Garmin Vivoactive HR Review Review

Product Description

The Vivoactive HR is the latest mid-end activity tracker from Garmin. Designed with a high resolution colour touchscreen, premium heart-rate tracker and state-of-the-art GPS tracker; it has never been easier to measure your fitness activity so accurately.

The watch comes with an assortment of GPS-enabled sports apps which can track a remarkable number of stats across fitness disciplines. All your fitness tracking data is available to analyse on the Garmin Connect web app and the watch can be paired to even older Android and iOS smartphones.

Highly customisable with up to 1,300 apps, watchfaces and widgets available from the Garmin Connect IQ store.

The watch holds an impressive battery life with up to 8 days tracking usage and 16 hours GPS usage.

Our Review


Over the past few years, the activity tracking industry has boomed. Millions are swarming towards this new wearable technology than any other, with roughly a third of all Americans having adopted activity trackers already. With so many options on the market, this is the first of our featured activity tracker reviews. Today we are looking at this formidable all-rounder, the Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS Smartwatch.

Sleeker Design

Garmin’s first Vivoactive watch was known for it’s bulky, uncomfortable design which certainly hasn’t aged well for a product that’s only a year and a half old.

This year, they’ve gone for a sleek design which now wraps around the wrist far more ergonomically and finally looks like it matches up to its smart watch name.

The screen is crisp and clear. But it can be difficult to read in some conditions as the screen isn’t too bright. However, this is a minor sacrifice which enables one of the Vivoactive’s major successes: its battery life.

Impeccable Battery Life

The battery life is outstanding. The advertised 16 hours GPS tracking and 8 days HR monitoring is pretty much spot on. We managed to get over 7 days use out of it under somewhat typical use with a few hours of GPS tracking during the weekend and evenings. In comparison, the leading FitBit wearables we’ve tried have lasted well short of a week.

Multi-Sport Dominance

When it comes to tracking sports activity, the Vivoactive HR is by and far the best activity tracker on the market. The Vivoactive HR features dedicated apps which can track running, swimming, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, rowing and more. Clearly, detailed multisport tracking is a huge focus within the Garmin ecosystem with expertly designed live tracking interfaces for each sport.

The Garmin Connect mobile app is fantastic. All your tracking data is easily viewed whether you’re a beginner or a serious multisport athlete. At home, the Garmin Connect web app features all the tools you’ll ever need to create your own workouts, fitness plans and exercise routes, as well as giving you access to the devoted Garmin fitness community for support.

But perhaps the watch’s greatest feature is the golf tracking.

Garmin Hits a Hole-in-One

The Garmin golfing app has an impressive 40,000 courses available for download. With the app you can view each hole in detail. You can track your score on the watch and analyse your performance against par on any hole. The excellent PinPointer feature directs you towards the green when it is out of sight, and can also let you measure the distance to the pin with its superb range finder.

What makes this even more extraordinary is that Garmin sells these features in standalone golf watches for £200. So to have such excellent golf tracking features built-in to this all-round activity tracker makes this a dream accessory for any golfer.


The Vivoactive HR is one of the best all-rounder activity trackers on the market. With its plethora of sports apps, it’s ideal for serious competitors and weekend warriors. And with a price point under £200, this watch offers phenomenal value for its incredible feature set. For it’s golf features, I cannot recommend this watch enough…. A must-have for any golfer.

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