Garmin Vivoactive Review – GPS enabled fitness tracker

Garmin Vivoactive Review; A Tracker for indoor and outdoor activities


Whether you are going for an indoor practice session or heading for an outdoor run. The vivoactive from Garmin is what you need to track that down for you. Garmin never failed to impress us with its products, the company has been developing wearable tech to enhance tracking training for all the athlete. In this post we will be covering Garmin’s vivoactive, it is a GPS supported fitness tracker just like the Forerunner 235 that we have previously covered.




You would be amazed how this small device has a lot of features when you think about the vivoactive is a smartwatch and a sports watch combined together. Looking at the picture of the Garmin’s vivoactive you will definitely notice the squared big screen that the vivosmart has. But its size is just perfect for viewing the different stats that the vivoactive has. However, we have to mention that it is very slim and thin(at 8mm and weight 38 grams) in a way that makes you wonder how Garmin made it and had all the sensors in that slim design.

The vivoactive has a 205 x 148 LCD touchscreen, the screen is a sunlight readable with a resolution of 205×148-pixel resolution. It is a very important feature to be able to read the display of your data once you are outdoor. Now, let’s move to the strap; the vivoactive has a traditional watch strap made of silicon. The vivoactive is available in two colors; black and white. And Garmin made the strap changeable, which means you can always find the color and the material of your preference.

The vivoactive has two physical buttons; the left button is to have the backlight on and the button on the right is to start and activate the sports activities.



As we mentioned before, the Vivoactive from Garmin acts as a smartwatch, a sports watch, and an activity tracker. It is the whole package!

The vivoactive support different type of sports activities and track them for you. The vivoactive tracks running, cycling, walking and swimming. And it also has a GPS enabled for more accurate data. Not only that, the Garmin vivoactive also tracks golf with the use of the GPS system.

In addition to the sports tracking, the vivoactive also acts as a fitness tracker; it tracks your walked steps, distance traveled and the calorie burnt. It also tracks and monitors your sleep; the time you sleep and wake up, the duration and the quality of it. And it gives you a detailed analysis of your sleep just like the Fitbit or Jawbone. Above all of that, sleep tracking is automated; which means you don’t have to manually activate the sleeping mode.

The vivoactive receives notifications from your smartphone- and this is where the smartwatch features kick in-the vivoactive will vibrate to notify you. It vibrates once there is an incoming call, text messages, emails, calendar alert and application notifications (texts, calls, WhatsApp, tweets, Uber alerts and anything form your smartphone). You can also set up a silent vibrating alarm to remind you of something or to gently wake you up in the morning. There also the famous “ MOVE” alerts that remind you to keep moving around and be active rather than laying on the sofa. There is also a “ find my phone” feature; where you tap the option and your phone will ring and vibrates as long as your phone is in Bluetooth range (about 30 feet).


As we One huge and great feature about Garmin’s vivoactive is having a customizable stats ( you can find that in the forerunner 230 and 235 too) . You can choose from wide variety options of stats to be displayed. You can choose 3 stats per screen for a total of three screens. This way you can cater your displays to show the data that you heavily need.

As we said before, the vivoactive from Garmin is a GPS and GlONASS enabled; which means you will have more accurate data about your workout session. Once you start your running session, the vivoactive will start tracking it with the GPS enabled. The vivoactive tracks both indoor and outdoor activities, once you are indoor the device will estimate the distance of the run that you had indoors. Keep in mind that the vivoactive will give an accurate reading for the indoors running after multiple outdoor GPS tracked runs according to Garmin.


Other than indoor and outdoor activity tracking, the vivoactive from Garmin tracks pool activities. The watch tracks your pool workout and collects data related to in the form of distance swam, stroke count, pace, and SWOLF(number of strokes per minute with lap time). Well, I guess that’s a huge added value for the vivoactive; I mean it tracks nearly everything and it is good for athletes who play more than a sport.

One last feature we must mention here, the vivoactive has a feature called “Auto-Pause “, which means that the tracker can detect once you have stopped running and stop tracking or in another word (pausing) till you resume your run. And you can shut off that feature if you don’t need it or it is causing you a trouble.

Garmin Vivoactive – More Details


Is the Vivoactive from Garmin Waterproof?

As we have explained earlier, the vivoactive tracks your pool workout. So the answer is YES, Garmin’s vivoactive is water-proof and it’s 5 ATM water rating which means you can swim and shower with the watch on you.


Battery life

The vivoactive has a battery life of nearly three weeks with a minimum use of GPS. And with an all-day active GPS signal for around 10 hours.


Garmin Vivoactive Application; Garmin Connect

connect-widgets-1xThe vivoactive uses Garmin’s application; Garmin Connect to sync the collected data, view and analyze it. Garmin Connect is a good application that is not super easy to use but you get used to it. However, the data collected is stored and represented in an easy way to understand. In the application, you can find data about your daily workout, customize your notifications, receive badges, and compare your data with your history. The application supports both Android and iOS.

Also, Garmin Connect supports third-party apps, watch faces and widgets which you can find them all in the Garmin’s Connect IQ store. Which is a cool step from Garmin that gives you more options



So, we reached the end of our post. Let us remind you of the features of Garmin Vivoactive and list them for you.

  • Sporty design, with a very thin and slim display
  • High-resolution LCD touch sensitive screen
  • Readable during daylight
  • Built-in GPS and GlONASS enabled
  • Tracks different sports and activities; running, biking and golfing plus swimming
  • Receives notifications from your smartphone ( call, texts, and app notification)
  • Find my phone feature
  • Silent alarm
  • Indoor activity tracking
  • Tracks steps, distance, and calorie
  • Tracks and monitor sleeping
  • Customizable stats for each screen
  • Waterproof 5 ATM
  • Battery life of 3 weeks with no GPS, and 10 hours with all day GPS active.
  • Connect IQ store; download free watch faces and widgets
  • Click Here for more details Garmin Vivoactive


Pros and Cons of Garmin Vivoactive


  • Multisport tracking
  • GPS and GlONASS enabled
  • Notification alerts
  • Pool workout tracking
  • Great battery life


  • The application can be improved
  • Does not measure heart rate ( you need to have a chest strap if you want)
  • Sleep tracking is not so good