart HR was launched with the exclusivity of Best Buy in the United States. So far it has been the only sales channel there. That exclusivity ends on January 2.

          All this has nothing to do with it, but it's worth mentioning that probably now that there will be a wider distribution, Garmin is probably preparing a major update. After completing the article there has only been one software update, but the problem of calories has not been solved for the moment, but I don't think it will take long to give you a solution.

        1. Yes, on several levels, although you also get information from time to time on the Garmin forums, if the development team comes by.

          1. Eduardo, I bought a vivosmart mid October 2015 and a month later I noticed that the OLED screen began to fade the first line of led, I let a few days pass and it was getting worse. I talked to garmin and on December 17 they changed it for a new one... At 2 weeks the 2nd watch started with the same failure... Yesterday they changed it for a 3rd one and when I arrived q home I put it to charge co annoyingly, when I finished I observed it and the same thing happens!!!!! I'm going crazy! I'm thinking of selling it and buying a HR 2016 of which you speak in this note. What do you think? Have you heard of another case like mine? Thanks!!!

          2. You've had some bad luck...

            I don't understand what you're saying about buying an HR 2016.

          3. Actually my question, do you know any similar case? and on the other hand I meant if it is convenient to buy a Vivosmart HR.

          4. I'm on your case, it's supposed to light up when I turn my wrist, but it doesn't. Either it's wrong, or I don't turn my wrist like it should to light up...

          5. To turn it on when you turn the wrist, you configure it from the APP connect, that works perfect. My problem is another, where it is most noticeable is on the screen of the activity bar, the one that tells you "Move" when you're a long time still, if you look closely the top line of that bar is almost erased, it is more distinguishable when the bar is empty. In other places where podes distinguish it is in the last letter of the day, for example SAB you will see that the "B" at the top is erased etc.. Anyway, for me it's a watch issue, of a special batch, it can't be that I got 3 different ones and the same thing happens to all three!

          6. I had misunderstood you. In my case the "move!" bar is OK. The only thing I have it deactivated, because it made me nervous to vibrate so much, hehe. What doesn't work for me is the wrist.

          7. the exact same thing happened to me, I was told by the company where I bought it that Garmin accepted the fault, that's why they sent another one.

          8. Of the cons you see with the Vivosmart HR (duplicate calories, shower drops causing the display to activate, etc etc) do you think they are all solved via software? or are there hardware issues that need to be resolved? Thanks

          9. Okay, sorry, I thought you were referring to the Vivosmart HR from the beginning. Now I see you're referring to the earlier model without a pulse sensor, which is what was making me confused.

            Most of the remaining problems are purely software. Some things can be hardware, such as the optical sensor and especially the amount of light blocking that the bracelet can offer. But that's the way it is and it won't change.

            The screen of the Vivosmart HR is LCD, uses a different technology.

          10. Eduardo, yeah, I didn't make it clear what the previous one was either, do you know if the same thing happens to HR? They offered me a swap plan.

          11. The same thing happened to me!! they changed it once and the second time they told me that now in January the new one arrives and they send it to me!

          12. The same thing happened to me with the Vivosmart, mine was bought in December 2015. In January first a line disappeared from the corner where the date goes when you use the vertical screen and then the first line. Garmin offered to change it, but for the Vivosmart HR as they no longer had the Vivosmart. As far as I read it is a problem of the model rather than a bad game...
            I'm wondering if I should accept the change or get my money back.

          13. I have the exact same thing happening to me, now I take it to a service and my boss is having the same thing happen to it. I talked to people who sell Garmin and they tell me it's a product line problem! They should take it off the market.

          14. Hello Cesar, I understand what you say! my first vivosmart hr worked well for 3 months, the fourth month stopped working in full, not even the computer detected it, Garmin I changed it for a new one, which three weeks of use, and the acula I have given extemo care, ie remove it when swimming, bathing, wash my hands, etc.. i.e. an exaggerated care, is that today, and stopped working again, began to turn on and off alone, strange lines, and already at this time and not even charge, so I'm in that dilemma if I change it back to flat sell it and buy another garmin, that for me the vivofit 1, never gave me problems, and this vivosmart hr pure bad times. in short, I hope the comment is useful, greetings!!!

  3. Hi, thanks for the great test. I'm thinking of buying it with an activity monitor and for use with an Ege 520 sometimes on a bike. How do you think the optical measurement would work on a bike? I have doubts that when I ride a stationary bike I measure the pulse every 7 seconds. What do you think? Thanks.

  4. Hi there. Today is the first day I try this bracelet. Doing calculations by hand of caloric expenditure I get that should consume about 2600kcal a day of training. But now to read the duplicate kcal I looked at the kcal that I put consumed today and not so far from my calculations (2800 but I had a moving day heh). So I do not know if I'm counting right or that. In the activity today I marked 430kcal, and the app I marked: 1788kcal + 1049 active rest (I understand that the duplicate is here), but does not move away from my calculations by hand. Are you counting right? I do not know if I have explained clearly haha.
    Best regards 😉

    1. What is doubling is the calories when you record a specific activity. If you do the activity without entering the training mode it does not double.

      The problem is that when you record an activity, the calories from that activity are recorded, and the same calories are added together for a complete record of the day.

      So those 1049 calories depend on whether you did them by recording the activity separately or not. If you did it separately, it would be just over 500 actual calories.

      1. So if I understand you correctly, for now it's better to train without the training mode, right?
        I have a few questions about the bracelet:
        1. Do you mark somewhere the battery you have left?
        2. Is it necessary to take any special care when showering with the soap and such?
        3. Can you separate the group notifications from whatapp conversations? (It's crazy if they talk in groups)
        Thanks for answering crack! 😉

        1. Yes, in the settings menu there is a sub-menu where you can check it.

          You can wet the bracelet all you want, you won't have any problems.

          No, you cannot alter the way notifications are displayed.

          I would still record activity in training mode, but knowing at the end of the day that, in the overall count, those activity calories are doubled.

          1. Okay, thanks a lot, man! I'll keep an eye out for updates and new tests.

          2. Eduardo, is it normal that the do not disturb mode is activated and deactivated without me touching anything? At night I activate it and when I wake up it is deactivated sometimes, it also usually happens the other way around.
            Another thing is the time function, how does it work? it says "waiting for data".
            A salute!

          3. Yes, in the Connect settings you can set the times when the "do not disturb" period works, and you will not receive notifications during that time (therefore, the vibrations will not wake you up).

            As for the time thing, when that happened to me was when I wasn't properly connected to the Garmin Connect application. Delete the device and pair it again.

          4. Hi, Eduardo. I'm training weights without registering the activity because of the problem of bending them and such.
            1. Is the optical pulse meter as accurate as recording the training?
            2. In the case of recording the training, how do I know how much I have left over at the end of the day? Because within the kcal of activity I suppose there are the steps and such.
            Thank you for answering 😉

          5. The rate at which you record your pulse depends on your activity and movement level, so for weight training, you'll probably want to record it separately (knowing that you'll have twice as many calories).

            At the end of the day you have a breakdown of total calories, "normal" calories (breathing, walking, moving, etc.) and activity calories (recorded activities).

          6. So it's always exactly twice as much that counts?
            Thanks for answering, man. I didn't think I'd have so many problems. I really like the bracelet and it helps me a lot, but until I get the hang of it...
            A salute!

  5. Good morning. So I understand that for swimming it's not good, since the screen doesn't lock. I was looking for something similar that has a built-in pulse sensor and that if it has gps better but I don't think there is anything. For me notifications are not important.

    1. No, it is not suitable for swimming as it has no specific metrics and the sensor data underwater is not valid.

      Multisport watches that support swimming and have an optical pulse sensor (basically TomTom Cardio Multisport and TomTom Runner 2) do not enable the sensor under water.

      If you want to have heart rate data while swimming, you have to choose Polar V800, Suunto Ambit3 or Garmin 920xt, Fenix 3 or Epix with HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim pulse sensor.

  6. To the sum of errors go 2 more:

    - The floors that are climbed are detected when he feels like it. I live in a 3-storey house, I've been up and down 3 times already and I mark 0 floors.

    - In most cases it does not allow me to read the notifications that arrive in full. The down arrow to read the whole message is blocked, allowing you to read only the first sentence.

    Does this happen to anyone else? To see if it's software and then I wait or it's hardware and I return it...

    Thank you

    1. Hello, Maria.

      Both are software situations that need to be polished. Because I guess sometimes you do get the floors up, don't you?

      1. Thank you, Eduardo.

        Yes, it works without accuracy: sometimes right, sometimes wrong.
        I've just had the vivamart and even though the screen was of lower quality and had fewer functions, what I was doing was good.
        I also think they have released a beta product at a finished product price.

        Great review! Congratulations

  7. Good evening Eduardo, I have been following this device and I would like to clarify the ones about the behavior at night; that is to say, if it looks good in the dark, then I currently have the vivomart and it looks perfect in the dark... how does the vivomart HR do it? only that stops me from buying it. thanks in advance

    1. The technology of the display is different. In the Vivosmart it is OLED, while in the Vivosmart HR it is transflective. The former is like that of mobile phones, which looks good indoors but is more difficult to read in sunlight; while the latter is like e-books which in full sunlight look perfect (because a layer under the display reflects the light and illuminates the screen) but indoors need to rely on the integrated light of the device.

      On the Vivosmart HR you can see the screen perfectly during the day. Indoors or in the dark you can simply see it. The worst thing about it is the viewing angle under those circumstances, which is quite small. However if you look at the screen from the front you can see it perfectly.

  8. Hi, I am considering buying this device for an older person (65), but very active in sports. He plays tennis 3 days a week and does walk/running exercise for another 3.
    My doubts are:
    1. You have a small wrist, is there a problem with the normal size bracelet for small wrists?. I say this mainly because of the heart rate monitor.
    2. Is it easy for a person who is not too "technological"? She uses her cell phone on a regular basis, and the computer sometimes, but she is not a fan of new devices like me.
    Hopefully the updates will solve the calorie and activity problems. Thank you!

    1. No problem with the normal size, it works perfectly.

      As for your second question, perhaps the Vivosmart HR has an excess of features for someone not very technological. In that case I think the Fitbit Charge HR may be a better option, since it is much simpler both in use and in the synchronization application. Garmin Connect is more complete, but loaded with a multitude of options. It is also on offer today, although for a limited time:

      1. Thanks for your response! I find the fact that for a little more money the Garmin has some notifications on the little screen attractive, but of course attractive to me. I have to test if it is also for her who will use it. And the fact that the fitbit charge HR only has time, pulse, steps and sleep puts me off 🙁
        I'm not quite sure which one to buy. Either way I'll do it through your link.

      2. By the way, the link to the Fitbit Charge HR doesn't work for you, you have to remove the first part so that only the amazon link comes out 😉.

        1. That's right, you always have to think about who's going to be the user. And for someone who's not a technology buff, all the menus, notifications, controls and so on are not only not going to be used, but are going to get in the way. The Fitbit focuses on the basics, and is perfect for someone who just wants that.

          Thanks for the heads up. I put it in this morning from the iPad app and for some reason the address wasn't coming in with http 🙂

          1. I finally bought the Fitbit with your link for 86€ 😀.
            I had a 10 euro discount on the mail I didn't remember and I also paid with the 4% discount from COINC... good offer I think.

  9. Good afternoon. Do you know if it's compatible with the Fenix 3?. I'd like the Fenix 3 to receive the heart rate data from vivamart hr.

    1. Yes, the Fenix 3 can be connected to any sensor with ANT+ connectivity, so it can receive the data from Vivosmart HR without problems.

  10. Hi eduardo, great test of vivomart hr, I would like to ask you if it is possible that vivomart, the subtle version without optical sensor f.c., is better ? either for comfort, weight or better finish or functions. I have no idea, but I think this more achieved what do you think?

    1. The previous version is simpler, has much fewer options (no notifications, minutes of intensity, heart rate, floors climbed, etc.). That is, it only counts steps and estimates distances and calories. But if that's all you're looking for, it will serve you perfectly.

  11. Hi, Eduardo,

    First of all, congratulations for the very complete review, I'm looking for a simple device to help me control my heart rate during exercise; the rest of the applications are secondary to me. I had seen mine fuse, but I have doubts if it is the best option, compared to the garmin vivo smart hr or the fitbit charge hr. Thank you very much

  12. Good. Excellent article, it has solved many doubts. One thing I could not find out, you can connect Garmin Vivosmart HR via bluetooth to the phone to make the functions of a heart rate monitor ... You can connect, for example, to runtastic to track the route (while walking or running), or other applications of pulse or calories (health) for a more comprehensive control. Thank you

    1. Technically it would be possible, but not allowed. Just send information via ANT+. If your phone does not have this type of connection (some have it built in) you will not have the data.

      On the other hand, it's logical. Garmin wants you to use that feature with their devices. If they allow Bluetooth it would go against their business model.

      1. Thank you for the Article Eduardo. I am also interested in the possibility proposed by Katxos. Do you have any suggestions about it? Do you plan to carry out an analysis of a device that can admit this possibility? In that case, I would wait to read your article.

          1. Thanks for responding. Since you've been using it in your latest reviews, I've already noticed how well the Mio Link works. However, my goal was to find a smartband that also has these features, because the price of the Mio Link (around £90), I find it uncompetitive.

          2. Thank you very much for the suggestion. I will weigh whether to purchase a Mio Fuse or if it compensates me to buy directly something from the tomtom runner cardio range 😉.

            Too bad the Polar M400 doesn't have a built-in heart rate monitor...


  13. Well, first congratulations for the valuation. You don't miss a single detail. Yesterday I bought the bracelet and I'm very very happy. I just have a little doubt, to charge it, it has to be with the usb of a computer? Or it can be also connecting to the current directly? I guess it will depend on the power. Thanks in advance!

    1. Either option is perfectly valid, whichever is more convenient for you. USB is a standard and therefore the output voltage is always the same: 5V. The amperage may vary depending on the charger, but it is the device that is automatically regulated (not by connecting it to a 2A charger it will be charged before).

  14. Hi, Eduardo. I think there's been an update on vivomart hr. Can you comment on that? I can't find any information anywhere.
    A salute!

      1. Pity! I was expecting the correction of the kcal, but as long as all corrections are welcome, I'll keep an eye on the next ones, hopefully they'll be quick.
        Thank you for answering 😉

        1. They will be coming. I always publish the news in the weekly summaries, so that's where you can find all the news constantly.

  15. Hi, first of all congratulations for the article as it is very good and detailed, and secondly I would like to know that you would recommend in my case that I only practice fitness/culturalism in a muscle room, with aerobic exercise on a treadmill and jump rope, and I hesitate between this and the fitbit hr.

    Greetings and thank you!

    1. It depends more on the type of device you want. If you are looking for something simple Fitbit. If you want something more widely used (notifications, etc) then I would choose Vivosmart HR.

  16. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all, thanks and congratulations for the analysis, it's very detailed and comprehensive. I currently have a Garmin 310XT for workouts, and I had thought of this wristband to supplement my untrained time. However, with what you said about double calorie counting, I hesitate to do so. If I didn't misunderstand you, even if I didn't use the training mode of the wristband, but if I recorded the activity with the 310XT, during the training time the calories would be counted twice, right? Or does Garmin somehow detect that, if I use the 310XT for a workout, during that period of time it has to discard the data on the wristband?

    Greetings and thank you.

    1. The problem lies in the moment you record an activity with the bracelet, because it will add up those calories for the activity part and also in the follow-up for 24 hours. In your case, the problem is not going to have it by default of the device, because it would not be counting double by itself.

      But obviously, it's two devices in the same account, so you'll logically have extra calories. Garmin Connect allows for no duplication of daily activity tracking devices, but it does not eliminate duplicate recorded activities. So if you wear two devices at once, you'll duplicate activities.

      1. Thank you very much for the answer! So, to avoid this problem, I would have to turn off my wristband (or remove it) when I recorded an activity with the other device. If I understood correctly, this way the resulting information in the Garmin Connect would be correct, right? The only disadvantage would be that the training would not count towards my goal of steps and minutes of activity for the day, I understand.

        A salute.

          1. It would also work, but one of the main reasons that I am interested in this bracelet, is to have all the information centralized in a single account, and as I already have a Garmin heart rate monitor, so I had discarded, in principle, the other manufacturers.
            Thank you very much for the clarifications!

  17. Hi, and thanks!!! very complete report, just to ask you if you know if it is possible to replace the band in case of an unforeseen breakage or wear, it has already happened to me with an FR70 and there was no case of getting a replacement band. Well, I am waiting for your answer, thank you very much!

      1. Sorry Eduardo for expressing myself wrong, I was referring to the band of the watch or bracelet or the strip with which you attach it to your wrist, (I don't know exactly what they call it in your country), the question is the same, can it be replaced in case of breakage? do you have any news if the bands are sold separately? Thank you very much!

        1. Not sold as an accessory. You should check with Garmin Support to confirm that they have a replacement in their service department.

  18. Good afternoon,

    First of all CONGRATULATIONS for the review, I didn't know you and I've been researching on the web and I really liked the work you do.

    I am planning to get one, although after reading the review I only hope that these "bugs" will be fixed in the next updates.

    I have a doubt (perhaps absurd), these devices are prepared to suffer high temperatures? For example steam or dry sauna. is it better to take it off?

    How sensitive is the sensor to sudden movements?

    Thank you very much.

    1. No, the Vivosmart HR (and in general any type of clock) is not prepared to enter a sauna. In particular it has a range of use from -10 º to 60 º C.

      Expansions caused by high temperatures can destroy both electronic devices and any traditional quartz watch.

  19. Good. I would be interested if you could solve a question for me, the Garmin when you are at rest does not take the heart rate constantly, but every 10 minutes, instead the fitbit if it is every 5 seconds in a state of rest ( sleeping for example ) thank you very much and great articles!

      1. But surely the garmin vivomart HR doesn't take your pulse constantly even without exercising? I contacted the company to ask them and they said yes, it measures your heart rate at rest too. Greetings and thank you

        1. Yes, of course Vivosmart HR measures the pulse at rest, but not as often as it does during physical activity.

          1. Great! Thank you very much. It's just that for health reasons I have to have my heart rate monitored. It's been helpful. Greetings

  20. Hello again,

    I finally bought the bracelet and in general I am delighted, but with some doubts that disturb me..

    Although I don't do high intensity cardio, I've been doing it regularly for over 15 years.

    Maybe it's too early to evaluate (I've barely taken it 3 hours), but it shows me that I'm at 59 when I'm at rest; I took advantage of it and went for a walk with the woman and the kid and on average I was at 70 and a few but suddenly I looked and on some occasions I was at 130 and long while I was walking (checking it later in the app I saw a maximum of 147) without making any effort and just at the moment of looking I saw how it went down again to 70 and a few.

    When I came back I decided to run up the stairs (4 floors) and I went up at about 85 ppm.

    Reviewing the graph I see peaks and troughs of ppm, I have tightened the pulse but I wanted to know.. this is normal? the hair on my wrist can influence? and the sweat?

    Thank you very much.

    1. It's probably due to a bad fit. It may be because it's too tight or too loose. At first you'll have trouble finding the point where you can place it.

      On Wed., Dec. 30, 2015 at 9:45 p.m., Xavier () wrote:

      1. I've continued doing tests and I'm a little bit fly... it has punctual peaks that shoot me the graphs... I'm at 70 and a bit and suddenly it gets to 140 and it returns to 70 and a bit. I don't have another bracelet or band to test, do you think it could be normal that I had spontaneous pulsation increases without doing great efforts?
        On the other hand... I see that I'm almost all day between 70 and 80; I know that each person is a world and that it depends a lot on their health and physical activity, but it's not a lot of heartbeats?
        The muscle mass and weight can make you have more pulses than normal ... I practice bodybuilding.
        Since I've never used a ppm meter I thought I'd have a lot less.

        Thank you very much.

        1. It's the same for me, it only registers my pulse well when I put it in exercise mode... and I have it checked by another garmin I have of pectoral band, I don't know if it will be a problem of the unit or what.

          1. In the activity logging mode it is the only time that data is taken every second.

        2. Record an activity while you are on a daily basis so that your heart rate is recorded every second and you have a continuous graph. When you are not physically active the recording rate is much higher, up to every 10 minutes, so you may see significant jumps in the daily graph.

          If your workout is not accompanied by enough cardio, those pulses can be perfectly normal.

  21. Hi, Eduardo. ...and thank you for your time and serious work.
    The kings will bring it to me hehe, and I'm sure I'll find several issues to improve, I'm sure Garmin will attack them ....
    One question: I see that the charger is only for PC use. I can't plug it into a mobile phone charger with USB, I remember having a 0.5A or 1A samsung.
    I'm going to go down and check in at Garmin Connect jijiji
    Thank you

      1. Checked, thanks

        I agree with you about street lighting at night, I don't see anything. .... and the practicalities of not being able to block etc.

        To me if you have let me record the training by stretches of 1 km that I have been able to see in the app of garmin, or I have not understood you well or have your updated something perhaps, ...

        The battery ... I charged at 1pm and at 11pm it dropped a point. I think that's a lot

        1. I don't know if they've made any changes at the server level, but when you're doing your workout, it does warn you every time a kilometre passes and you can see the data on screen. But when that exercise was synced to Garmin Connect, only one block appeared, not separated by kilometres, so you couldn't see the time in every fragment.

          If you see it broken down now, it's because they've solved it directly at the server level.

          As for the battery, please note that the first charges are not representative, both because the battery is not yet at 100% and because of the constant fiddling of the device.

  22. Hello, in the Garmin LiveMart hr notifications from wahassap and more just notifies the sender, does not give option to read them completely, is so or expected solution. It links to iPhone 6 correctly. Thank you

    1. To enter the notification, you must "press" on it.
      Then it opens and you can slide your finger to read the content.

      1. Well, I tried it and I still can't read the wahassap, only the sender, the sms are perfectly read, the calls and I connect it with Garmin conec as I have the fenix 3.

          1. Notifications sometimes work for me, sometimes they don't. It depends. But I don't know what it is, hehe. I keep going over it.

      2. Hello, congratulations for the analysis! Regarding that to read the notifications, I let me read more than 3 messages, it is normal ... thanks and greetings

        1. Yes, it is common that the complete list of messages cannot be accessed, and it is also not possible to read a complete email if it is very long.

  23. Good morning! First of all, I would like to congratulate you for the great work you are doing here, for those of us who do not have much control over the subject...

    Well, when in doubt about which smartband to buy from me over this price range and to quantify sleep and measure heart rate (I go running 3 times a week among other occasional sports) I had decided on the Garmin over the fitbit.

    Have any bracelets come out that rival them at this year's CES in function and price? Or is the garmin still a good option for those of us who don't want something extremely professional, but can at least measure pulses and control the time we run?

    Thank you!

    1. In activity wristbands, Fitbit Blaze (with a higher price) and Mio Slice have been introduced, but there is no official date of availability yet.

  24. Hi Eduardo, first of all I would like to congratulate you for your website and your careful comments. I've been visiting websites, rewiews, analysis vs, etc. for a few weeks now and I must say that this website has been where I've found the most professional and well-argued analysis of all. In many others I've found errors in features, hardware, etc. that only made my head spin... I've said it, I won't keep on complimenting your work and disinterested analysis (since many bloggers are puppets of the brands and receive compensation for the contents). Get to the point!

    I have been in the fitness world for more than 13 years but I also do other daily activities such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. although I have thought about buying an activity bracelet basically for weights and spinnig. I'm quite addicted to it (I'm an addict, yes) and I'm afraid that someday I'm going to get "the potato"; that's why I'd like to keep track of my heart rate. Yes, having notifications, full color screen with custom backgrounds, vibrations, etc. is cool and is very good (more if it is for a similar price), but what really matters to me is the fidelity of the heart rate and caloric intake both throughout the day and in "training mode".

    I have read the problem of the vivamart hr of garmin with the calories and, although I think like you, that it is something temporary until updating the software, as you say, it generates distrust to me... Also problems of delay in the vivofit... etc. What is the use of buying a car with electric windows, air conditioning, that parks alone, with 3000 airbags, etc. but then it has problems and it does not start? I suppose that you catch me...

    I don't know if the market is yet mature even though there are many models of activity bracelets and smart watches focused on sports (I repeat, bracelets, not chest bands/sports watches).

    After reading and reading I have created my own ranking, in which I do not know if you will agree with me (maybe I messed up). What I have found is that the good of one sins in the other and vice versa, without finding the perfect activity bracelet; maybe, because it has not yet been released. I know that everything is according to the needs of each one, if you want it waterproof, battery life, more complete app or not, screen, etc. But well, according to my preferences I have reached the next ranking:

    1st Microsoft band: I'm satisfied with the 1st one, although if I buy the 2nd one it would be only for the most ergonomic design, since I've read that the 1st one is quite uncomfortable and bulky. As for features/price, the 1st one is for the street.

    2nd? Garmin Vivosmart HR: after reading your post I don't know whether to relieve it to the third or fourth place... what a disappointment I got.

    3º MIo fuse / Mio link: it all depends on whether the screen is yes or no. The truth is that it gives me a lot of confidence that MIO was the one who patented/pioneered the LED in these devices. I think that the colored LEDs that mark intervals would be enough for me, but already put... for a little more money...

    4th Fitbit charge HR: despite its excellent app, constant pulse monitoring and other good features, I relegated it to the last place in the ranking now I don't remember very well why... one of the reasons was that it was not submersible but neither was the Microsoft band and I have it as the first one in the ranking... For me there are quite a few differences between submersible and splashproof, although it is not an aspect that I care too much about either; unless I can run out of my bracelet due to an oversight... what good is it for me that it is submersible if it doesn't register anything under water afterwards?

    5th (to put 5th place...): Samsung Gear: both models as the FIT and the Gear S, etc. I've been charged for only taking a LED and exclusivity with Galaxy Samsung models.

    Anyway, that's all. I have also read a review that the microsoft band did not perform either a fairly reliable record of pulsations, but for the sake of redundancy, "trust what is written out there" ... So it is a somewhat unstable and provisional ranking until you enlighten me with your wisdom 🙂 As you will see it is not a: "hey Edu! I want to buy one of these bracelets but I don't have a clue, which one do I buy?"

    As I have been quite long, I will summarize the priorities in order of importance:

    -Reliability of the heart rate.
    -Reliability in caloric expenditure (both basal, daytime and training).
    -Reliability in sleep monitoring (it is essential that it is automatic so that if I fall asleep watching TV, as often happens to me, I don't have to activate the "sleep mode").

    -Compatibility with Android/MIUI and other third party apps
    -Vibration/light/sound notifications according to targets/training intervals
    -Development of the app and future updates
    -Social notifications.
    -Music player control.
    -Distance/step/step reliability (I don't really need the GPS for the use I'm going to give it and I don't care too much about these estimates).
    -Submersible (for the mere fact of not charging it).
    -Autonomy. -I don't mind having to carry it every two instead of every three days or a week.
    -Price. "I don't care about the price. That is to say, I don't have enough and I'm quite demanding when it comes to quality/price ratio, but I don't want to spend 60 or 140 euros and then end up buying another one for more than 250 euros.

    I think for the time being "that's all" 😉.

    I hope that your advice will help me and many others who have the same purpose of use.

    I look forward to your verdict because I'm anxious to buy one already!

    Thanks a lot, crack!

    1. With those premises, in your case I would choose between Fitbit Charge HR or Vivosmart HR. At present Vivosmart HR is not the most reliable option, but it should improve through updates.

      Take a look at the new Fitbit Blaze that has just been introduced. If you're not in too much of a hurry it might be interesting to wait for it to go on sale.

  25. Well, I have a question that is a little absurd. I'm looking for a pretty basic activity bracelet. waterproof, OSx compatible and sleep analysis function, distance traveled, calories, if you also have a better heart rate meter, even if I could omit it, I like the fitbit charge hr but the bad reviews about the strap and the impossibility of changing them throw me at, I would prefer this, you can change the strap ... Thanks

    1. No, the entire assembly is one piece, I don't know if Garmin has any procedures in place to replace it.

        1. Generally the designs are "unibody". As for the choice of activity monitor, there are so many available that the choice is purely personal, based primarily on the platform (if you have friends or family using a platform, it would be best to be part of it).

  26. Hello,
    Congratulations for your analysis, I was looking for an activity bracelet from this range and in my opinion this website is where you can find the best and most complete analysis.

    My needs are similar to Alex's and I agree with his ranking.
    My priorities are heart and caloric control during fitness, running and cycling activities. No notifications or gps are essential because I will always carry it in my mobile phone. I would also like not to have to take it off every time I go to the shower.
    I'm going crazy comparing, see if you can give me your opinion.

    Regarding Microsoft, is it worth waiting for them to decide to launch Band 2 in Spain? It seems that here it will cost around 350 euros, does it improve the performance so much that it doubles the one we are comparing?

    With the Mio brand, my doubt was whether to wait for the Slice to be released, there is not much info yet on this bracelet, does it improve much what this brand currently has?

    You could tell me what would be your ranking for my needs comparing Microsoft band, Garmin Vivosmart HR, Mio and Fitbit charge HR.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Microsoft Band I can't tell you anything about it, I haven't had a chance to try it and I'm not sure it will end up in Spain.

      Slice will have a new sensor, different from the one you've been using so far, so you'll have to try it out.

      Today, I would decide between Vivosmart HR and Fitbit Charge HR.

    2. Carlos, how are you doing? hahahaha. I've been comparing and comparing for days and weeks... and I'm still the same... when I decide on one... plase, criticism to the song. So I've come to the conclusion that for now there is still no "our perfect bracelet" so I'll end up buying the best bargain I can find and maybe in a few months my true "better half" will come out. This is like a few years ago with cell phones ... one had the best camera but was very thick, etc. and then all offered acceptable qualities ... You'll comment what was your choice!
      And thank you, Eduardo, once again for your answers.

  27. Hello, I'm looking for a bracelet of this kind and I liked it, but looking at your assessment ... I think it was discarded. Could you help me choose one? The features that interest me most are q measure the distance, heart rate and can get into the water, because the activity I do most often is swimming. It would be for daily use and for an activity of medium intensity.
    I hope I'm not disturbing you, thanks for your help and a greeting!

    1. If you don't buy one of the specific models prepared for water... forget it. When you submerge them, nothing will detect you. I'm sure Eduardo will advise you... because I model zero swimming.

  28. Good morning. Happy New Year!
    It is a magnificent article, a particularly detailed and, above all, fantastically structured test, with the failures and criticisms all together at the end.

    But it has put me in a "bad mood". I just bought one... if I had read this blog three days ago I would have bought it here (I did it through Amazon) which would have given me the same and you would have that little commission which you certainly more than earn with such phenomenal work.

    Anyway, I'm left with the consolation that the next one I buy will be through your link.

    Thank you very much for everything.

    1. Thank you very much for wanting to collaborate. Next time you can do it that way, even if it's just a pair of socks 😉.

  29. Morning,
    First of all I want to congratulate you for the review, I really like the way you express yourself, how you organize the content and the way you deal with the readers.

    I would like to tell you a little about my situation so you can understand my doubts about buying or not this bracelet.

    I am a 22 year old boy who has dedicated myself to swimming in a "professional" way until 4 years ago when I had to stop due to health issues. Due to my health, these last 4 years I have been on crutches because I have been operated a few times. It seems that I have already made the last operation and in a few weeks I'm going to poder start with the rehabilitation process.

    With all this I want to tell you that in the next few months I will dedicate myself to rehabilitation in the hospital, to rehabilitation with a personal physiotherapist, I will take the bike almost every day, I will continue with swimming (as a way of strengthening, I don't think I will compete again for the moment) and later I will start with the gym.

    I had thought that the Garmin Vivosmart HR bracelet would help me control the exercise I do every day, but reading your article, I am surprised that it is not suitable for swimming:

    -In case I buy it: Do you really think it would be useful for all the dry exercises I have mentioned? Keep in mind that I can't run (and I doubt that I will ever be able to) so the exercises I do are static (squats, quadriceps on a bench, etc). If I swam with it using the training mode would it mark my pulse correctly even if the Kcal values and so on are incorrect?

    -In case I don't buy it: Can you recommend me some other device more suitable for my case or continue training in the traditional way? I had a budget of about 150 ? or about 200 ? maximum.

    Thank you very much for your attention,
    I'm waiting for your answer.
    A salute.

  30. Good afternoon.
    A very interesting analysis
    I have just bought the wristband and I would like to know if to use it for cycling you have to activate some function or if not how it distinguishes it when I activate the training function if I run or cycle?
    Or always mark training as a race even if you're cycling
    Thank you very much.

    1. Training is always marked as a race. After synchronisation you must change the activity type manually.

    2. Using it for cycling, the only thing that will measure you is your cardio, but forget about it measuring the distance travelled correctly. It serves as a heart rate monitor if you connect it to the GPS or mobile phone (if it is ANT+ compatible), but nothing else.

  31. Hello!

    First of all, I want to thank you for the enormous work you have done here, presenting and not forgetting the merit of it. Congratulations and thanks again for your meticulous and useful dedication!

    Having said the above, I take the liberty, if it is not too much to ask, that you advise me to decide on one of these heart rate monitors.

    POLAR: A300 and M400

    GARMIN: vivomart Hr and vivoactive.

    If I tell you that I am interested in the heart rate underwater, everything points to the A300 for the Gymlink (5Khz), but the doubt assails me in not knowing if the M400 or vivosmart are more complete out of water in terms of applications around the pulse...

    I have never used a heart rate monitor and above all knowing how they work around the heart rate (heart work zone, progress, profiles, warnings ...) I am very interested in acquiring one and in price range I am among these ... ( no phoenix or ambit or V800 ...)

    Thank you infinitely!

    1. If it's the heartbeat in the water that matters to you, then you should choose the A300. In terms of heart rate applications, you won't notice much difference between all these models.

  32. Hi Eduardo. I am delighted to have found your blog as it clarifies many things about products and features. I am interested in buying an activity bracelet with optical heart rate monitor and I hesitate between vivosmart hr, fitbit charge hr, fitbit surge and polar A360 or any other q you can advise me. I will summarize the utility I want. First activity bracelet q quantify calories, steps, floors, etc, since I have an office job and I'm interested. On the other hand a half decent heart rate monitor as I do cardio work in gym, some weights and outdoor series and I am interested in q tell me the heart rate and areas in which I am working during exercise. Also in the series q me sírva of chronometer for not having q carry watch in cuantobabtiempod x series. As for notifications, with the calls I have enough. I have been told q to the fitbit as you go the battery does not have replacement (I do not know if it is true) and the vivosmart hr I do not like the thing that doubles the calories (q I do not know if it will fix or not). The GPS thing on the watch tb I like. I have had a polar rs300x before. Thanks and I look forward to your advice.

    1. With that profile, I recommend that you choose between Fitbit Charge HR or Vivosmart HR, depending on what best fits your use of what you see in both tests.

  33. Hi, I just bought this device and I would like to know if I can go out without the mobile phone and receive the same notifications and that the whole exercise is saved the same.
    Thank you

    1. The activity and exercise data do not require a mobile phone.

      The notifications do need to be carried on the phone.

  34. Good afternoon.
    Thank you very much for helping us with our questions
    You configured in the application that the power shows it by zones but when I started an activity on the screen that I have heart rate zone shows me values like 2.3 or 4.1 would not have to show 50% or values like that?

    1. These values are on a scale from 0 to 5, with each number being a heart rate zone. In the end it tells you the same thing you ask, it's just another way of representing it

  35. Hi! great analysis. a couple of questions, in the list of compatible mobiles there is not even gun Bq, although Garmin says that there are mobiles that are not in the list and can be compatible, a chore to return it if not. and on the other hand in the comments of the application of the playstore everybody says that it goes badly, it gives errors of connection, it does not synchronize etc... all negative comments. if they create a half-decent bracelet and the application does not work....

    1. In my case I use the APP on a Xperia Z2 and so far, I have never had the APP closed, nor have I had any problems. And that's because I'm in the first month of using the APP, which is rare the day I don't use it several times a day, hehehe. In my case, I would give it 4 stars because there are options (like in most sports APP's - strava, endomondo, etc) that are only available in the web version. But otherwise, zero problems.

    2. Compatibility is with Android phones that have version 4.3 or higher and Bluetooth 4.0. If your phone meets these two requirements it will sync without problem

  36. Congratulations on all the work you're doing on these tests... I just ordered it through your link. I hope it's worth it

  37. Hi, everybody,
    I can not synchronize my bracelet with my mobile. I connect the device by searching by bluetooth from my mobile and even comes out the password on my bracelet but from the application says it can not find the device and from my bracelet either.
    My phone has Andorid version 6.0, I guess from the information I read that synchronization is possible with current android systems.
    Thank you very much for your help

  38. Hello, I just bought the bracelet a few days ago and I have a doubt about the sleep measurement that I can clarify it. I have quite different schedules throughout the week and I never go to bed or get up at the same time, and wanted to know if I sleep automatically or I have to change daily time to go to sleep and get up, because these last days I had put a schedule to wake up (which I put the day I set the bracelet) but I got up an hour later and I did not monitor those hours

    1. I can't tell you about it, because my sleeping hours are always in the same range. I don't know how it works with respect to different hours.

      1. ok, thanks anyway for replying and congratulations for the great job with the reviews, because thanks to them I have podido decide for the product to buy 🙂

        1. In my case I don't have fixed schedules, so what I have done is to set a very wide range (for example, from 9 at night to eight in the morning). In addition, the "do not disturb" I deactivate it when it is on by itself, and I activate it again when I wake up, and the bluetooth I turn it off and on when I go to bed and wake up. In this way, (I don't know what the good thing is, of everything I do) it detects my sleeping hours quite well, since before going to bed it detects quite a lot of activity, and as I wake up, too.
          I hope it helps you!

  39. Hello, I found this post very interesting. I came here looking for information to poder understand and know how to better use my new Garmin and the truth is that it has been very useful. But I have a doubt, I have little time with him and recently I put him to the test to make a training of cicloindoor and I counted all time pulsations and others, but to synchronize it with my mobile to poder have saved my activity does not appear anywhere (or I can not find it). I do not know if I podrías help me with this "little problem". First of all thank you very much and keep going with the site, it's great!

  40. Hello again. I already started to use it and so far everything seems ok. Is there a possibility to change the weight to kilograms and the height to meters and centimeters? Thanks

  41. Hello... My question is whether you can change from feet to meters and from pounds to kilograms. Thank you

    1. It's a chore that happens to you, but from the people I see who use Garmin devices and I see them quite satisfied, I would say it's an exceptional case. Let's see, not all devices come out well from the factory at 100%... you have the Chinese one. Can't you handle the warranty?

      1. Yes, the device was sent to the SAT for the first time after exactly 22 days of use. And in one of the videos I say that it was just picked up and it failed again. The SAT says that it updated the firmware (I had already done it the day v2.60 came out) and that it checks it. And the problem is that if you let the battery run out and then restart it from 0 it can give for a few hours a false perception of normal operation until sooner or later it hangs up again. That's why I had to document it with videos, now I'm processing it again and I really hope that I don't get the same one back but a new one.

        1. Joe!! Well yes, I sincerely hope they solve your problem satisfactorily. That the bracelet is not cheap. Good luck!!

          sent from my Z2

  42. Hello there,
    Do you know how to report the weather forecast? As far as I know I don't have any weather app installed on my mobile phone, so I'm intrigued to know where you get your information from.

    Thank you.

    1. Just slide through the different screens until it reaches you.
      Although also 1TP10It could be that you do not have it configured in the app "Garmin Connect". To do this you would have to go to the app, option "Settings", select "Vivosmart HR Settings", "Display" and there you have the different screens that are enabled or disabled on your bracelet.

  43. Good morning. I'm writing this comment again because the previous one I don't see has been published. It said that I had acquired this bracelet but I'm not able to get the weather (climate) out. There's a message in English that comes to say that it's "waiting for data. I don't know if there is any application installed on the mobile related to the weather. Thank you.

  44. Hello everyone and especially to Eduardo, I published this question in a previous comment but I do not see it, if this duplicate I feel it, in our environment we have two vivamart hr and we are not able to put the backlight, we have it well configured in garmin conet , with the option alway but there is no way that the screen lights up moving the wrist to the face, that happens to someone else.

    1. I'm copying back what I told you

      The floors climbed is an estimated value and depends on values of height, weight, sex, etc. It is an algorithm, so it does not have to coincide between two people.

      I didn't have any problems with the lighting, in fact when I was driving the screen lit up more than I wanted to.

      1. Thanks for responding to everyone, so I understand that it may be a physical problem rather than the software not lighting up when properly configured.

        1. All I can tell you is that I had no problem with the lighting... I don't know why you're having problems, I can't help you.

  45. good!
    first of all thank you for the analysis (you have one more follower)
    I have the forerunner 220, and I was interested in buying this bracelet.
    I have some doubts; will the step activity be doubled with the running activity if I use them together? Should I turn off the wristband or start the activity mode when I go out to train?
    Do you think it's a good idea to use both? or would it be better to get rid of the forerunner 220 and buy another higher range model that would also serve as my daily activity monitor (I don't like this option because I don't like to wear such big watches, I'm a very small doll)
    Thank you very much for your input, your response and your time!

    1. If you use the Vivosmart HR as an external pulse sensor, it will not save that session as an activity, but in case of carrying it in normal mode, it will obviously add steps to the total.

      The other option you have is to buy a Garmin 235 (same size as your 220, but with the larger screen), which incorporates the same functions of the Vivosmart HR. Or the 230 and keep the pulse sensor of your 220.

  46. The first thing is to congratulate you on your excellent work and dedication.
    I would like to comment some things about the bracelet. I have it for about a month and a half and in general I am quite happy, although there are some things that happen to me that I don't like at all, to know if the same thing happens to someone.
    The notifications, even though I only have the call ones activated, keep coming. The bracelet doesn't vibrate, but when you go through the notifications screen there are all of them.
    Another thing that happens to me is that if I make any change in the configuration from the mobile app, other things that I don't touch in principle are deconfigured, such as the language that is passed to English, the time format is changed from 24h to 12h.
    I can't see the weather either, despite having it well configured in the mobile app.
    Yesterday when I put it to load I jumped the notice to upgrade to version 2.90. I did so and these little problems I mention have not been solved. I also don't know if the duplication of calories has been solved.
    There are some small changes such as a heart rate graph by sliding the screen down on the HR screen.
    The only difference is that when you choose the running option you can see the distance travelled and the CF zone you are in. In cardio and others these options do not appear.
    Anyway, thanks again for your dedication and a greeting

    1. Hi, Mario,

      Waiting for Eduardo's answer, I'll answer you.
      - languages theme: the same thing happens to me. I have it configured in French, but it goes back to Spanish when I sync with the app. However, the time format is still correct.
      - Eduardo explained to me that it was the Garmin Connect APP that provided that information, but I don't see anywhere in the APP where it can be configured.
      - theme notifications: I also have them disabled, so that I only vibrate with the calls. The theme is that you can still see the notifications in the bracelet because you will have it configured in the APP. That is, it does not warn you that they have arrived, but you can consult them. I have it like this: that I only notify calls, but that the notifications of emails and whatsapp are available. If you do not want to see those notifications, just disable them in the Garmin app.
      - Next time I go for a run, I'll look at what you said about the cardio area. I haven't seen it. How does it show up?

      What I have seen that they have corrected with this new version: - a more real/accurate calculation of the pulse - they have corrected (at least in my case) that the bracelet lights up when I move my wrist.

      One bug that I see that it still has is with the whatsapp, there are times that it shows them to you (when there are several messages to read) and times that it doesn't show them to you (when there is only one message to read). And the same thing happens to me with the hangout. For the mail, zero problems, they read perfect.


    2. Thank you, Mario.

      If you do not want to see notifications on that screen, in addition to disabling them, you must delete the applications they send in the Garmin Connect settings.

      For language and time, check your Garmin Connect settings (on the web, not in the application).

      About the time is something automatic and there is no configuration in the application, it should arrive automatically. At least this has happened to me.

      I have to receive another unit that I bought to check all the news of yesterday's update, which was quite important.

  47. Hi, Eduardo!

    I have some doubts, I hope you can clarify them for me please 🙂

    I am mainly interested in two things, that it makes the calorie count as accurate as possible and that it can be synchronized with Myfitnesspal or similar.

    How does the Vivosmart HR differ from the Vivosmart and Vivofit in that respect? I guess the Vivosmart HR is more accurate because of the heart rate sensor?

    Which model do you know of in the market that fulfills these functions that is the most economical?

    My only sporting activity is weight lifting and I'm not interested in other features such as notifications, etc. (If you bring them, I wouldn't mind.) What I am interested in is that the price is low and that I do as accurate a calorie count as possible.

    Thank you very much!

    1. If you have heart rate information in your exercises, the calorie data will be somewhat more accurate. The original Vivosmart could also record HR data through the ANT+ sensor, which is probably a better option for your activity. The optical sensor and wrist movements do not get along at all.

  48. Hi, I have a Fenix 3 and I'm looking for a device that measures my heart rate while I'm swimming. The HRM-Swim chest straps I have discarded for aesthetics in the pool, it gives me cut we will be swimming with that on. Among my options I have my link and now I discovered this vivamart hr that also has that function. Do you think this bracelet will measure well the pulses in the swimming activity, entering and leaving the arm constantly from the water?

    1. The only option you have is the HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim sensor, they are the only ones that will provide you with accurate information, and at the moment they are the only ones that will record data from the activity. With other sensors (like Mio Link) the keystroke data will be displayed on screen, but not recorded in the FIT file of the activity.

      1. I guess with the vivamart hr, I'll also have the keystroke data on screen while I swim, even if it's not recorded, right?

        1. Yes, but with water, the screen changes. I see it in the shower, that with a simple water jet, the screen moves. So I imagine that while swimming, something similar happens to you.

        2. The heart rate reading while swimming is not at all reliable. I have rarely gotten data that resembles reality (comparing it to a sensor on the chest).

  49. Hello!! I wanted the topic of notifications well, but when I call I get to pick up and hang up, and if I pick up I do not put the phone on handsfree, then I do not know if it is so or is that I do not work well or not put it, as I have seen other bracelets that when you pick up the automatic handsfree is activated. Thank you very much

    1. That feature should depend on the software installed on your phone, and at this time Garmin Connect does not.

      1. Thank you very much, the truth is a pity because nowadays there are many bracelets that do it and having the function to answer should be able to be used, but I do not understand for what it serves... Let's hope that in some update they incorporate it.

  50. Garmin has already solved the problem of calories, and I have noticed some improvement in the heart rate graphs after the last version of the software, so I have taken the opportunity to update the article in the relevant points.

  51. Hello Eduardo! First of all congratulations for the review and updates. I would like to know if there is a difference in the heart rate measurement in an interval training between this model and the "Fitbit Surge". I know that these watches are not specific for this activity. Which one would have more error in this type of exercise?

    1. Both are pretty much on par. The Vivosmart HR may take longer to recover pulses, but the performance is very similar.

  52. Hi Eduardo, I bought the Garmin VivoSmartHR a few days ago. I have a question about the activity windows. I see that there are the Cycling and Swimming windows. When I do those activities and nothing is registered in them..., I would like to know if it is a failure or I need to configure them and if so, how is it done?

    Thank you very much.

    1. You mean on Connect, right? They're there by default, but with Vivosmart HR you don't have metrics on either of those two sports.

      1. Thank you very much for your answer.
        Congratulate you on your dedication and on your good evaluation and analysis.

  53. Lluis
    Hello Eduardo, your analysis was the one that made me buy my vivossmart hr, I've had it for two weeks and in principle quite well. There are two things that bother me a little, I use the bracelet as a frequency meter of a Garmin Edge 520 cycling, in the descents when the hand trembles because the road is bad the heart rate soars when it should go down and secondly, I see that you have put that the calorie counting is already working properly, but now what I find is that 7000 steps on a normal day can be about 200 active calories, but the same 7000 steps combined with an activity on the same day can be 500 or 600 calories and this does not fit, I do not know if you have any explanation, it may be because the pulse goes faster after exercise? is not counting the caloric consumption by the pulses of the activity that is counting apart?


    1. On the way down, this can happen due to movement. If it is excessive, there is no possibility of reading the pulses correctly. Right now you should count the calories from the steps on the one hand and the activities on the other, not by putting the two together as before.

      1. Well, I assure you that it does not...., today I enter the monitor, cardio, and the activity registers correctly, but the steps come out very out of phase comparing the calories I burn in a normal day that I do not do activity, yesterday I burn 178cal steps 4.28km in steps, and today doing an activity (spining) I get 584 cal with 6.04km of steps. Something happens, if that differentiates the activity but out of phase steps. Also there is something that does not work when I register the activity with my edge 520 and I use the vivamart as a pulse, I also get many calories from the steps, the only explanation could be that with the same steps the pulse is faster and burn more calories, but I do not know....
        Greetings, everyone.

  54. Congratulations for a very complete review and for such an active community.
    Your advice has tipped me in favor of the garmin vivomart hr against other activity wristband-type options like the a360 fleece. Declining a tomtom spark cardio or a forerunner 235 has been more of a personal decision because of the huge difference in comfort after trying them all on.
    I am a MTB fan and if it helps anyone I have managed to cover the lack of GPS thanks to the following combination.
    I use Oruxmaps from android with an Ant+ compatible S5 galaxy. This application allows you to record travel tracks, or import downloaded ones, even on image maps with contours that you can prepare for offline use.
    It is necessary to use another application called IpSensorMan to poder identify the garmin, as well as to stop/start or "kill" the Ant+ service since otherwise the oruxmaps complains that it cannot use it because it is active from another application, although this is not the case.
    From garmin in its options we go to "Heart Rate" and start the "Broadcast mode" (I have it in Spanish although it does not seem so).
    From the oruxmaps, in the global configuration, podemos select "Sensors" and choose the ANT+ type, inside it we will put the ID obtained with IpSensorMan as Pulsometer ID (It also supports cadence, speed and power sensors among others).
    From the routes menu we can start GPS and start ANT+ to have a complete track with our crossed route with our keystrokes.
    All the above applications are free of charge.
    We do depend on the smarphone to register it, but we gain a lot in the comfort of a less cumbersome wareable than carrying it firmly on our wrists.
    If anyone knows of a way to include stroke information along with heart rate within the garmin app ecosystem we would all be grateful.

    1. Thank you very much Javier, messages like yours are what move the community. I'm sure it helps someone.

    2. Hi. 100% okay. I use it with an old xperia mini pro that I use gps and oruxmaps is the rod. Just 2 incisors: when using the bracelet to send the pulse, the clamp has gone in a couple of sections, indicating that it had 35 ppm...dead toy?
      When you go up to connect the recorded activity from orux, it does not count the calories, I do not know why, but they do not appear.

  55. first thing is to congratulate you for your great site, before buying a product is a must visit hehehe, now I consult you, I own a Fenix 3 and I am hesitating to acquire this bracelet by the theme of the pulse in order to know if I recover well from training and to bring a better adjustment of the calories consumed, you see your some sense to acquire this bracelet having a Fenix 3 or just bring me nothing new ... thanks and keep it up

    1. As an aid to follow the pulse to identify trends and physical states, perfectly. Apart from that, everything Vivosmart HR does is your Fenix 3

  56. Hi, thanks for the description, I'm using this band right now, and my question is, How do I check the route maps of my training as a runner? or should I download another application for the iPhone 5?

  57. Good afternoon:
    First of all, I appreciate the work you're doing on the device analysis.
    My question is about the vibration in the notifications. In my case nothing vibrates except when you reach the different targets, never with the notifications.
    can it be configured to vibrate on notifications?

    1. Check what time you have set for the Do Not Disturb mode. When you are in that mode the notifications will not vibrate.

    1. The article is updated to the latest software version.
      Those that I do not indicate anything, have not yet been resolved (although things like enlightenment do not have much chance of change.

      However, the main bugs are already solved, so I would have no problem recommending Vivosmart HR to anyone looking for such a device.

      1. Hi Edu!

        I've read back the section on the problems/stickers you see on the bracelet.
        And I would add the floor count. There are days when he nails it, but others when he misses more than a shotgun. Today for example I've marked 3 floors up and one floor down. When in fact I've gone up 2 floors and down 2.

        And yesterday, for example, on the way from work to my car, I suddenly got a warning that I had achieved my goal of going up 10 floors, after about five minutes of quiet walking.

        In fact, I have removed the screen from the floors of the bracelet because I don't see that it's very accurate either, so it doesn't pay to consult it.


        1. The floors climbed is an estimation, and based on a barometric altimeter, so atmospheric variations (weather changes) affect it.

          If it says you've only gone up two floors, then clearly you've done little exercise (in that sense). If it says you've gone up 14 (whether it's 12 or 15), then you've done it.

  58. Good morning. Last Monday, I opened the bracelet and I was very happy with it. I loved the fact that when I turned my wrist it lit up because in previous bracelets I had to press the button. Well, today, Wednesday, I went for another run and at first I blinked when I turned my wrist, then I didn't blink at all. I guess I'll have to change it. Has anyone else done it?
    Thank you

  59. Hello,

    Very complete review!

    I'm thinking about buying an activity monitor and according to your reviews I've seen that the vivamart HR could be the best option.

    However I have seen that for a little more (70 euros) there is the fitbit arises, whose fundamental advantage is the GPS in my opinion.

    What would you recommend?

    Thank you very much.

    1. It will mainly depend on whether you will be running frequently and therefore need the GPS. This is its main difference (apart from the mobile notifications).

  60. Good and thank you for your effort. My question is simple. Would it be enough to turn off the bracelet, with the button, at the time of the shower. So there would be no changes in the screen, configuration, etc. Thank you.

    1. Oscar, at most, will change your screen, but he won't be able to change the settings. You have to press the button and then navigate to the settings option. Everyone showers as they please, hehehe, but I would find it very hard if you could press the button by accident.

      In my case I take it off, so I give my wrist a little rest.

      1. If you are taking a shower alone at home and suddenly you hear noise .... that you know you have activated the play of the bracelet, the mobile is playing your music ha ha ha I say this because it has happened to me ... the first time hosted.

        1. Ha-ha-ha, that's right, and that's not the only situation that's happened to me... I finally took it off the menu.

  61. Hi, Eduardo,

    I was already talking to you about it, it is in case you or someone can give me a cable, the issue is that when one day I do not perform activity steps are x calories and when another day I record an activity with the bracelet, the calories of the activity are more or less correct instead the calories of the steps can be double that the day without activity, being more or less the same steps, I do not see logical that the same steps, one day with an activity and another day without it the calories of the steps are duplicated.

    1. The difference is in entering the heart rate data as another value in the algorithm. Without entering activity it only counts distance travelled, but cannot take into account intensity.

  62. Good afternoon, I have a problem with my bracelet vivomart HR, and is that it tells me many more steps than I do, today without going further, on the way from my home to work has told me more than 1,000 steps, and I went by car, so I have not taken a single step.
    The floors that are climbed are not controlled very much either, since during the walk with the dog in the mountain, I have counted that I have climbed 5 floors, something completely impossible.
    Could it be due to a bad configuration?

    1. There are no settings. You must take into account that the measurements are made by an accelerometer, so it depends a lot on the movements you make with your arm.

  63. Thanks for all the information you give us, recently my father has been given this model, and I have a doubt that he could not find out anywhere because the instruction book is at least brief, the steps can not be reset when you want ... and if this is how I can get to zero at will, thank you very much for the help you offer

    1. No, the steps are only reset at the change of day, there is no possibility to make a manual reset of the counter

  64. Good morning,
    The first thing I want to do is to join in the congratulations for this page, which are more than deserved.
    And to not entertain you, I'll go straight to my practice: having an iPhone 4 phone, you can't connect the wristband, right?
    So you can connect to the iPad, even if you lose the phone features on it?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Thank you, Esther.

      That's right, iPhone 4 doesn't have Bluetooth Smart, so you won't be able to sync with it.

      If it's an iPad 3 or higher, you can use it. Or do it by cable on your computer.

  65. Hello everyone. Thanks Eduardo once again for your work. I've been messing around with the HR, alone, combined with xperia mini pro + orux maps and since a week ago with edge 25. And I have the feeling that the HR measurement is more than inaccurate. My question: according to your criteria, to what extent can body hair affect the measurements? On the hairy scale, if a laser depilated model is a 0 and the werewolf is a 10, I would get a 6.8
    Thank you.

    1. Morning,

      It's interesting, because I have some hair on my arms too. Not like a bear, but it's not three little hairs, hehehe. But I'm not thinking about waxing to make the bracelet work better either, I don't think it would go that far. Wearing it under my wrist might improve the accuracy?
      At least during the activity, I wouldn't mind wearing it underneath and not seeing the screen.

      I may not be able to tune that much to a 6.7 or 6.8... but come on, I'd say 6 to 7, hehehe.

      1. In my opinion I think not, I tried 2 trips to work on the bike and I still have the feeling that he is not right, as he is lost: I go on asphalt in a slight uphill wind and mark 80 ppm, and has connected 10 minutes. And in Valencia is not cold. Suddenly it rises to 130, more consistent. I do not know, as it hits at times. Maybe it is my unit in particular.

        1. Anyway, it is in cycling that you will have the worst results (as I indicate in the text). Try turning it over (the sensor inside your wrist) and, if possible, carrying it a little higher in your arm.

          1. Well, after the onsite comparison, my feeling is that
            The Hr works better than it seems, but it has a delay. It is difficult to assimilate the FC changes on the bike, and it gets lost, but in about 30/45 seconds it is equal to the chest strap. I have always compared it to climbing, and 95% asphalt, if it fails to vibrate downhill on a rocky track I don't care, and I won't look at the screens to check it. I can't tell you more, because the edge 25 has run out of battery after 5 hours (3 hours and 10 minutes of route, and the rest stopped with a sandwich, beer and good conversation). I used to wear it with glonass off, bluetooth on and forerunner's chest strap connected. This has never happened to me with the edge 200 (running out of battery, halfway through the route, obviously)... but this is not the case here...

    2. Interestingly, the same question I just answered in the FR235 test. I also have hair on my arm, quite dark in colour, and I have no problem with the optical sensors.

      I would like to know how you arrived at the figure, decimal included 😀.

      1. Heh heh heh? well, I asked some twenty-something guys at work to show me their wrist, and I got a little bit of that. If I can, on Sunday I'll make a direct comparison between the orux/chest band and the Hr/edge 25 with the bike route, to see what happens?

  66. Good morning,
    I just got it and it's been great for a couple of days now, but it's been waiting for me in the time section, but it's never finished loading!

    1. Remove the pairing from the application and resync, you should force to update all the details.

  67. Hi. I have a problem and I do not know if anyone else has had it before. I bought the garmin hr and I downloaded the application for my iphone 4s, the problem I have with the application and this is that I get cut off at the bottom, which does not allow me to give the next button after entering the data weight, age etc. please someone podria tell me if I'm doing something wrong or how to fix it?

    1. Hi, did you manage to solve this problem with the iphone 4s? I am interested in acquiring this bracelet but I am afraid of your comment since I have your same mobile phone.

      1. No, I still don't know how to fix it. What I did was download the application for my ipad and even though the screen was also cut off, being bigger, it allowed me to hit the next button. The good thing is that I can see my results there but I can't link it to the phone and therefore I don't get the notifications. If you happen to find out how to fix it please let me know, thanks.

        1. I just saw an update today and one of its new features is that it solves this problem with the 4s. Did it work? Thank you.

          1. Hello again Diego. I finally decided to buy it and it arrived today. I have installed the application in my 4s and it works perfectly. If it helps you, I have installed the latest version of IOS.

  68. Helloaa! I have a little problem, I do not count the floors uploaded, is always at 0, and rise about 20 a day ... Does anyone know how to solve it? Ala I have recently and the first few days counted, but now makes a couple that does not.

  69. Well, after a month with her, the counting of the flats raised no longer works. Not even rebooting, updating or resetting the factory can fix it. Suggestions?

    1. No idea, but I just installed version 3.0 of sw, maybe they have solved it, although I see everything the same for now.

      1. The last update is for call notifications only.

        If you have problems with counting the number of floors raised, check that the two holes of the barometric altimeter are not blocked. They are located in the same hole as the loading pins

        1. Come on! Thanks for the information. Mine had some dust... It doesn't hurt to give it a gentle puff to clean this area. Great.

          But come on, in my case I removed the screen from the floors between the screens of the bracelet. But it still counts and vibrates when I go over the x10 floors.