What is the Garmin Vivofit?
The Garmin Vivofit is part of the fitness wearable trend. It’s a bracelet that collects fitness data such as the number of steps taken, the distance walked, heart rate (if paired with a monitor), and more. This data is then tracked over time in a dashboard where you can see your activities over time.
The Fitbit One
I had previously used the Fitbit One, which I found problematic for several reasons:
- The clip style was difficult to clip on and off in my pants pocket. While this probably meant I actually kept it instead of losing the One, it also meant that I hardly ever removed it to check my progress during the day. I increasingly forgot to move it to my next day’s pair of pants and would have to go searching for it before it ended up in the washer.
- Because I rarely checked my progress during the day, I stopped caring about the number of steps I was registering in a day. Most of the time, I had no idea if I was about to hit a goal or if I was far away from one.
- The One needed to be charged about once a week. Inevitably, I would be someplace inconvenient to charge and have to do it some days later.
Why did I choose the Garmin Vivofit?
- The bracelet design solves a lot of the issues I had with the One. It is ever-present and my data is available with a push of a button.
- The bracelet doubles as a watch.
- The Vivofit uses a red line to indicate when I’ve been inactive for too long. Many reviews cite the lack of a vibrating alert as a negative but it’s a positive for me. I like the unobtrusive yet constant reminder of the red line.
- The Vivofit also features a goal counter that counts down in reverse while your total step count increases. This is really motivating and encourages me to keep moving, especially if I see at the end of the day that I’m near my goal.
- The Vivofit uses the equivalent of watch batteries, which last a year. Finally, a device I don’t have to constantly charge!
- It’s waterproof so I never have to remove it, even in the shower or while washing dishes.
- Reviews from trusted websites like The Wirecutter recommend it as the top pick.
- Price: The Vivofit retails for $130 but at the time of this posting you can get it on Amazon for $71!
What do I expect in the future from my Vivofit?
- My hope is it will continue to motivate me to keep moving, as it has this first week. I haven’t always been able to follow through, but I’ve at least been aware of my inactivity.
- I expect the dashboard, which seems to have had a recent overhaul, to continue to improve and for new features to be added.
- I expect Garmin to make the Vivofit play more nicely with other apps. Currently, it has a basic interface with a few apps like MyFitnessPal, but it doesn’t export the most important data, such as steps. This would be a really nice addition to rounding out the Vivofit’s functionality.
Summary: So far, I think the Garmin Vivofit is just about perfect for someone who wants to passively track activity but also use the device as a motivational tool.