Wearables

Garmin Vivomove: Stylish watch that is a fitness tracker

Garmin's Vivomove Sport not only looks good enough to wear to formal events, but it also monitors your daily steps taken, sleep and workouts.
Garmin's Vivomove Sport not only looks good enough to wear to formal events, but it also monitors your daily steps taken, sleep and workouts.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

The Garmin Vivomove might look and function like an analogue watch, but it also tracks your daily steps taken, sleep and workouts.

In Singapore, it is available in Sport and Classic editions. Both are essentially the same device with a metallic case and a crown on the right. The Sport model has a rubber strap, while the Classic model has a leather strap.

The Sport model is available in black (version reviewed) or white, while the Classic comes in rose gold or black.

I prefer the black Sport version as it looks more rugged and "dirt-proof" with its black metallic case and silver bezel.

The Vivomove has a water resistance rating of 50m, so you can swim with it. Thus, having a rubber strap is more practical.

Furthermore, the Sport model is cheaper and you can buy a leather strap later on to replace the rubber one, if you like, as the Vivomove takes the common 20mm watch strap.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $229 (Sport, version tested); $299 (Classic)

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 52g (Sport); 48g (Classic)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

With a minimalistic round watch face and analogue movement, both Vivomove versions look like classic timepieces. I have no qualms wearing this watch to wedding dinners or black-tie events.

On the watch face is a move bar and a progress bar. The move bar will slowly fill up in red if you do not move, while the progress bar shows the percentage of your daily-step goal.

To set your daily-step goal, you will need to connect the Vivomove to the Garmin Connect app (available on Android and iOS) on your smartphone.

Press the crown for three seconds to start the pairing process. I was half-expecting the time to be synchronised after pairing. However, you need to adjust the time separately using the crown.

And that is about the only occasion for using the crown. Everything else is automatic, including sleep tracking and workouts.

The Vivomove is pretty accurate in terms of step counting. The readings differed from those of my calibrated Fitbit Charge HR by no more than 1.5 per cent.

The Vivomove automatically adjusts the daily-step goal for the next day based on your current day performance, so you have a more achievable target.

I ran with it on my usual jogging route and found the distance readings varied by around 10 per cent from the actual distance.

It was also less than spot-on in terms of sleep tracking. It tends to overestimate my sleep duration by an hour or so.

The Vivomove lacks a heart-rate monitor so you do not get health stats like your resting heart rate.

And while you can swim with it, it does not detect swimming as a workout. It also lacks a vibration motor. Thus, you need to constantly glance at the Move bar to know when you need to get yourself off the chair.

On the plus side, it uses a CR2025 coin battery that should last up to a year, according to Garmin. So you do not need to worry about charging it daily.

•Verdict: For those who want a sleek watch as a fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivomove easily fits the bill.

Trevor Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'Garmin Vivomove: Stylish watch that is a fitness tracker'. Print Edition | Subscribe