Hands on with the new Garmin Vivofit & Vivoki Activity Monitors


Update March 12th, 2014: I have published my full In-Depth Review of the Vivofit here. Please head over there for full details and the latest.

Today, Garmin announced their latest fitness product, and first entrants into the activity monitor world: The Vivofit and Vivoki.  These two products are designed to compete head to head with more entrenched incumbents like the Nike Fuelband and FitBits, but yet in many ways the product is squarely targeted at Polar, and their recent entrant, the Polar Loop.

See, like the Polar Loop, the Vivofit not only tracks Steps, Calories, Sleep and Distance – but also connects to a heart rate (HR) strap.  In Garmin’s case, ANT+ heart rate straps (whereas Polar connects to Bluetooth Smart HR straps).  And, like the Loop, it uploads everything via Bluetooth Smart to your smart phone (iOS or Android).  The Vivofit can also upload via ANT+ to your computer with an included ANT+ USB stick.

But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s start with a few basics.  The unit will come with two wrist straps in every box.  One is a smaller rubber wrist strap, and one a longer wrist strap.  Both straps will be the same color however (whichever color you pick).  Inside one of the straps you’ll have the small display pod that can semi-easily be pulled out and popped into the bands.


The devices operate for 1-year on two coin cell batteries, of the CR1632 variety.


You can see the colors of the bands throughout the post.  But basically it’s black, blue, teal, and purple.


To use the band, you’ll simply affix it to your wrist.  Like most activity trackers, the Garmin Vivofit falls into the wrist-based camp.  Typically speaking, activity monitors fall into one of two groups: wrist based or clip based.  Wrist based units are worn on either of your wrists, whereas clip based tend to be worn on your waist (but can be worn on a shirt/bra).  Note that the Garmin Vivoki that I’ll talk about later is clip-based.


Size wise, I pulled out my FitBit Force to see how it compared.  Most obvious is that the display on the Garmin unit is much larger.  However, at the same time, unlike the Force, the display is not illuminated (no backlight), so it’s pretty tough to see in the dark (kinda impossible actually).


Here’s the clip system, which is nearly identical (though, I found the Vivofit slightly better/easier to clip in than the Force).



When it comes to using it, you’ll notice the single button on the right side, this controls the display.  You’ll just tap the button to iterate through the display fields.  They are as follows.  Time:


Total steps for the day (below).  Note, the unit does not measure stairs or elevation gains.


Progress against your goal:


Total distance (in miles or kilometers):


And calories:


In addition, if you long-hold the button down for about 5-seconds, you can switch the unit into a sleep mode to track your sleep each night.


Now typically, most units on the market either require you to press a button to track sleep, or, they simply do it automatically.  In Garmin’s case, it’s a bit of both.  You can press the button to ‘force’ it into sleep button.  Or, alternatively, the next day within the phone app you can simply tell it roughly when you went to sleep, and it’ll do the rest from there retroactively.

Speaking of the phone, Garmin will be releasing an app at the same time as the device is made available, that will enable you to upload your data wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart.  This will require a phone that’s capable – so, iPhone 4s or higher, and Android 4.3 or higher.  Garmin noted that both apps will be made available concurrently (released at the same time).


To upload data to the app, you can simply hold the button down for about 2 seconds, and it’ll display a sync message:


Once uploaded, the data will be found in Garmin Connect.  Below, is an updated version of Garmin Connect that Garmin is also announcing today.  This particular dashboard page below is geared towards the activity monitor side of things.  I’ll be doing a more detailed dive into the sports side of things in the next few days.  The Vivofit users will get the updated dashboard ahead of general fitness users, where it will be phased in over the coming months.

You’ll note that it has similar functionality as other units on the market, such as challenges, following friends and their activity, and summary information about the metrics from the unit itself.

Garmin Connect vivofit 2

Finally, we get to what is likely the most awaited functionality – the ability to connect to an ANT+ heart rate (HR) strap.  As you iterate through the available pages, if you have an ANT+ HR strap paired to the unit, the unit will display your current heart rate.


The Vivofit can connect to any ANT+ heart rate strap on the market.  So basically, if it has an ANT+ logo on the back of it, you’re good to go.  If you’ve got an old ANT+ strap from your trusty red Garmin FR305, you’re good to go.  If you have an analog HR strap that you found in a box from 10 years ago…probably not good to go.

In my case, the ANT+ strap you see above/below is simply the FR620 HRM-RUN strap that I had in my bag.  It’s important to note that the Vivofit HR Bundle does NOT come with the HRM-RUN.  Instead, it comes with the HRM1, which is the old-school plastic-like heart rate strap previously included with the likes of the Garmin FR305.


Garmin’s decision to include their well-aged plastic strap in the bundles was a bit puzzling, but from discussing it a bit with them, it sounds like it was largely a cost-driven decision.

In any event, once you’ve connected the strap the unit will begin recording an activity file (just like the Polar Loop, for those wondering).  That activity will record the time, distance, calories and the heart rate data.  The HR data is recorded at ~15-second intervals.

Upon completion of the activity, the workout will be uploaded to Garmin Connect just like any other workout activity.  So it’ll look pretty much the same as your existing workout files you have on Garmin Connect.

What’s also of note is that the unit will automatically create an activity file for 10-minutes of continuous walking or running (even without a HR strap).

Initial Thoughts on Vivofit:


It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Garmin has entered into this market.  And, it also shouldn’t come as a big surprise that they’d leverage ANT+ for inclusion of heart rate data.  Many of their actions over the past few months seemed to trend that way.

Ignoring price for a moment, the unit is generally on-par with other units in the space from a functionality standpoint.  It includes the main metrics (steps/distance/calories/sleep/time), and the band is in the same range as the FitBit, and a bit smaller than the Polar Loop.

The unit has a competitive advantage in waterproofing, where it as 50m waterproofing – so no problems with water or swimming.  It also had an advantage with battery life, going upwards of a year (actually, the year is the absolute minimum, assuming pretty extensive daily HR strap usage with it).  For athletes around these parts, or endurance crowds where ANT+ straps generally are more common than Bluetooth Smart straps, most will appreciate not having to buy an ANT+ strap since they likely already own one.

On the flipside, there are some downsides with the unit.  First is that it doesn’t measure stairs or elevation.  True, I don’t find that metric terribly useful, but, I know many do.  More importantly though is that the API/data export side is very iffy right now.  In extensive conference calls I’ve had with the team they have not committed to providing a data export solution (CSV/etc…) for general activity data (non-workout).  Workout data can be exported through the existing/normal Garmin Connect options.

Further, while they do have an extensive (new) API for this data (see Vivoki section below), that API is mostly only being extended to corporate wellness partners at this time.  It’s possible that down the road that could be opened up – but it sounds like that decision is far from happening.  In many ways, that’s a big hole in an otherwise fairly good offering.  Every other activity tracker in the market today offers an API (with Polar being the only one not actively having it ready yet, but promising it will go live ‘any day now’).

Lastly, price-wise it’s actually on the higher end of things at $129 (or $169 with the HR strap).  The Polar Loop is $99 (without strap), as is the FitBit Flex and Withings Pulse.  The FitBit Force matches the Vivofit at $129.  While the Nike Fuelband is more expensive, it also has a much stronger community around it.  Ultimately though, I suspect like most things Garmin, people will pay the premium for the brand name – especially if they already have other Garmin devices.

Here’s a quick run-down of the major devices that compete in this price range.  You can customize the devices displayed here further within the Product Comparison Tool.

Function/FeatureGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 27th, 2016 @ 5:04 am New Window
Price$49$55$129 (Discontinued/Recalled)$149$99
Body PlacementWristWristWristWristWaist/Clip-On (+Wrist strap available)
Data Transfer TypeBluetooth Smart/ANT+Bluetooth Smart & USBBluetooth SmartBluetooth & USBBluetooth Smart
Bluetooth to PhoneYesYesYesYesYes
Has GPS built-inNoNoNoNoNo
Waterproofing50 Meters20 metersNone/Splash-onlyShower, No SwimmingNot really
Battery Life1 Year5-7 days7-10 days3 Days2 Weeks
Battery TypeCR1632USB RechargeableRechargeableUSB RechargeableUSB Rechargeable
WatchGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Displays timeYesYesYesYesYes
Has time alarmsNoNoYesNoNo
Has smart sleep alarmsNo
NotificationsGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Smartphone NotificationsNoNoNoNoNo
WorkoutsGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Workout guidance/coachingNoNoNoNoNo
DataGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Step CounterYesYesYesYesYes
Stairs ClimbedNoNoYesNoTotal ascent, not stairs
Distance WalkedYesApp Only (Added in update)YesYesYes
Calories BurnedYesYesYesYesYes
Sleep MetricsYesYesYesNoYes
24x7 HR MetricsNo
SensorsGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Skin TemperatureNoNoNoNoNo
Heart RateYes (with HR Strap)Yes (with HR Strap)NoNoYes
Optical Heart RateNo
Can re-broadcast Heart Rate dataNoNoNoNoNo
Skin PerspirationNoNoNoNoNo
Cycling SensorsNoNoNoNoNo
Action Camera ControlNoNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Web ApplicationYesYesYesYesYes
PC ApplicationYesYesYesYesNo
Mac ApplicationYesYesYesYesNo
Phone AppsAndroid/iOSiOS/AndroidANDROID/IOS/WINDOWS PHONEiOSAndroid/iOS
Ability to export/sync settings from computer/phoneYesYesYesYesYes
PlatformGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
3rd parties can access data via APIYesYesYesYesYes
Ability to export your data out of platformYesYesYes (paid option)MinimalYes
PurchaseGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
DCRainmakerGarmin VivofitPolar LoopFitBit ForceNike+ FuelbandWithings Pulse
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

In summary, I’m pretty interested to see where Garmin goes here in this market.  As you can see from the last few months, they continue to expand into numerous new markets (like action cams), and with the fast growing activity monitor market on the table, they jumped on that as well.  From a pure-device standpoint, the device appears to tick off almost all the major feature boxes.  And, from a website standpoint it seems to do the same as well.  It’s just the data export and sharing pieces that have me a bit concerned.

Hopefully, by time the unit is available in February or so, those kinks will be worked out.  Speaking of which, once the unit is available in final software/hardware form, I’ll do a normal full in-depth review.  My time with the units was mostly cosmetic (and short), so I haven’t had the opportunity yet to do step-counter comparisons and the like.

Vivoki…and Corporate Wellness:


Next up, a section that will be quite a bit shorter.  In addition to Vivofit outlined in the previous section, Garmin is also introducing a second activity monitor – Vivoki – that is aimed at the corporate wellness market.  What’s the corporate wellness market you ask?

Well, that’s when a company (say, Coca Cola) decides it wants to try and get their employees healthier.  One way it does that is through partners that provide activity monitors to employees.  When the employees wear the monitors they are typically rewarded in some fashion based on how much activity they do.  The goal here being to get people more active and ultimately reduce insurance costs (which, is why companies really care).  It’s like a hamster wheel, except typically with things like trips, cash, and TV’s as rewards.

The challenge with running these programs is that devices like the Nike Fuelband are simply too expensive, so most programs use cheaper units – like the FitBit Zip (which retails for $59 before bulk discounts).  And that’s where Garmin is targeting the Vivoki at.  Vivoki cannot be bought at retail, anywhere.  Rather, it’s only available through business to business corporate wellness partners (basically, companies you’ve never heard of).  And, in that, only available as part of a larger package of offerings from that partner (software + services + support + devices).



The Vivoki is technologically a slimmed down version of the Vivofit.  It’s also in a slightly different form factor.  The Vivoki is clip-based, whereas the Vivofit is wrist-based.  Further, the Vivofit doesn’t have a numerical display, but rather a simple 5-LED system.  Also, the Vivoki doesn’t do either sleep or HRM tracking.  And finally, the Vivoki is water resistant to 10m, versus the 50m of the Vivofit.  What’s interesting here, is that the Vivoki unit after removed from it’s rubber casing, is identical in size/shape to a standard Garmin footpod – same plastic outer shell.


But the device itself is actually not the ‘interesting’ part of the Vivoki system.  Rather, the backendcomponents that glue everything together is.  See, unlike a standard consumer system where the consumer uploads and tracks things themselves, corporate wellness programs need to validate/check the data  and centralize it.

In order to facilitate that Garmin introduced a new corporate wellness API, which enables these 3rd party companies to integrate data from Garmin Connect.  This new API not only can handle fitness data, but also the new activity data.  Interestingly, Garmin noted to me that there are some ‘selected’ partners today out there in the space that aren’t traditional corporate wellness partners, but are using the new API to access fitness data.

But how does the data get from Vivoki devices to Garmin Connect?  Well, for that, Garmin built another product: Vivohub.

Vivohub is an ANT to WiFi access point.  The goal being that a company installs these access points in common areas and/or entrances/exits to a building.  When the Vivoki (or Vivofit) passes by the Vivohub, it will automatically upload the data via ANT (not ANT+), and then in turn transfer that data to Garmin Connect via WiFi.  In talking with them, Garmin themselves did not build the Vivohub themselves, but rather worked with a partner.  While they declined to name the partner, I suspect it’s likely North Pole Engineering, and their WASP devices.  As they are the only ANT to WiFi repeater on the market today and they only work with companies doing OEM/rebranding work (for those curious, it’s the same device I use to test numerous concurrent power meters with).  Before I progress, I’d like to point out that their WASP devices are awesome for many scenarios.


With that said, I need to take a slight diversion here.  As many of you know, my actual day job is in enterprise IT architecture and datacenter infrastructure design.  I fly around the world and work with large organizations on defining IT architecture, on a weekly basis.  Given my experience in this sector, I’m a little skeptical of organizational IT departments wanting to deploy Vivohubs, for a variety of reasons.

First is that any large to enterprise size business is going to have hundreds or thousands of buildings, many with numerous floors and entrances/exists.  Simply providing coverage in a single 3-5 story building is going to be difficult, let alone a company with numerous locations.

Second, no IT person wants to deal with installing small devices that aren’t managed in an enterprise manner.  Meaning, they want to have enterprise manageability and integration with toolsets that can control and monitor the devices 24×7.  From my discussions, it doesn’t sound like it has this.  Then, we look at the security aspects of introducing what are effectively network access points into the environment.  And finally, while Garmin wouldn’t disclose the cost of the Vivohub, there’s ultimately a cost involved in procurement of the devices.

No doubt, I think the devices will work great for smaller companies with only a few locations in small buildings.  But I remain skeptical for use in larger organizations.  But it seems like in many ways, WiFi would have really been a much cleaner choice to handle here rather than funneling things through ANT.  Though, the downside to WiFi is that it has a significant penalty on battery life (compared with a device that can go a year or more).

The good news is that Garmin didn’t just leave it at ANT only.  The Vivoki does include Bluetooth Smart in it, and the user can connect via their phone instead.  The unit can store about 4 weeks worth of data before transferring, and if the user establishes/connects a Garmin Connect account, it can transmit via Bluetooth Smart instead.  In addition, Garmin offers a set of BLE API libraries to corporate wellness partners that they can develop their own apps and connect to the Garmin Vivoki/Vivofit units with.

Now, the good news here is that Garmin has a bit more time on Vivoki than Vivofit.  They aren’t launching the platform fully until Q2 of 2014 (so sometime between April and June), which will hopefully enable them to button up some of the story around the larger IT pieces.

Hopefully – the new API pieces for Vivoki, will carry over into the larger Garmin Connect – enabling more than just corporate wellness customers to access data in expanded ways, but also enabling 3rd parties that want to allow Garmin users to do innovative sharing and use of Garmin data.

And as always, thanks for reading!


  1. Josh

    Pleased. No stopwatch function though? Does the clock have a seconds feature at least?

    • No stopwatch on the display, but it’s recording the activity itself for later uploading. And no seconds on the display (at least on this beta device).

    • savanna

      I see the actual colors in person differ from the colors they show available. Is that the purple one? In your photos it looks more of a pink rather than grape.

    • They looked pretty similar to the photos when I saw the units at CES (purple). I only have a black unit, so I can’t confirm if the final purple units look different.

  2. Dan

    Love the fact it is waterproof. Returned the Fitbit Force because it wasnt.

  3. Jenn

    I chose to get a garmin cr60 awhile back and it prove to be a pain to figure out only to find out they stopped updates, very upset at the pricing. I eyed the Nike GPS watch and decided against it to get a fitbit force for Christmas. Easy set up but I’m finding the past day or two it records mileage if I’m driving not so necessarily that I exercised it. Something minor to over look, but the band has caused me to have a red rash which I can not find any info on what the material is made of. Do you kno by chance? I have made several attempts to ask the company to no avail. Another downside to the force is it only have two colors and you can’t change the bands like the flex. Would love to try this garmin and see if it offers better results, like the idea of the heart rate monitor that’s a plus, but they do need to get on board with benefits in partnering companies like fitbit

    • Anonny

      Jenn, according to many of the posts on the FitBit discussion boards, Fitbit says the area where the charging port is stainless steel yet contains amounts of nickel. Many have reactions to nickel. Others are starting to believe that the “rashes” could be chemical burns due to battery leaks. 14 pages and counting of discussion where people have gotten a rash with blisters and skin peeling. People who went to their doctors stated it was contact dermatitis. I can understand why FitBit is not responding “within” the forums…probably many liability concerns. Doesn’t sound good though according to the customers speaking out. I’m shying away from the Force and will use my Fitbit “One” until I get this Vivofit. It sounds pretty darn good except for the lack of “Steps” being counted and some sort of backlight. I do like to look at the time in a darkened room. I think the water resistance will make up for that and the lengthy battery life….

    • Mikeal

      that ’14 pages’ has now grown to over 200 pages. and fitbit is offering refunds/exchanges regardless of where your product was purchased.

      Still not enough, IMO – and I am on here now researching and considering Vivofit for THAT very reason (I have a nice sore on my wrist).

  4. So you tested it, does the distance work? is it correct, and how good it the step counter?

  5. Jon

    Timely…my company just signed up with Virgin’s corporate wellness plan. They’re providing cheapo pedometers (and RunKeeper integration for active times), but the second they have Connect integration it’ll be worth springing for a Vivofit jus tto keep it all in one place.

    Has Garmin announced any partners on that side?

  6. Dan

    Does it have an alarm clock? That was a nice feature in the Force.

  7. Prodessa

    Is that the new, strava like website?
    When will garmin put the new look and functionality live?

  8. Jose

    Who thought up these impossible to pronounce, remember or distinguish product names?

  9. Hopefully Garmin will update the device to allow for BT4.0 HRMs. If it can sync via Bluetooth, should be able to support BT Smart HRMs.

  10. Steve Knapp

    Interesting, I’ve been a loyal fitbit user and Garmin user. Right now I use fitbit to track my day-to-day, and Garmin to track my workouts.

    I’m curious how having Garmin do both. Duplicate data/workouts from the band and my watch? Or would it figure out total calorie burn from all the devices, piecing it all together for me? Integration into other food logging sites, like MFP?

    Also hope they didn’t break Garmin connect for fitness use to include the activity tracking.

    • David Corsi

      That would be a big reason for me to switch from fitbit to garmin. Nike failed at this because Fuelband and their gps watch data overlap on their nike+ software portal and actually skew the ability to analyze the day. If Garmin is able to show your overall day but using the most accurate data for all times (use my garmin wrist tracker for most of the data but automatically substitute better sources like my garmin 620 with HRM and foot pod data during my runs and edge 510 for cycling) that would be a “package”

    • Todd

      If they can get their edge devices and watches to play nicely with their activity tracker I’d buy two of these today (one for the wife). My Fitbit Force gave me and my wife rashes. I miss my tracker though.

    • Derek

      I wish they had integrated footpod via Ant as well. I have a Fitbit and love the API but would love more accurate info for distance when I am running indoors without the need to pull out a separate device like a FR unit. I have thought of purchasing a FR70 just as a watch and for use with my foot pod but I wish it would just run all the time like a Fitbit and let me define activities like Runs when I want to and just track movement the rest of the time.

  11. Bruno Lencastre

    sorry for my color blindness question, but is that vivofit, pink or purple?

  12. Bruno Lencastre

    also, is the included sw, mac osx friendly?

  13. David Corsi

    Everything will be the in execution… I used the Nike Fuelband for 14 months and now the Fitbit Force for 2…

    1. How accurate will the step counting be? These all sense movements equally well but the algorithms to determine what is a wave or a car bump vs a step is the secret sauce. Nike didn’t do well at all, at least with Fuelband 1.0, but Fitbit does much better at recording real steps vs everything else.

    2. How will the build quality be? This design is similar to the Fitbit Flex with its removable pod and similar to the Flex/ Force with clasp. The Flex bands have worn quickly and both the Flex/ Force have users including me having the clasp pop open when catching on sleeves etc. this looks so similar it is concerning.

    3. Software integration…lack of an API is pretty big. All these other trackers can send their data to major apps on mobile phones so for example your actual calorie burn data can be used by your favorite food tracking system. A lack of this limits the usefulness of the device. As for Garmin’s own software, we will see… It looks ok in the screen shot (a near copy of the fitbit UI) but lately the software side of Garmin products always seems to have rough edges, at least at first.

    4. The lack of backlighting is lame. I love the battery life but would gladly have accepted less to make it more useful. The look of the device itself isn’t offensive but for something I am supposed to wear 24/7 I would have preferred something more understated like the fitbit flex/force ( in black ) or Nike Fuelband. The large glossy screen across the entire front face draws the eye easier.

    • Hi David-

      RE: Accuracy

      We’ll have to see on that front. It’ll be one of the main components of my test cycle

      RE: Build quality

      The bands feel very similar to the Flex bands. I have the same clasp issue on my Force that you noted. The clasp is a touch bit different on the Vivofit, but I haven’t yet decided if that’s good-different or bad-different. Again, time will tell.


  14. Justin Forehand

    How will this work in conjunction with logging runs with a Garmin Forerunner in Garmin Connect? I’m sure you can filter your activities in the reports section to just show runs.

    • It all just goes into the same bucket, and yup, you can filter the workouts on Activity Type.

    • David Corsi

      The question then becomes how does it display the “bucket” of your daily activities. Nike has failed at this because all of their various devices when dumped to Nike+ simply display overlapping information which skews the look at the whole day.

      IF… (and this is a HUGE IF because so far no one has done it) Garmin can instead create an “intelligent” system that uses Vivofit band data UNLESS there is more accurate data coming from a Forerunner or Edge etc. and then seamlessly substitute that data and provide a great accurate view of the day as a whole that would be fantastic. I would love to take the Vivofit OFF when I go for a run with my Forerunner or OFF when I hit the bike with my Edge… let it use steps counted from my band on a 620 or HRM-Run and calorie data derived from FirstBeat algorithms on my 620 etc. then revert to the Vivofit when I put the band back on. When I view my steps for the day have it combine everything, etc.! No overlap, nothing missing.

      That I would buy.

    • Luke

      Yes! Exactly!
      Integration across my (growing) collection of Garmin products is exactly what I would like.
      Well, that and a garmin connect website that wasn’t super ugly (we’ll see what they do today).

    • Steve Knapp

      David, you and I have the same thought! As is now, I log all my workouts in TP (and connect). My daily activity in Fitbit w/ manual logging of workouts, and food in MFP. It all works well enough I think. There is the step of entering workouts/activities in fitbit but not a big deal.

      I was more thinking how Garmin could mess this up, two copies of every run for example, one with good data one with bad.

    • David Corsi

      and Steve it could be very bad. Nike fails at this complete and duplicates data from multiple overlapping sources and almost makes it worse to own more than one nike product.

      Garmin has a big chance here to do something bigger and comprehensive by properly merging any garmin data source and giving you whole data for a given day but I have doubts based on their track record. The intro video makes it look like this product is skewing to a whole new market that has nothing to do with us folks who use their forerunner and edge products and I think they won’t bother with the complexity of try to merge data.

      I also am disturbed by their lack of an API because that means no exporting and syncing with apps like myfitnesspal you mentioned.

      At a minimum I hope the upcoming changes to garmin connect are positive even for forerunner and edge users and don’t break gongs too much because garmin doesn’t have an excellent track record when first launching major hanged in any of their sports products IMHO.

    • Jeff

      … or why not incorporate activity monitoring into the Forerunner feature-set. I’d be willing to spend an additional $50-100 on a Forerunner that also does 24-hour activity monitoring, rather than worry about toggling between devices. Like a better Polar Loop. I doubt I’m the first to think of this. Actually I’d be surprised if the next generation of GPS watches doesn’t start to integrate activity monitoring.

    • You’ll likely definitely see that be the future direction for Garmin from what I’m hearing. It won’t work in the current FR220/FR620 due to the way the product was designed from a low-power-usage standpoint, but beyond that…definitely. It’s pretty much be the standard, like what Polar has done with the V800.

  15. Sam

    Do you think it would be able to facilitate ANT+ to Bluetooth Smart transfers for my other Garmin devices? That would be a handy feature for those of us not upgraded to the FR620.

  16. hollyoak

    I get the whole “marketing” behind these “Activity Monitors” but am I the only one that doesn’t think they really relevant to people who train regularly? I think the answer is in the question ;-) The Misfit Wearables Shine at least looks “nice” and has a one year (supposedly) battery life like the Garmin.

    In that regard the “Vivoki” device makes a lot more sense (other than the IT issues you point out) than the Vivofit…sure it has HR logging, but you can already do that for free with your iPhone and a BLE HR strap…if you really need that kind of info, and I don’t think anyone really does ;-)

    • David Corsi

      The reason why HRM recording is valuable for these devices is they only do one thing well… record steps. If you get on an elliptical machine… they show next to nothing. If you ride a bike… nothing. The idea is that for those events you pair it to the HRM and get a somewhat more accurate tracking of your activity and calorie burn via the band/HRM pairing. BUT… then it all comes back to the fact that only helps if you weren’t already tracking those activities with a dedicated device like a Forerunner or Edge device.

    • Princess1073

      I have the Misfit Shine and had such high hopes for it, mainly for the fact that it was the only tracker you could actally swim with. I have replaced the battery multiple times in about 6 months and I still do not get accurate information. It also doesn’t count steps, but points. The points do not have a chart to help with a conversion or anything. I have contacted the company and they have received my e-mail, but I have yet to get any actual response. I still see a lot of potential in it, but it has much yet to be worked out.

  17. Nrmrvrk

    Minor correction just before the comparison chart. You wrote:

    “Lastly, price-wise it’s actually on the higher end of things at $129 (or $159 with the HR strap). The Polar Loop is $99 (without strap), as is the FitBit Flex and Withings Pulse. The FitBit Flex matches the Vivofit at $129. While the Nike Fuelband is more expensive, it also has a much stronger community around it. Ultimately though, I suspect like most things Garmin, people will pay the premium for the brand name – especially if they already have other Garmin devices.”

    I believe that should be “… The FitBit Force matches the Vivofit at $129.” in the third sentence.

    Thanks for the review, love all of the info.

  18. Luke

    Any word on whether Garmin will figure out how to sync this activity data with data from running/biking?
    In other words, I’m probably pretty close to getting some sort of activity monitor (probably the vivofit vs fitbit force) and wearing that as my every day watch. However, I won’t wear it when I’m running, and would hope that somehow the Vivofit data and the forerunner data would somehow talk to each other. Have they said anything about this?
    Any why no stairs?

  19. Eric Ericson

    So, I think they deployment strategy on the ANT+ to WiFi bridge might not necessarily be one of full saturation.

    You mentioned that “The unit can store about 4 weeks worth of data before transferring, and if the user establishes/connects a Garmin Connect account

    Based on that, I’m guessing the goal is to have one or two of these deployed at key points in each building (aka the entry way and maybe the breakroom) in order to pick up the bulk of employees at least once a day.

    With that said though, (being on the Enterprise IT/Ops side of the house) my initial reaction to being asked to deploy an untested, non-centrally managed access point on my network falls in between “I don’t think that’s going to be feasible” and “Go F*ck Yourself”. Garmin really should have partnered with one of the bigger players in the wireless AP space to at least rubber stamp or integrate the product with some of the tools out there.

  20. Thomas

    Ray, it seems to me like the first company that comes up with an affordable wrist activity tracker which has most of the specs of the vivofit, but measures HR at the wrist like the Mio Alpha, will really have a killer product. It seems to me that if you would wear a heart rate belt, then you’re going to be doing some “serious” excercise and will likely want other metrics such as speed and GPS, whereas these wrist units are aimed at activity throughout the day measured by steps. Now, if you’d have a wrist based activity tracker which transmits heart rate to your dedicated sports watch, then you will be able to ditch your heart rate strap for good, which I’m sure nobody will mind, and you can use the added metrics of the watch for when you’re running/biking/whatever, and have just the tracker when you’re walking around or working or sleeping. And if you so choose, you could still enable your HR then as well.

  21. mattl

    if garmin have the activity counter side worked out now, is this software that could be rolled out to products such as the FR620 to give one device that measures everything and looks ‘normal’?

  22. mattl

    ooh – just seen the polar review. Here’s hoping that the norm is to integrate activity with the tracking on these watches.

  23. Josh

    Ray in response to your response on my earlier question, I was asking about stopwatch/seconds as this would have been the ideal unit for the gym, but without that function no way to time minutes between sets of lifting.

    • Ahh, gotchya. That makes sense. I’ll ask the folks later tonight. I’d actually agree that while in HR recording mode it would be nice to have a little timer display.

    • Steve Knapp

      Would make a nice tidy follow on to the FR50/FR60/FR70 if it supported footpod pace (or without like Motoactv/Fenix).

  24. Josh

    It would be ideal as while my 620 can handle it I need something that can take a beating in the gym! So I use my old $50 timex stopwatch approaching 7 yrs old.

  25. scott buchanan

    Have always thought that the Activity Monitor feature set is a bit…. meh!

    I note on your comparison matrix you have skin temperature and perspiration options. Are these features being offered anywhere or are they likely to be offered in the near term. Looking forward what other similar features do you see being offered?

  26. someone any information about availability of the fitbit force for europe/germany/austria?
    for me this seems to be the most appealing device…

  27. While this particular wave of gadget obsession is that we are all electronically tagging ourselves like sex-offenders on curfew.

    “How beauteous mankind is! O Brave New World, that has such people in it!”

    This is good news. I can’t wait for the much needed Connect update more than anything. I feel that it’s currently light-years behind the competition. I’ll be keen to get hold of one but having just got a ForeRunner 620, does that mean that I would need to wear 2 devices around my wrist (both effectively watches)? This seems a tad unnecessary.

    All very exciting anyway.

  28. It seems a lot of you guys are having the same setup: Fitbit for daily activities and Garmin XXXX for workouts. I’m also considering the Vivofit but also only IF they somehow manage to calculate and show the data based on the most accurate device.

    Till then I have a quick tip: http://www.fitdatasync.com to export your Garmin Connect workouts automatically to Fitbit :-)

    • Steve Knapp

      Igor, first time using fitdatasync does it import my full history? That would be a mess. Or just today going forward?

      I don’t mind too much doing it by hand, it’s not harder than logging part of a meal.

    • For me it imported only the last few activities (around 5), but I can’t tell for sure if it will import everything or just some for you. Maybe you should try contacting them.

  29. NewClydesdale

    Looks like Garmins been busy. I saw they put out a Car dash cam at CES to auto record accidents/bumps etc.

    • Yeah, I played with it a bit last night in a car. Cool stuff actually. Basically like a little black box for your car. Perfect for Russian Dash Cam videos.

  30. Tony

    I see in all the posts that you are going to do the step accuracy evaluation when you get one. Any time frame for that? I got my wife the UP24. It is terrible and going back. As an example she was reading this afternoon and it counted steps. Last time I checked, turning a page is not a step.

    Your review will be helpful in finding one that works.


    • It’ll be at the point of final hardware/software, so likely February-ish. It’s part of all of the In-Depth review I do for all activity trackers. Fwiw, I do have an UP24 sitting in my bag, but I haven’t started using it yet.

  31. Paul Wakeford

    Instabuy, to replace the Flex I have now. Nothing wrong with the Flex, I’m just fully in the Garmin camp and am sick of using sync sites – I end up with no sync or duplicates between Fitbit & Garmin.

    P.S. Minor type – ‘Coco’ Cola.



  32. Patrick Byma

    Any info regarding the Vivofit and cycling?

    My biggest issue with activity monitors is that they dont work for cycling (no arm movement) and thus I would have to manually log my main form of exercise…annoying.

    I would think that with your age, weight, and height plugged in and with the use of a heart rate monitor it would be able to get good calorie burn numbers when riding? Is this a fair statement?

    If this device could track cycling calorie burn I would buy one real fast.

  33. David

    I’m a fan of consolidating all data into one place. Currently that place is SportTracks. My Garmin 910XT swim, bike, run and paddle via manual import. My weight via the Withings plugin. Blood pressure via manual entry. I’d love to see ‘activity’ data in there to via a plugin – from Jawbone and from Garmin. So from an API stance, a ST plugin that could pull the data would be the way to go.

    Anyone have some thoughts on that?

    • Chris Brown

      Me too on SportTracks – and with Garmin watches I could and have written code for an extension. But it sounds Garmin is for now not releasing the API. I wonder why I need one of these if I am actively using my 910 already when I run/cycle and swim

  34. HarryO

    Love Garmin products always have. I have had a Flex (no big issues) and now the Force from FitBit. The Force band is HORRIBLE I have to put an 0-ring to keep it from unclasping and falling off. The Blogs, Amazon, and the Fitbit Forums are buzzing about this issue.

    Has this product fallen off you arm on any occasion yet? Usually when you reaching for something and you catch the clasp the Force falls off.l

    • Yes, the FitBit Force band constantly falls off on me. Perhaps once a day. I don’t currently have the Vivofit (it was just for a short while until later on).

    • David Corsi

      I haven’t had it happen exactly Ray but you should see the Fitbit Force forums… literally dozens of folks with gruesome burn marks (and the photos to show it) from the back of the Force. Some kind of horrible allergic reaction complete with welts and blisters in some cases.

      It actually cut the top of my wrist under the power charging port about 3 weeks after I started wearing it and the wound wouldn’t heal so I switched it to my other hand and haven’t had an issue since.

      I guess Fitbit is sending out questionnaires to the affected parties and are offering full refunds or to exchange for any other Fitbit product…

      (PS: I actually love the Force, I think it is the most accurate wrist based tracker yet, the OLED screen is great, the vibration/alarm function is useful, and if they can get the iOS 7 notification works it will be a killer product. I am sure a Force v2 is in the work that reworks the band and port issues.)

  35. David Corsi

    I don’t know (and don’t think) Garmin is going to do it but this product and a stunning screenshot (link to dcrainmaker.com) I saw in Ray’s Polar V800 preview today made the big lightbulb go off in my head of what *my* dream of a Garmin future would be…

    In the Polar review the screen shows the Polar online portal’s “Training Load and Recovery” screen that tracks your physical excursion and your fatigue vs. gains over time. It shows you on a graph getting more tired/overworked and then shows you recovering over time. It then overlays all your workouts and get this, your daily normal physical activities through the fitibit/vivofit like features of the V800 watch.

    THIS is what I hope Garmin can do with all their products! I hope the new Garmin Connect can blend the data from Vivofit, from a Forerunner, or from an Edge device in to one single cohesive look at my daily physical actives and overall health. As it stands today my Garmin 620 gives me recommendations on recovery time needed after a workout but it knows nothing about my bike ride, or my shoveling snow, etc. Being able to blend the devices and making the Garmin Connect portal the glue that binds them together is the secret. My watch might not know about the rest of my day but with all these devices Garmin Connect sure will!

    I just doubt it will happen.

    • Luke

      Dear Garmin people (who I know are reading these comments).
      Please just make this happen. It would be awesome. And very useful.

    • Jay

      This is exactly what I want and would be my only reason to buy vivofit. I want to know my overall “freshness/fatigue” levels. It needs to work with my 910XT running & swimming data and my 810 cycling data. The vivofit could fill in the gaps with sleep and workout data….

    • Greg

      If you do this, people with garmin forerunners and edge will likely get vivofit to augment the entire day and get a full picture of health and well being.

      People without garmin devices will also get vivofit and then see the benefits of garmin setup and get more specific garmin devices…

      I know my purchase decision hinges on the ‘whole’ picture, otherwise I will just keep using my phone for sleep tracking, and step counting.

  36. Conrad

    This might be a dumb question, but since I’ve only had experience with the Fitbit Force activity tracker I’ll ask anyway. Does the Vivofit determine basal metabolic rate based on BMI like the Fitbit?

    • David Corsi

      I don’t think anything has been announced on that. It is a good assumption but there are different ways the band companies approach this… for example Nike with their Fuelband shows calories burned as only the total of the sensed movement, in others words it doesn’t show anything based on basal metabolic rate so if you want to know your total calories burned for the day it is up to you to have a formula or guess as to your body’s burn rate without added motion. Fitbit has decided to be more useful IMHO and use a basal metabolic rate calculation (may not be accurate but gets you in the ballpark) and then adds your motion on top.

      I bet Garmin apes Fitbits system, I just hope Garmin Connect is smart enough to substitute more accurate data whenever it is available from other superior Garmin devices, like if you use a Forerunner or Edge during a workout.

  37. Martin


    Is vivofit always showing time (so it can be used as a watch) or is display switched on by pressing a button ?


    • David Corsi

      It does, the display is ALWAYS on, the first of its kind in a fitness band. However the downside is it doesn’t appear nearly as clear and has no backlighting vs. the bright OLED or LED displays on the Fuelband, Force, and Loop.

  38. Hi Ray,
    Thx for this preview. I didn’t get one point: what does “The HR data is recorded at ~15-second intervals” mean?

    • David Corsi

      What it sounds like, instead of recording your HR at 1 second (or faster) intervals like a Forerunner watch etc. it records your heart rate 4 times a minute. You won’t get the second by second accuracy but for a simple band it will still be able to calculate a more accurate calorie burn rate etc. during workouts if you pair it to a HRM.

  39. rc46

    Hi Ray,
    Great review as always
    Did Garmin tell you waterproof to 50 meters? Everyone else is reporting splash proof, including Garmins own blog?

    • rc46

      Never mind. I see it on Garmins own website now. They are saying Water resistant: yes (up to 50 m)

  40. Robin Clark

    Currently I use a Polar FT7 which comes with a heart rate strap that uses Polar’s 5 KHz frequency to transmit my heart rate in water.

    I know that Bluetooth does not transmit in water. But can the Vivofit monitor/measure your heart rate in the water using the ANT+ frequency? Thanks.

    • David Corsi

      ANT+ is not meant for transmission underwater and becomes unreliable over a distance of more than 1 inch so although you can use your Vivofit underwater and most HRM are waterproof, it will not record data from the HRM underwater.

  41. hamdi

    nice review!
    keep a good job!

  42. Jayden Lawson

    Nice review, but you have omitted one important metric: Sleep cycle alarm. The Jawbone Up wakes you with a gentle vibration when you are in your lightest sleep cycle, ensure you wake refreshed. The Sleep Cycle App has been invaluable, but falls short because it can’t distinguish who is moving in a bed where there is more than one person. Jawbone’s device has solved this, and I’m amazed other similar devices haven’t done the same.

    • David

      Totally agree. The best function of the UP is the sleep/wake function. Any of these devices that have a sleep monitoring function must have a alarm of some sort – best if it can be in your lightest sleep.

    • I don’t include devices in the comparison charts that I haven’t spent some time with myself. I do have a Jawbone UP (and 24), but haven’t dug into them too much yet…it’s on the docket.

  43. Mark

    Any indication of how readable the Vivofit display is for those of us with aging eyes? I use reading glasses to see up close (although my distance vision is fine). For cycling, I use the Dual Eyewear sunglasses, which allow me to see the head unit well; and my everyday watch has a white face which allows me to see the time without using reading glasses. But since the Vivofit wants to become my watch as well as an activity tracker, if I couldn’t easily read the display without constantly needing to dig my reading glasses out of my pocket, then that would be a deal breaker, at least for me.

  44. Dick Morris

    Some questions and ideas.

    Now that Garmin Connect has changed to work with the Garmin VivoFit will Garmin Connect also be made to work with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scales since the Ant+ scales appear to being phased out.


    The Garmin VivoFit needs a HRM to provide full data, can I wear the VivoFit on my left wrist and the Mio Link HRM or the Pulsense on my right hand wrist.?


  45. Randy

    I’ve got some small questions about this:

    If you wear this vivofit 24/7 how can you import it to garmin connect, when you connect this will it than starts a new ‘activity’?
    Because I don’t want to see duplicates on my garminconnect or does it uploads/day (so just 24 hours of the the from 00.00h-23.59h?
    When i’m riding my bike, will there be steps counted.. I hope not because I have about 7km/day in the bike.

    I guess running also counts steps?
    I have a ant+ from my garmin forerunner 410HRM, can I use this ant to upload this?

    Thanks and great review!

    • I’ll be getting clarification on the duplicates piece.

    • Randy

      Have you received an update on this, because I want to pre-order this from the site of cleever training.

    • Yes. We chatted this week.

      As it stands today, if you’re using Garmin Connect with Vivofit and a secondary Garmin device, Garmin Connect would show duplicates. Competitively, this is inline with what Polar does, as well as other devices if using a 3rd party service.

      Now, what’s interesting however is that if your connecting to the Garmin Connect corporate wellness program platform (meaning, your company), they are actually doing logic there to surface up the unit that has the ‘highest quality data’. Thus, if you use a Garmin FR620 at the same time as Vivofit/Vivoki, then the FR620 data will ‘win’, and the Vivo* product will be ignored from a ‘corporate rewards’ standpoint.

      I’m going to continue to push to see that logic also applied to Garmin Connect, though, since they are separate product teams within Garmin, that’s going to be a tougher nut to crack.

    • Randy

      So this means if I run 1 hour on a day, I have 1hours of data from the FR and 23hours from the vivofit on garmin connect, right? I guess this will be two seperate lines on garmin connect?

    • If you run with a Garmin Forerunner for 1 hour, and you wear your Vivofit, then you’ll have two fitness activities on Garmin Connect – one from the Vivofit and one from the Forerunner. Additionally, you’ll have the 23 hours of non-fitness activity data (just generic activity monitoring).

    • Peter Eidegren

      You mentioned earlier that there are two separate product teams within Garmin. Do you think that will cause for any concern regarding an unified Garmin Connect web experience where all data from both Garmin sport watches/computers och Vivofit will be presented in a easy to read and easy to understand way ?

      You also wrote:
      If you run with a Garmin Forerunner for 1 hour, and you wear your Vivofit, then you’ll have two fitness activities on Garmin Connect – one from the Vivofit and one from the Forerunner

      WiIl this mean that the user gets two sets of data of calories expended, heart rate measurement and so on.
      And if so, how will runners/cyclist do so that they are not ending up with double the calories after a bike/run?

    • Oh, it’ll do exactly what you stated: Duplicates across the board for a variety of metrics.

      It’s an area we’re discussing. I think given they have the “technology” to deconflict for corporate wellness, then surely they can do the same for regular Garmin Connect.

    • Peter Eidegren

      Damn, why can’t Garmin just do this right from the beginning now that they are coming in late in the game and all.

      Could one simple solution be to just leave your Vivofit home when you are out exercising to avoid a total disaster datawise?

    • Yup, leaving it at home would work.

      Now, that said, like I noted to someone else on the Polar unit thread – keep in mind the product isn’t out yet. It’s still a month away, thus, things can change. So don’t count chickens till they hatch.

    • Luke

      Obviously things could change.
      Hopefully complaining about stupidity will get them to change.
      The whole point about wearable activity monitors (especially ones with a year-long battery that are waterproof!) is to put it on and forget about it.
      If I have to take it off while I bike to work, run after work, and bike home I’m going to either a) lose it or b) forget to take it off and get days where I’ve “burned” 40 bazillion calories.
      Garmin NEEDS to do the right thing and write in some way for garmin connect to prioritize one reading over another.

    • Steve Knapp

      I don’t think it’s fair to say here that the duplicate behavior is how other trackers work. I wear my fitbit 24/7, I enter activities for my workouts I know it doesn’t track calorie burn well (bike, swim, some runs). These workouts override the fitbit’s data. I can edit/change them later and the fitbit data reappears.

      For me the noise in my Garmin Connect account is a deal breaker. Although I suppose I could setup a new connect account for the tracker alone.

  46. Babka S Pistoletom

    Great review as usual, Ray.

    Question – regular ANT HR monitor doesn’t integrate with the common gym equipment, correct? Only Polar?
    Is there something that works ANT and gym at the same time? Wearing 2 HR straps is too much even for me.

    Thank you!

  47. Looks like Sony are getting in on the act as well. link to developer.sonymobile.com

  48. KJ2009

    Greate review !
    Should I wear 2 HR straps when I go running with FR601 and Vivofit ?

    • Nope, one is sufficient. ANT+ can pair to multiple devices at once.

    • Dennis Mühlenstädt

      Hi, but what happens in this cases on GARMIN CONNECT?
      Will there be two different Workouts from the Watch and the Vivofit?
      Or is GarminConnect smart enough to identify both as the same workout?

  49. Nicole L.

    If you pair the vivofit to a HR monitor, does it display how many calories you’ve burned during the workout? This would be benificial for those of us who workout until we burn a certain number of calories…

    Also, I have the Polar Loop and have had multiple problems getting my workouts to track properly because it would keep losing the Bluetooth signal, which equated to inaccurate recordings of my workout. I’m assuming the vivofit won’t have this issue as it will likely work the same as a watch HRM with the ANT, correct?

    • It accounts for the calories in your daily total, but doesn’t display them during the activity time-frame. I talked with multiple Garmin folks however about the idea presented above around adding a simple time-counter for the activity once started.

      Ideally you shouldn’t see loss of BT signal in the Loop. As for ANT+, it tends to get better range that BT, so I don’t anticipate that being a problem.

  50. AlexG

    Does REI know something we don’t?

    link to rei.com

    ● Also works with Garmin Forerunner fitness monitors and Edge bike computers (sold separately) to track your activity and recovery between training sessions

  51. duncan

    Is it just me, or is the new Garmin site scarily similar to Fitbit? To the point where I assumed they’d bought Fitbit and were simply rebranding the fitbit website to be Garmin. I’m sure that the Fitbit designers must be flattered, but as for their lawyers….

    • It’s somewhat similar. Though also similar to new Withings Site too. Pods are all the web-rage these days.

      It was interesting to note that the dashboard view is updated in realtime. They had a big 60″ TV display in the Garmin booth at CES tied to all the Garmin staff members wearing it, showing step-count totals updated via the Vivohub in realtime. Pretty cool.

  52. Peter Eidegreb

    Hi and thank you for this interesting article.

    I have a TANITA scale that has ANT+
    link to connect.garmin.com

    Do you think VIVOFIT will be able to receive information from a Tanita Composition Monitor?

    Best regards,

    //Peter from Sweden

    • Technically they could, though, I honestly don’t expect them to at this point – especially since they’ve not added it in the FR220/FR620, which I suspect would be a more likely target market for people having the multi-hundred dollar scales.

  53. I’ve been seeing a few other articles here and there popping up about the Garmin Connect revamp and I’m really looking forward to a new interface. Although I keep seeing promises of ‘free training plans’ as if it’s something new and shiny. Except… there already are free training plans you can load onto your device. None of them are particularly wonderful though and have been there for ages. I hope they are looking to expand the selection, in the past I’ve gone to Training Peaks if I wanted a plan and then just sort of copied it onto my Garmin Connect calendar. Less than ideal. Not something I do often though.
    I also hope they beef up the calendar features.
    I’m definitely interested in an activity tracker though! Though as many posters noted above, I’m worried about duplicate data. I’m too organized and OCD to have things all messy and conflicting on my calendar!

  54. David Corsi

    Ray, can you ask Garmin to add a screen cycle (ie. time, steps, calories) that is simply a blank screen? I know the always on display is considered a huge advantage but I also think in some social & buisness dress situations it takes this band too far to the “geeky watch gadget” vs. innocuous matte black band like various fitbits and nike fuelbands.

    For example I wear my Fitbit Force as my left wrist “watch” while in pilot uniform and no one says a thing but with digital numbers constantly displayed I’ll get comments for sure. I also often switch these bands to my right hand and then wear a formal watch on my left in various situations which isn’t too weird because the bands almost look like jewelry etc. but with digital numbers displayed that won’t be the case.

    I would image adding a “blank” screen cycle would be trival…

    • David Corsi

      I found a video online at link to youtu.be that makes it look like Garmin already built in the ability to sleep the display just like I was hoping!

    • David Corsi

      and now i got a further update that make it seem that the screen does “sleep” but then awakes with any movement. i really hope garmin makes an option to somehow disable the screen because the size of the screen and digital numbers and bars makes this an eyesore if wearing anything other than casual or workout clothes.

  55. David Corsi

    PS: someday in the future of your site we (well, I) need an edit button for our comments so I can catch all the iPhone autocorrect typos I constantly leave all over your web pages…

  56. El Paso Mark

    Greetings. Does this have “Training Effect” like the 610 or 620? Thanx.



  57. Becky

    When its calculating calories burned with a heart rate monitor, is it taking into account your resting heart rate/age/etc. like Polar’s “Smart Calories” feature?

  58. Matthew Basanta

    There is another wellness company out there called Kersh Wellness. Have you heard any of the activity monitor companies talk about partnering with Kersh? Thanks

  59. David Corsi


    REI has this in their description of the vivofit up for preorder…

    “● vivofit records calories burned throughout the day; for more detailed calorie tracking, create a free account at MyFitnessPal and link it to Garmin Connect”

    True? API after all or a private setup just with them that garmin setup? Or is REI just confusing the vivofit with other trackers like Fitbit?

    BTW: I’m so interested because after 6 weeks of happy fitbit force wearing I got hit with the allergic reaction that is making the news these days and rashes/wounds showed up on my wrists apparently from the nickel in the metal case of the force. I’m going to have to switch to something else and since I have so many garmin products I’m hopeful that the vivofit will fill the gaps in the platform nicely.

    • John K

      +1 for this question, this would be the deciding factor for me between this and the fitbit which does sync with myfitnesspal. Also, Ray, did you get a chance to see how “calories consumed” are logged in the new garmin connect? Can you enter your food/scan for barcodes similar to myfitnesspal in Garmin Connect itself? Thanks.

  60. Do any of these (or will they) work with Training Peaks? Can’t see myself ever logging into another platform. If however I could see everything in TP I would gladly wear the watch everyday.

    • The activity files will, since they are simply .FIT files.

      However, the other 23 hours of the data likely won’t, because Training Peaks has no platform for tracking said data. Meaning, they only do activity-based data, not 24 hour data. Effectively, it’s more of a TP issue than a Garmin issue in this case.

  61. DT

    Do you think we could expect this year a fitness tracker that has gps, HR monitoring (no strap) and sleep tracker or we are too far from there. If you see what Mio can do in terms of HR monitoring, would be great to have that together with a gps and sleep tracker.

  62. Barry Ross

    I am a walker for most of 9 months but use an eliptical for the cold months. Will the Vivofit or any of the trackers record the movement of an elipitical?

    • Paul S

      Probably not, since there’s no impact of feet on ground. In any event, it wouldn’t interpret what’s going on correctly, so it wouldn’t give you any useful information. That’s why in the end I didn’t take my Withings Pulse cross country skiing. Even if it could count the “steps”, it’d interpret them wrong.

  63. Paul S

    So last night my Withings Pulse gave up the ghost, more or less. The little button broke, so I can no longer control it.

    So the question now is what to do next. Another Pulse? This one only lasted six months. Wait for the Vivofit and get one? It’d do what I want, but I not sure that I want it any more. The ANT+ feature is nice, but I’m not going to wear my HR belt all day, and when I am wearing the HR belt, I’m using a more serious device (Edge or Fenix) for tracking. I’m inclined to simply not buy another activity tracker, since they don’t do that much for me.

  64. James

    Thanks for the info Ray. Do you have any knowledge if Garmin will be developing a WP8 Garmin Connect app ever? Thanks again for all of your great reviews and information mate

  65. Rebecca

    Any word if Garmin plans to add activity tracking to their regular line of GPS heart rate monitors? I’m thinking about a forerunner (probably the 220) but I’d like to have sleep monitoring too and I don’t want to buy two products.

    • Long term, yes. But the FR220/FR620 lack the right power management chipset to do activity monitoring (meaning, it wouldn’t be a firmware update).

  66. Steven Brown

    Vivofit release date seems to be March – amazon.com showing 1st of March, and have seen posts stating unspecified date in March for UK.

  67. Josh

    Any word if garmin is considering stopwatch function or a seconds reading on the time display??

    • We talked about it a few times, all parties agreed it seemed like a very logical idea (during activity mode). It’s unclear if it’ll be there by release. I noted that competitive units all offer it…

  68. Josh

    Thanks. If they’d offer it it would be the perfect one for me for the gym, then use my 620 for running. Will not order unless they add it, do you know when to expect a response?

  69. Josh

    Noted, well, I suppose worth a pre order anyway from CT. Can always cancel if needed. Thanks for the hard work, enjoy the weekend!

  70. Valentin Rozescu

    Can you replace the battery for Vivofit?
    If yes, this can be done by the user?

    Looking forward for your answer.

  71. John

    Did you get a chance to see how “calories consumed” are logged in the new garmin connect? Can you enter your food/scan for barcodes similar to myfitnesspal in Garmin Connect itself? Thanks.

  72. David

    Any updates on if:

    1) The screen can stay blank if we want
    2) If the REI description that implies myfitnesspal.com can be linked to the vivofit and Garmin Connect is correct? i know they don’t have a “public” API but if they are working with 1 or more of the most common companies that use API’s from Fitbit etc. that sure would be a help.


  73. Any idea if the Vivofit will track steps when popped out of the band and put in the pocket of my pants? (This is how I use my current step counter)

  74. Sara

    Thanks for the thorough review. Most of the comments on activity tracking seem to pertain to “basic” activities like walking, running, biking. I’m looking for a waterproof activity monitor that can track activity in less “repetitive” movement activities. (I train and compete in springboard diving and want something that can track my diving and acrobatics activity). I have a Garmin 910XT for my swimming, biking, running etc, but it can’t do anything for diving. Any sense of whether the Vivofit can track these more “random” types of activity? And if so, how good of a job does it do?

    • Honestly, none of them really do a good job there (not Garmin nor anyone else). The challenge is unless they ‘understand’ the activity and have been programmed to understand it, the trackers simply discard it. Or it erroneously is assumed to be walking.

  75. Jerry

    Does the Vivofit record swimming without the heart monitor being worn?

  76. Sandeep

    I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the Tanita AM-121E Activity Monitor and how that holds up against the vivofit?
    The Tanita doesn’t have sleep mode but has all 3 axis working.
    Any ideas which one would be more accurate?

    • Hmm, I haven’t played with it. In looking at the specs, I’d be less concerned about accuracy (all of them are slightly different), and more concerned that it doesn’t really appear to have any sort of wireless connectivity/uploading. Ultimately, that’s critical in today’s activity tracker world.

    • Paul S

      Accurate for what? Steps (can’t say yet, Vivofit isn’t out)? Calories (that’s easy, neither)? I doubt you can get the accelerometer data out of either.

      Aren’t 3 axis accelerometers standard these days? I can’t find anywhere on Garmin’s pages what’s in the Vivofit, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t 3 axis. VIRB Elite has one, so they know about them.

  77. Sandeep

    If you say, these gadgets are not accurate. Should one consider them to be used mearly as guides or motivational tools?
    There are blood pressure monitors available that some say give a ballpark measurement and yet GP’s uses them citing that they are close to accurate. I’m beginning to wonder if this new evolving trillion dollar sensor industry is just a smoke screen to grab data and perhaps used to sell back to insurance companies?
    I was looking at Tanita BC1500 ant+ tech scales that calculate segmentional readings.
    I would love to read a review of this. :).
    However, the question does arise. How close is it to the real thing?
    Should one always try these with a pinch of salt or save yourself the $$ and your wife’s rapid firing line questions?

    • Guide and motivation is best. If you look at some of the past reviews (up top: Product Reviews > Activity Trackers), you’ll see how in the accuracy section there’s always variance not only between units, but even within a given unit.

      If you look at weight scales, the weight portion is very accurate. But as I showed in the BodPod testing (search up top for BodPod), the body fat piece is highly variable. I wouldn’t buy a BC1500.

      Ultimately, there’s billions of dollars pouring into this market, but the insurance piece is moving very slowly. And data ownership is still being sorted out (lots of long term potential PII and HIPAA implications). So for now, it’s not really a conspiracy theory, but more simply a case of companies wanting to make money on people buying devices that are cheap to produce. Like normal, I suppose.

    • Paul S

      Activity monitors do have the advantage that they’re cheap, and they take little effort to use. It looks like Garmin has worked this down to “put it on, leave it on for a year, change the batteries” and one button press a day, and if you forget to push it, you can fix it in software. None of the switching holders or multiple button presses of the Withings Pulse, or the recharging every week or so.

      But, in general, they can’t be calibrated, they measure steps (and some measure altitude change), and they lie to you about everything else. Certainly cheaper than having a Fenix lie to you, but with a Fenix or other GPS device there are fewer things they lie about, since they can actually measure more. I’ve resurrected my Pulse for the time being with a Swiss Army Knife (is there nothing they can’t do?), but it’s not long for the world and I don’t think I’ll replace it with anything.

  78. Nick K

    Did you test whether sites like endomondo see the vivofit on the import from Garmin function – for the HR data anyway – assuming they are not yet set for the activity info.

    Thanks for all the top drawer reviews!

    • It’ll be part of my tests once I have a production unit. Ultimately, they’ve said they’re standard .FIT files for the activity portion (not the other 23 hours of the day). So it should work.

  79. Steven Brown

    For info – amazon.co.uk are showing release date as 17th of February, and it’s available for pre-order.

    doesn’t look EU wide from the quick check I made of other amazon sites, so will be interesting to see if the date holds – but think amazon uk are usually fairly good with their pre-order dates?

  80. Dick Morris

    I believe Amazon are mostly accurate on release dates and so this is good to see.
    The Garmin UK site still shows no release date.
    The deal breaker will be how good or bad or when the new version of Garmin Connect is released.
    The Vivofit without a decent version of Garmin Connect is useless.
    It is IMPORTANT that you can add the calories burnt from the Vivofit to the calories burnt from the Edge series of cycling devices. They must link together to give us totals.

    Thanks for all you do Ray.


  81. Amazon UK is incorrect. You won’t see it out in 8 days. As of Thursday when I last chatted with Garmin about it (including the lead on the Vivofit team), current timeframes are still early March.

    • Paul S

      As of this morning, amazon.com is saying March 31.

    • Steven Brown

      shame – did think it was odd that UK was leading the world with releases, not the usual situation – still waiting for a date for the Fitbit Force which was out in the States about 3 months ago, I think.

      in your conversations with Garmin, did they say when the Garmin Connect redesign will land – is it tied into Vivofit launch, or might it be earlier?

    • It’s roughly tied to the Vivofit launch.

    • Dick Morris

      It will be fun to see who is first.
      I have a confirmed Amazon UK order for receipt by me of February 19.
      For Canadians, GPSCity shows the black version as February 14 and the other colors on the 21st.
      Amazon.com for the USA shows as March 31st.!


    • Luke

      I just spoke with REI today and they’re saying Feb 28th to get it in their warehouse…

    • Luke

      My vivofit just arrived, had shipped from REI last Friday…

  82. Peter Eidegren

    Hi Ray,
    Could you please share some information on what Garmin and you were talking about regarding Vivofit.
    There seems to be quite many in here who are interested in the Vivofit and quite many have aired concerns about what to expect from it.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Peter-

      I’ve pretty much answered all the questions here that folks have posed. The couple (I think 1 or 2) questions remaining come around the API pieces and access to the raw data, which Garmin themselves hasn’t really solidified yet.

      There are no doubt some comments I haven’t responded to, simply because they are ‘is what it is’ type items – such as alarms or ANT+ scale connectivity. The product simply doesn’t have those functions.

      If I’ve missed something – let me know. Cheers.

    • Peter Eidegren

      I think you misunderstood the meaning of my question. Yes, I totally agree that you have answered most, if not all, of the questions that have been asked in this thread and for that I’m grateful.

      What I meant was if you had some new information to share with us who eagerly awaits the Vivofit after your talk with Garmin.
      However, now that I reread your post you clearly write that you had a chat with Garmin about the current timeframe regarding the release of Vivofit and nothing else. I think I read in more into your comment that actually were there from the beginning.

      Anywho, I’m looking forward to the release of Vivofit come march.

      Cheers and have a great week,

    • No worries.

      Yes, for that conversation the only topic regarding Vivofit was confirmation of the release date. Quick and simple.


  83. Ewan

    Hi Ray, would you consider this a “the other 23 hours device,” like the basis watch? Do you know if Garmin will be producing something like that?

    • Essentially it is. It simply provides less data than the Basis. Ultimately, all trackers fall into one of three categories:

      A) Other 23 hours: FitBit, Fuelband, Basis, and a few others – they monitor steps, but suck at running/cycling/calorie burning workout activities
      B) The Exercise Hour: GPS/HR watches, etc… – Great for calorie burning workout activities, suck at steps.
      C) Both – the Combo Dish: Polar Loop, Garmin Vivofit/Vivoki – Good or adequate for both.

  84. Kathy

    I wish Garmin would partner with roadID or something similar. The original road Id band with watch clasp works great. If Garmin could incorporate that, I could move my roadID details to the Vivofit and be covered for all possibilities.

    I prebought the Vivofit after my fitbit force gave me the rash. Considered going back to fitbit flex, but decided to go with a company like Garmin that has more experience in wearables.

  85. Randy

    Just one question before I make the pre order.
    Is it possible to change the steps per person, because the steps for me are other steps than from someone else. So can we calibrate it?

  86. Rob

    Was really hoping this unit would have an alarm/vibration system like the FitBit. Use it daily as my morning alarm. Any chance they will be adding that feature? Outside of the Fitbit, any other devices that have an alarm?

    • Steven Brown

      +1 for this. I’ll be buying it anyway, but this a feature that is surely quite easy to implement, and I’d use a lot.

  87. MaverickNH

    I wonder which will have a product with ability to track calories in and out first – Polar Loop or Garmin Vivofit? Polar launched first without any way to track calories in (via My Fitness Pal or other) and no Android app. I was happy using a BodyMedia armband for 23hr and HRM for 1hr vigorous exercise but had to alternate between two BodyMedia units as one was always broken (way wacko readings of 10,000+ cal/day while sitting and sleeping and fewer when exercising) but started getting skin reactions and had to give it (them) up.

    • David

      Ray hasn’t answered yet, perhaps it is because the API issues are still in the air or under an NDA, but for what it is worth the major sporting company REI is advertising that the Vivofit works with myfitnesspal.com out of the box. I have considered it could be a mistake but they have a very detailed, press-release like description of it, that makes me think they know something. But that said NOTHING at garmin.com or at CES said anything about myfitnesspal.com

      Garmin BETTER integrate this with at least myfitnesspal.com because that is by far the most common “3rd party” app that competitors like Fitbit and Nike use for calories in/out.

    • As a general rule in life, when retailers publish spec sheets, they’re generally correct. Mostly because 99.99% of retailers, especially big ones, copy verbatim from what companies tell them to, to avoid consumer mix-ups.

  88. Leia

    Can you please post a screen shot of the “sleep” analysis? What info does it give? How does it look??

    • David

      Leia one of his screenshots in this very article shows the sleep display.

    • MaverickNH

      If it only shows SLEEP when you are asleep, how do you know it works? Hmmm…

      I find the accelerometer sleep measures iffy at best anyway. Matching my Basis watch unit, which shows sleep stages (REM, Light, Deep, Interruptions) to my ZEO brainwave unit (I still have functional sensors) I find little correlation. It misses when I get up and walk to the bathroom, so can’t be very good, even if it’s using accelerometers, HR, etc., to guesstimate sleep.

  89. Evren

    Ray, as a side note, have you had any problem with your skin from the fitbit force? We would not want you to test that kind of bad side of any products! Also, even though I am a fan of garmin when it comes to cycling; I would like to try the Force, but I was wondering if you have received any information from Fitbit about a possible re-call or replacement with a new version.

  90. Meanwhile, two months passed without more detailed information. Do you know exactly when Garmin will lauch the new Connect?

    • I’m not sure I understand. It’s been just over a month since announcement for a product that was set for late February to early March. Aside from an exact day or announcements about things that haven’t been announced, what other detailed information is lacking?

      As for Garmin Connect refresh, it’ll be rolled out for Vivofit users first. Once you activate a new device it’ll flip your account. This is being done simply to work out any kinks with lower volumes of users.

    • Dick Morris

      Seems like the first of April will be a busy time then for Garmin, since that is the date the first Vivofits become available.? Loads of people logging in with their Vivofits and uploading to Garmin Connect .

      It was interesting that Amazon UK sent out on Saturday an ‘Order Update’ saying that the delivery date of Febuary 19th had been changed ‘ by the supplier ‘. !!
      So Amazon have them in their warehouse, but cannot release them, until March 31st.

    • No, Amazon UK doesn’t have them in their warehouse (because Garmin doesn’t even have the final production units yet, those come shortly).

  91. Thanks for the quick reply. I’m just impatient and can not wait to try out the new Connect.
    In other words, the date for the first quarter is still correct, or no delay is known.

  92. Rob

    is Fitbit the only product that you know of that has an alarm? Unfortunately, my Force is giving me a Rash and it looks like, based on your info, the Garmin doesn’t have any type of alarm

    • Olu

      The Jawbone Up has an alarm. Not only that the alarm is ‘smart’ and will wake you up when you’re in a lighter portion of your sleep cycle. You can decide what period of time (10-30 minutes) it will start trying to figure out when best to wake you.

  93. I received a message my pre-ordered Vivofit has been sent yesterday evening! I will probably receive it today! (Belgium) I’ll post a video here from the unboxing as soon as I got it.

  94. For those who are interested, owners manual can be found here: link to static.garmincdn.com

  95. MaverickNH

    “About Sleep Tracking
    During sleep mode, the vívofit device monitors your rest. Sleep statistics include total hours of sleep, periods of movement, and periods of restful sleep.
    NOTE: You can enter your sleep statistics manually on Garmin Connect.
    Using Sleep Tracking
    You must be wearing the device to accurately track periods of movement and periods of restful sleep.
    1 Hold the device key until SLEEP appears.
    2 Hold the device key to exit sleep mode.”

    Does the above suggest that you have to manually set each night for sleep and morning for wake?

    • Yes it does.
      BTW: nex Connect looks very slick! :-)

    • I mean ‘new’ Connect.

    • David

      MaverickNH…. if you forget to turn it on to “sleep mode” or turn it back to “normal” mode you can later in Garmin Connect enter your own estimated sleep and wake times and then all data in the middle will be calculated the same. Turning it on via the device itself only helps have accurate times for your beginning and ending sleep period but if you remember / record the times yourself it doesn’t matter and won’t effect anything.

  96. Here’s the unboxing video, enjoy!: link to youtu.be

  97. Hey All – Great to see units arriving! My final production one is set to arrive today, albeit in the US, hopefully FedEx will pull some magic to get it over to me by Saturday.

    All your initial thoughts on the unit is great. One quick though though – given that many people subscribe to these post updates via e-mail (more than there are comments), perhaps consolidating thoughts at the end of the day from your experiences thus far? Simply to reduce some of the churn and make it easier for folks to consume other peoples thoughts.


  98. PeterG

    I see the connect front page has changed, does this mean a release is ready to go? The backpage is still the same.

    All of the commercial websites I have seen are still in pre-order phase (and even the above belgian website ) …

    Any news (other than the above from belgium …) I am very interested in purchasing …

    • The new GC site will be rolled out slowly. Vivofit users will get it first, and then they’ll be onboarding other users from there as they ensure stability. The front page changed for everyone.

    • Peter

      Thanks for the update. Your’s was shipped from CleverT?

    • No, mine direct from Garmin product team (test unit). I just heard from CT that it’ll ship from Garmin to CT this week, so likely out from Clever Training early-mid next week, pending arrivals (and any wonky weather issues, though that seems to have cleared up).

    • MaverickNH

      Any news on Amazon units in the offing?

    • Unfortunately they don’t provide me any status. :-/

    • Luke

      REI just told me they were planning on shipping mine out March 5th. They had previously quoted to me that they would get it in their warehouse on Feb 28th, so not sure why the delay or if that date changed or what. I ordered the day they announced it, so am probably towards the front of the line…

    • David

      Historically for the last 4-5 years it seems REI is one of the very first, if not the first to get Garmin Forerunner and Edge units in and they ship ’em out very quickly. Certainly before Amazon.com and sometimes ahead of running centric sites / stores but usually never later. I have NO IDEA if that will apply to the Vivofit as the Vivofit is more of a “Best Buy” product then ever before but I ordered from REI too as soon as the Vivofit was announced and hope it will arrive soon (they say March 5 now but for example they got the 220/620 before their “expected” date) since other countries are getting the Vivofit in users hands.

    • scott buchanan

      Yup, got my Vivofit this afternoon. Registered it and I was immediately upgraded to the new Garmin Connect. Not sure if it because the whole of the UK is using the internet this evening but new site seems very slow and strangely/worryingly not very intuitive.
      Am looking forward to your take on it.

    • It’s been up and down functionality-wise for me today :-/. Seems ‘fine’ now.

  99. pim

    Does anyone know if the vivofit is compatible with other ant+ hrm?

  100. Greg

    Any thoughts on if garmin will ever come out with a wifi scale to leverage their GC platform?

  101. Greg

    I currently use a 910xt for training with ANT+ strap. Will the setup be ‘smart’ enough to not duplicate activities if I get a vivofit and leave it on during exercise? (i.e. not creating concurrent/duplicate activity files)

    • At present, it’s set to show as duplicate. It’s something I’ve been in long discussions about with them. Thus far, I’m losing that battle.

    • Greg

      Not that big of a deal to delete duplicates. Just have to do it before stuff autosyncs to strava with copymysports… ;)

    • Luke

      Bonkers. Bonkers. Bonkers.

    • Greg

      Garmin needs to realize that the reason people sync to other site is that their site and functionality lack in places. There new velofit looks great with 1 year battery, but the integration/software will be key to get folks who already own Garmin devices (and likely have $) to get Garmin’s 24/7 monitor vs. someone else’s or none at all (use smartphone for that stuff).

      If they make one site with everything and make it work seamlessly with calories in (food tracking partnering i.e. mapmyfitness partnership)/calories out (training monitors such as gps watches (garmin has a ton of these) and activity monitors)/sleep/weight (easy pull from withings or fitbit scales)/plotting or trending of recovery/freshness (like polar) across all activities and then include a social component with segments, friends, activity and heatmaps with ability to make turn-by-turns and send to device, they will own the market from all angles and certainly get my $ for this product almost any future product.

    • Steve Knapp

      The duplicate thing is high on the list of reasons I’m not buying, FWIW.

    • Steve Knapp

      And not just because it’s annoying to delete duplicates, but it’s a sign of how Garmin isn’t keeping track of the details. Getting lazy IMHO. “Do we really need to make a great product to keep our market share? Or will our brand keep us at #1 if we deliver just ‘good enough'”.

    • Peter Eidegren

      I mean no disrespect, but could you tell us what they say are their motive to keep duplicates in Garmin Connect?
      There could be valid reasons that we do not know of.

      Best regards and cheers for being such a bloundhound among all the fitness tech out there. Without you we would truly be lost.


    • They actually did the work for the backend corporate wellness program side, they confirmed that. So if your company awards you points for workouts, you only get credit once. So really, that’s kinda the hard part (logic-wise).

      I suspect the issue is that the GC team (which is technically separate from the corporate wellness side) simply is underwater a bit trying to get the GC2 release out.

    • Paul S

      Can I ask why this is such a huge problem? When you’re going to do an activity using a more serious Garmin device, take the Vivofit off and leave it at home (or turn it off if that’s possible). Problem solved, no double counting. Yes, I know they designed Vivofit so that you shouldn’t have to take it off for a year, but there are always problems with new Garmin devices/software. This one is easy to work around.

    • Steve Knapp

      You loose the tracking if you take it off too far away from where you are working out. Too close and it will find your HR strap. Just seems like extra hassle.

      Seems like the sort of things you plan to fix after launch.

    • David

      It’s insane that Garmin isn’t leveraging their complete product set as an advantage over competitors. How GC can’t be smart enough to keep my running data from my 620 and dump the same time worth of activity from my vivofit is beyond me. If I dump the activity event from my vivofit to keep my GC data clean does that mean I lose the steps etc. for competition?

      I have this vague hope that Apple comes in here with their new smartwatch/band combined with fitness device product this year and shows how a proper well thought out UI is done but knowing Apple any such product will be simplified for the 90% of the population who doesn’t have interest in the data centric devices we love and follow here at dcrainmaker.com

    • David

      Paul S: it doesn’t work that way. If you take the device off for lets say a running workout it skews the estimate the device is doing for total daily calorie burn and steps etc. MANY people use these devices for 24/7 estimate of calories IN vs. OUT for weight control / health etc. Yes I suppose I could look at the Vivofit burn and then manually add the calorie burn from my Forerunner or Edge but that makes the Vivofit not really worth it. The beauty of these wristbands is what happens when you NEVER take it off.

    • Luke

      Yes! Yes! Yes!
      There are a thousand manual end-user work arounds for avoiding the overlap.
      OR there is a single coding workaround (drop the vivofit info that occurs at the same time as a competing garmin device).
      The point isn’t to figure out a physical way to avoid overlap, the point is to put the stupid thing on and take it off every year to change the batteries.
      In fact, if you think about it, keeping it on paired with a heart rate monitor will get you better info before/after your run than leaving it at home (to avoid the overlap). You’ll capture HR data on the way to the track (improving the calorie estimate) as well as capture heart rate data immediately after your workout (when you’re stretching etc after the run/bike but have already stopped the timer).
      Given that Ray has told us they’ve fixed this behind the scenes for their corporate clients my hope if they just triaged it down initially and once Garmin connect is updated for the world they’ll fix this one little thing.
      If not it is a huge wasted opportunity…

    • scott buchanan

      Got my VivoFit this afternoon….. for those in the UK John Lewis has stock of all the colours, well, Oxford Street did!

      >I’ve been in long discussions about with them. Thus far, I’m losing that battle.

      Are you allowed to divulge Garmin’s thinking on this? would be really interesting as the ‘smart’ set-up seems such a no brainer to most people inc. me I speak to!

    • Actually, I think I might have finally ‘won’ that battle. Or, even if they aren’t doing it on my account, they’re going to do it (they noted it was due to feedback on the post and other places). They’ve confirmed they’re working to integrate those on Garmin Connect.

      It’s planned for the next couple months, but they’re going to align it so devices don’t double-count, and across multiple metrics (calories, distance, steps).

  102. Olu

    After reading this thread, I’m surprised that there isn’t much mention of the Jawbone UP 24. I use Garmin products for my workouts and have had great success incorporating the Jawbone as my activity monitor.

    1. Smart alarm: Jawbone UP 24 senses when you are lightest in sleep and wakes you up then. You can choose 10-30 minutes when the unit will start looking for the best time to wake you up.
    2. Sleep analysis is spot on for me. It knows when I wake up to go to the bathroom for sure. It also analyzes heavy versus light sleep. It’s hard to say if it’s accurate.
    3. I synchronize my workouts to the Jawbone application through Strava. The Jawbone app will show you a massive increase in your steps when you’re running, but it IS smart enough not to duplicate calories.
    4. Activity monitor seems accurate as far as no-step activities. I do notice days where I’m truly sedentary to show a lower basal metabolic rate, then days when I’m more active (i.e. workdays vs weekends).

    I really want to like the Vivofit (since I really like my Garmin products), but no alarm and the possibility of having to clean up duplicate activities is a deal breaker for me at the moment.

    • Steven Brown

      I considered the Jawbone UP 24 – BUT –

      – no display
      – iOS (vague promises that Android might be released soon are no use – if they don’t consider Android to be as important as iOS out the gate, it gives me no confidence in the product before I’ve even started.)

    • Steven Brown

      ps – I think it’s an excellent design – the display wasn’t a must have for me, I think it looks good, and might have foregone the display for style – but the treating Android as a 2nd class citizen was the deciding factor in making me steer clear.

    • Ed

      The new Garmin connect app for Android is excellent. It seals the deal for me keeping the vivofit, even with the dupe entry issue.

    • Olu

      The lack of Android support is a head scratcher for sure. Not sure why they’d ignore more then ½ of smart phone users, especially since they don’t have a PC or Online method of using the device.

    • Ed

      Why do people keep posting incorrect info about Android? There is a version of Garmin Connect app that is for Android, available in the play store, which works flawlessly.

    • Steven Brown

      Who is posting incorrect info about Android? I was talking about the Jawbone lack of Android app, not Garmin…

    • One of these days I’m going to re-write why using the 1/2 of all smart phone users stat is irrelevant in this space…

    • Ed

      Oops. Threading doesn’t display so well in mobile. Apologies. But as I was saying… the Garmin Android app is great! :)

    • Olu

      Are you referring to the studies that show despite smaller market share, iPhone users represent a larger percentage of the consumer market compared to Android? Or that fragmentation of Android market makes it harder to implement software? I’m not a software developer (or Android user), but I’d think the investment into Android software would be worth the added sales for Jawbone.

    • Rob

      No alarm kills it for me also. Is Fitbit the only device with an alarm

    • Mostly. I’m referring to what virtually every sports tech companies I talk with tells me: Their user bases are primarily iOS based.

      When you look at the market segment (US/AUS/NZ/EUR + the appropriate economic groups) that makes up consumers of these device (sport/fitness devices), the majority as it stands today is iPhone. The problem with using the Android is more than half of all smart phones stats, it is that it includes super-cheap Android phones being sold in countries where quite simply Garmin/Nike/FitBit/etc just aren’t selling devices to those consumers.

    • Steve Knapp

      I thought the BRIC+ markets pushed it over 50%, in the US it was hovering just below 50%.

      One article: link to macrumors.com

    • Just to illustrate this point (or beat a dead horse), here is the breakdown for dcrainmaker.com for the past 30 days for mobile device operating system:

      iOS: 73.8%
      Android: 24.9%
      Windows Phone: .83%
      Blackberry: .33%
      Everything else: The rest

      Ultimately, this site is a pretty good barometer for people who plan to buy said devices, such as this.

  103. Paul S

    One unfortunate consequence of the Garmin Connect web site upgrade to go along with the Vivofit is that the app Connect Stats has stopped working (“access denied”).

    • I asked Garmin about this, and they responded that they didn’t intentionally mean to break anything and have offered devs an e-mail address to try and get sorted out. Connect Stats and other devs have reached out and I’ve put them in touch with said e-mail. Hopefully it’ll all get fixed out quickly.

  104. Nicklas

    Thanks for your great reviews, you really helped me make the dession that Polar Loop was the way to go for me.
    And now to my feedback.
    Polar has added distance in the app for Loop.
    Keep up the great work!

  105. Nicklas

    Thanks for your great reviews, you really helped me make the dession that Polar Loop was the way to go for me.
    And now to my feedback.
    Polar has added distance in the app for Loop. Keep up the great work!

  106. Randy

    Almost one day since the first persons received the vivofit..
    Anyone that can provide us a printscreen or link to the garmin connect link so we can check this?

    I want to buy this but I travel a lot by bike, what will the vivofut do (no steps or just a few steps?)

  107. Peter Eidegren

    Hi all,
    Can someone who has received the updated GC-website please post some screenshots of the new Garmin Connect website.

    I’m interested in seeing who the new GC will look like in regards of regular training, not the Vivofit portion of the new GC but towards regular running and cycling specific information. How will the new GC help us analyze and plan our workouts. How will the segments and heat map look like where you live, what does the leaderboard look like and so on.
    I am very interested in seeing some screenshots from the actual new GC not the concept picture we all have been seeing before.

    So, if you have the time. Screenshot away and share your thought on the new GC.

    Thank you all for your time and effort,


  108. If you are wearing an Ant+ HRM, can it be connected to both the Vivofit and a Forerunner (say a 220)?

  109. The vivofit seems like a nice little unit. I am a bit worried that the device will take too much of the new apps and website. The new garmin connect mobile app is very aimed towards stepping and competition achieved by the vivofit. I haven’t seen the connect web page yet. You got some information here? I love the statistics, archives and overall summaries. Will it be just as easy reading that information?

  110. Here’s a video showing a quick overview of the new Garmin Connect: link to youtube.com

  111. Steve

    In the manual it says :

    …If your device was not packaged with a heart rate monitor, you must enable the heart rate page on Garmin connect…

    Is there someone that can tell me where I can find that option? Is this the reason pairing fails?
    For now the strap (GARMIN ANT+) will not pair with the Vivofit, as there is no problem paring it with the edge 800. So it must be a Vivofit problem.

    • You can find that option in the new Garmin Connect on the left side, top menu, ‘Devices’. Select the Vivofit and you get all the options. You’ll see a list of what to display on the Vivofit screen. Select ‘Heartrate’. Now it will say your settings are saved and you need to sync your Vivofit. Do this using Garmin Express and your new settings are send to the device. Now tap the button on the Vivofit till you see ‘heartrate’. Make sure your strap is on so it detects a heartbeat and the Vivofit should detect it automatically.

    • Steve

      Done, thanks!

  112. mih198830

    Can somebody give new garmin connect 2.0 android apk file? Its impossible to find. I cant download form google play, its say i have wrong device.
    I want check which new functions they add and may be i will bought vivofit.

  113. Randy

    Maybe a stupid question, but can we take a shower with the vivofit or do we have to take it of?

  114. Jon V

    How would uploading activities to Garmin Connect work if you were using the vivofit, and Forerunner 910 at the same time during a run? Would duplicate activities appear on GC??

    • David

      It shows duplicate events. It seems Ray and many of us aren’t pleased and perhaps there is hope it can be fixed in the future. In the meanwhile it is fairly simple to delete the vivofit event and leave the 910xt event in Garmin Connect but it is unclear how that effects the vivofit stats in various competitions you may actually want to participate in via garmin connect and the vivofit.

  115. PeterG

    Some excellent debates and information above. Really informing for me. I currently have the Polar Loop but decided to also buy the Garmin … I am anxious to see how the two compare. I think the Loop is an excellent product, but badly executed. My 2 big complaints are 1) while the loop is waterproof, it is not water friendly (when you are in the water it eats up the battery like crazy ) and 2) the data share-ability is aweful.

    I really like the activity tracking aspect as I have a really really sedentary job and it gets me off my bu@# and forces me to move. I don’t see any contradictions between tracking my biking with my Garmin 510, my swimming with my Garmin Swim, and the remaining 21 hours of the day with the vivofit. If you haven’t guessed I live in the Garmin universe, even though one year ago I was a Polar user and decided to cross the border.

    I am interested in understanding why so many people are passionate about the alarm clock functions in the jawbone and the fitbit. I use the iphone since forever, and for sure while it is intrusive for my significant other, we wake up basically at the same time. I guess this must be a really game changer for so many people to sound in on it.

    I am waiting patiently for some real life feedback and experiences from everyone. Thanks for all the great reviews and keeping us posted

    • Rob

      I use the alarm clock as my daily, morning alarm. It’s less intrusive than a traditional alarm and doesn’t bother anyone else.

    • Olu

      Not only is the Jawbone Up 24 less intrusive then a standard alarm, but it also has a smart alarm, which tries to determine the best time to wake you (based on your movements). You dictate how much time (from 10-30 minutes) the band has to analyze the best time to wake you up.

    • morphisto

      I also don´t understend the need of an alarm function – i use my android phone as alarm clock – for a fitness tracker i prefer one year battery time (the vibration alarm takes a lot of energy!) – its enough that i have to charge my mobile phone everey 2-3 days, i don´t want to charge another device every 3-4 days…

  116. Amanda B

    You mention somewhere else, that European will be getting the Garmin before some in the US. So does this mean that you’ll be able to do a full review soon ? I’m really waiting for your review before others, to deiced whether to go with this device or something else.

    • I noted that there was a user in Europe that received a unit earlier this week, a final production unit for test was sent from the Garmin folks in the US to my US forwarding address, where it arrived on Thursday, but unfortunately UPS didn’t deliver today, so I won’t get it till Monday morning (which will be Tuesday afternoon when I return from Mobile World Congress).

      That said, as noted a bit earlier up in the comments, US retailers will start receiving shipments as early as Monday. I know Clever’s was sent to them and will likely arrive to them early this upcoming week. They typically turn it back around the same day in most cases.

      Assuming I get mine on Tuesday, I’d look at about 10-14 days worth of time before a full review is published.

    • David

      Not exactly related to Vivofit Ray, but I assume I speak for many when I say I would love / look forward to your opinions and review on the Garmin Connect update in particular how it applies to current Forerunner and Edge users, not just the Vivofit features. Thanks for all you do…

    • Dick Morris

      Well said David, my thoughts exactly…….

    • frank d

      Eagerly looking forward to your review of the Vivofit and the updated website.

      I’m waiting to pull the trigger on one for my wife, who’s a Force victim and wants something similar/safer/better/…

    • Wife had a small reaction, but nothing like I’ve seen in some online pictures. Her main issue with the Force was syncing. She would setup sync and after a week or two, it would just stop syncing to her iPhone 5. She finally gave up and stopped wearing it saying she was boycotting Fitbit. :-) Told her about the Vivofit. Maybe it’s a better product for her, especially with the dynamic step goal. That’s something I haven’t really seen on other trackers.

  117. MaverickNH

    My apologies for Off-Topic here, but would I be correct in noting:
    1. The only wrist-based Activity Monitor that seamlessly integrates calories OUT and IN (via MyFitnessPal or other) at present is JawBone Up?
    2. There is no Activity Monitor at present with calories OUT and IN (as above) at present that has HRM options?

    I really was hoping that Polar Loop and/or Garmin Vivofit would meet this need, but perhaps the market segment isn’t there that wants these functions? I just don’t trust Garmin on follow-through on presumed/inferred/rumored functions, let alone claimed functions. Polar, I don’t know well enough these days to form expectations.

    I was happy enough with the BodyMedia Core armband to track 23hr calories OUT, using MyFitnessPal integration to track calories IN and edit features to add intense workout calories burn from an HRM/Power meter, but I developed skin reactions to the metal contacts.

    A Jawbone Up might be my only option, assuming I can edit files to add post-exercise calories burn?

    • David Corsi

      All Fitbit devices work with myfitnesspal, their only “band” style is the Flex at this time. Any work however including the waistband style. Nike Fuelband works with Loseit.com the main alternative to myfitnesspal.com

    • MaverickNH

      Thanks for those leads. I just noted that Jawbone Up24 is only iOS compatible and I have an Android Galaxy S4. With Ray’s comments on Android vs iOS above, I guess I can see that I’ll have to make the switch or always expect the backseat on fitness electronics.

      I’m looking for an option to help my teenaged son monitor activity and calories, as he’s overweight. We both lost and/or washed a few FitBits, so an on-body option is necessary. For that reason, he has no Smartphone at all yet, so PC connection required as well, which most have if they have wireless.

  118. Mark

    I have been reading your reviews for all of these types of devices with hopes of narrowing down my choices a bit. As a long time Garmin user, I’m excited for their entry into this sector. The only one I haven’t found much research on yet is the Soleus GO!, do you think you’ll be checking that out any time soon?

  119. El Paso Mark

    Greetings all. Does the Vivofit have “Training Effect” like the FR610? Thanx.

  120. Jeremy

    Does the Vivofit have the screen resolution to ever offer iOS notifications of any sort? The promise of the likes of the Razer Nabu and the Go! having notifications of sort are interesting. And the way Garmin has focused on pushing them into several of their devices (fenix/tactix/S4/etc) with software updates just had me wondering if there would be any possibility of this in Vivofit in a future software release. I guess there might just be too many gotchas with battery life and such for it to be feasible. If you did have opportunity to ask the team and comment I’d appreciate it.

  121. Here’s my full video review: link to youtu.be
    To keep Ray’s page free from spamming, please comment in the video comments on YouTube.

    • Mark

      I don’t want to junk up his page either, but I do not use G+ and therefore cannot comment on YouTube.

      I’m curious, you show in the video that activities track twice when wearing this and another device. Personally, I would expect that but I’d like to know how close the two entries were in relation to time, pace, etc.

    • For now the only way to start an activity with the Vivofit is to connect it with my HRM (as far as I know). As I do this when using my Edge 800, time is roughly the same. But when taking a break on the way, pausing the Edge, the Vivofit kept tracking the ‘activity’. The Vivofit only tracks HRM, time and calories. It tracks distance and speed too but these are very inaccurate! 57 km on my mountain bike results in 4,6 km logged by the Vivofit. It’s not made for cycling anyway…

    • Randy

      What should I do, I’m going to work by bike and if I have the vivofit on it will calculate inaccurate km’s..

    • Paul S

      It can’t be turned off?

      Yes, it will calculate inaccurate km’s. How do you think it calculates km’s in the first place? There’s no GPS.

  122. David

    REI in the US now has Vivofit in stock and shipping in several colors. When viewing their site it says “for preorder” but you can see several colors now in stock this morning if you select the colors from the drop down and note which don’t have the preorder asterisk next to them.

    • runtrilaugh

      COOL! I preordered mine from them last week! Hope it ships soon!!!! Just noticed on the new connect site information, they are only changing the app to work with 620s and I have the white 610 :( BUMMER!

    • Kathy

      Thanks for the info. Called Garmin to see when my Vivofit would arrive, they said April. I bought from REI at that moment and it will arrive Friday! cancelled my Garmin order FTW.

    • For those curious on the Clever Training Vivofit stock situation, they all arrive on Wednesday. Almost everything ordered to date will ship this week (to you), with a few of the black Vivofit bundles being sorted out for the exact day in the last few days that might be the cutoff (they’re going to see if they can get a handful more to cover the rest of orders to date). New orders will be shipped no later than the dates specified on the pre-order page.

      Thanks for the support!

  123. runtrilaugh

    DANG – of course, the SLATE color is what I ordered and still has a “*” by it :( They said they do have the black in stock but my slate would be to my around the 6th of March! NOT LONG!!!!

  124. scott buchanan

    Just been watching the Samsung #unpackaged feed and have to say I was mighty impressed with the Gear Fit.
    As I’ll definitely get an S5 the gear fit seems a done deal as well (depending on price)

    Garmin’s Vivofit looks distinctly underwhelming.

  125. Dick Morris

    I watched it also and it looks good.

    BUT…. I expect it will be expensive with that curved color screen…

    ALSO… The battery life cannot possibly approach the Vivofit due to power required by the color screen and all the other functions that it is doing at the same time..


  126. David

    The Gear Fit is another class of band and will be priced like it, at least $199 is my guess. That said, that may be the future and I am certain this is the year Apple releases their “iWatch” which I think will look much more like the Gear Fit, then the Gear 2 Neo watches, think “band with screen.” The question is what Samsung’s health / wellness website will look like / track as they have no history in the fitness market. Also it is likely you will HAVE to own a Samsung S4/S5/Note to work with this band in terms of phone notifications etc.

    I am going Vivofit for now (the Nike Fuelband broke 4 times in 1 year, and the Fitbit Force about burned my arm off) but Garmin sure as heck better do better with the Vivofit / Garmin Connect / Edge / Forerunner integration as a complete package or this Apple head will be sorely tempted by whatever they have in store for us this fall.

    • Paul S

      People whose opinion I trust that know the Apple world say that they don’t think there’ll ever be an iWatch. They may have a prototype in Cupertino, but they don’t think there’s a compelling reason for Apple to release a watch.

      Face it, Apple is sitting on a huge pile of cash. If they wanted a fitness company, they could buy one. That’s not their business, though.

    • Olu

      Paul S. I had to chuckle at this one. As a long time Apple user, I remember laughing when rumors indicated Apple was getting in the music business. Then when the iPod came out I remember thinking, “$400 for a mp3 player? Now that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen”.

      One thing about Apple, IF they do enter the smart band/watch market, they’ll offer something that we didn’t even think we wanted. ;-). I’m betting on a massive improvement to the Apple TV STB. The Xbox-1 is pretty cool, but in true Microsoft fashion, great idea poor implementation.

    • Paul S

      But that’s the whole point. iPod wasn’t just another MP3 player. iTunes and the iTunes Store was there with it. You didn’t have to accumulate music from wherever, but you could buy it online, rip your CD’s, etc. What can Apple do with a watch, with a screen much smaller than an iPhone? That’s why people think that there’ll never be an iWatch, because they can’t make it compelling enough. And do you really want another device that needs to be charged once a day? Yeah, OK, maybe they could make a “fitness” watch that’s as good as or better than the rest, but as I said, that’s not their business. If they wanted that, they could just shovel a mound of cash at Garmin.

    • Olu

      You’re preaching to the choir here, but Apple has surprised us before. Now the thought of Apple acquiring Garmin there could be some serious synergy there….but it’ll never happen.

    • David

      Paul S… I can promise you this … a Apple WEARABLE device is coming and not next year, this year. The device WILL have a curved screen. It WILL incorporate fitness monitoring as well as “smart watch” like functions. This watch IS coming and no later than fall.

      (Edit Add)
      I just want to further say it will be worn on the wrist but I believe it will be more band like than watch like and it will blow away all these things we are seeing now. This is a real product and it is really coming Paul S… on this one thing I don’t think your friends could be more wrong.

    • Steven Brown

      I doubt it’ll blow anything away. don’t think Apple are capable of innovating to that degree – it’ll look nice, have a similar feature set, and be 50% more expensive that the competition.

      and iPhone users will buy it in droves!

    • Paul S

      Riight, because Android was there before iOS… oh wait…

    • Steven Brown

      what’s your point? iOS is 7 years old. iPod and iPhone were superb products, and fully deserved the game changing status they garnered.

      apple don’t look like they’re ahead of anything now – I was a huge iPhone fan, but really can’t see me buying one again, unless they up their game.
      I suspect it’ll be the same with any watch/band device too.

    • David

      one very last (ha poor, Ray I am butchering his comment feed, sorry) thing… Apple’s product, although with a large fitness component, may very well not be targeted at the dcrainmaker community. By this I mean I think it will monitor steps, heart rate, perhaps even more… but being Apple they will try to make these metrics apply to the 98% of the population that don’t have a clue about heart rate zones, rest heart rate trends, stride lengths, “running dynamics”, cadence and on and on. I expect them to have the device tell you stuff like your “heart rate is a safe zone, fitness zone, too high!” and “you walked a lot today!” etc. I’m sure there will be more detail if you want it, but Apple will never make the highly data centric metrics we all follow, but rather something for the masses. Apple buy Garmin or want to get in the Garmin business? No. Apple wanting to bring fitness tracking to almost everyone who never even thought of personal metrics before… YES.

      I’ll still use a Garmin or like device almost without a doubt for my actual workouts (running, biking) because I like the huge amounts of data they provide and the ease which I can manipulate it but in order to not move to a Apple wearable or Samsung Gear Fit like device then companies like Garmin will continue to provide compelling ways why their products are superior, namely with their seamless integration with their whole ecosystem, something lacking today even with the new Vivofit.

    • Paul S

      What you’re describing doesn’t sound like a watch, certainly not a Pebble clone. An extender display for iPhone/iPod Touch, or maybe an actual iPhone/iPod Touch with flexible screen and chips? That would be cool if it were large enough to be useful, and more in line with the kind of innovation Apple could pull off.

      But I’m done with “activity trackers” that only measure steps. It’ll have to do better than that for me to be interested.

    • Perhaps, given tonight’s Samsung band news, the conversation might be better suited over there? Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting/valid conversation, just may fit that post a bit better: link to dcrainmaker.com

  127. Dick Morris

    Good comments David, I DO HOPE that Garmin get this right and integrate all their products..

    Otherwise we will leave the Garmin camp in droves…..

  128. scott buchanan

    @david at $199 it will only be $30 more than the Vivofit. I’d pay that not to have to CONSTANTLY remember to bring and wear a heart rate band. Add the notification, stopwatch, alarms etc and even at $199 its going to be deal of the century.

    As Ray said the Gear Fit is “definitely a game changer” it wouldn’t surprise me if Samsung price it really aggressively to gain market share. once your into Samsungs eco-system its really hard to leave.

    Garmin kicks butt in the fitness watch arena but the Vivofit currently looks cheap, under-specified and hugely underwhelming.

    • Steven Brown

      Agree with this Scott – it certainly looks impressive enough that I’ve cancelled my Vivofit order, and waiting to see some reviews before deciding for sure…

    • I would only caution that it’s early for both devices (Garmin Vivofit and Samsung Gear Fit). They could both suck. In general, looking at the technologies involved (and ignoring price for a moment), there’s much less risk in the Garmin device than the Samsung device. By risk, I’m referring to things that could suck. Hopefully, I’ll have some clarity soon on the HR monitoring while moving pieces in the Samsung device. Already starting to get responses back from Samsung folks in Korea…

    • David

      I am not a Samsung fan, never have been. The Gear Fit may like you said “suck” when you finally get to review it. The problem is every company in the fitness space just saw it, we saw it… and we know that devices like it are the future.

      Smartphones are successful because they create a platform for a computer to be in your hand and then you fill it with your own custom blend of free and sub $5 apps. Clearly the companies that make smartphones (including Samsung, Apple, Google, Microsoft) are likely to come out with their own versions of the idea of the Gear Fit / Gear 2 and then you have that same powerful device on your wrist waiting for companies like mapmyfitness, strava, whoever to come and take advantage of the hardware and turn it into a Garmin 620, Edge 800, Fitbit/Vivofit all in one world beater… all for a fraction of the cost of the dedicated devices we have today.

  129. alex

    hey ray,

    will it really be possible to go for a swim with the vivofit? it says on the garmin site:

    “The vivofit band is water-resistant (5 atm; 50 meter), which meas you can shower or get cought in the rain, worry-free.”

    does this mean “no” on the swimming part?


  130. Luke

    I just swam 900 yards with mine, seems to be working fine but I think it counted some steps…

    • alex

      oh thanks for the reply! I don’t care for the steps at all. I’m just curious if the vivofit won’t break if I swim with it three times a week.


    • David

      Fully waterproof to 165 feet below the surface (50m, 5atm) just like the 220/620 watches are now. My only concern (my Vivofit won’t arrive until the weekend) is the band design. My old Fitbit Force had a similar clasp design and it would often unbuckle itself when force was applied, had I been able to swim with it (it wasn’t fully waterproof) I’m certain I would have lost it within minutes, in particular in open water. Hopefully the Vivofit doesn’t have this issue but boy I wish it had a more watch style clasp.

    • Luke

      My wife has the FitBit force (but not the burn, thankfully).
      The vivofit clasp is about a billion times stronger than the Fitbit’s clasp, it is actually a little hard to get off. If it falls off while you’re swimming you’re swimming somewhere super rough. Like Niagara Falls…

  131. David

    Does anyone know how Vivofit handles calorie tracking etc. when paired to a HRM? Do they use the modern FirstBeat system in their watches?

    I ask because if I do cross training sessions on a bike at the gym during winter and am wondering if I can leave my Garmin 620 at home, I never liked that my running recovery stuff on the 620 gets messed up when I do something other than running… however I still want to get reasonable heart rate based calorie calculation, something hopefully now I can just let the Vivofit do when I’m not running (with my 620) or road biking (with my 510.)


    • Dick Morris

      Knowing how busy Ray is; I really really hate to write this, but what your question really states is………………..

      Please Ray can you update this previous page to include the Edge 510 and 810 as well as the new Vivofit.?

      link to dcrainmaker.com


    • David

      I was hoping another user had an answer actually, but the reality is I think Ray pretty much already answered it in this preview. Rereading it he said that Vivofit only records HR data ever 15 seconds so that clearly isn’t often enough for the FirstBeat analytics so there is clearly going to be a more generalized calculation going on then if I used a Garmin product with FirstBeat for my cross training sessions.

    • Yeah, updating that post with all the current models is on my to-do list. Some folks that helped validate all those parts last time on the Garmin side have since moved around, so I’ve got to find a new volunteer to validate everything new. I know the Garmin support folks use it as their reference, so it’s definitely something I want to get brought up to date.

  132. Luke

    So I’ve had the Vivofit for almost a day now, and wanted to post some initial thoughts to help out some people who are on the fence about it. This will not be as in depth as Ray’s reviews, or even as Ray’s hands on previews, but hopefully it’ll help someone.

    Punchline: I think I like it. I have a Forerunner 620, Edge 500, and a Swim. And now this.

    What I like:
    It is quite comfortable. I’ve never ever worn anything on my right (dominant) hand, but I used to the feeling within ~30 minutes or so, and don’t really notice it any more than my watch currently.
    The sleep tracking is cool (I’ve only had it for one night, but the graph of disturbances / activity is pretty cool to see.
    Syncing it with my heart rate monitor took no time at all.

    What is weird:
    There is literally no instruction manual that comes with it. I actually ran into a little trouble syncing it with my computer initially, and a little trouble shooting booklet wound have been nice.

    There doesn’t appear to be any integration with the other garmin devices one owns (this has been beaten to death above). Just silly.

    When you put the heart rate monitor on/take it off it starts a new “activity” within connect. As a result, instead of having a single track for today in connect I have three: one before I put my heart rate monitor on before my AM run, one during the AM run, and one since I’ve taken it off. The heart rate monitor tracing shows up in the connect page (identically to how it looks within the forerunner activity) for the section when it was connected (which is cool), but I wish instead of having multiple walking activities I could have a single one per day (bounded by sleep, probably) that would instead have random segments when the heart rate monitor was connected. This is probably fixable on the back end, RAY PLEASE FIND THIS EQUALLY ANNOYING AND GET THEM TO FIX IT.

    What I don’t like:
    I don’t think anything.

    New Garmin Connect:
    Much prettier.
    Has this cool ability to have multiple pages (they’re calling them dashboards) that you can name and have specific things show up on each dashboard. What I don’t like, however, is the options within the reports you can generate. There is a list of about 20 things you can pick from, but they’re not modifiable. You can have total distance, total time, etc, but there isn’t a way to have a swimming page with swim specific metrics (besides from average strokes / SWOLF), or a biking page with bike specific metrics (besides average bike cadence). I don’t have a power meter, so I’m not sure if watts etc would be an additional option.
    I wish this was set up the way Training Peaks is, where you can choose any metric (heart rate, distance, time, speed, whatever), and then within that choose if you want it for all activities or just one type. This way you could have a front page that has you week totals, and then sub pages for each activity that has only biking info, only running info, only swimming info, whatever.
    Also, I wish there was a way to keep the Vivofit recorded walking activities from showing up in the activity feed. There are cool analytics available to look at your steps, but within the “activity” screen the walking records are really boring (whereas any true exercise activity is recorded very nicely and displayed nicely). This is a little hard to describe without pictures.

    I hope this helps people in the interim before Ray’s awesome super in depth review appears.

    I really do like it, and would recommend it (even though everything I’m saying here is negatives). It does what it is supposed to do, but could be cleaner.

    • Ed

      Thanks Luke. Can your custom dashboard differentiate between running and walking? Or is it all lumped together as a walking activity? Wondering how this breaks out on connect…

    • Luke

      Tough to tell (mostly because I just got it).

      I think so, in that there are two totally different activities.

      For example, this morning I have three walking actives: walking around eating etc before my run, my run, and afterwards. I also have my run (as a separate file that was recorded by my FR620). On the issue of the two pieces of equipment not speaking to each other what I’d like to see is this: daily steps recorded from the Vivofit (ignore the FR620 cadence for the purposes of daily step goal IF they’re both worn together, if the Vivofit is left at home during the run then use Forerunner data), but for daily calories ignore the “run” component of the Vivofit (assuming the Forerunner calorie calculation is more accurate).

      I’d really ask garmin two things: 1) transparency on how the combined metrics are calculated in instances where multiple devices are active at the same time, and 2) more granularity/options for creating custom reports within the dashboards.

    • Ed

      I was hoping that the VF would be able to differentiate a walk from run based on the pace, and would be able to display them differently. It sounds like all moving activities are walking despite what the pace is.

      Follow up question, the “run” walk — you can edit that to make it a run, can’t you? I basically want to be able to use the VF as a “backup” if I don’t fee like wearing the 620 and still capture a run and have it marked as such.

    • Luke

      Oh, I misunderstood your question.

      It separated my info based on when I put the HRM on (started a new “walking” event). That I could reclassify as a run (or a ski, or a whatever) as a backup.
      I’m going for another run tonight, I’ll try to remember to take a closer look at the data post-run to figure out what it did, how it acts as a backup. I’m also going to use that run to see how accurate the distance it calculates is (comparing it to a standard run I do with my FR620 that always gives me the same distance).

    • Mark

      Luke, just wondering where you bought your Vivofit. Most retailers are still (as of Feb 25, 2014) indicating “Pre-order” or “Ships late March” or the like.

    • Luke

      I pre-ordered it from REI the day (or maybe the day after, I forget) it was announced.

    • Mark

      Luke, I’m not sure what you are seeing. I got my vivofit today, and as part of playing with it, put on my heart rate strap, turned on the heart monitoring on the band, and took a 15 minute walk. Afterward, I shut down heart monitoring on the band and then took the strap off. I now show one 15 minute walking activity (It was already labeled, and I haven’t tried running yet to see if it knows the difference), and thats it for the day. My total number of steps includes that activity, but thats just a total count. I can’t find anywhere that shows three different things (before, during, after) the way you describe. I’ve searched both the old and the new connect. (since I drive a desk during the day, I also haven’t tried just walked 15 minutes without the strap to see if that creates an activity)

      You can get graphs of a large number of data points, but many of them aren’t available for the panels, so you have to drill into a report page and look at it there. The new connect doesn’t seem quite done yet either (apart from the obvious issues they are having just now). I can’t find the calendar, courses, training plans, or workouts on the new version.

      I do however very much like how easy it is to quickly rename and categorize new activities by creating a panel that shows the latest one on your dashboard. The ability to create multiple dashboards by arbitrary categories seems nice, but until more of the data can be exposed in panels it looses some of its luster.

      I’ve also noticed that the challenges, weight, and calories panels you can see in the screen shot in Ray’s review also don’t appear to be implemented yet. I’m assuming they will turn those on once they get some of the more critical issues worked out.

      So far I’m fairly happy. They need to fix the bugs, get all the panels online, and most importantly get rid of the overlap if you have the vivofit and another device both measuring,and then I think I’ll be quite happy. I will still miss the light and alarm from my force though. (and its still a bit odd reading it sideways due to the screen layout, although it that really bugs me I’ll just wear it on the inside of my wrist).

    • Luke

      I’ve been thinking about what I said earlier, and I think partly you’re right with respect to the overlapping events. I’m about to go out for a run (but have been wearing my heart rate monitor for a while now) and when I get back I’ll follow up with accuracy of steps (and hopefully, if I can parse it) distance.
      But, I think you’re right that it somehow does break things out a bit more than I had initially thought. I was waiting until post-run to circle back to this concept, but since you pointed it out I thought I come back and confirm your suspicions.
      More info to come, in 6 miles…

    • Dick Morris

      Mark you wrote :-
      ‘ I’ve also noticed that the challenges, weight, and calories panels you can see in the screen shot in Ray’s review also don’t appear to be implemented yet. I’m assuming they will turn those on once they get some of the more critical issues worked out.’

      If the weight panel or widget is not yet activated, does this HOPEFULLY mean that the redesign will allow all ANT+ scales, WiFi scales and or Bluetooth scales to automatically add their data streams..??

      Perhaps Ray can pass this on upwards to the GC team…?

    • Luke

      Some updates:
      The “walking” activities seem to be totally gone. My steps are still recorded and synced etc, but they’re not showing up alongside my other recorded activities. The good of this is it means you don’t get flooded with 18 different walks per day, the bad news is (if you were wearing a heart rate monitor) you can’t see a rough heart rate tracing for the day (which means you dc can’t wear the vivofit and a HRM all day and see you heart rate tracing).
      I took my vivofit and my iPhone (with installed Argus app) and over the 6 miles they differed by an entire 120 steps. And they were both identical on a counted walk through my apt building (and equal to the number of steps I took). My wife has a fitbit force that she likes (and hasn’t gotten burned) and I’m going to try and steal it from her this weekend as another datapoint on a run/walk.
      One super cool thing: the VF updates your step goal based on your daily activities and past garmin history. My first day (when I installed it at 6pm) it have me an initial goal, which I misses. Yesterday the goal was much lower but the combination of having it all day and my run made me totally surpass my goal, and today it is much higher. That is really neat.
      Another cool thong: it tells you the breakdown of your day (very active, active, sedentary, asleep). These numbers are cool (and in my case, depressing). I’m going to walk more just to decrease the sedentary %.
      Updated punch line: I still really like it , it is still very comfortable. The walking activities disappearing is weird, hopefully Ray can help us sort that out. The new GC is still weird, but I see promise. The band is never falling off.

      I hope this helps people, let me know if you have any questions.

    • Luke

      Some updates:

      The “walking” activities seem to be totally gone. My steps are still recorded and synced etc, but they’re not showing up alongside my other recorded activities. The good of this is it means you don’t get flooded with 18 different walks per day, the bad news is (if you were wearing a heart rate monitor) you can’t see a rough heart rate tracing for the day (which means you dc can’t wear the vivofit and a HRM all day and see you heart rate tracing).

      I took my vivofit and my iPhone (with installed Argus app) and over the 6 miles I ran last night they differed by an entire 120 steps (as always, not clear which is correct, but they’re very close). And they were both identical on a counted walk through my apt building (and equal to the number of steps I took). My wife has a fitbit force that she likes (and hasn’t gotten burned) and I’m going to try and steal it from her this weekend as another datapoint on a run/walk.

      One super cool thing: the VF/GC updates your step goal based on your daily activities and past garmin history. My first day (when I opened it at 6pm) it have me an initial goal, which I missed (because I opened it at 6pm). Yesterday the goal was much lower (because I whiffed on the prior day’s goal) but the combination of having it all day and my run made me totally surpass my goal, and today it is much higher. That is really neat.

      Another cool thing: it tells you the breakdown of your day (very active, active, sedentary, asleep). These numbers are cool (and in my case, depressing). I’m going to walk more just to decrease the sedentary %.

      One annoying this: My son woke me up last night, and I stopped the sleep tracker while I was feeding him. I restarted it when I went back to bed, and then stopped it when I woke up in the morning. I didn’t sync it between those times, and initially GC thought I only slept for 1 hour. I was able to manually adjust the sleep time (back to starting the first time I went to bed), but I wish there was a way it would record the two sleep intervals without editing or remembering to sync at 4am while feeding a crying infant. Considering it can record a day’s worth of walking without syncing it should be able to record half a night’s worth of sleeping, twice, without syncing.

      Updated punch line: I still really like it , it is still very comfortable. The walking activities disappearing is weird, hopefully Ray can help us sort that out. A nice fix may be to keep the “activities” option as it was in “old” GC, but then expand the info available within the walking/steps dashboard so that you can see distance traveled (this dissipated with the walking activities) and heart rate tracing when it was recorded. The new GC is still weird, but I see promise. The band is never falling off.

      I hope this helps people, let me know if you have any questions.

  133. Ed

    So I just called Garmin to cancel my order since REI says they will have it in store by Saturday. The nice woman told me that “Garmin’s policy is to fulfill retail orders first, because we prefer that our customers deal with the retail partners instead of us.” So its official – don’t buy from Garmin’s website, ever.

  134. Frank Young

    I ordered my Vivofit from Clever Training yesterday. When I get it, I’ll benchmark it against my Loop and B1 and let you know what I find.

    Speaking of the B1, it uses the same heart rate sensing technology as the Samsung and it verily does SUCK. In fact, pretty much all of the cutting edge technology associated with the B1 SUCKS. It’s kind of sad but Basis is so focused on their differentiating technology that they even let it screw up basic motion sensing. If it loses your heart beat while you sleep, it presumes you are dead. If it losses that information while you are walking, running or cycling, it presumes you have stopped moving. $32 million has gone into Basis so far and this is the best they can do. So … if you are waiting on the Samsung, prepare to be disappointed.

    I read on the Fitbit boards that GC will feed your data to Runkeeper. Runkeeper will link to MFP. This is a pretty slick way to get your Garmin based calorie expenditure into MFP if it is true. Can anyone confirm the GC/RK connection?

    I had been using RK and a Bluetooth LE HRM to feed my exercise to MFP but recently discovered that RK does nothing with the heart rate data but paint pretty pictures. Calorie burn is based purely on activity, speed, and duration.

    Looking forward to having another toy to play with. I also have a FR410 and am interested in seeing how it and the Vivofit get along together. It will be nice not to have to referee fights between my 5s and Loop over pairing with my H7 :-). (I have an HRM3 for my Ant devices.)

    • Remember, not optical is created equal. Nor (most importantly) by the same company. There are many players in the space, some suck at it (for sports), some don’t (for sports). Just keep that in mind on the Samsung side.

    • Frank Young

      Did you get to play with the Samsung at MWC?

      I am unaware of a strapless activity monitor that does a good job of recording heart rate while exercising. What did I miss? I certainly don’t have time to look at all of them. That’s your job :).

    • David

      Frank Ray has gone through every optical HR fitness device ever made, many with extensive reviews on this site. Summary? The Basis B1 is good at measuring heart rate when not working out. The Mio devices are good at measuring when working out but don’t have great battery life. The Addidas (incorporating Mio technology) also is good at working out but also has poor battery life. No one knows what Samsung will have since there wasn’t time for more than a momentary trial yesterday but hints from reps are concerning implying it might be more like the Basis style optical than the Mio style.

    • Frank Young

      That is what I thought. There are a few fitness watches that do a good job with optical sensors but they are not activity trackers. Thanks for confirming this.

  135. Ed

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Not enough time to look at the front page of dcrainmaker, but enough time to write a long post on this thread. Very important person.

  136. Steve

    First impressions (after 4 days)
    Nice design, comfortable, doesn’t fall of your wrist as reported about other trackers. Although there is no backlight the display is surprisingly well readeble even in the evening. Paring with the HR strap en syncing without any problems.

    HR is incorrect (tried it several times), every time it’s very low while my edge 800 shows normal values. Oops, that the USP!
    Five minutes under the shower generated 361 steps. Oops….
    Garmin Connect is really poor developed at this point, somewhere between modern ans classic design. Oops again

    I had high hopes but I am disappointed, this is really pre beta beta beta…
    Tried to contact Garmin but no luck there either.

    • David

      All of the bands worn on arms occasionally show steps where there weren’t any. Car rides, hand motions etc. can trigger it. The Nike Fuelband (at least the first version) showed tons of “false” steps so I was surprised when I got the Fitbit Force because that seemed to do a far, far, far better job of ignoring false movements and tracking real steps. NONE of these bands will ever be perfect and more than anything they show “trends” but I do hope Garmin at least attempts to filter out some of the more obvious false movements in the way Fitbit has done.

    • Greg

      ****Hope this get’s passed on to Garmin, etc.

      Tracking algorithms should be like the pedometers in smartphones and pedometers of the days of old where it only starts counting steps after 5-10 movements that it is sure are steps (Noom Walk app for ex). This ensures random movements don’t get recorded. People rarely take fewer then 10 steps when walking as so it should be a no-brainer and an easy thing to code…

    • Strange on the HR, that’s a fairly clear-cut thing. Playing with mine more in the morning (too exhausted to run tonight, so deferring).

      But for the the new GC, I agree. Not a big fan at this point. Just…uhh…not awesome.

    • Luke

      And it is super frustrating because the editability (new word, world) means you could really customize it however you wanted. But now, not so much…

    • Paul S

      I call my.withings.com Candy Land (or maybe it’s more accurate to call it anti-Candy Land) what with all the colors and badges and stuff. So this must be CandyLand for Vivofit, since the screen shots look so similar.

      Is there a way to opt out? I kind of liked GC the way it was, and the errors that are creeping in during the conversion (disappearing cadence plots, temperature plots in C instead of F, altitude corrections all wonky) are annoying. Are we all going to be shoved into CandyLand?

    • David

      Greg said: “Tracking algorithms should be like the pedometers in smartphones and pedometers of the days of old where it only starts counting steps after 5-10 movements that it is sure are steps (Noom Walk app for ex). This ensures random movements don’t get recorded. People rarely take fewer then 10 steps when walking as so it should be a no-brainer and an easy thing to code…”

      That is EXACTLY what the Fitbit Force (and I assume Flex) do… on the Force you could watch as you begin walking the steps would not count up, then around your 6-7th step in a row it would “jump” up 6-7 steps and then count up in real time with the rest of your steps. It basically was waiting to be sure you really were walking before counting but then back counted the steps if it thought you were. If the Garmin Vivofit simply counts every motion as a step without even trying to filter anything up it will grossly over count steps. I am not asking for perfection.

    • You can (temporarily) opt-out of the new GC format/site via the an option in the menu to the left.

    • Strange, HR with my Vivofit is perfectly in sync with my Edge 800. Even during a 3 hour bike ride.

  137. Peter Eidegren

    Hi all,
    Do anyone know of an webshop in Europe that already sells Vivofit and are able to send it to a different country, say Sweden?

    Best regards,

    //Peter from Sweden

  138. REI has also shipped my Vivofit order and it should be here Friday via SmartPost (ugh!).

    Ray, have you thought of creating a forum for the site? Think it would definitely help these long threads.

  139. Alex

    I got my vivofit and I like it better than Polar. The only issue so far is calorie counter for workout. I did a workout with vivofit and Forerunner 410. Vivofit recorded 925 calories for 45 minutes workuout, FR 612 for the same workout. I am sure that truth somewhere in between, because average HR was 150, but the difference is staggering.

    • Dick Morris

      Out of interest, and also to point out that Ray cannot do everything, I started checking what Garmin products used the FirstBeat technology. The FirstBeat website is not up to date and so I reached out to FirstBeat and they very kindly replied as follows.
      ‘Garmin Edge 510 and 810 has also Firstbeat’s energy expenditure calculation inside. You are able to get the value when you are using your heart rate strap with the device. The Vivofit unfortunately does not have our technology inside.’
      Note that the Website lists the following Garmin products as already included:- Edge 800, Edge 500, Forerunner 410, 405cx, 310xt, 210, 110, 610, 910xt, 220, 620 & Fenix 2.
      Note 2. Their website is very informative, complete with a short 4 minute video.
      Thus from the above we can say that the energy expenditure shown on our Forerunners and Edge are likely to be as accurate as modern technology will allow.
      HOWEVER the Vivofit figures are not likely to be as accurate and more a rough estimation. But this estimation remains a useful indicator for everyday use. You get what you pay for, as the Vivofit is a fraction of the cost of say an Edge 810..!!
      This to me leaves one last question…
      Can the Mio Link ever be as accurate as a Garmin HRM for energy expenditure figures if the Ant+ data stream does not include HRV and is not taken as ECG data.?
      We shall await Ray’s full report on the Mio Link…

    • Frank Young

      Do the Vivofit and FR 410 report gross or net calorie burn? I would guess the Vivofit is gross and the FR net given their different roles. I know the difference is not nearly enough to explain a 300 calorie difference over 45 minutes but curious nonetheless.

    • Amanda B

      Now, I’m only guessing but I think the vivofit works a lot like the fitbit, in that when it’s not synced to the HRM it use your height, age, weight, as well as other factor to guesstimet how many calerios your burning. But often for me when I do any physical activity like workout on my treadclimber I use what the machine readout say and then plug it into fitbit manually. Now I would assume that the vivofit has the ablitly to add activity, plus if you have a HRM or a GPS watch I think the calorie count would be much more acurate.

  140. Hailey

    In your opinion, is getting a fitness tracker, like the vivofit, worth it for those who workout on a daily basis? Or should they go for a GPS/HRM watch instead?

    I am looking into the market and I do crossfit/run. I feel like the HRM would be great for activities like crossfit, but would the fitness tracker be worth it for running? Cant decide!!!

    • Luke

      If you want an accurate track of how far you’ve travelled on a run, you “need” a GPS watch. If you want a general record of you (in)activity throughout the day, that is where an activity tracker will come in.
      At some point (the Polar V800 already does this – by spec) all of these functions will be integrated into a higher end watch and one watch will rule them all.
      Until then…

    • For those that are curious to see the differences between Vivofit, Fenix2, and FR620 on a run, here’s the two activities side by side.

      Vivofit: link to connect.garmin.com
      FR620: link to connect.garmin.com
      Fenix2: link to connect.garmin.com

      Paired to the same HR strap of course, and started/ended at exactly the same time. The rough workout structure was:

      10 Minutes Warm-up
      5 Minutes Building intensity
      90s rest
      6x(800m @ 5:54/mile with 90s rest)
      4x(30s @ ~4:45-5:30/mile with 90s rest)
      4-5 Minutes cool-down

      These are all marked within the FR620 in manual laps, mostly within the Fenix2 (missed a few times), and not within the Vivofit.


      (Side note: If you just put /modern/ in between Garmin.com and /activity on the URL, it’ll show the modern UI)

    • Luke

      How did you get the Vivofit activity? My GC seems to be being weird, I had walking activities one day, gone the next. Can’t think of anything I did differently in between…

    • Received a page not found. Must need to have access to the new dashboard.

    • Paul S

      Yeah, me too, for all three links. For those of us without Vivofit, the gates of Mordor have started to open, a few Orcs have leaked out, but we’re not enveloped in the Shadow yet.

    • Hmm, I tested it in private mode to validate it would show. Strange. No worries, I tweaked the URl back to the non-new GC, let me know if that works.

      As for getting the Vivofit activity? I went outside paired the HR monitor and then it showd “1 – 60” (my HR). At the end, I simply held down the button and it saved it. I then sync’d via my iPhone to the Vivofit and poof, activity file. To be honest before heading outside, I didn’t read the manual, so it’s possible there’s a better way to do it. Fly by night kinda operation.

    • Paul S

      Yes, it works. Cut out the modern/, and everything shows.

      Interesting, Vivofit is not horrible compared to the other two. I’m also a little surprised that the calorie “count” is lower.

  141. Ed

    A few day 1 observations:

    – I like it. It is complementary to the 620.
    – Comfortable and great display.
    – Easy sync using the little ANT stick.
    – The Garmin Connect Android app is not playing nicely for sync with either the VF or 620 on my Nexus 5. Hit and miss.
    – Nice to have HR displayed on one device and time/pace/mileage on the other
    – The pedometer on the Vivofit is more accurate than the pedometer on the 620 (for me)
    – Using a HRM, my run on the treadmill was automatically classified as a run without me editing the activity.
    – It doesn’t appear to doublecount steps/distance of steps in the Steps widget on GC.
    – HR was identical on both the 620 and Vivofit.

    I’m definitely glad I bought it, and looking forward to going to bed :)

    • David Corsi

      I believe it doesn’t double count steps because it only used steps from the vivofit period. if you took the vivofit off it would not add the steps counted by 620.

    • Correct. For example, I can’t go past ‘yesterday’ on my little chart, since that’s my Vivofit’s birthday.

    • Ed

      Not true. If you click on “today” in the steps widget, you can get to a place where it shows an expanded widget w four tabs: step details, breakdown, activities, sleep. If you click the activities tab, it shows two activities for me – the VF run and the 620 run. Both activities show the number of steps. But the total steps doesn’t include the 620 steps. I know this sounds confusing, because it is. Some places the distance includes only the VF (on the front page widget), other places it does (the expanded “today” widget and classic calendar).

      I’m hopeful they will get this all sorted out. But it still doesn’t spoil the soup for me.

    • Yeah, very disconnected. For me, I can’t get steps to show in the widget view except the steps-only piece. And, for me, following your ‘steps’ above, I don’t actually get any steps for the FR620 – anywhere listed.

      I know they’re iterating fast (I’ve had a few GC bugs already today get fixed all within a few hours, related to some Fenix things), but ultimately the launch is very rushed.

      I will say that I love that I can tap the sync button on the unit itself and not have to open up the app on my phone, it can remain in my pocket, as long as the GCM app is running somewhere in the background. A couple seconds later, it shows up online.

  142. Ed

    Addendum: they may be working on doublecounting issues from what I noticed.

    It doublecounts when it comes to “total distance” in the new GC total distance widget and the old GC calendar. I ran 3.69 on the VF and 3.1 on the 620 (concurrently) and it shows 6.79 total mileage on both modern and classic.

    Doesn’t doublecount when it comes to steps/step mileage widget on modern GC. It is showing a total step mileage of 5.85/9000 steps on the VF which makes sense given at least a third of the steps were non-treadmill.

  143. Ed

    Regarding Ray’s point about holding down the button to start an activity — my VF run started once I started running on the treadmill and ended when I stopped the treadmill. I didn’t have to hit the button or disconnect the HRM (which I kept connected while I did post-run core work to see how long it took for my pulse to go back below 80)

    • Luke

      What you did is what I attempted yesterday: run with both to see how they stack up.
      HR was the same, VF recorded steps just fine, but I didn’t get a separate recorded “activity” for the run (or the post-run cool down), probably an issue with the ongoing GC badness.
      I don’t think I got double credit for FR running and VF running/walking, but without the activities it is hard to tell.

    • I did not get double-step credit with my runs (or triple-credit in my case). But by the same token, I think the core question was to some degree if you’d get double distance/calorie credit, or if there was any pull from one to another. Meaning, if I ran with my FR620 did the Vivofit pick that up after both devices sync’d?

      A number of scenarios to test out…

      (Edit: To clarify, if I change the GC pod to total distance, it does triplicate my run, which I suppose makes sense since I did have three files uploaded: Vivofit, Fenix2, 620).

    • Luke

      I was going to test the double calorie issue yesterday but for the no Vivofit “activity” after a run. Will test tomorrow: am planning on running with both. Will immediately shut down FR620 after run, upload VF, see what the numbers (steps, distance, calories, active minutes) look like. Once that is sorted out I’ll upload the run to see how it changes…

  144. Hailey

    I just got the Vivofit from REI, and it won’t pair with my phone nor will it let me scroll through the features. It can sync and sleep but otherwise it is stuck on the pedometer. Any ideas?

  145. Alex

    is it possible to do splits on vivofit during the activity? I can not figure it out

  146. Alex

    calorie calculation on Vivofit is way off. My workout is scored at 1045 kkal on VF. When I imported this workout from GC to Digifit, calorie count was reduced to 680, which is much more reasonable. No sure how to correct this

  147. morphisto

    just saw that:

    link to forums.hardwarezone.com.sg

    does anyone know details?

    • Nope, Vivofit’s continue to be made, shipped, and arrive in stores. I validated that this afternoon.

      My $1 says that said retailer simply didn’t bother to pre-order units for their customers, and that’s where the line stands (which sounds about right timeline wise).

    • morphisto

      Thank you for validating, still waiting for a retailer here in germany that gets the vivofit….

  148. Frank Young

    Just checked with Clever Training. They got 50 Vivofits yesterday (the very date Ray predicted). Since I did not order until the 23rd, I will not be getting one of this first batch. The nice lady on the phone was pretty vague about where I actually stood on the list but I think she finally told me I was somewhere between #61 and #99. She was equally vague about when they might get more Vivofits stating that they did not, at present, have another tracking number from Garmin. She said they sometimes get daily shipments and sometimes they are a month apart. Amazon is still showing a March 31 release date. Hopefully, I won’t be waiting that long.

    A small heads up … Clever Training charges your credit card as soon as you place an order even if they don’t have the product. I think this is a little unorthodox but they do have this fine print on their site “* Please note, in order to hold a pre-order unit, your card will be charged at the time of purchase. Ship dates are subject to change based on manufacturer availability.” They are also showing the Vivofit as IN STOCK. Go figure. I’ve been kind of hoping mine had been in the mail since my card was charged on the 24th.

    • Frank, they are in stock at REI if you wanted to order there, both in store and online. Just got home from the Indianpolis one with a Vivofit for both the wife and I. Might have better luck that route.

    • Note: The ‘in stock’ state changes when you select which color you want. Some are indeed in stock, others are back ordered.

    • All bundles except for Slate are in stock. All base except black and slate are in stock.

    • Frank Young


      Thanks for the head’s up. Closest REI store that has them is in Portland. Nothing in the SF Bay area. I can wait and like to think I am supporting Ray’s efforts in some tiny way. Of course I’ll change my mind if weeks go by.

      Sent the Basis back today but still have the Loop and getting another Fitbit One tomorrow. That seems to be the waist based unit to benchmark against. I’ve had two but keep giving them away to people who will never run but need to get off their butts. They work remarkably well for that.

    • Frank Young

      Darn. I knew I should have gotten the purple one :-).

  149. Travis Atkinson

    Just received notice mine and the wife’s have shipped today from Clever Training (Black & Purple respectively). Love the site, and really appreciate the thoroughness and unbiased way you review.

  150. Dan Wendell

    I also just received confirmation from Clever Training that my vivofit has shipped. I should have it on Monday. Woohoo!

  151. Ed

    I went for a run while wearing both VF and 620. I didn’t pair the VF with the HRM. When synced afterwards, only the 620 created an activity.

    Also, I deleted yesterday’s duplicate run (the VF activity) and it didn’t affect my step count.

    Seems step count is independent of activities, even if created on the VF with a paired HRM.

    • So you can still wear the Vivofit while using a Forerunner and not have it count twice as an activity. Just don’t start a heart rate session.

      In terms of heart rate monitoring, the Vivofit will not start the session until you’ve gone to the heart rate screen. This means that you can put the HRM on first, then when you are ready, go to the screen to start the session. After you are finished and while you are on the HRM screen, you hold the button down to stop the session. Definitely a good function as you can then start/stop your session as needed.

    • Ed

      Seems that way – a big thank goodness because I don’t love having to go back and clean up.

      For my run yesterday, I kept the VF on the HR screen after I was done running and while I was stretching. But the VF seems like it “knew” to stop the activity when I stopped running, not when I stopped stretching. Something was going on independent of pushing the button.

    • Luke

      Just did a run with both the VF and my Forerunner. Synched the VF long before the Forerunner. When I synched the Forerunner then total number of steps didn’t change, nor did the distance travelled (on the main “steps” tab) or the calories burned.
      However, on one of the reports my distance ran tripled, because I have the VF data recorded as a run and the forerunner as a run also.
      Also, for some reason when my VF activities get imported to GC they’re not imported automatically as walks, which means I need to change them. That is annoying.
      I’ll stay out of the debate on whether or not these activities should be included at all, but if they’re going to be included I really wish I could set some criteria for what they’re called (I want them all called and labeled walking).

  152. Frank Young

    Avialibility Update

    Just got off the phone with Mariah at Clever Training. Upgraded my original order of a Black band only to a Black Bundle which will be shipping today. They have a few Purple bands left in stock and bundles in most colors but only a few of each. They still have no visibility on when their next shipment will arrive from Garmin.

    Getting reacquainted with my FR 410 and introduced to Garmin Connect in the interim. I was surprised to discover yesterday that, even though my laptop can see and identify my 410 over it’s USB cable, it will only exchange data over the Ant Stick.

    • Amanda B

      Proud owner of garmin vivofit. Just picked it up so I’ll let you know in a couple days what I think about.i was going to wait for ray review but I had a feel it was going to be a good on.

  153. Ed

    A good resource here for Vivofitters: link to forums.garmin.com

  154. Got probably one of the first units in Belgium (from coolblue.be). I have been using it for a bit more than one day. I was generally not buying into the activity tracker business before because I wanted something with long battery life (so I can really just leave it on my wrist for virtually forever), the ability to track sleep (since to be honest, that was the only interesting thing I was not tracking with my Edge 800 and Forerunner 210 combo, the ability to see my daily walking is just a nice extra for me), and I also did not really want to go for a product which came with another website in addition to the garminconnect/strava combination I am using every day (and the fact that it is not only one but two sites already annoys me a bit…). So after this background, here are my first impressions (also on the redesigned GarminConnect):

    + The vivofit is very comfortable (I was wearing the Forerunner 210 as a watch on an everyday basis before, and that was slightly less comfortable, especially because of the weight difference), and I think it is also quite nice looking (I have the black unit, and I like the light characters on the back background a lot on the display).
    + As far as I can tell, the precision in step count is good enough, but I am not really interested in this, the real exercises I do I record with the Edge/Forerunner combo anyway. But the ability to see when was I active during the rest of the day is nice.
    + Showered with it without issues, also had it on during a bike ride when I was completely soaked under the clothes, but the unit did not fog up.
    + Sleep tracking worked beautifully, it produced a textbook sleep pattern for my night with first two longer deep sleep phases, followed by 3 shorter ones during the night. This was the option I was most interested in, so I am happy that it works well (ok, it is a one night sample, but still, at least very promising).
    + Syncing with the provided tiny ANT+ stick is flawless.
    + I like the general direction of the GarminConnect redesign, but…

    – Syncing with my Nexus 4 is not so. I can manage to sync it after I start up/restart the phone, but usually later I never succeed. It must be a software issue on the side of the Garmin app, I hope they will work on that.
    – It would be nice if after syncing the screen would not jump back to step count by default, I would just have it stay on the clock screen all the time… They should change it in the fw that after sync you get the screen back on which you were before the syn.
    – There are horrible design flaws on the new garminconnect site, I understand they rushed it, and only us, vivofit early adopters see it, but except for the dashboard and the new additions, everything is ugly and inconsistent. It is clear that for already existing pages, they just put a new skin around the old page, so that should be changed ASAP. But also, things like adding your daily weight measurements are missing (good that you can still do that on the old interface, and switching between the two is not limited – I really do not want my 3 years of weight data to be gone).
    – On the steps page, you see a nice graph of your daily activity, with colour bars under the 15 minute step counts showing sleep, activity, etc. intervals. It would be nice if such a colour designation would also be added to display other activities, such as cycling/running/swimming you did with your other devices. This way you could see that you have no steps between 2-4PM since you had a training ride there. Would be a nice addition.

    In general, I think the vivofit is nice, but Garmin needs to get their web engineers and designers together, because the new garminconnect in its current state is horribly inconsistent, lacks features, and hurts my eyes whenever I navigate away from the Dashboard. Looking forward to your in depth review ;) I will get one for my girlfriend too if my unit keeps working well for me.

    • Peter

      Excellent feedback Peter. Thanks for taking the time for this post. You are in Belgium ? I was thinking about ordering from coolblue but didn’t know if they delivered outside Belgium and the lack of a French website got me wondering …

    • I just checked, and they only deliver to Belgium…

  155. David

    My 5 cents on my new Vivofit with less than a days use…

    Feels good but a tiny bit bulkier than the Force, Flex, and Fuelband. It “stands out” more and will be more noticeable to not only you but others. Counting and accuracy seems on par with the Force which I thought was the best of the bands. I haven’t yet paired it with my HRM as I want to avoid duplicate entries when I am using my Forerunner or Edge. I will pair it tomorrow when doing indoor cycling and see how it compares to my Forerunner when calculating calories from HR only. I am hoping it at least is in the “ballpark” because although it won’t count steps during my indoor cycling, I hope it at least reflects a higher calorie burn as I intend to use total calorie burn on the vivofit to help balance my intake and expenditure for a bit of weight loss. Boy a connection to myfitnesspal.com would be nice… sigh. I wish I could turn the screen off sometimes to make the unit less noticeable to others, but not being backlit it is still subdued. Sync with my iOS device was seamless and worked well, there is no option to pick dominate / non-dominate hand like other devices which is interesting. Band seems a lot better at staying secure than the similar Force design which is great, but I still wish it was a watch design band which you wouldn’t have to worry about, I could still see a freak accident unclasping this. I give kudos to Garmin for the obvious, they created the very first band that shockingly I don’t have to worry about recharging and I can use as a real watch with the screen on all the time if I want.

    Garmin Connect? As of today… total disaster. I hope there is a bunch of stuff just waiting to go live because right now it is broken, very badly. First off missing everything from calendars, weight tracking, workout creation is all totally missing. What is there is a mix of new graphics, old graphics, and broken new graphics that don’t layout properly. Even accounting for having a learning curve the location of things is less than intuitive and you will have to setup the new widgets because finding things on their actual page is a pain. Thank goodness Garmin admits this is a work in progress and has a simple way to move back and forth to old site because right now the new Garmin Connect is truly only useable for one thing… Garmin Vivofit data.

    I suppose there might be fixes to all this waiting to go live but on the other hand it just seems a long way away from being usable, unless Ray says otherwise if you don’t plan on being a Vivofit user I doubt very much Garmin will push the new site to you for months yet as fixes go live.

    There is a dream out there of a new Garmin where data interacts, where it tracks segments ala Strava and has a rich competitive and supportive community. Boy you need to squint hard to see it.

    More to come as I use it…

    • Frank Young

      Just got my Vivofit bundle today. First thing I noticed is that I was suddenly on the “Modern” GC. Just migrated from Training Center a few days ago and thought I was already “Modern”. Not so. Second thing I noticed is that “Modern” GC is not aware of my Forerunner. When I switch back to “Classic” GC the Forerunner is there but the Vivofit is not. I haven’t logged a step since turning Vivofit on but it has synced twice.

      Is there a trick to seeing my old data in the new GC? You do know they will kill the classic sooner or later.

    • Hmm, I do see my activities from other devices. In the lower right corner you can flip between different activities using the left/right arrows. Obviously, beyond that it all craps out.

  156. Bonjours savez vous quand sera-t-il disponible à l’achat en France ?

  157. Knighteyz

    Good news my local REI in HB, Calif, have the Garmin Vivofit in the store so I just purchase my Garmin Vivofit from them, so far is working just like my Fitbit Flex but I can’t get it to sync with my iPhone 5s it only synchronizing with my Macbook pro using the Ant+ stick. Does anybody encounter this problem? if so how did you solved the problem? One thing that is really good, the band is perfect to put my Road Id Elite tag, so now I can have my RI ID always with me.

  158. Merci Ray pour ta réponse, étant de France j’ai trouvé le Vivofit sur un site Espagnol: http://www.klepsoo.com/fr/garmin/vivofit-verde–fascia-cardio-010-01225-33.html
    Cependant eux ils montrent une ceinture cardio textile sur leur photo tandis que toi tu dis dans ta description que la ceinture est la vieille en plastique; qu’en pense tu ?

    • It’s definitely the plastic belt (the box I just got had plastic). So not sure why they’d include the fabric photo. Looks like a retailer error.

    • It’s really weird contradicts everything because I sent an email to Support.France @ garmin.com and the gentleman who answered confirmed to me that the heart was the textile belt, while on Garmin (link to buy.garmin.com) website when ordering the Vivofit it is not clear “textile” for cardio belt …

    • Their support is confused. I assure you, it’s not fabric. It’s plastic. It was done that way simply to lower cost.

    • It is true everything is confused on the Wiggle website (link to wiggle.fr) photo shows a textile belt. Anyway I’ll call Klepsoo for more. Thank you very much for your help.
      PS: knowing that I’m pretty athletic, I cycling at high level, I suggest you the Vivofit or Polar Loop?

    • They’re both really similar. The key difference is that right now you can export your Vivofit workouts (to a file that you can download). You cannot do that on Polar yet.

    • Knut

      Some retailers do local bundling with accessories. We see that quite bit here in Denmark. So while Garmin delivers with or sans the plastic HRM it’s entirely possible to see them sold with a better HRM locally.

      Case in point for the VIVOfit:

      link to pulsure.dk

  159. Dick Morris

    To anyone who already has received their Vivofit…

    Have you tried attaching the Vivofit to your ankle and then gone cycling..??

    What kind of results did this achieve.? Anything useful.?

    See also the FlyFit tracker at Myflyfit.com

    • There is just something about having an ankle bracelet as a fitness tracker compared to a wrist…something criminal. :-) The FlyFit does look interesting though. Seems like it would be more accurate for steps, that’s for sure.

  160. Jeremy

    Does the Vivofit have the screen resolution to ever offer iOS notifications of any sort? The promise of the likes of the Razer Nabu and the Go! having notifications of sort are interesting. And the way Garmin has focused on pushing them into several of their devices (fenix/tactix/S4/etc) with software updates just had me wondering if there would be any possibility of this in Vivofit in a future software release. I guess there might just be too many gotchas with battery life and such for it to be feasible. If you did have opportunity to ask the team and comment I’d appreciate it.

    • Travis Atkinson

      Looking at my Vivofit screen, it’s more like a traditional watch with well defined areas for text, numbers etc and since it doesn’t maintain an always on Bluetooth Smart connection I would assume it wouldn’t be possible. And I think the hit to battery life would be huge. But overall I don’t miss those things, to me this is more of a total life tracker since I never have to take it off.

    • It’d be tougher on the Vivofit, due to the battery architecture. See, unlike those, the Vivofit has coin cell batteries. The others are re-chargeables with a USB cable. So they can burn through battery since you simply plug it back in again.

  161. David

    I’ve been experimenting with the Vivofit and a HRM. A few quick notes..

    1. The Vivofit calorie estimate is not affected by wearing a HRM. If you wear the HRM but do a non-step based activity like cycling the calories only increase by the normal basal metabolic rate as if you sat on the couch. Bummer.

    2. When the Vivofit uploads an “activity” done with the HRM synced, Garmin Connect modifies the calorie burn on their end for a more accurate estimate on the website based on your heart rate. They must be using a generic formula based on sex/age/weight etc. as the numbers are reasonable but don’t match a FirstBeat equipped device tracking the same activity.

    It’s a bummer that Vivofit can’t estimate calories burned via heart rate on the device itself. It means that the total daily calorie burn total will be inaccurate if you do any non-step based activities which limits it usefulness when calculating your input to output of calories for weight loss etc.

  162. Travis Atkinson

    Seeing some of the comments around the HRM functionality I am hoping Garmin can update the firmware to at the very least sync back the updated calories per the activity once the Connect site has had a chance to run’s it’s algorithm… I couldn’t see why not so at least your device’s calories are good after the sync. Still I really like my Vivofit and love that I can just put it on and don’t have to worry about it after that. And the red bar has got me moving more (I work in a cubicle farm so that was always an issue).

    • David

      Some more interesting numbers… if you look at the “Steps” box on the Health & Fitness tab in the modern view it shows not only steps but Calories, these Calories reflect the number on the Vivofit and don’t take into account extra burn from activities. If you create a Vivofit activity with heart rate (but a non-step based activity) the number still only reflects the flawed calorie count I mentioned in my last post. HOWEVER if you click the day and expand the view to the detailed view then suddenly the calorie total INCLUDES the Vivofit number + activity calories. This is better on those days you used Vivofit for a non-step activity with HR, but WORSE if you used any other device for a step based calorie activity while also wearing Vivofit (ie. a 620 Forerunner while using Vivofit to just track steps) because you get double counting of calories. It is frustrating because Garmin HAS the correct calorie count numbers they just never anywhere add them up correctly… I have to manually “fix” the number myself in my head if I want to use the figure.

  163. Frank Young

    Frustrating first Vivofit day … not the least of which is every time I type Vivofit, it comes out VivIfit.

    Really, all was well until I tried to pair my iPhone 5s to the THING. GC Mobile already knew I had the THING and knew it’s serial number (God save the cloud) but wouldn’t actually pair with the phone.

    Called Garmin. Vivofit is not an option on their 9 item list. Not under the Fitness sub list either. No existe.

    Finally got a human who put me in the Vivofit queue. Ten minutes later I was talking to an energetic, well intentioned idiot. Put me on hold every few minutes for five or ten to “consult”. This went on for 64 minutes before he transferred me to the mobile group. He put me on hold until they could locate a Vivofit THING and a 5s to hold in his hands (at least he wasn’t relying on a script).

    The mobile group had me do things I had already done half a dozen different ways and appeared dead in the water. On a long shot, I suggested that I take the Plantronics Legend Bluetooth headset out of my ear and turn it off putting him on the speakerphone instead. We both agreed this was nearly pointless but were out of other ideas so we tried it.

    Voila! Pairing worked like a charm. Bluetooth is not supposed to work that way so somebody is writing sloppy code. My inspiration was that when I attempted to sync my dear, recently departed Basis B1 while talking on the same headset it would often (but not always) hang up my iPhone :-).

    Is there a cure for the illness of the quantified self? Maybe streaking needs to make a comeback :-)

    • Amanda B

      Has anyone found a solution to sync the data issue. I’m hearing certain websites that use to work that now they don’t. I am also for the most part loving my vivofit, mostly since I love just having it on my wrist instead of worry if I’m going to lose it like my fitbit. Not loving the fact it doesn’t automatically sync with my computer when I walk near. This is something my fitbit did. And once I upgrade my phone I’ll be able to sync it, but the read out is enough info that I really don’t need my phone. However one thing I didn’t think would be a problem was the no backlight , but on rare occasions that I’m starting the sleep button I like to be able to hit it after I turn out the lights, but now I have to turn it on before. Oh and I agree with someone else comment about the red bar. Boy does that little bar make me move, I feel so bad when I see it I just have to get up and move so it will go away. But all in all its been good, just I think a few firmware things need to worked out.

    • When you walk by the computer with the ANT+ stick, did you press the Sync button on the Vivofit to initiate sync?

    • Amanda B

      Yes, I do try to remember to do that, what i’m saying is with my fitbit I don’t have to hit a button. So i guess it’s just something I have to remember to do. Plus the modern Garmin Connect seems to be slow to update with the new data. Oh and last night and this morning it started to miss some of my steps. before it was almost over estimating, now it’s under, I did take it in the shower but that shouldn’t effect it right ?

    • Hmm, in playing with data updating a bit over the last 12 hours or so, I generally see the new data in about 3-5 seconds of it saying sync is completed.

  164. Frank Young

    New Vivofit Mystery.

    Just went for a short run wearing Vivofit, FR 410, Polar Loop, Polar H7 HRM and Garmin HRM-3S. Throughout the run, both the FR and VF reported heart rates in the 118-122 range. I sure wish that was right. I’m an old man who couldn’t run 100 feet nine months ago. The Loop provided accurate readings that shot up to close to 170 almost as soon as I started running and stayed there until I slowed to a walk.


    • Frank Young

      UPDATE. The new battery in the HRM-3 did the trick. Garmin now confirms that I am in just as pathetic shape as Polar.

  165. Frank Young

    Checked with FR support on the HR issue. Much better experience than yesterday’s Vivofit support experience!

    He thinks its the HRM. I’ll put a fresh battery in it and try again. I’ll also try the HRM1G that came with the Vivofit. He suggested that the 1G was generally more reliable than the HRM3 but offered to replace that strap if the new battery doesn’t do the trick.

    In an unrelated matter, I had uninstalled Ant Agent at Vivofit support’s suggestion because it conflicted with Garmin Express. Now it turns out that Garmin Express (for now anyway) is not compatible with the FR 410 so I had to re-download and re-install Ant Agent to get the data off the Forerunner. At least the new Ant Stick is compatible with both devices.

    • Frank Young

      One more minor point. Each time you switch between Ant Agent and Garmin Express you have to disconnect the Ant stick and then shove it back in.

  166. David

    Ray with your travels of the last week have you seen/figured out how Vivofit handles time zone changes? I’m concerned if it syncs with my phone I will gain/lose hours in the day… do you find it an issue?

    • It simply matches your phone (like all the other units on the market). So I just sync as soon as I land, and then I’m good to go. Worked fairly well for me thus far.

    • David

      I wonder what the displays end up looking with when you had less than or more than 24 hours in a day. ;-) this will be an issue for us. i travel at least 3-4 days a week.

    • There’s simply a gap when I jumped ahead in time zones. And when I rolled back, it just re-wrote those hours again.

      Ultimately, I’m not aware of any device on the market that does anything different.

    • David

      gap is one thing, re-wrote sounds bad if you had any steps you might lose, but since you tend to lose hours on an airplane when you are gaining steps should be alright. i could have sworn that fitbit (or nike?) offered an option to not sync time with a mobile device, basically allowing the device to remain in one time zone.

    • Oh sure, you can do that as well (not sync timezone). The problem there is that then if you’ve moved more than a few hours worth, things like sleep and steps look like they’re all in the wrong time of the day (i.e. 3AM vs 3PM).

    • Mark

      I’m actually seeing something different. Its obvious they are trying to address this issue (a small clock icon appears on the page in connect when you change zones with hint text that says that if the data looks weird, its because you changed time zones, and that all will look normal the next day) (this only shows up on the web site, not the iPhone app). However, having just spent a week going from Charlotte to Dallas to Detroit to Tokyo to Manila and then back again, I’m not really happy with the way its handling things at all.

      Right now I have steps showing for 4 and 12 hours in the future, even though i’ve been in this time zone for 23 hours, and have never “been” to those times in the future yet. I have a total yesterday of almost 12,000 steps, but the by hour graph shows maybe 4-5,000 added up at most, and is missing the couple of airport miles from last night. (you can walk a lot in Detroit in 11 hours). Since I’ve been in this time zone for almost 24 hours, which is much more than I had offset, I would expect everything to have worked itself out by now.

      The way it handles sleep appears to be just as bad, if not worse. I don’t sleep on planes, so I have a couple of times that I’ve gotten no sleep in a 24 (or 42) hour period over this trip, and when I was sleeping it was usually on an Eastern US time zone pattern. So I was going to bed at 10:00 am local time in Manila, and waking up at 5-7:00 pm. I was using my sleep button, however, the iPhone app shows that I got no sleep at all, with no data. When I check online I see that I took a ‘nap’, but again, no data. I much preferred the force which treated sleep as sleep and didn’t try to be clever about naps vs. sleep. I’m assuming that Garmin only treats sleep as sleep if it happens during the range you have set based upon local time zones, in spite of triggering it on the tracker. Also, on those ‘nights’ when I got no sleep, Garmin appears to have kindly just given me 8 hours of sleep with a waking mood of happy (the default unless you take a couple of steps to correct it) with any tracking data of course, since I never actually hit the button (or slept).

      All of this was synced via iPhone since I can’t install any software on my work laptop, the time was corrected via sync upon arrival at each airport, and I can’t tell what things look like on Connect right now since it apparently has decided not to work this morning.

      Overall, I like the device, but it really seems like a whole lot of things either weren’t thought through, were majorly rushed to deployment, or were just not tested. Having come from a Fitbit Force (which actually warns you that if changing the time on your Fitbit may mess up your data, so I admit I never tried it) the overall user experience is a significant step down.

      I also just noticed this morning that Garmin Connect is telling me that a “update is ready” for my Vivofit, but I’ve just synced with my iPhone, and Garmin Express tells me that there are no update for my Vivofit. I want to say that it seems odd, but honestly right now when there aren’t outstanding issues, things seem strange. Stuff like this seems normal. (like the fact that my 610 apparently needs an infinite number of time zone map updates since even though they succeed, they still need to be done over and over.)

      And I still can’t upload a .tcx file.

    • Mark

      Ok, I just got my data to show on Connect. Its just as much a mess as it is on the iPhone. And although I set the time zone yesterday at 10:20 am local in Detroit, and went to sleep a bit over 14 hours later in Virginia, my sleep is referencing Tokyo local times (i.e. I went to sleep at 2:40pm, and woke up at 9:48pm)

      In short, right now this thing looks to count steps and measure sleep movement pretty well. But the logging and reporting of them seems to break down badly if you do any significant travel.

  167. I really like it so far. I have had the original Fuelband for 15 months and this is just as comfortable. It is nice to not have to press a button to see the time like I did with the Fuelband. The red inactivity bar is great. I like the new GC site too. The Vivofit syncs fine with my GS4.

    My only complaint is the lack of backlight. I didn’t think I would miss it much, but in one day I have already had 2 times that I wanted it. I would be okay with battery life being halved or even quartered if a backlight was available. Then again I have my phone 90% of the time, so I will just get used to checking the time on it (as I did before I had the Fuelband).

    Anyone want a black 1st gen Fuelband. It is like new because Nike replaced it back in November?

  168. Dima G

    OK, I got my VF on Monday and been using it non-stop. Bottom line, I like it a lot.
    Not going to talk about duplicate activities when using both VF and FR610. Give them time to fix that. It is SW, they needed to push the product out as this market is getting very crowded.

    I have been using FitBit One for over a year now, so I would refer to it as baseline for comparison. I am not saying it is 100% accurate, just reference.

    I used Force along with One and the step cont was significantly different over 20% higher on Force. I blamed it on the wrist vs clip.
    I used BodyMedia and it was within 1% (rounding error) from FB One.
    I used Misfit Shine. That thing was all over the place, hard to compare…

    Now after 3 days with VF, here is what I see.
    The step count is within rounding error from the FB One. This is very impressive, considering that it is wrist worn.

    HR is the same on 610 and VF, no issues there.

    What is NOT OK is the distance. Went running in NYC Central Park 2 days in a row with FB One, FR610 and VF. Full loop in the park is roughly 10K, or 6.4M. Plus getting back to the hotel is another 0.25M.

    Device Steps Distance
    FB One 12007 7.4M
    FR610 NA 6.75M (GPS)
    VF 12005 9.65M (!!!!!)

    I am assuming that the stride length needs to be adjusted, but don’t see setting like this on VF. FR610 on GC used to show stride length and in my case it was 0.93M.

    Another thing – on Monday the clasp on the VF unlocked twice – when I was taking my coat off and when I reached into backpack to get my laptop out. I am very worried to lose it, at $130 that would be devastating. I wonder if there is a way to add some security to the band, just like that one on the FR610 or any watch. I hope that Gamin folks are reading this. I will post it in the forums too.

  169. Alex

    i just got replay from Garmin that VF does not use First Beat technology and does not account HR when calculating daily calories. What is the point of this device having HR capability. What a waste!

    • Frank Young

      See David’s post #462. Looks like they are doing something useful with the HR data inside of GC.

    • Frank Young

      I just did a 90 minutes of inline skating while wearing the Vivofit, Polar Loop, and two HRM straps. I also ran Runkeeper on my phone. Runkeeper (which does nothing with heart rate but show it to you) awarded me 567 calories for this activity. Polar gave me 1,246 calories. Garmin gave me 1,174. Clearly Garmin is doing something with the heart rate data.

      Garmin connect is a rolling train wreck. What was working an hour ago may not be working now and HOW things work seem to be changing every day. At least Polar Flow still admits to being a Beta product.

  170. Travis Atkinson

    I really wish Garmin would get to updating the firmware so I can sync regularly with Nexus 4… right now it can only sync after a device restart. I get that they’ve started by supporting the big sellers like the Galaxy and HTC One, and that prior to Kit Kat BLE was not really supported in Nexus devices but that should not be the case now. Hate that I have to wait till I get home to sync my Vivofit as I can’t sync on my work computer due to SW restrictions.

    • Dan Wendell

      IEvery time I want to sync my vivofit with my Samsung Galaxy S4 I need to first re-pair it. Sync alone does nothing. I pair, it fails, but then the vivofit shows up as connected and then syncs.

      So, it works, just not well.

    • Guido

      I have been able to sync it multiple times with my nexus 4 by syncing it only when it’really close to the pho e. When i do this it almost always syncs fine

  171. Peter

    Just got a mail from CT, they are shipping my vivofit to France. I am so happy. Getting sick and tired of my Loop (charging it all the time …)

  172. tyrell

    So I have used my vivofit for 2 days and here are my short comments on the device.

    1. It feels very well on the arm. I like that garmin gives you the choice of bands so a replacement is easier to obtain.
    2. The display is easy to read with just a little ambient lighting.
    3. Connecting to a heart rate strap is so seamless. Not like the polar loop where you need to disconnect and reconnect.
    4. I mean it just works at tracking your activity. I don’t really care how accurate the steps are or the distance. The primary goal is to see if you have been moving or not. The heart rate feature was a plus for me.

    1. This can be summed up with one thing. GARMIN CONNECT. When it comes to syncing, actually reading the data, or using the site in general, all lead to issues.
    For one what the hell is Nap time? I hit sleep on my vivofit and then sync it up to garmin connect and it shows the time; however it also shows a nap time as well. So now instead of 7:30h of sleep it shows 7:30 + 7:25 nap time which equals 14:45 total time. Alas it still shows 7:30h of sleep in the chart view…. wth? The export feature doesn’t seem to work properly with my activity. Please Garmin. You have a winner. Just get the site together.

    • David

      I couldn’t agree more. I really like the hardware after a week, very comfortable and display is very nice considering the need to maximize battery life for an entire year. The problem is what was once novel hardware-wise 18-24 months ago is now a dime a dozen (ie. “fitness bands”) so what will really set these things apart in the long run is the software. I have not seen Garmin seriously attack the weaknesses of their software (both in terms of firmware issues with their fitness devices as well as the biggie, Garmin Connect itself) and was very hopefully when announced that the “new” Garmin Connect was Garmin finally getting serious but I am just not seeing it. The UI is poorly thought-out. The devices don’t work together. The website is very incomplete. The website doesn’t even format itself properly on some major browsers like Safari.

      What is Garmin thinking? This needs to happen faster and better. They have to spend the money to have more staff/help if that is what is required. When Apple and others get into the game they will not launch half baked software…

      The market remains WIDE open, no player yet has done what is necessary to really establish a foothold. I am rooting for Garmin as a user of their fitness products but I have anything but confidence they can do what is necessary in mobile/internet era of connected devices.

  173. David

    Ray & Fellow Travelers… was able to see how Vivofit handles time zone changes when it syncs with my iPhone on my trip this week. When jumping forward in time it simply skips or scores a 0 for that time on the graph. **When jumping BACK in time it does NOT overwrite previous data, it adds additional data to the previous time instead.** So basically you never can “lose” steps.

    The only scenario I have yet to test? A time change that results in jumping back to a previous day, ie. landing in New York at 1 am having left Los Angeles.

    • David

      I guess I should have said landing in Los Angeles having departed New York, where NY would be 1 am, and LA at 10 pm.

    • Yeah, I don’t have any upcoming trips that test that well (i.e. a NRT-USA flight). I have a few (i.e. CDG-SFO), but with the length of time I don’t ‘skip’ ahead unfortunately, nor skip back to a previous day.

    • David

      I seem to be arriving back in my domicile base of Chicago on PM trips just after the midnight hour and when I am coming from the East Coast I can test it. Hopefully since the data is on the band it can revert but it is a weird test. I am happy that it never overwrites steps in the cases I have tested so far, even if it creates the illusion of more steps in a given hour then you real had. Steps are steps.

    • Mark

      Last week, I took off in Manila at 5:56am on the 5th, landed in NGO at 10:20am, took off at 12:24pm from NGO (still on the 5th), and landed in DTW at 10:19am also on the 5th, where I stayed until flying home (which didn’t involved a time zone shift, but did involved a nice delay). The data for the 5th is messed up. The total step count looks right for the day, but the graph is off. I have almost no steps for the entire time I was in DTW even though I walked what was probably a couple of miles, and if you add up what each hour looks like, you get way less than the total amount for the day.

      I again pick up some steps at midnight when I got home, but the following day (the 6th), I have almost no steps until noon even though I was in fact walking around. By the 7th, everything seems to have settled down and gotten back to normal, but I suspect there is at least one bug in there.

  174. Guido

    I see here that in the “modern” Garmin connect interface you had a weight card, now i have just been migrated to the new site but i cannot see any trace of my last 2 years of weight logged… Am i missing something or are they discontinuing support for weight logging on GC?
    That would be a shame since i invested in a Tanita BC1000 and without GC it loses much of it’s value….

    • David

      It’s missing for now Guido, most believe it along with things like calendars, the ability to upload workouts etc. ARE COMING BACK but in the meanwhile Garmin hastily created a fix. If you click the left icon shaped like a person’s head and click “Switch to Classic Temporarily” it will take you back to the old site where you weight still remains and can be logged (in fact it is syncing to the Vivofit if you change it there!) then click “Modern” when you want to go back.

      What a mess.

    • Guido

      Hi David thank fr your answer.
      Yes i saw that if you switch back to Classic you still find all your data. It strikes me that in a previous version (the one that Ray reviewed here a few months ago) you could see a weight card but now it has been removed, add that to the fact that they removed the ability to connect to ant+ scales from new watches even if they are easily capable of supporting it and you have a picture where they are removing this functionality on purpose.
      I hope it is not as it looks…

    • David

      Ray didn’t review that version. It was a version he was shown at a booth at the CES electronics show by Garmin and screenshots he was given. That was a beta/mockup that clearly didn’t get finished in time for the Vivofit launch so now they give us this mix of old and new sites. They WILL add the weight widget back in… but who knows when?

    • Correct.

      Just looked through one of my e-mails about upcoming items/fixes from earlier this week from the Vivofit team, weight will be added to new GC “in about a month”.


    • Guido

      Good to know! Thanks

    • Guido

      I didn’t get it was just a mockup.. Anyway looks soon to be released so problem solved! Thanks

    • I think technically they were from the test/integration site, not straight mock-ups.

    • David

      Short of doing it themselves I hope Garmin at least fills you in on where they intend the whole new platform of Garmin Connect to “go” considering the rocky rollout and if they have changed any decisions in regards to integrating Vivofit with 3rd party apps considering some Garmin websites in foreign countries still have reference to working with myfitnesspal.com specifically.

      The silence is deafening. I have owned 4 different Forerunners, an Edge unit, 2 car units, and an aviation unit from Garmin but I have no reason to stay with their Vivofit band once the likes of Fitbit fixes the allergy issue if Garmin doesn’t seriously improve the integration with not only 3rd party apps but their own website and other products. Garmin has this amazing possibility to bring all of this together but it just hasn’t happened yet and the last year for me has been rough. Although I know you have had a decent experience Ray, my Edge 510 and Forerunner 620 have been the buggiest products from Garmin I have ever purchased… I hope something changes and I hope they clue you, and us in.

    • With respect to 3rd party integration, changes are already happening – mostly behind the scenes. You’ll see most of these changes in the next 2-6 weeks.

      For big-name apps, consumers will be largely be quite happy. For smaller 3rd party apps (including hobbyist type apps), folks will be upset. I’ll be covering both in a post a bit later this month once some of the announcements start happening on the big-name apps (and, the cost that comes to smaller apps).

    • Travis Atkinson

      Please integrate with LoseIt??? That would make the device perfect for my needs.

    • David Corsi

      Thanks Ray… that helps a lot.

    • If you’re interested to see LoseIt integrate with Garmin Connect (and thus, Vivofit), I’d recommend you e-mail them (LoseIt). Ultimately, it’s up to a given company to apply for connectivity through the API, and then pay the $5K fee to get access (officially).

  175. Mel

    Thanks for the great review of the vivofit. I have scoured some reviews and other websites but couldn’t seem to find these two answers…

    One, can the device tell the difference between different activities? The Polar Loop can, with fairly good accuracy, differentiate between sitting, standing, walking, and running. And it counts running steps as “more” towards your daily activity goal.

    Two, does it only adjust your step goal based on daily activity? Does it adjust your calorie or is there an overall activity goal?

    I’m super tempted to switch from my Loop to the Vivofit, primarily due to the always on display.

    • David

      1. The band targets steps. The website it syncs with categories if you were highly active, active, sedentary or sleeping but doesn’t break it out into sitting/walking/running etc. All goals are based on step totals, not calories burned. I do believe the band properly estimates calorie burn based on cadence and stride length, not just steps. For example if you run the calorie burn rises faster obviously not just due to more steps but increased stride length etc. It displays the calories so you can use it but doesn’t make an specific goals based on calories.

      2. Yes, goals adjust based on your daily steps and only steps. You can adjust the step goal manually.

  176. David

    And now the Vivofit won’t update for Daylight Savings Time in the US via the mobile app and only some folks are having success with the PC/Mac version…

  177. Mat Gerowitz

    Not syncing to the time change either via iphone or mac? Wonder what the deal is or when that will happen?

  178. Scott buchanan

    Just did my first activity sync with the Vivofit and all appeared to go O.K but looking on the Android app and steps for the day and week show ‘0’ and an upfate time of 11 minutes ago :(
    Frustrating! Is this a lag issue or something more worrying??

  179. Mark

    Just saw that Garmin released a Vivofit firmware update that fixes the daylight savings time issues we have had. Curious what else they may have added (did not see any notes published).

    • MaverickNH

      “Classic” Garmin Connect says 2.40 is available, but Garmin Express says my unit has 2.20 and that it is current….

  180. Christian Fardel

    Do you know if they will soon have to Garmin connect widgets weight and calorie tracking like some screenshot seen on the web

    • Yes, they plan to. The weight piece will be added in about a month. Calorie tracking is coming too (which will be de-duplicated on all devices you own).

    • Dick Morris

      The next obvious question is if the weight widget will work with bluetooth scales, or Withings, or some ANT+ scales.



    • It’ll simply expose the existing weight data (which came via ANT+ upload from some watches, as well as manual weight input).

  181. Janyne Kizer

    Do you have any idea if Garmin plans to add equipment tracking (shoes, etc.) to Garmin Connect?

  182. Chris Gautreaux

    I looked around a bit and can’t find a definite answer. I saw in your week in review from 3/2 it won’t help with cycling (which is fine for me), but will the Vivofit work on your ankle for steps/ calorie tracking?

  183. Hi All-

    Just a heads up that I published the Vivofit In-Depth Review this morning, which can be found here:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    As is usually the case, in order to reduce duplication, I’ll be closing new comments on this ‘First Look’ post. If folks have additional questions/comments, feel free to head over to the full in-depth review and post them there. Thanks all!