Garmin Vivoactive HR. The optical pulse sensor also reaches the Vivoactive.


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Did you feel like reading the whole test? It's already finished, so you can click here to access it. This thread is the presentation of the watch, the most complete and relevant information is the one 1TP10 found in that test.

Did you think that with all the new products that Garmin has presented over the past few months, it was time to rest? Well, you were very wrong, since today two more devices have been announced (they are already presented in pairs, to save time). They correspond to the Vivo range, that is, the activity monitors. Garmin will show both the new Garmin Vivoactive HR and the renewed Garmin Vivofit 3 in Barcelona, at the next Mobile World Congress.

And by the way, I will take advantage of these lines to rant a little... It turns out that I should attend this event to know first-hand all the news (not only poder, but also the other manufacturers in the sector). In fact I registered several months ago. But they denied it. The reason? That my dedication to the blog is absolute and that I do not have people hired for web design, marketing or organization. That is, if I had half the visits I have, but I paid five salaries, then they do consider it appropriate that I can report news that the manufacturers present.

As I am self-sufficient (well, I have a main partner called Hacienda), according to their criteria my capacity to offer all the information of the sector is not optimal and it is better that they inform you of new generalist media products that are not dedicated to sport, and that the only thing they will do is regurgitate the press release. All very logical. In the end I suppose that I will have to be grateful to them, since they save me about 1,500-2,000 euros of expenses. So... thanks, GSMA!

Well, after I got comfortable, I picked up where I left off...

So that, as I was saying Garmin just presented a couple of products. The one that occupies this article is the renewal for the Garmin Vivoactive. Now it is called Garmin Vivoactive HR, which, as not pod otherwise, receives the optical pulse sensor Garmin Elevate. However the first model will continue within the range as a simpler model.

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The sensor isn't the only new thing it has, there are many other things that are incorporated. Let's take a quick look at it and I'll detail it for you. Let me just take the press release for a minute and strip it...

  • Garmin Sensor Lift for both sports activities and pulse monitoring throughout the day. It also allows the heart rate to be relayed to other devices via ANT+.
  • It adds barometric altimeter for poder calculate floors raised, as in Vivosmart HR. It also receives the function of minutes of intensity that premiered with it.
  • In addition to the sports applications it already had (running, cycling, swimming, golf) there are a few more: rowing, paddle surfing, skiing and snowboarding.
  • New "Chroma Display", with higher color quality and contrast and better outdoor visibility.
  • Compatibility with lights and radar Garmin Varia.
  • Automatic activity detection (called Garmin Move IQ) - The watch will automatically detect an activity based on movements, and pod will register it directly without you having to start it manually. It is capable of recognizing running, cycling, walking, swimming and elliptical cycling exercises.
  • 13 hours of battery life with GPS use and up to 8 days in standby mode, with constant heart rate recording.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Garmin Vivoactive HR, availability and price

The new Garmin Vivoactive HR will soon be on the market, throughout the month of April 1TP10We will find it in stores. And it will do so with a price of 270. It will only be available in black (with two different sizes), but will sell straps of different colors for those who want a more daring proposal. In addition to the same black strap with which it is put on sale, also 1TP10After finding it in blue, yellow and white.



Garmin Vivoactive HR

After the recent invasion of optical pulse sensors it was only a matter of time before it would also reach the Vivoactive. In fact it is in this model that it best fits, given the target client it is offered to (fitness and sport in general, but not intensive).

Aesthetically, it reminds me a lot of the TomTom Runner 2Both offer similar features, but with the possibility of playing music on the TomTom. In return the Garmin is able to record more sports, has a better online platform and the clock shows smart notifications. Fitbit Surge is another competitor you will have to compete with, within the high range of GPS receiver activity monitors.

But there is also competition in your own home, for you can shade the Garmin Forerunner 235which can hardly justify a price difference of 80 ? (at least as far as the recommended price is concerned, always less in the good offers I always put you).

We will have to wait for the complete analysis to know all the details of the new watch. In the meantime I leave you the presentation video.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Support this siteDo you like this page and the information you find here? You can do it by buying your Garmin Vivoactive HR through Amazon.

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. Hi, Eduardo.
    Your anger is understandable: selection criteria of the 90's-2000's, when we are already approaching 2020. I think all of us athletes (of a certain age) have a speech in our heads given by a certain Abrahams, after a "lock-in" by the hierarchs of his university to reproach him for the professionalization of his methods. "I believe in the pursuit of excellence, and I will carry the future with me".
    Thank you for your work.
    Kind regards.

    1. Thank you Nestor. The problem many times these totally outdated criteria come precisely from companies that, theoretically, should know them perfectly. And the truth is that on more than one or two occasions I find companies that spend a real barbarity in "analog" channels with little chance of reaching a large audience and on the other hand in the "digital" channel they do not spend more than 1,000 €, when precisely there they can reach tens of thousands of people very easily.

      Clear example: manufacturers that race after race leave a huge amount of money in runner's fairs (stand, security, human capital, etc) and yet have two test units rotating between different media in Spain.

  2. Well, I'm sorry for them. I've only known you a short time, but the 90% of the decision whether to buy this vivoactive will depend on your analysis (the other 10% is my irrational part). Thanks for your work.

    1. The truth is, it's a lose-lose situation.

      - First of all me, because I can't inform you as you deserve.
      - Secondly, because logically you don't receive first-hand information.
      - Thirdly, the manufacturer, because after spending a VERY important budget, cannot take its message to its target audience.
      - Fourthly, the GSMA itself, because they are the ones who charge an awful lot of money to exhibit at the MWC and those who will have to justify themselves to the manufacturers and explain why there are some media that do not have access to poder to know about the new products presented.

  3. I've been thinking for days about which would be the ideal heart rate monitor for my activity. After two heart surgeries, the cardiologist has recommended that I wear a heart rate monitor. For some time now I have been hiking, 2 days a week (4 or 5 hours per session) and hiking 1 day a month (8 to 12 hours). Among several articles and comments read the FR225 and the vivamart HR, perhaps the closest to what I'm looking for, but with many applications that I will never use (I do not use mobile phones). To summarize I expose those basic features for my use and priority:
    - no chest strap
    - with sound or vibration alarm
    - autonomous battery up to 10 hours
    - Total watertightness (sweat or rain)
    - GPS (slopes, route, altimeter, . . .)
    - small sphere

    I appreciate your advice.

      1. Hi, Eduardo.
        Thank you for your advice. I would appreciate having your opinion again, but this time lowering the profile of use and needs, as it is my first heart rate monitor, the Fenix 3 HR, seems too complete and expensive. Perhaps my priorities would be:
        - optical sensor
        - with alarm
        - 5 hour autonomy.

        Thank you

  4. Well the truth is they are missing out pq as the partner says, many of the customers of this type of product rely a lot on your opinions, especially those of us who are newer. Thanks for your analysis and your work. I've been waiting for a wrist pulse monitor for a long time since the chest bands I tried didn't work out well. Do you know if this vivoactive Hr can match the garmin, polar v800 or other pulse monitors that can be used in triathlon? You know another model for triathlon that has a wrist pulse. Thanks!

  5. Hi, Eduardo.
    I was planning to buy the vivoactive, and now this comes out. Do you think it's worth waiting for the new one and the extra cost it will have? My main use is running and I'm motivated by the activity control
    The Polarvm400 option for its good price can always be a good alternative
    Congratulations on your work, thank you.

    1. At this point, I would at least wait to see what the Vivoactive HR looks like and get to know it better. On paper it looks good, and between now and April-May there is not much time left

  6. Greetings. I am looking for a device that helps me record my physical activity, and I am very interested in keeping track of my heart rate and calories. What device do you recommend the most? For example, I do gymnastic exercises such as weight training, treadmills and exercise bikes. And swimming, one day a week I also do high intensity exercise such as crossfit, which you would recommend. And it is not that I am an athletic person

  7. Good morning, Eduardo!
    Of course they miss it... what a mentality... I've been following you for a while now but I must say that I love how you break down every gadget you present to us!! I met you after comparing a Fitbit Charge HR, with which I'm quite happy. But as it happens in these things, as soon as you start, you want more and more and more...(always within my possibilities).
    I missed something for the water because in summer I swim a lot and practice bodyboarding. I practice a lot of soccer, mountain biking, skateboarding, snowboarding and some paddle. Recently I saw the Garmin Vivosmart HR and it seemed perfect for me, until I read about the screen and the water... that threw me back. After discovering this new Vivoactive HR yesterday I think it is the ideal one for me without any doubt!! I have two doubts left... I think if you can control the music like in the TomTom, as it says in the garmin website. Finally, I don't know what function you can do in swimming, that is if you can enter the measurement of the pool and if you can swim in the open sea.

    Thank you very much for everything and congratulations on your work!

    1. Thank you.

      The TomTom has MP3 playback from the clock itself, without the need for a phone. The Garmin supports control from the clock, but the device it plays will be the phone it is connected to.

      In swimming it will tell you distances, rhythms, SWOLF, etc. It does not have support for open water swimming.

  8. Good morning Eduardo

    I think this device is very interesting. It even includes a barometric altimeter, which makes it much better than the FR235 for trailers. Don't you think?

    It seems to me that it can become a top seller, both for the public who only wants to monitor its activity, and for those who go out for a run or a bike ride...

    1. The difference with the 235 will be the advanced options like VO2max, recovery, etc. And the Vivoactive will not support advanced training either.

      Otherwise, it looks pretty good. Let's see when I get a unit to start testing.

  9. Good evening, do you know if the Vivoactive would also receive these new sports? In terms of duration without a pulse meter would they be on par?

    Thank you very much!

    1. So far Garmin has not said anything about it, nor are there any beta versions for the original Vivoactive that include it.

      As far as autonomy goes, I'll have to try it to tell you something about it.

  10. Hi, how are you? I really liked your blog and I found it very useful! but I miss a lot and it's because I'm inexperienced in this fitness watch business!

    I had a super doubt.
    The watch I'm looking for is actually for my dad. He wanted a watch that counted calories, heart rate and gps included.

    He would use it every day since he climbs the hill every morning, but it would be better if it wasn't so complicated to use!

    another super doubt these watches can get wet ?

    of the ones I found most practical are these
    -polar M4000
    -tamtom runner 2
    -trail/ ultra trail
    -garmin fenix 3
    -garmin vivoactive HR

    if you could tell me which one would suit him and which one would be the best price!

    Thank you very much! And sorry for the inconvenience

  11. Good morning, Eduardo!

    The first thing to do is to congratulate you on your incredible work despite the obstacles you are put through.
    The second thing is to make a small consultation, I am preparing competitions and I need to renew the heart rate monitor, I had thought about the fr 235, but I am not clear about the big difference with this vivoactive hr, is it simply and summarizing that in this device you can not program trainings by series and so on? I would appreciate a little clarification from an expert like you.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Yes, the Vivoactive is more oriented to general sports practice and the Forerunner to racing. The Vivoactive will not have the advanced training as well as the weather predictions, VO2Max calculation, etc., which are more competition oriented features.

      In your case, unless you want to do the FR235 guided training, either one will work perfectly.

  12. Hi, I've been following for quite some time your publications about all the reviews you do about the last Garmin. I think it's outrageous that because you don't have people working for you, you haven't been invited, being this one of the best pages in Spanish about the analysis of these types of devices.

    I'm thinking about it, because I'm looking for one that has an optical sensor, is waterproof, alarms and also has several countdowns or timers, because one of the attributes that I look for and never see that any of them have are countdowns, and when I go to the gym to do the breaks between sets, it's very good for me to have several countdown modes, so that I don't have to change it for each different exercise.
    Greetings and thank you.

    1. Thank you, Vicente.

      The clocks don't have a countdown function. There are some applications in Connect IQ, but I haven't tested them. Anyway, you can do the breaks with the lap button and a data field that is the lap time.

      1. Thank you for your answer, Eduardo.
        But you can't add applications to this vivoactive HR with Connect IQ, can you?

        how would you do the countdown with the lap button? could you program it to last for example 1:30 or would you have to wait for the minute thirty to finish the break yourself?
        A salute.

        1. Yes, the Vivoactive HR can have Connect IQ.

          That's what I mean, lap button and be aware of reaching 1:30. It doesn't have to be exactly 1:30... 1:31 or 1:29 is also good 😉.

  13. Hi Eduardo, just wanted to say hello and thank you for your work. And reason why they saved you a lot of money by not letting you go. It's true that we all like to know that it's the latest thing, but I think that what's really important is what you do. Because I don't buy a product, no matter how good it looks, until they try it and say if it's really that good (and I'm sure I'll buy it through your Amazon link to help you continue with this page). So don't worry, I'm sure that many people think like me and we thank you for your work.

  14. Hello good morning, first of all congratulate and thank you for throwing a little light on these issues and terminals and that many of us are guided enough by the blogs to decide to buy one or another product, I said, thanks and congratulations for such good work. My question is simple and maybe even a little silly, I am quite determined to buy the vivoactive hr when it goes on sale, but I have a decisive doubt in my purchase, which is whether after running, cycling or the activity that is, I can see in the application the route made on a map ... Well I have seen that there is some device of this type that carries gps but does not show the routes made. I await your response, thanks again.

  15. Hello Eduardo. As always first of all thank you for the reports. When will you have the Vivoactive HR? I would like to ask you if you think it is a better option the vivoactive HR or the Polar M400, for a person who usually runs and does activities in the gym. My girl has the M400 and uses it with the mio link, but would like to remove the band and take it all in one, what we do not know is whether it is worth it.
    Thank you very much.

    1. David, I hope the test can be ready by next week.

      The truth is that for that use, either one can serve perfectly.

      1. Hi, Eduardo! The tests you're doing are fantastic, they're not paid for!
        I want to get it and I have an offer that expires this weekend.
        When will you get the analysis out?

        I have full confidence in your judgement, the doubt I have is between FR235 and this one. If you tell me that the heart rate monitor and GPS is equally reliable, I'll take it upside down!

        Because the interval training, which I think is the only difference, is not crucial to me.

        Thank you

        1. I will have the analysis completed by the beginning of next week, and it will be published on Tuesday or Wednesday.

          1. Hey, Eduardo!
            I just discovered this blog because of my recent interest in activity followers after I threw away the idea of buying a SmartWatch, since its autonomy is ridiculous and its operation for the sport still limited. Thanks for your huge and great analysis, dissipators of doubts.
            Just comment that a couple of days ago has updated the firmware of the Vivoactive HR, moving to version 2.40, which implements a huge list of things, if you already had the section of bugs waiting to be updated, as in the analysis of the VivoSmart HR (and then fixed). For my taste, improves the flow and tracking steps above all.
            Greetings, I await your analysis.

          2. Thank you, Jesus.

            Yes, the test is being published this week. I had a long list of problems that, after the last update, I've erased almost completely.

    1. If I remember correctly, the manual indicated that it was possible, but the current version of the software does not allow it, probably with some next update it will be included.

  16. Hello Eduardo, I would like your advice, I like swimming in the sea, running, both mountain and asphalt and finally I also enjoy the bike, both the BTM with the road. I have participated in some mountain and asphalt races. The truth is that I enjoy doing these sports modalities and many times I think that all the time is little 🙂 The thing is that there are so many models of Garmin that I would not know which one to buy. The 630 doesn't have swimming, nor route tracking, the 735 doesn't have route tracking, the fenix 3 is very heavy and seems to be uncomfortable... What would you advise me? It doesn't have to be a Garmin?

  17. Hello, my name is Quicu, I have had the Vivoactive HR for a week, I only found one problem, and it is the heart rate, I realized that my graphs with a vivofit and chest rate reader and those of the Vivoactive HR vary from 20 to 30 beats, and in training with changes of pace, the Vivoactive HR, does not make big changes. Today I made a test with the two pulse meters, and the reader of the treadmill. The vivofit and the treadmill vary 1 or 2 beats, the Vivoactive HR from 20 to 30 and in the changes of pace, the latter almost does not vary, it is as if it does not read the peaks of pulses.
    I talked to Garmin when I left the gym, they told me that it is normal, that the HR reader, is only for rest situations, that for exercise, I have to use an ANT+ tape, like the one in vivofit.
    Watch out, if you have to buy a watch with HR, before someone else tries it on.
    Come on, thank you.

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