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Hands-on with the new Garmin Vivoactive GPS smartwatch, and the Garmin Vivofit2

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Garmin has announced a metric crapton of products today, but it’s the Vivoactive that I’m probably most excited about.  Or, at least, it’s the device I feel has the most potential and the widest possible appeal.  But, perhaps I’m getting ahead of you a bit.

The Vivoactive is Garmin’s first true smartwatch – but unlike so many other entrants out there, this one will actually appeal to athletes.  To begin, it contains GPS.  And while that might sound obvious for athletic devices these days, it’s actually not that common on smart watches.  Nor is the 50m waterproofing that’s also found on the Vivoactive.  And in this case, they actually want you to swim with it – since it includes pool swim tracking.  Which is a derivative of the same swim tracking found in the Garmin Swim and other multisport GPS devices from Garmin.

But the Vivoactive isn’t the only thing released in the Vivo lineup today.  They also made some minor updates to the Vivofit, revamping it with the next version: Vivofit2.  These tweaks include vibration alerts and a backlight, as well as a host of colorful bands.  There are now more colored bands to choose from than devices I could possibly wear on either of my arms concurrently.

And finally, Garmin is starting rollout of Connect IQ today.  This begins first with watch faces and data fields (today), but will soon be expanded to full blown apps (soonish).  I’ll dive into this more a bit later in the week in a separate post.  But Connect IQ is targeted at the Garmin Epix GPS watch, Vivoactive GPS watch, Fenix3 GPS watch, and the previously announced FR920XT GPS watch.

(Note: Garmin has also announced other products today including the Garmin Epix watch and the Garmin Fenix3.)

The Vivoactive:

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First up is the Vivoactive, this is Garmin’s new ultra-slim smartwatch.  Think of it as part traditional smartwatch, part activity tracker, and part fitness GPS watch – all rolled into one.  Oh, with a side of golfing added in for good measure.

The watch contains a touch screen as well as one physical button on each side, with a further two dedicated touch-sensitive button-ish areas below the touch screen.

We’ll start with Garmin’s strongest area which is fitness tracking.  The Vivoactive contains three base sport modes – swimming, cycling, and running.  Within each of those modes it’ll track your speed, distance, time and sensor data such as heart rate or cadence.

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Of course my first thought when noticing the swim mode is that this might just make for a perfect replacement for my aging Garmin Swim watch.  And to a large degree, that’s true.  It’ll record swim metrics like laps, time, and lengths, as well as show you your current pace just like Garmin’s other pool swim tracking watches.

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Where you see some slight differences though is in some of the more advanced swim capabilities like the interval rest timer and drill mode found on the other Garmin swim devices.  These functions aren’t currently available on the Vivoactive, which I think is a bit of a mistake.  I suspect the addition of those functions would convert a lot of people that have the Garmin Swim still in their swim bags, especially with the Bluetooth Smart uploading of completed workouts via your phone straight to sites like Training Peaks and Sport Tracks that have detailed swim analysis modules.

Moving on from swimming to cycling, the unit will leverage the internal GPS chip to capture speed and distance data and display that within your data pages.

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These data pages are fully customizable – another nice bump up from something like the budget Edge 200 or Forerunner 15 which have historically lacked much data page configuration.  Here you can tweak data pages and select any of the data metrics shown on each page as you want.

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And remember that since it supports Connect IQ, you can add in basically any data field on this planet that a 3rd party company might make.

Before we leave cycling note that it supports the ANT+ speed and cadence sensors natively, but that with Connect IQ someone could relatively easily extend it to record power meter data too.

Next, if headed outside running it’ll use the GPS chip there as well to track your run pace and distance just like any other Garmin GPS device.  Indoors it can go GPS-less by using the internal accelerometer to track pace and distance, such as if running on a treadmill.

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Like with most of Garmin’s other running and fitness watches, you’ve got options like Auto Pause and Auto Lap included.

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Moving away from swim/bike/run, the Vivoactive tracks your daily steps just like the rest of the Vivo line.  This includes steps/distance/calories and sleep, all against a daily step goal and the usual Garmin inactivity bar and vibration reminders.

The watch maintains connectivity to your smart phone via Bluetooth Smart, which allows it to also receive smartphone notifications from the notification centers on both iOS and Android.  So you can get text message or missed call notifications, or just Words with Friends updates.  Whatever floats your boat.

The same goes for workouts, which are uploaded automatically to Garmin Connect using Bluetooth Smart – and then can be configured to further automatically sync to services like Strava and MyFitnessPal.

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In addition to the smartphone notification functions, the watch can also trigger a ‘Find my Phone’ function, like the Vivosmart has.  This will help you find your phone deep in the couch cushions.

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Now there’s one last feature that hasn’t been seen before on Garmin’s fitness devices, which is golfing (for us endurance sports folks, it’s apparently a sport played with some sort of metal stick and small white dimpled ball).  This feature set has always been separate in the Garmin Approach series of GPS devices.  Now however, the base functions are contained within the Vivoactive.

On the watch you can connect via your phone and download any of some 38,000 golf courses worldwide.  From there the Vivoactive will leverage its GPS capabities to tell you how far to the green (front/middle/back), as well as keep score for golfers.  Regrettably, it does not appear to cover my favorite miniature golf courses – nor provide guidance on the always challenging windmill hole.  Perhaps someday.

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Finally, I’ll dig into Connect IQ in a dedicated post later this week – but we’re already starting to see some of the apps that both Garmin and 3rd parties have developed.  Below is one that Garmin has put together called Tempo that is focused on calendaring.  It can also let folks know when you’re still completing those last few intervals out on a run and will be a few minutes late for that meeting.

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And Accuweather is working away on an app with weather and related information for cities both local and afar:

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But again, we’ll dive into that a bit later this week in my larger Connect IQ post.

Before we move onto the Vivofit2 though, here’s a quick video walkthrough I shot showing how the watch works.  Keep in mind it’s still at the beta stage – so there are still some unfinished aspects in there.

Note that the Vivoactive gets 10-hours of battery life with the GPS on, and 3 weeks with the unit in regular standby mode (GPS-off).  Of course, how much you use the backlight and apps will no doubt drain the battery faster.

With that – onto the Vivofit2!

The Vivofit2:

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Next up is the Vivofit2.  Don’t worry, this section will be much shorter than the Vivoactive section.

The Vivofit2 has received a handful of minor updates, mostly hardware related.  These manifest itself in the following ways:

1) Addition of backlight to display
2) Addition of audible alerts for the move bar
3) Addition of activity timer (no need for heart rate strap like previous)
4) Now does all day automatic sync (to your phone)
5) Addition of vibration alerts for your phone on behalf of the move bar

The first four are pretty self-explanatory, whereas the 5th one simply means that you can have the ‘Move’ alerts vibrate on your phone, as opposed to on the band itself.

But really the biggest changes in the Vivofit2 are on the outside.  It’s here that the Vivofit2 has had the biggest overhaul.  First is that they’ve changed up the clasp on the band, which should improve its ability to stay shut.

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Next you’ll see that when compared to the Vivofit1 (left) that the pod design is entirely different now.  The two pods are not compatible with each other’s bands.  So bands and pods from Vivofit(1) shall not mate with bands and pods with Vivofit2.

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On the front side, the screens look nearly identical (of course the Vivofit2 has a backlight whereas the original doesn’t).  But you do see a slight change in the button location and texture of the button.

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Before we get into the wonderful and whacky world of bands, here’s a quick comparison between the Vivosmart (top), the Vivofit2 (middle), and original Vivofit (bottom).

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Now we’ll go ahead and blingify.

First up is the Vivofit2 ‘Style Collection’, which is a series of stainless steel and leather bands.  These come in a boatload of different styles as seen over the next three photos.  This is as close to fashion photography as you’ll find on this blog (well, baring when it happens outside my house window).

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Here’s a close look at the backs of these:

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Then we’ve got the not-so-swanky but slightly more ‘fun’ Vivofit & Vivofit2 straps.  The below straps are part of partnership with designer Jonathan Adler.  According to Wikipedia he also makes pots.

Unlike the Style Collection above, the below bands will be available for both the Vivofit and Vivofit2.  Shown in my photos below are the Vivofit variants.

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The Jonathan Adler designed straps will be sold in three-color packs for $40.

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Finally, there are also a bunch of other Vivofit2 bands that Garmin is coming out with.  These are available for a three-pack for $25. The pre-defined colored blends are as follows:

‘Neutral’ pack: Black, slate, white
‘Downtown’ pack: Burgundy, slate, navy
’Active’ pack: Red, blue, green
’Serenity’ pack: Mint, cloud, lilac
’Energy’ pack: Canary, pink, violet

And here’s a shot from Garmin with all the colors in one gigantic group photo:

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Ok…that’s enough color and fashion for one blog post around these parts.

A few initial thoughts:

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While the $249US Vivoactive is an astoundingly full featured watch as-is, it’s the potential of expandability with Garmin Connect IQ that really takes the cake.  In the vast majority of cases, you’re really not limited to what Garmin has decided to include within the watch since over the next little while you’ll be able to just tap into the Connect IQ store to find an app that fills in the gaps for you.

On the Vivofit2 side, while the small feature adds are certainly welcomed, I do wonder how well Garmin will continue to do at the higher $129 (or $139 with a Jonathan Adler band) price point.  Over the last few months there have been more and more options out there, especially the Fitbit Charge HR for only $20 more (and that includes optical heart rate).  I would have expected to see a bit more on the software side from Garmin here to make up for that, such as improved calorie calculations (a pain point I hear from readers on often).  Still, I expect the new Vivofit2 hardware little tweaks may cover the gap for some of the hardware features people have been asking for.

As you might guess though – my excitement in the Vivo-related announcements mostly rests with Vivoactive.  Of course since my time with the Vivosmart has been somewhat limited, I don’t know how it might perform when it comes to aspects like water on the screen or GPS tracking performance (it did find GPS reception quite quick in NYC though for me, which is good).  The same goes with the touch screen in scenarios such as the pool.  These are all areas I’ll be tackling within my in-depth review once I have a final production unit and final software.

Pre-Orders:

Note: You can pre-order the Vivoactive and Vivofit2 through Clever Training today (all variants and models), as well as various accessory bands.  The units will ship as soon as Garmin starts shipping, which is currently slated for Q1 2015.

Welcome to CES 2015! Don’t forget to check out all my CES 2015 coverage, as well as my continual updates throughout the day on Twitter.  It’s gonna be a crazy busy week!

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886 Comments

  1. Alan

    In golf they aren’t called ‘sticks’ Ray…how ignorant…they are called ‘bats’.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    Will an old heart rate monitor strap from a Forerunner 305 pair with the Vivoactive?

    Reply
    • Neil

      Looking at the pictures, that’s exactly the kind of basic strap it comes with Steve:
      link to buy.garmin.com
      You’d have hoped it would come with a premium strap but seeing as it doesn’t, I’d be buying the watch only, use your current strap and maybe buy a premium strap as an upgrade later.

      Reply
    • SaltyDub

      agree with photo BUT…according to garmin site, bundle comes with:

      •Premium (soft strap) heart rate monitor

      Reply
    • aminox

      I believe you are correct. It’s the HR strap that tracks HR + running dynamics as well.

      Reply
    • Any ANT+ strap will work with these units (including the one from the FR305). None of the units in this post support the Running Dynamics (HRM-RUN) data though, so there’s little reason to buy that strap over the cheaper ones.

      Reply
    • Neil

      Weird.
      I’m pretty sure it didn’t specify Premium before and our local Australian site currently doesn’t specify the type either, so you have to go with the photo.

      vívoactive Bundle:
      vívoactive
      Heart rate monitor
      Charging/data clip
      Manual

      You would hope it would come with a premium strap here too but….

      Reply
    • Gary B

      Seems strange for Garmin to exclude Running Dynamics, surely it can’t be hard for them to add and I don’t see any reason why they would not include it unless they it isn’t part of there long term plan.

      I’m hoping it gets added via IQ or firmware.

      Reply
    • Just simply product differentiation for upsell.

      Reply
  3. aminox

    So, unless Ray comes back with a horrid review of the touch screen on sweat/rain/wet conditions, I’m sold on this watch. I truly wanted the Fenix 3, but could not justify the $550 expense.

    Reply
    • Neil

      Does this help aminox?
      link to facebook.com

      Reply
    • aminox

      That’s actually pretty impressive. Neither my iPhone, nor my TomTom are worth a damn with sweaty hands, let alone rain or pouring water.

      Reply
    • Cool stuff.

      I would caution slightly (only because I’ve made a lot of these videos for other products), that getting a single 5-second clip functioning is relatively easy actually – even on the worst of devices. Not saying that’s the case here, but just being a bit of a reality check.

      I’ll definitely post a video Friday when I get back with a longer clip under the shower/faucet with the results.

      Reply
    • Kartik

      Ray,

      Has any other ‘first look – hands-on preview’ if yours caused so much buzz in the recent past? (just curious). There are several people here (including me) who are eagerly waiting for your full review. I reckon a a nice chunk Garmin’s sales through CT/Amazon is going to hinge on this review!

      WTH are you doing globe-trotting all over? Get your priorities straight, mate – we don’t need you to do your day-job; we need you to publish your reviews ASAP! :-) (jus’ kidding!).

      For the record, I’ve been logging on the DCR website twice a day everyday since 05th-Jan. So get cranking on the review. Pronto!

      Ciao,
      K.

      Reply
  4. andy from embsay

    Someone on Garmin forums has a shipping note from Cotswold – looks like they’re on the way…

    Reply
  5. Kevin Loaf

    I contacted Cotswold Outdoor and they say they haven’t received any units yet, let alone shipped any.

    Reply
  6. ML Heng

    vivoactive is now on sale in Singapore.

    Reply
  7. Andy from Embsay

    Cotswold said: “Hi Andy, we had a tiny amount come through so it’s probably true, rest assured we’re doing everything first come first served. Next batch still expected e/o March. Sorry for the frustration but we are genuinely getting the earliest batches of these in the country.”

    Reply
  8. andy from embsay

    And there are pics of one on a real person’s arm on the Garmin Vivoactive forum – so there’s at least one in the UK!

    Reply
  9. Kevin

    Ray commented on another post that he thinks CT will start shipping either Fri or Mon

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Reply
  10. Jim

    I think a bunch of folks are waiting for the vivoactive, and I think I’ve found an indicator. The “Garmin Connect” Facebook group is now the “Garmin Fitness” group, and in the last two days, Garmin has posted a video on setting up the VA and another on how manage notifications on the VA.

    They did the same kind of videos a few days before the VF2 started showing up in consumer’s hands.

    Reply
  11. Here’s the first of a number of videos I’ll upload this weekend with the Vivoactive, this one focusing on the display with water.

    As you can see, despite Garmin Australia’s best attempts otherwise – it does not work with constant water pressure on it (in 10-15 minutes of toying with it, only a single swipe worked then). However, that’s not a big deal, as otherwise, the display works great with water on it or your fingers, as the video shows.

    I also go into detail about use of the swimming mode. Full video here: link to youtube.com

    Enjoy!

    Reply
    • aminox

      Awesome video, Ray.

      The shower test does concern me a lot. At least the climate I live in, torrential rain is not that unusual May-Oct. which is when I do the bulk of my training preparing for the fall season. I was “sold” on this watch, now I’ve gone back to considering other models. Shame because it looks like a slick and useful watch otherwise.

      Reply
    • I’d be cautious in that there’s a big difference between torrential rain, and the shower. The shower just has so much pressure coming out of it (especially this one)

      Reply
    • Turn The Damn Cranks

      Thanks, Ray. I had the opposite reaction to Aminox. I watched the video and immediately signed up for the CT VIP program. And as soon as my personal coupon code showed up I pre-ordered a Vivoactive to replace my aging FR305 (which I pretty much use only to run).

      I gave serious thought to the M400, but Vivoactive does enough for me as a runner, will be of use in the pool, for the occasional round of golf, and who knows what else once ConnectIQ really kicks in. Toss in the fact I already have plenty of ANT+ accessories and it was an easy call as the price of a the M400 with a HRM is basically the same as the Vivoactive.

      Thanks again!

      Reply
    • Neil

      Thanks Ray, much appreciated.

      Reply
    • aminox

      Yes, if you don’t live in very wet and humid environments, this is a very nice watch — no doubt. But, having had so many bad experiences with touch-screens, I’m just not going to take the chance. I am now waiting for the fenix 3 to become widely available — specifically, available on amazon which is where I have some GC money left to help foot the bill.

      Reply
    • Kermit262

      Ray – any more videos ready to upload? Thanks.

      Reply
    • I’ll probably create/upload a few more later today. If there are specific topic areas of interesting, feel free to drop a comment – happy to try and create them.

      Reply
    • K.

      Ray,
      Just curious of overall navigation in the watch. Maybe more specific ad to what it offers for bike activities.

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Kermit262

      Intereted to see if the touch interface works well – I thought I saw somewhere that you said Garmin might improve it from the demo unit to the final production unit. Also would like to see how quickly it grabs a GPS signal and how accurate – maybe we can see a route that you ran?

      Reply
    • Jerry Gonzalez

      Just placed my order for the Vivoactive using clever training VIP code. DC Rainmaker, thank you for making this site available, enjoy reading your reviews!

      Reply
    • For videos, here’s the first, which shows the UI responsiveness in a normal non-water situation: link to youtube.com

      I also shot videos showing running pace today, as well as navigation. I’ll upload them here shortly (they’ll automagically add to that playlist as well).

      Reply
    • Thanks for the support Jerry!

      Reply
    • And the instant-pace video here… link to youtube.com

      Reply
    • Johan

      Hi,

      Currently I’m using a Motorola motoActv some years and I still believe it’s the best workout watch I ever had. It can be mounted on wrist, bike handlebar or clip. It has storage for songs and wifi to wireless sync workouts the moment I arrive at home. I can program, via the site, a custom workout routine where voice instructions are nicely mixed with music feedback to tell me when to speed up or cool down.
      The major downside is the batterylife (less then 4h when using gps and backlight enabled). This is enough for daily short run’s but not for long bikerides… next to this, it is currently no longer in production and spareparts (screen is broken..) are not to find.. Therefore I’m looking for a replacement and the Vivoactive can be a good contender.
      But, for me, a specific requirement is the possibility to add custom workouts so the watch can help me train interval’s.
      Next to that it would be nice if we have some more information on the music playback feature.. is a connected phone required at all times?

      Reply
    • No, the Vivoactive doesn’t have music storage, just control.

      Custom workouts aren’t there today, but I suspect we’ll see Connect IQ fill in that gap.

      Reply
    • Adam Lewis

      Hey Ray I noticed at the end of your instant pace video the HR display disappeared twice when you stopped. Is this a HR connection issue or something else?

      Thanks (have mine on pre order waiting for shipping)

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      It looks like it lost connection momentarily. I haven’t seen that happen with mine.

      Reply
    • I’m pretty sure it was just lack of moisture on the strap. I was out there filming various segments for about 20-30 mins, and it was pretty dry. Since I wasn’t running much more than those short segments I lacked working up a sweat.

      I haven’t seen it drop HR during ‘normal’ activities yet.

      Reply
    • Mike Richie

      Don’t see the video on navigation, although I gather it is just back to start, but interested in seeing how it works without a compass.

      Reply
    • Nate

      Thanks for the excellent reviews! I checked the playlist you linked to, but I don’t see a video for the navigation features. Am I missing something?

      Reply
  12. So I’m a winter slug who has been waiting for nicer weather in the Northeast to get back into outdoor cycling. I want to hit the weight room again and generally be more active during the day. I’ve had a Jawbone UP24 in the past, and I really like the app, but I had to stop using it because the Jawbone drained my iPhone so badly. Then I see they’re having problems rolling out the new Up band, so I thought I’d give up on that. So then I was looking at the Fitbits, but it doesn’t seem they really count cycling as an activity. I also had a Garmin Vivofit 1st gen, but their app is so blah and doesn’t do anything. I have a Garmin 810 for cycling, which I love for maps and directions. What activity tracker does anyone recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
  13. wilderaz

    What is the lug width of the Vivoactive’s band?

    Reply
  14. Dim

    Thought I would share some good news from Clever Training (if you pre-ordered a black one)…

    Here is the email that came just now:

    “Thank you for your pre-order for the Garmin Vivoactive. We’re expecting to receive our first shipment of Black Vivoactives on Monday. We’ve been told that the White versions of the Vivoactive will be delayed a few weeks.”

    Reply
  15. Andrew Davies

    Ray, thanks very much for your tube review of the vivoavtive touchscreen and water.
    That clears up any doubts I might have had about the units Practicality when using the touch screen. The use of short and long presses of the right button ( for start, rest and stop make a lot of sense ). Perhaps an app might be developed for running, cycling etc. in wet conditions with the right button being also used to take an interval? As this would solve Aminox’s problem. Is this possible with IQ connect ?

    Reply
  16. TriGuySwede

    Here’s hoping for some good reviews. I want to consolidate my FR305, FR110, Garmin Swim, Vivofit and Pebble with the Vivoactive. I run, swim, bike and ski apart from general fitness. The Apple watch is somewhat of a conumdrum for me. Right Now I dual or triple wear watches. Vivofit is always with me and usually the Basis Peak. I add the FR305 for outdoor training and Garmin Swim for swimming. Like Ray wrote in his interview the Peak is a good activity tracker for the 23h your not running, swimming or riding a bike. It gets confused while doing interval training. Apart from being overly sensitive, the sleep tracking is the best I’ve tried. Just wish the would make an option to delete sleep segments and consolidate segments.

    Reply
  17. Tom

    Has garmin published any information regarding what happens to personal data (location etc.) collected when using IQ based apps. Do they share the data with 3rd party’s as I presume the Android watches and apps do.

    Reply
  18. alan groves

    can the watch keep track of multiple time zones?

    Reply
  19. Steve

    1) Does the music control feature work on the basis of A2DP Bluetooth profile and I suppose this meant to control a phone or iPod type Bluetooth enabled device? Is there a way to advance the song while the activity data field is in use or do you have to switch to the music control screen.

    2) How well does the display work with light gloves on?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  20. julienfr38

    Hello Ray,

    After reading your review again and again, I’m going to send back my v800 to amazon (just bought few days ago).
    I only hope that 3rd app will come quickly to allow intervall training for running.
    Do you have any news for that ?

    As a geek runner (no triathlon), I really think this vivoactive will be a better choice than v800. The geek side of this watch is of course ConnectIQ 😉

    Reply
    • K.

      I did the same with my v800. Now eagerly waiting for this one to be released!

      Reply
    • Jim

      As far as connect IQ apps, check out apps.garmin.com to see what’s available today. Also, in the Garmin forums, under Developer>Connect IQ, there is a sub forum for people to suggest new apps. (forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?509-Connect-IQ-App-Ideas)

      Reply
  21. chris

    I’ve been nursing my old Garmin FR60 along waiting for the right device. Tried a Fitbit Charge HR but I found the optical heart rate monitoring too wonky and has all sorts of trouble with wildly inaccurate stair counts as well. Considered the Garmin FR 15 since that has daily activity monitoring, then I stumbled onto the Vivoactive preview and I think I’m sold. My only concern is it’s useability as a day-to-day watch. My wrist circumference is only about 7″ and I’m wondering how outlandish the Vivoactive will look when worn all day, in a work environment, etc.

    Any input from folks who may have already snagged one?

    Reply
  22. Clikiller

    Dose Vivoactive support the Garmin Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor (the All-in-one version)?

    Reply
    • Yes, the Vivoactive supports the ANT+ Speed/Cadence combo sensor, ANT+ Speed only sensor, and ANT+ Cadence only sensor. It has a sensor pool concept, and allows you to store multiple sensors of a given type.

      Reply
  23. Claudio MV

    For all those in Europe, I ordered a black Vivoactive on the Garmin France website where it was shown as shipping within 1-3 days (same for the white version). And indeed, I placed my order on Saturday 14th, and it shipped Monday 16th form the UK via UPS. It should arrive on Wednesday (tomorrow). The Fenix 3 is also shown as available on the Garmin website (all versions).
    Sorry Ray, I know these orders don’t help the site… I hope you’ll pardon me as in parallel I also have a fenix3 on order from Clever Training! 😉

    Reply
  24. ML Heng

    Just wondering if the touch screen is a finger prints magnet. Will you get lots of finger prints with frequent swiping of screens?

    Reply
    • Maltloaf

      Mine does look a bit smudged and I’ve only had it this morning so yes

      Reply
    • Yeah, a bit for me as well. Not horrible, but I’ve certainly given it a wipe after a workout with sweaty fingers or eating cupcakes.

      Reply
    • ML Heng

      Thanks all for the reply. Wonder if the screen will work as well if we paste a screen protector on it to prevent finger prints or smudge, Hmmm.

      Reply
  25. julienfr38

    Which ANT+ strap is in the vivoactive package ?

    Reply
    • Gary B

      It’s the standard one i.e. the non HRM-Run strap

      Reply
    • Neil

      Standard as in the long solid one or the soft strap premium (non HRM-Run)?

      Reply
    • Gary B

      Looking at the photos of online retailers it is the long solid one

      Reply
    • Kermit262

      According to the specs, it’s the “Premium (soft strap) heart rate monitor”. That is not the long solid one.

      Reply
  26. Thanks for the in-depth review of the new VivoActive. Pre-ordered and anxiously awaiting the new watch to support recent efforts to set new PRs this running race season.

    Can’t wait to run, bike, AND swim with my first Garmin :-) Now, if only they would hurry up their failed promise to deliver in Q1… sigh….

    Reply
    • Jim

      Seems REI is now shipping. I checked on my order with Garmin.com (us) and they said it should be shipped March 27th (I pre-ordered in Jan, so YMMV).

      Reply
  27. Craig

    Thanks for the videos Ray. In your final review (or now?) would you compare the VivoActive to the M400? Those are the two watches I’m trying to decide between. Also, not having or used a running watch before (just my iPhone), I’m curious as to which software ecosystem is better (Garmin vs Polar) for a casual (20-25 miles/week) runner, if starting from scratch.

    I could see myself wearing the Garmin more than the Polar as a regular watch (looks better), however, the interface still seems rather slow to me based on the videos you recently posted. There’s a fair amount of delay between the finger swipe and the screen movement that, over time, may prove too frustrating for me. Maybe I’m just too used to my iPhone where the response is immediate.

    If that’s the case then the button interface of the Polar would appear to be a better fit.

    Reply
    • Yup, I’ll definitely do some comparisons there. Obviously, they’re different costs – so that will impact things a bit.

      Reply
    • Steve

      I’d like to see the FR220 comparison to the VivoActive (on my short list)…..seems like a closer comparison price point at least….looking forward to the review Ray….thanks for all your help.

      Reply
  28. Steve

    Wondering why VivoActive screen can only display 3 data fields and Fenix3 can hold 4. Four data field layout on a square screen seems like it should be possible.

    Reply
    • Purely for ‘business’ reasons (aka marketing). Though, Connect IQ will kinda take care of that.

      Reply
    • Zheng

      I also would like to see 4 daya fields in the VA. What do you mean connect IQ will take care of that? is there an app?

      Reply
    • I mean that someone could develop an app with 4 days fields for Connect IQ, and thus, by extension Connect IQ as a platform sorta takes care of eliminating those barriers.

      Reply
  29. Peter N

    Ray,
    For your upcoming in-depth review of the Vivoactive, can you try an open water swim with the Vivoactive in Run mode to see if it will track distance? Perhaps compare results with it worn on wrist and in cap/on buoy.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • It’ll be tough unless I happen to stumble into a work trip near an openwater swim locale. It’s still a bit too chilly to swim here Paris.

      Reply
  30. Matthew Rosebrock

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for your reviews. I’ll be getting the Vivoactive soon as a gift. I have a couple questions:

    1) You mention some of the limitations that you mention (no power meter, HRM-Run metrics, open water swim, intervals, multi-sport files, etc.). Are all or some based on hardware limitations (obviously no ABC, so I am not asking about those features) or all most of soft/firmware decisions on the part of Garmin?

    2) The reason why ask this—it may just be wishful thinking—is because I am wondering if you have any insider knowledge on whether there would ever be the possibility of offering these other features as a paid feature, e.g. I could choose HRM-Run Support for $10; or let’s say I decide that I want to start training for a Tri and decide to add the multi-sport files feature for $25. At least under this scenario—assuming Garmin’s limitations for some of these features has to do with cutting into sales of other watches—they still make a profit and I am still able to customize the watch to meet the most useful features to me.

    Reply
    • 1) Just software/firmware decisions, nothing harware. Some of it I expect will be covered by Connect IQ once that gets to full speed.

      2) I’ve noted numerous times to them that going to a paid feature model makes so much sense – especially with the Vivoactive that basically cannibalizes their other units. Agree completely with you. Part of that in my mind would also be to open up the store to paid apps.

      Reply
  31. Ravikumar

    Ordered my first Garmin through CT and thanks for the VIP discount. Now anxiously waiting for your vivoactive in-depth review and the device itself. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  32. ML Heng

    Just place my Vivoactive screen protector from the site below.

    http://www.protectionfilms24.com

    Reply
  33. Steph

    I am a bit of a Garmin junkie. I’ve got an ancient Garmin FR310,a relatively old Garmin FR405CX and am toying with the idea of a new Garmin FR620. I’m primarily a runner when it comes to using Garmin although I recently purchased the Vivosmart out of sheer curiosity. It’s a nifty step counting, Move!, call and message notification device but that’s about it for me.

    So, after seeing the Vivoactive, I’m very curious to read the full review and compare it to the Garmin FR620. Does it even make sense to compare these two models? I find myself looking at the Garmin website on a daily basis. Talking myself out of purchasing both a FR620 and a Vivoactive, just to fulfill my curiosity, is becoming harder and harder to resist.

    Reply
  34. acousticbiker

    Hey Ray, eagerly awaiting my order from CT and for your review! I know that the vivoactive does not have a barometric altimeter, but when an activity is synced to Connect, will it show altitude based on GPS data?

    Reply
  35. Schuiram

    I have a question:
    If I register a device to my garmin connect – can I re-register it on another account later on?

    I want to test two watches (including the vivoactive) and want to keep the one I like more while giving the other one to a friend. Is this possible or is it a permanent lock to an account?

    Thanks for the answer guys

    Reply
  36. Paul

    Hi Ray,

    My Vivoactive will arrive tomorrow. One thing is not clear, does the Vivoactive have cadence for running without an external device?

    Reply
  37. Jeremy

    Hi Ray,

    A few quick pre-review questions (apologies if you’ll be addressing them in your full review):

    1. Can you access the music controls during a run? If so, how easy is it to get back to the run activity screen?
    2. Do the music controls include volume adjustment?
    2. Do phone alerts show during a run? If so, does the watch automatically switch back to the run activity screen?
    3. Were you able to test the live tracking feature?

    Thanks! I’m hoping this will have more support than the Echo Fit. That’s a great product, but so far Magellan’s execution hasn’t lived up to their promises.

    Reply
    • Maltloaf

      I can answer some of those.

      1. I’m not sure sorry.
      2. Just play/pause forward, back
      3. Notifications do show in an activity. I spent 45 mins on my rollers yesterday and got several alerts. It reverts to the activity screen automatically or you can hit the back button to do the same.
      4. Live tracking works as I’d expect it. Same as on my edge 510

      Reply
    • To round out the answers…

      1) No.

      I shot a short video I’ll upload here momentarily with the Music Control pieces.

      Reply
    • Here ya go, a quick video showing how music control works: link to youtube.com

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      You can actually get to the music controls but it’s a bit of a chore mid run. Long press on the screen until the watch face comes up then swipe to the music control. The start button then takes you back to your activity.

      Reply
    • HJK

      Speaking from an Android user, I do see volume controls *and* I can change it to control Spotify, so it’s quite different from the iOS pairing then. 😉 If it helps my vivoactive is running on version 2.40.

      Reply
  38. Lee

    I wonder if while not in a “workout mode”, if the VivoActive would connect to a foot pod to count steps? I have 2 little ones that are constantly pushed in a stroller and steps never get counted pushing a stroller with wrist based trackers.

    Reply
    • No, it doesn’t appear to. You could however open up the ‘walk’ sport though, which then would connect to the footpod. :)

      Reply
  39. sol

    Does anyone know if you can see the elevation live on the watch?

    Reply
  40. R33ce ww

    Hi Ray

    I’m new to garmin products, how do I/can I use the vivoactive to track gym weights session.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • It’s funny. The Vivoactive doesn’t have a straight indoor weights mode. Instead, it has two indoor wandering modes (walk/run), which..is odd.

      Still, faced with the same conundrum last night for a core workout after my run, I just used one of the indoor run modes to capture the HR (and thus calories). Here’s an example of the file: link to connect.garmin.com

      Reply
  41. Michelle

    Finally ready to buy the Vivoactive as my first GPS watch…this site has been so amazing, thanks.
    I’m a runner but hate chest straps and big heavy watches….thus 1-2 years waiting for the right combo.
    What functionality would I miss out on if I buy just the watch, with a Scosche Rhythm + strap for heart rate?

    Reply
    • From a Vivoactive standpoint, no missing functionality with the Scosche. That’s because the Scosche doesn’t support recovery time or VO2Max or the like (which are the attributes that can be impacted there).

      Enjoy!

      Reply
    • Kartik

      Thanks for the clarification. I intend to go for exactly the same combo as Michelle… Once I figure out the issues with the CT website and how I can get on to the VIP Program.

      Reply
    • If you have any issues at all with the sign-up of the VIP program, the folks at CT are happy to help. It’s a simple phone call or e-mail at: vipsupport@clevertraining.com & via the good ole telephone at 844-399-6440 (toll-free)

      Reply
  42. Ravikumar

    Those who are considering ordering it now. I ordered with VIP account on CT yesterday and it is showing as shipped today . Total cost $270 with HR strap :-). Thanks again Ray for this great site and tie-up with CT.

    Reply
    • Awesome, I appreciate the support! Indeed, a bunch of units came in the last few days. Good to hear!

      Reply
    • Kartik

      Ravi,
      I simply couldn’t even create an account on CT – “customer could not be saved”. Do I first need to create an account in CT and then figure out the VIP Program bit? Couldn’t figure it out…

      Reply
    • Gunnar

      Interesting you have shipping confirmation. I pre-ordered March 6 and my order (black, non HR model) still shows just “processed” not shipped and no shipping confirmation email…..I’ll reach out to Clever Training today.

      Reply
    • Ravikumar

      1) create a CT account 2) purchase VIP pack 3) order using coupon you receive my mail
      I followed “Method 2” here –
      link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
    • Greg

      Very interesting. I pre-ordered two months ago and have not received any shipping information. It would not seem right for current orders to ship ahead of orders placed months ago, especially considering that I have been receiving updates that say units will ship in the order they were placed.

      Reply
    • Remember, there are basically four different Vivoactive SKU’s:

      Black base
      Black bundle
      White Base
      White bundle

      The white’s haven’t even begun production manufacturing yet (some sort of delay, at least as of last Friday).

      CT is always pretty crisp on shipping order, so I suspect what you’re seeing is the backorders shipping out for other models. If I remember correctly, a bit more than half of the black base went out, with all but one of the black bundles going out.

      Reply
    • Greg

      Oops. I should have included more details! Black base is what I ordered. Maybe not enough units came in to reach where I am in line.

      Reply
    • Erica

      White ones are not even in production yet, yikes! So I’m guessing the white one (without HRM) I just pre-ordered today through CT probably won’t arrive in time for the half on April 12th. :-(

      Reply
    • Yeah Greg, on Black Base they got a large batch of them on Monday that fulfilled more than half of the backorders. The bundle, they got in an order yesterday that fulfilled all but one unit of backorders.

      Erica – For the white’s, I heard by the end of the month. So we’ll see…

      Reply
    • Felix

      The white ones are DEFINITLY in production. On the Garmin forums there is a post where someone already uses it: link to forums.garmin.com

      Reply
    • Ahh, cool. Last I checked was last Friday, so good to see some have trickled in since then.

      Reply
    • Gunnar

      Just went for a stroll at my local REI (College Park, MD) and low and behold they have the Vivoactive in stock. Just off the truck today. Looks great up close and personal. A bit bigger then my Pebble, but similar shape…..which should work well. Fenix 2 was a bit too big for me as an everyday watch, so this should work well. (Ray, I resisted temptation and didn’t cancel my CTR order and buy at REI….loyalty to the DCR site!)

      Reply
    • Paul

      Yes they are, live in Holland and have one today

      Reply
    • Bill

      Saw on REI’s website that one of the local stores had the black one in stock. Gave them a call and was told they had one, but it was already on hold. Said they export more real soon.

      Reply
  43. Felix

    @Ray: Have you tried if one can use the Vivoactive with the ‘Smart Lock’ feature of Android Lollipop to unlock the phone when in close proximity to the watch? Same question for the Vivofit 2. Many thanks.

    Reply
  44. R33ce ww

    Thank you for the reply

    Reply
  45. Kevin Dwyer

    Hi Ray,
    Really appreciate the work you put in to the site.
    Any possibility of a similar arrangement with a retailer here in the UK or Europe ?

    Reply
    • Yes, the goal is a soft-launch by the end of the month. I haven’t checked this week to see if that’s still on target.

      Reply
    • Felix

      Oh please do. I’d love to support you in this way. And thanks for the above answer concerning Android. Perhaps someone else knows, if this’ll work.

      Reply
  46. arena

    Made a comparison between vivoactive and 920xt, surprised to see the vivoactive do not detect type of swim stroke (Stroke type identification) : to be tested …
    link to goo.gl

    Reply
    • Wouter De Raeve

      the vivoactive really seems to be lacking in sports-features… I hope Ray’s review indicates otherwise…

      Reply
    • I’d be super-hesitant to trust any of the Garmin.com pages. Most of the time they’re inaccurate.

      I haven’t swung over to the pool yet to try swimming. Though, in general for the core activities of cycling and running, I’m not really seeing any unexpected gaps at this point. In fact, for the price point I’m seeing things I didn’t expect. For example, the ANT+ Sensor Pool concept is implemented, so I can save boatloads of sensors. And on the data fields, there’s slightly more than I expected (i.e. elevation, temperature with Tempe, etc…).

      Reply
  47. Paul

    Hi Ray,

    Just received my Vivoactive. Not a great success because the screen looks really bad. Nor bright at all. Hard to describe but I really have to stand at the window and even then it’s just not good. The screen is just plain dim.

    Can this be one off or do you recognize it?

    Reply
    • It’s a bit dimmer than other watches (though, actually similar to how a Pebble looks), but I definitely don’t have to press the backlight button during the day.

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      I will admit I was disappointed with the screen when I first switched it on. Its not vivid like a moto 360 etc. but it’s very clear even in bright sun and very functional for its intended use. Also probably very very low power. Now I’ve had 48h to get used to it I actually like it.

      Reply
    • CMV

      The screen looks initially dim, but after a while it’s great. The more outside light there is, the brighter it is. And it has the big advantage, compared to most smartwatches, to be always on. No more shaking your hand to turn it on when you want to now the time!

      Reply
    • CMV

      oops, I meant “know” the time.

      Reply
    • Anatol

      Is the fenix 3 screen same pale / dim ?

      Reply
  48. CMV

    For those curious to see a comparison with the Motoactv and with the Forerunner 220, I took a couple of pictures:
    link to tinyurl.com

    Reply
  49. Sarah

    Have any women received the watch yet? I am super curious how it looks on a woman’s wrist. I would love to see pictures.

    Reply
  50. TriGuySwede

    Does the Vivoactive do live tracking with ANT sensors at the same time?

    Reply
  51. Anatol

    Ray, can you tell vibrations strengths ? Is it sensable enough during running ?
    Is it possible to set vibration eg at the end of interval ?

    Reply
    • I do feel it while running, but I also feel like it’s not quite as strong as the Fenix3. In non-running situations, it’s completely acceptable.

      Reply
    • Kevin Dwyer

      Hello Anatol,
      I have been for a couple of runs with the vivoactive on one wrist and my Fenix 2 on the other. I had autolap set at one mile intervals. The Fenix 2 would vibrate to indicate each mile earlier than the vivoactive, and even when I was anticipating the vivoactive autolap vibration I found it barely noticeable and missed it completely on several occasions.
      I have emailed support at Garmin and asked that they increase the duration or frequency (HZ) of the altert vibration, or pulse it to make it more noticeable. I downloaded the Garmin Soccer Timer app from the Connect IQ store and the alerts in that are more intense and vary in frequency (HZ) to make an almost musical tone.
      I hope that it is something that they will take a look at soon.

      Reply
  52. Kom

    Hey Ray,
    can you give some more details on the bike features? Can I show Speed, cadence, distance and HR on the same screen foe example?

    Thanks for all the info. Feels like an Apple product release! 😉

    Reply
    • Maltloaf

      You can have 3 data fields on the screen at once and 3 screens. It can be set to auto scroll between screens and you can also set the scroll speed. You can’t have 4 at once but you can have up to 9 total in multiples of 3 and scroll between them.

      Reply
    • Kom

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      I outdoor cycled with it for the first time yesterday and I had 3 screens set up as described. It’s actually super easy switching between screens during the activity. You just give the screen a tap to move to the next screen and it cycles around the three with each tap.

      Reply
  53. peter

    Love the site Ray! Would there be a way to track an open water swim (just as an activity to track # of strokes and time – not GPS) by changing pool length to infinity? Or some work around like that? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Unfortunately with the pool mode it just uses accelerometers, not GPS, so it basically depends on you reaching the end of each pool length to understand how far you went. Also, the pool length has a setting limit of about 150m/y.

      Reply
    • peter

      If you swim in open water with the watch in pool mode will it at least track strokes and time even though you never reach a wall? Thanks.

      Reply
  54. Edwin Aerts

    Hello

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    The difference between Fenix 3 and Vivoactive concerning the altimeter is that the Fenix 3 has a barometric one and the Vivoactive one based on GPS. Does the Vivoactive show the height, gradient, … in real time while cycling/hiking or afterwards on the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone?
    Do you know when the Basecamp for Android will be released by Garmin?
    Thanks for answering.

    Krgds
    Ed

    Reply
    • Claudio MV

      Hello Ed,
      yes: elevation is one of the data fields available for display during activities. I couldn’t find grade though. And yes, on the Vivoactive elevation is GPS based, whereas the fenix 3 has a barometer.

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      I had hoped for a grade datafield too, it’s one I have on screen on my edge, but I’m sure this is something that can be done with ConnectIQ as it’s only a calculation

      Reply
  55. Rob

    I think it’s funny that on the back of the Vivoactive box there is clearly a hiking icon, yet the icon is nowhere to be found on the watch. Seems like if they went out of their way to put it on the box it should be an “app” you can choose from. Obviously you can choose walking and swap it out after, but they literally made a hiking icon for the back of the box, haha.

    Reply
  56. Ted

    Found three of the vivoactive’s at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods and decided to pick one up.

    I’m coming from an FR620 (which I really like) but I wasn’t using a lot of the “higher end” features like custom, structured workouts. I have the HRM-Run but don’t find the VO or GCT numbers all that compelling after the initial fascination wore off.

    I’m looking forward to the “vivo” side of things with step and activity tracking as well as the ConnectIQ stuff – especially since I’m a software developer myself.

    So far, I like the style and the fit of the watch… now I’m off to explore the offerings in the ConnectIQ store to look for widgets and watch faces.

    Reply
    • Vik

      Hi Ray
      I am from UK, and am stateside in April. If I purchased vivoactive there would the warranty cover me in uk. If so where is it best to purchase this

      Reply
    • Generally speaking Garmin covers any unit globally the same, regardless of purchase location.

      Reply
    • CMV

      If I am not mistaken, the legal warranty in Europe is two years, and one in the US… so even if Garmin honors the warranty on the whole planet, the durations may be different.

      Reply
  57. julienfr38

    Hello Ray,

    Is it possible for an 3rd apps (for example, a interval training app) to export all the metrics to a social website (strava, runtastic, Garmin connect…) without paying the Garmin tax ?
    If not, is it possible to export manually the session as a TCX file (or whatever) ?

    Reply
    • As an end user you can always export the .TCX or .FIT files from the control panel.

      Apps that pay the tax do have raw access to the .FIT fie, others the .TCX. However, one non-blessed app recently seemed to imply that they did have access to the .FIT file.

      However, these days almost all major apps (like the ones you listed) have paid the fee.

      Reply
    • julienfr38

      Great !
      So you mean that Strava, runtastic & co will publish ConnectIQ app soon ?

      Reply
  58. Paul

    Got one delivered on Thursday but I did return it on Friday. I just could not get over the screen. Don’t believe the pictures you see in the Garmin pictures. The screen is faint and dim. I did not expect the screen of an Apple Watch but this was just not worth the money.

    There are a couple of pro’s. Good and fast BT upload, very light and thin en the GPS search was fast (not instant but 30-60 sec).

    But the overall look and feel was just to ‘plastic’ for 250 dollars.

    Reply
    • On the GPS, ensure that you have sync’d fully via BT or USB to update the cache. I think you’ll also find that after the first time outside, it’ll be much quicker for subsequent times.

      Reply
  59. peter

    Ray, one more on the swim…if you swim in open water and have the watch on pool mode, will it at least track number of strokes and time even though you never reach a wall? Thanks!

    Reply
  60. chris davis

    Has anyone seen the white version in stores? I grabbed a black one, but would prefer white if available. Regarding the screen–I also have the fenix 3 and the screen is the same and agreed that the marketing photos make you feel like you are getting a super bright, clear screen so it’s somewhat jarring. Seems great outside though which is really the point and it’s so easy to see at a glance. The size and weight of the vivoactive are really nice and make for a much more comfy watch than the fenix 3.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Chris,

      The only thing related to the white vivoactive I’ve seen in stores or online is at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

      I picked up my vivoactive at Dick’s, and it is the black one – with the black band, but also has the white band and the changing tools included in the box… there is just a small indication on the front of the box that both bands are included. Unfortunately the watch body is definitely black.

      The online listing for the product at Dick’s says that it includes both bands as well. The selling price is the same as anywhere else for the just the watch alone. I find this very curious.

      Strange marketing move by Garmin/Dick’s to sort of silently have a differentiating factor to the watch that Dick’s is carrying.

      Reply
    • chris

      Thanks Ted. My black–non HR bundle just came with a black band. Was yours the bundle or standalone watch?

      Reply
    • Ted

      Just the standalone black watch – with an extra white band for no apparent reason.

      Reply
  61. HJK

    The only thing I don’t like about the vivoactive so far is the relatively wide wrist strap… the lug width is only 16 mm but the strap is a ‘grotesque’ 24 mm throughout… is Garmin trying to pull a Bell&Ross here? I know I’m going to shop for some cheap 16 mm resin watch bands soon…

    Reply
  62. C Dennis

    How much cycling data will the VivoActive display? Will I be able to ride without my Garmin Edge 500?

    Reply
  63. Carlos

    Ray,
    I’m new to triathlon. I’m thinking of getting the vivoactive vs 920xt. Is the extra cost of the 920xt worth it?

    Reply
  64. chris

    I’ve had some bluetooth connection issues with my iphone 6–it disconnects for 4-5 seconds and then will reconnect. My watch is running 2.40. It also wouldn’t auto sync–just kept failing. Rebooted both and no change. I’d just returned from a run when I noticed the sync failing. I also had a footpod and scosche rhythm+ connected.
    A question for Ray–I notice the vivo reconnects to any active nearby sensors after rebooting…is this normal or shouldn’t it just connect when I start a new activity? I don’t remember any of my other garmin or suunto devices behaving in this way. Am I crazy?

    Reply
    • Yeah, I’m not sure why it reconnects to all the sensors automatically even outside activity mode. Perhaps it’s to allow widgets to access it. Mine does it too.

      As for BLE sync failing with it, mine is doing the same time this evening. Tells me a server error – seemed fine up until tonight, so perhaps something on the backend is going poorly this weekend.

      Reply
    • chris

      Ok thanks Ray. So has the sensor reconnection hurt battery life? My gps was on as well when I went in and disabled them.

      Reply
    • chris

      One last question–if it is a widget thing, then the behavior is the same on the fenix 3?

      Reply
    • It’s not the same on the F3.

      As for the sensor hurting battery, nah, it’s virtually non-impacting on battery to enable the ANT+ side of the house since it’s on the same chip as the always enabled BLE side. GPS on the other hand…

      Reply
    • Gunnar

      Same problems here with Garmin Connect sync last night (garmin fenix 2 and edge 500).

      Reply
  65. Camille

    I’m trying to decide whether to get the Vivoactive or the Timex One GPS. I’m leaning towards the Vivoactive because I have a very small wrist and feel like I could get more use out of it as a ~daily watch.

    I’m most used to Timex watches and using the countdown interval timers for ~strides (22 sec with a simple reset) and intervals w/rest (like 5-10 min. reps w/ 1/2 recovery). However, I had a Garmin FR50 for ~4 yrs, which had 2 simple countdown interval timers (with an easy reset too). However, the FR405 drove me nuts cause of the complexity of setting it up (or resetting it)– I ended up selling it to a friend.

    Does the Vivoactive active have even 1 countdown interval timer (and possibly easy to reset too)? I tried to read through the comments, but it wasn’t clear what people were asking. I don’t care about the ability to take intervals/splits– I just want a simple countdown timer or two that beeps loudly at the end. It seems like this could be an app that could be developed, if not currently available on the Vivoactive.

    My other question is whether the ANT+ HR monitor I had for my FR50 would be compatible with the Vivoactive? I’m guessing the answer is yes, but I just want to check.

    I appreciate your feedback!

    Reply
  66. ML Heng

    Anyone tried downloading apps from IQ connect? Kept getting the server error.

    Reply
    • CMV

      Tried today, got some server errors, but I wonder if it wasn’t due to my own Wi-Fi. In the end it worked – I’m using an Android phone running Jelly Bean 4.4.2

      Reply
    • ML Heng

      I found the problem, think it has to do with Garmin Express proxy.

      When I use Google Chrome to download via Connect IQ URL no issue.

      But will always get an error when I download via Garmin Express and Garmin Connect on the mobile.

      Reply
  67. CMV

    I meant: KitKat 4.4.2

    Reply
  68. Joe

    Had the Vivoactive for the past 4 days and 2 of those days I’ve seen significant battery drain overnight (going from 70-80% to 20%)? Anyone else seeing that? I’ve also had several instances where the connection to the phone won’t work despite it stating it is connected…I need to restart the watch to take care of this. I’m wondering if the constant searching is causing said battery drain.

    Reply
    • ML Heng

      Garmin forum had users facing blue tooth draining issues due to searching. Yes the Bluetooth seems to have bug. I have to delete the paired vivoactive several times to pair via garmin connect within less than 48 hrs of use.

      Reply
    • CMV

      Same here… the first night, when I woke up I found it had died when the battery was above 50% when I went to bed… I thought I had left GPS on and that that was the reason, but I can’t be sure.
      The second night it didn’t die, but went from 70 to 25%. Frankly I have no idea if it was the GPS or bluetooth. Tonight I’ll make sure that GPS is off before going to bed, we’ll see tomorrow…

      Reply
    • Claudio MV

      Did a further test yesterday night… battery level was at 83% when I went to bed. I verified that the GPS was off, and activated sleep on the vivoactive. My phone “sleeps” in a different room, so the two got disconnected.
      This morning (after about 7 hours) the vivoactive battery was down to 53%, and it wasn’t able to connect to the phone. I left the two sitting next to each other for another hour, the battery went down to 47% and still no connection. I then turned the watch off and back on, and it immediately reconnected to the phone. Now, after one more hour, battery is still at 46%, and the two are happily paired, so it definitely seems to be a bluetooth connection problem (or vivoactives have very agitated nights!). My phone runs on android.

      Reply
    • Graeme Cowling

      having the very same issues with a new device – my phone was next to the bedside and the battery went from 97% down to 0% in less that 8 hours. phone running IOS 8.1 – odd that this isn’t being seen by more users.

      has the issue stabilised yet or are you having the same issues with BT? – Just interested as my battery doesn’t seem to have the longevity that is mentioned all over the place.

      Reply
  69. Jack

    Hi Ray,
    In your youtube video about music control you said there was no way of controlling music once in a active mode.

    I have been told you can control music while in active mode by doing the following.

    If you press and hold on the screen while you are in a run it will take you to the home screen. You can then scroll over to get to the music player. Press the start button to return to the run screen.

    I have not tired this as i have not received my vivoactive yet, can you please give this a try.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Yup, thanks! I had overlaid text on the screen at that point noting that as well. Did that text not show up?

      Reply
    • Jack

      Thanks Ray
      I did not see the text but maybe I just missed it.

      Thanks for confirming

      Reply
    • So one of the main things that I’ve been looking to have with the Vivoactive is controlling my music while I teach class, however I want to have it tracking my workout/calories burned while doing this. If I’m understanding you and Jack correctly I can. Did I get that right? If this works well then I’m ready to order mine. Ray, do you feel overall, that this is a better purchase than the Fit Bit Surge? In my min, right now, for what I am looking for the Vivoactive is the better choice but I would love to hear your thoughts.
      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Jack

      Hi Stacie. Yes you can track your workout and control your music at the Same time.

      Reply
  70. Gunnar

    I should be receiving my Vivoactive from CT pretty soon and in anticipation, I just had a look at the Connect IQ page and in the app category I don’t see an app for a power meter.

    I was thinking this would be one of the first apps developed for the Vivoactive? Any thoughts on if and/or when this will be developed?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ted

      Gunnar,

      According to the documentation for the VA, the built-in Cycling app from Garmin supports ANT+ Power Meters (in addition to Cycling Speed and Cadence sensors).

      Reply
    • Maltloaf

      There isn’t a power data field available on the cycling activity screens

      Reply
    • The Vivoactive doesn’t support the ANT+ Power Meter natively. However, Connect IQ would permit it to support power meters once someone creates an app for it.

      Where do you see VA documentation saying it supports PM’s?

      Reply
    • Gunnar

      Well shoot, I better get my thinking cap on and download the Connect IQ developer SDK and get to work!

      Reply