A Review on the Garmin Vivoactive® Heart Rate GPS Smartwatch

In the realm of wearable tech and smartwatches, a new entry has gained a lot of reputation over the past few months – the Garmin Vivoactive® Heart Rate GPS – a smartwatch with a difference. This new addition to Garmin’s already huge list of health and fitness devices has preloaded and built-in sport apps for swimming, running, cycling, and even playing golf.

The device can be customized as per individual needs via the new Connect IQ developer platform and gives wearers the choice to download watch ‘faces’ that display a range of data fields (depending on the users preferences) and new sport apps to boost their performance. Best part of all: the Vivoactive Heart Rate GPS is compatible with the Garmin Connect application that works on all smartphone devices.

vivoactive HR

For more information about the Garmin Vivoactive Heart Rate GPS smartwatch, take a look at this review below that highlights its pros and cons, design, features, activity tracking, and battery life details.


  • Waterproof & Lightweight
  • Accurate GPS and Location Info
  • Inexpensive as compared to the Apple Watch
  • Long Battery Life (10 hours GPS and 3 weeks in activity mode)
  • Garmin Training and Fitness Connect App (mobile/desktop)
  • Connect IQ apps for added customization and personalization
  • Built-in sports apps for swimming, running, and biking


  • Basic sleep tracking features
  • Display could be brighter
  • Only one alarm


vivoactive HR-designGarmin has dropped its traditional square watch face for the Vivoactive HR GPS Smartwatch. The device now features a slimmer and rectangular design with a high-resolution color touchscreen that is also sunlight-readable. The watch only weighs 1.3 ounces, so it is hardly noticeable when worn – also making it ideal for cycling, running, or swimming.

Available in either white or black interchangeable colored straps, the watch is easy to wear (may not be suited for smaller wrists though). It also features a 1.4-high resolution display that is incredibly responsible – making it easier to navigate and scroll through. Best part of all: you can customize watch face designs by adding new apps and widgets from Garmin’s Connect IQ™ store.


Heart Rate Technology

Garmin Vivoactive HR Heart Rate GPS features a new Elevate™ wrist heart rate technology, which has the ability of measuring heart rate from the wrist. Subsequently, you can ditch that old, irritating, and painful chest strap and simply strap this amazing watch on. Using heart rate data, the Vivoactive smartwatch has the ability of compiling and providing users with calories burned information. This allows you to quantify the intensity of your fitness activities, providing better credit for your efforts.

Garmin Connect Insights

The Vivoactive Heart Rate GPS smartwatch is compatible with Garmin Connect and automatically synchronize all your activity details to the application. The synchronizing is the best we have ever seen. Each time you launch the app, all your data syncs within seconds. Using this synced data, the app suggests and delivers valuable insights into improving your daily routine and getting you one-step closer to meeting your desired goals or milestones. You also get healthy tips from experts like virtual coaches. The app can also be used to view your daily activity, details, and settings.

Smartwatch Notifications

You can even pair your smartphone with the Vivoactive Heart Rate GPS Smartwatch via Bluetooth connectivity with the Garmin Connect app. This feature allows you to receive alerts from your phone to your wrist. All you have to do is take one small glance at the watch and you will see exactly what alert you have received. Smart notifications include emails, alerts, text messages, and call information from your contacts, social media profiles, etc.

You can even control your smartphones music player directly from the watch, which proves incredibly useful when running or cycling. Additionally, it also lets you remotely control your VIRB® action camera, along with letting your family members and friends know about your activities in real-time via the useful and powerful LiveTrack app.

Built-In Accelerometer and GPS

Using its GPS and built-in accelerometer, the Vivoactive HR GPS Smart Watch enables you to run both outdoors and indoors while setting up vibration alerts for walking/running intervals and heart pace. Other training features of the app include Auto Pause® and Auto Lap® that provide post-run summaries of the overall running time, average pace of running, calories burnt during running, and total mileage covered while running. There are also swimming apps that track all your stats of paddle boarding, rowing, swimming etc. A GPS-enabled cycling app also measures calories burnt, average speed, total distance, and time.

Activity Tracking

Garmin has combined all the best features of its previous product line into one device. The watch can easily track all your daily activities, from eating, running, cycling, and sleeping to any other activity you may perform. The Garmin Connect app provides you valuable insight into what you should do to improve your routine and get closer to reaching your goals. The presence of GPS also ensures your activities like running, swimming, and walking will be accurately tracked with live pace information of distances and time.

Battery life

Garmin claims the Vivoactive Heart Rate GPS smartwatch can give approximately 10 hours of battery life when on GPS tracking mode and this is by far the best offered by any other wearable tech device. When in activity/watch tracking mode, however, the watch promises up to 8 days of battery life. This means, you can easily wear your watch and feel assured your activities are being tracked, without having to worry about charging the device after every few hours or days.


For fitness freaks, the Garmin Vivoactive® Heart Rate GPS is one of the best fitness tracking and sport watch available in the market. Even though it is Garmin’s first attempt at a smartwatch, they amazingly got it right for the first time and blended an incredibly set of fitness features from its previous devices. Best part of all: Vivoactive is also cheaper than the Apple Watch and can work efficiently on both: iOS and Android devices.

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