Whats In The Box?
When you open you Garmin Vivofit box expect to be greeted by 2 plastic wristbands, a wireless sync dongle for your computer, and the Vivofit electronics hidden inside the larger wristband. Curious enough, there is no charging cable or cradle. Garmin promises 1 year of battery life with the user replaceable coin battery. This is great because it means you don't have to worry about charging yet another electronic in your life.
Setting Up Your Garmin Vivofit
Setting up your Garmin Vivofit is a little more involved than other fitness trackers. You first have to take out the brains of your Vivofit out of its wristband and remove the protective plastic covering the screen. You then have to reinsert the brains into the wrist band of your liking. You also have to make sure you put it in the right direction to make sure the button on the wristband lines up with the button on the brains. After thats done you’ll want to go to your phone’s app store and download the Garmin Connect App. Once the App is installed you go through the motions of setting up an account and inputing your details like gender, hight, weight, bedtime, and wakeup time. After thats said and done you're all set to go about your day.
First Impressions Using The Garmin Vivofit
First impressions of using the Garmin Vivofit are lackluster. The wristbands are made of plastic and have a soft touch feel to them like other fitness trackers in its space. Unfortunately the feel and build quality of the band don't feel as good as others. The Vivofit does include an LCD screen on the face of the tracker which displays Steps Taken, Step Goal, Miles Walked, Calories Burned, Time, and Date. You can cycle through the screens by pressing the button located to the right of the screen. Unfortunately, the addition of the screen means a wider wristband. The larger wristband resulted in a bulkier design that made it impossible for the Vivofit to become unnoticeable to the user like other trackers in its space. Like other fitness trackers, the Vivofit gives the user the option to easily switch out wristbands to accessorize with their outfits. The Vivofit also employs the same clasping mechanism found on the Fitbit Flex. And just like the Fitbit Flex, this clasp will drive you crazy every time you have to put your tracker back on.
The Garmin Connect App
The Garmin Connect App communicates with the Garmin Vivofit to show the user stats like Steps Taken, Miles Walked, Sleep Quality, and Calories Burned. The App also connects with MyFitnessPal to unify the two. Instead of logging your food directly into Garmin’s App you're redirected to MFP to do it there, and we’re ok with that. MFP is perhaps the best food journal out there. Unfortunately the Garmin Connect App is subpar compared to other fitness tracking apps. The design language and layout looks to be 3 years old and the interface is clunky at best. Unlike other fitness tracking apps that motivate you with catchy phrases and achievement awards, Garmin’s is just there to show you numbers.
In order to sync your device to the app you first have to press and hold the button located on the face of Vivofit. This is obviously done to extend the battery life of the device. The main screen in the app fails to show you important information and it forces you to go digging into it to find anything relevant. The screen on the Vivofit screen itself preforms well in direct sunlight and displays numbers clearly. If your Vivofit detects you have been stationary for too long it will display a red bar on the top of the screen. The red bar will only go away if you move a certain amount of steps. We feel that its about time Garmin went back in and redesign the whole app.
The Final Verdict
The Garmin Vivofit is another entry level fitness band in a over saturated market. It has its Pros and Cons. One Pro is not having to charge your fitness tracker every week or so. But thats really it. We feel that the bulky design and cheaper feel make it hard to compete with other products on the market. Even if you were to purchase the Vivofit 2, Vivofit 3, or Vivosmart you'll still suffer from buyers remorse. When purchasing a fitness tracker you're not just buying a wristband, you're also buying into the accompanying application and ecosystem. Unfortunately GYMCADDY™ cannot recommend the Garmin Vivo lineup, we feel that the consumer will suffer greatly due to a lack luster Phone Application.
Checkout Our Fitbit Charge 2 Review Here