Review of Garmin Vivosport — A Good Outdoor Sports Band

When I first received the product 3 months ago, the impression that I had for the device — sleek, sporty and comfortable. The design is very similar to the Garmin’s older Vivosmart 3. The silicon strap with the heart rate sensor flushed to the casing fits perfectly well around the wrist.

As a device designed for sports, the silicon casing protects the device from water and against tough usage.

Though it is very comfortable to wear, I have to get used to navigating the feature on a small display with no physical button.

What’s good in Vivosport?
 GPS: One notable improvement from the Vivosmart 3 is the built-in GPS system without increasing much thickness of the Vivosport. The Vivosport measured approximately 1cm in term of thickness which is only about 2mm thicker than the Vivosmart 3. See the image below.

(From left) Vivosmart 3, Vivosports

Activation of GPS is seamless. Once a GPS-enable activity, cycling for instance, is selected, the device will start to locate the signal. Initial start will take a good 5–10 sec. I guess the speed of acquiring the signal really depends on how overcast the weather is.

Colour Display: I am not a fan of this but seem like this is an important feature to highlight. Always-on chroma colour display seems to be appealing to some sport enthusiast. The sunlight-readable screen makes it easy for me to track my activities under outdoor conditions.

What’s bad in Vivosport?
 Charging adaptor backward compatibility: I have tried at least 3 Garmin sportbands — Garmin Vivosmart HR, Garmin Vivosmart 3 and Vivosport. All 3 of them use different charging adaptors. It becomes cumbersome to find the compatible one for charging every single time when I switch devices. Afterall, it is meant for charging; keep changing the port does not seem to have additional benefits to the users.

Battery Life: For the past 3 months, I have noted that the device performs fairly in term of battery life. Under normal circumstance, Vivosport is able to last a good 5–6 days which is amazing considering the number of enhancements Garmin has packed into this sleek size. However, I have noted that the battery life greatly deteriorates once GPS is used. For example, if I run 5 km outdoors each day for two consecutive days, the battery will barely last through the 4th day before I have to put the device on charge.

Pricing: The product is currently retailing at SGD 299 which is more expensive than the Vivosmart 3(Last checked that you could get Vivosmart 3 at a discounted — less than SGD 200) Though the in-built GPS feature has impressed me, that enhancement does not justify the price premium of SGD100.

 Overall, a good comfortable sport band that packed with features that are useful to sport enthusiasts. However, most people may opt for the Vivosmart 3 which shares similar features of the Vivosport but selling at the discount.

Originally published at The Neo Dimension.