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Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2: Everything you ever wanted to know

Vivofit-Jr-2-Disney-Star-Wars-Garmin

Today Garmin announced the Vivofit Jr. 2, which takes their surprisingly successful Vivofit Jr. kids-focused product line and adds in a few features. But most importantly it cements a Disney partnership for branded variants of the activity trackers covering Star Wars, Avengers, and Mickey Mouse.  For those not familiar with the Vivofit Jr. lineup, I’d encourage you to read the general concept below.  It’s likely quite different than you expect.  If you don’t have kids though, you can skip to any other post I’ve had this week, and a few others coming today.

Now, you may be wondering why I’d review or evaluate such a product. And I’ve got two answers for ya:

A) First, it’s a fitness tech product.  And as a Dad, finding ways to keep kids healthy and active long term is super important; in the US especially it’s clearly something that needs to be focused on.  All of which is likely more important than finding a way to get slightly more aerodynamic with real-time CdA on a bike (though, that’s cool too).

B) Second, y’all simply asked for it. Fun fact for ya: During the 2016 holiday period, what was the most ordered product on Amazon/Clever Training via the links here on the site? Somehow…the Vivofit Jr. 1 activity tracker.  I’m not kidding. Oh, but here’s the real kicker: I’ve never written a post about the device prior to today. No review, no first look, no nothing. Only a single barely passing mention in the massive deals lists I usually do.  Crazy, huh?

Thus, I figured I’d take a look this time around with the new launch.  After all, with one little one roaming the planet already, and another almost here – it’s probably about time I figured out the names of these Disney characters.

Note that I’ve got a pile of media loaners of these units, but as usual I’ll send them back shortly once complete with testing. Likely tomorrow in fact, because all these boxes are taking up half my suitcase right now.  If ya found any of this useful, hit up the links at the bottom of the site to support the site.

The Models/Boxes:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Disney-Star-Wars-Bands

So there are a pile of different models of the Vivofit Jr. 2, all of which are tied to specific Disney ‘adventures’.  Essentially the way it works is a band is linked behind the scenes which unlocks a given software adventure for that particular Disney band (which I’ll cover later).  These adventures/themes are:

– Mickey Mouse
– Star Wars
– Captain America

But that aligns to six different bands:

– Stretchy Minnie Mouse
– Adjustable Minnie Mouse
– Stretchy Star Wars BB-8
– Adjustable Star Wars The Resistance
– Stretchy Avengers
– Adjustable Captain America

As seen above, there are either ‘Adjustable’ or ‘Stretchy’ bands.  The adjustable bands are aimed at kids 6+, while the stretchy bands are aimed at kids 4-7 years old.  Previously there was only a single size band.  Here’s the two band types side by side:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Band-Types

Now, assuming you buy an entire Vivofit Jr. 2 box (not just the band), here’s what you’ll get:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Side-Box-Short Vivofit-Jr-2-Unboxing-Shot

Inside you’ll find a small manual, the Vivofit Jr. 2, and…that’s it.  It runs on a coin cell battery that’ll last about a year or so, and is easily replaceable afterwards.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Unboxing-Parts

If you’ve got a Vivofit Jr. 1 – you can buy just the new adventure/themed bands, which will set you back $29 each (vs $99 for the full unit).  Here’s me swapping a Vivofit Jr. 1 pod into a Vivofit Jr. 2 band.  With the band, you’ll get an unlock code for that particular band’s adventure/theme, that you can add to the app.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Upgrade-Path

However, there are a few things to keep in mind that you won’t get unless you have a Vivofit Jr. 2 unit:

– Toe-to-Toe Challenge is only on Vivofit Jr. 2
– Reminder Alerts are only on Vivofit Jr. 2
– Only a single alarm on Vivofit Jr. 1 (versus two alarms on Vivofit Jr. 2)
– Up to 8 reminder alerts on Vivofit Jr. 2
– Color screen on Vivofit Jr. 2, versus not-color on Vivofit Jr. 1
– No color screen means no customizable Disney step icons on Vivofit Jr. 1.

No matter which unit you get, it’s totally waterproof for swimming.

Setting it up:

The first step is getting the unit set up, as well as your app and family instantiated.  The Vivofit Jr. doesn’t use the typical Garmin Connect Mobile app, but rather uses a totally separate app, aptly called ‘Vivofit Jr.’.  That said, that app does integrate behind the scenes to your regular Garmin Connect account, if you have one.

In my case, I already have an account for my regular adult Garmin devices, so I leveraged that.  Note, this should all be installed on the parents’ phone/device – not something the kids run.

Vivofit-Jr-Setup1 Vivofit-Jr-Setup2

Next, you’re going to need to create a family.  No, not in real-life, as hopefully that horizontal shuffle already happened.  Instead, this is re-creating it within the app.

Vivofit-Jr-Create-Family-1 Vivofit-Jr-Create-Family-2 Vivofit-Jr-Create-Family-3

You can also invite other people to ‘manage’ the kids as well.  So they can do so from their app.  Thus it doesn’t need to be a one-phone show.

Next, you’ll grab the Vivofit Jr. device and add it to the app.  To do so you just hold down the button for a few seconds and it starts the pairing mode.  It’s silly simple:

Vivofit-Jr-Pairing-1 Vivofit-Jr-Pairing-2 Vivofit-Jr-Pairing-3

Once you’ve associated the tracker with the app, you can create a child to add to the family.  This is simply setting the name, age, gender, and sleeping hours.

Vivofit-Jr-Create-Child-1 Vivofit-Jr-Create-Child-2

You can also configure either a default icon, or an avatar:

Vivofit-Jr-Avatar-2 Vivofit-Jr-Avatar-1

Finally, you need to specify a steps icon, which is tied to the theme that you bought.  The child will be able to unlock additional steps icons later down the road as they do more steps.  Also, you’ll specify the name displayed on the unit itself for the kid.  This is also used in competitions between devices.

Vivofit-Jr-Setup-Kids-Name Vivofit-Jr-Setup-Kids-Icon Vivofit-Jr-Setup-Kids-Done

At this point, you’re good to go.  In the event you have additional kids or devices to setup, you’ll repeat the process.  Note that the icons differ between the different Vivofit Jr. 2 packs that are bought.  So if you bought a Star Wars band, you’ll get Star Wars icons.

Using it:

With everything all set up, it’s time to get your family into gear.  Simply put, the kids will go off and go through their normal daily routine with the band and it’ll track their steps – just like an adult activity tracker would.  It’ll also track their sleep if they wear it 24/7.

They can see their steps at any time by just pressing the button on the front.  By default, it’ll show the time (as seen below).  Press the button once though and it’ll show the date.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Time

Press it again and it shows their selected icon along with the number of steps they’ve achieved this day.  Here’s where you see that customizable Disney step icon.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Mickey-Steps-Icon

Press it once more and they get a simple icon towards their ‘active minutes’ goal for the day (default is 60 minutes).  This is where things differ a bit from an adult in that on the Garmin adult activity trackers you’ve got step goals and intensity minute goals.  So this is just simplified as active minutes, without a specific step goal.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Activity-Goal

Tap it one more time and the child can see how many chores they’ve accomplished for that day:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Chores

Pressing again gets the child to their coin/point earnings for the day.  This is controlled by you within the app.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Coin-Earnings

Then lastly we’ve got the stars they’ve earned:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Stars-Earned

And that’s essentially the core screens a kid would use most of the time.  However, if they long-hold the button it gets into a second tier menu that offers:

– Sync with their parents’ phone: This will trigger the Vivofit Jr. 2 to start a data sync to upload steps
– Timed activities: These are pre-configured activities you can create like 15 minutes of homework time, or two minutes of brushing their teeth. They can iterate through icons of them and pick which ones to do, and the unit will count-down the time remaining for them.  This could be for ‘chore’-like activities such as homework, or rewards activities like screen-time.
– Stopwatch: Simply put, it’ll count time upwards forever.
– Step Challenge: The Toe-to-Toe Step challenge that I cover in a moment with a two-minute timer to get the most steps. This can be done either individually or against others.
– Software version: Just simply the current firmware, likely for any troubleshooting purposes.

Here’s an example of the challenge icon:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Step-Challenge

It’s all pretty straightforward and super easy to navigate around.

As I mentioned above, there are a couple of new features specific to the Vivofit Jr. 2, one of which is the ‘Toe-to-Toe’ challenge.  Within this, kids can challenge each other to a two-minute timed step contest.  To kick this off they dive into the menu through the two-tier set of menu button presses to begin the challenge.  The units then use wireless ANT to communicate between themselves to enroll participants and get ready to start.   It’ll show who you’re competing against as well as part of this.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Step-Challenge-Start-1 Vivofit-Jr-2-Step-Challenge-Start-2

Once started, the count-down timer is synchronized between all units and the contest kicks off.  Simply put, you’ve two minutes to amass the most steps.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-1 Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-2

During the competition you’ll get your time remaining and steps taken:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-Midway-1 Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-Midway-2

At the end of things it’ll tell you what place you got, as well as the totals of the other racers.

Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-Finish-1 Vivofit-Jr-2-Toe-To-Toe-Challenge-Finish-2

The kids can then choose to restart the contest again, in the event more mini-human energy consumption is required.

Note that Garmin says they plan to release a Connect IQ app for Garmin Wearables that will enable parents to participate in this circus act as well.

Speaking of the phone app, let’s switch over to that a bit, since that’s where most of the adult-focused action takes place.  To be clear, the app is split between things kids can do, and things that are more adult-driven.  First up is the home page listing the kids.  The second tab is the leaderboard, including adults or others that you’ve added on your contact list.  The third tab is app settings:

VivofitJr-Kids-Tab Vivofit-Jr-LeaderBoard VivofitJr-More-Tab

Within the kid’s dashboard you can select a given child (or add more).  By selecting a child you’ll get their detailed dashboard.  Within that, you can look at things like activity status throughout the day, as well as chores, rewards, and settings.  For example, on the steps page you can see not only today’s steps, but previous days, as well as sleep.

Vivofit-Jr-Child-1 Vivofit-Jr-Steps Vivofit-Jr-Sleep

The chores section is much the same, showing which chores are completed and allowing you to add chores – both to today as well as future days.  Or you could retroactively add chores to a previous day…in the event faking ballots is required.  In either scenario, chores are manually checked off by you in the app.  The kid can’t self-certify their own chores on the device itself.  Else…nothing would ever get done.

Vivofit-Jr-Chores-Child-Listing Vivofit-Jr-Chores-Child-Listing-One-Off

Chores are setup and created by you on either a daily schedule, or specific days of the week.  They can also be one-off chores.  Garmin lists a boatload of them to begin with, but they are totally customizable.  Each chore has a given point value associated with it.  Chores can be instantly duplicated across children, or left as a per-child thing.  Which is logical if you had chores for different aged kids.

Vivofit-Jr-Chores-list-1 Vivofit-Jr-Chores-list-2 Vivofit-Jr-Chores-list-3

Chores can also have a reminder time associated with it, so the child will receive an alert on their device when it’s time to brush their teeth, fetch you ice cream, or whatever else you’ve specified. That includes a custom icon and even custom reminder text:

Vivofit-Jr-Chore-Details-1 Vivofit-Jr-Chore-Details-2 Vivofit-Jr-Chore-Details-3

And this is probably the point where parents have the ‘ah-ha’ moment.  This isn’t just an activity tracker, but it’s also about tracking chores and potentially rewards for doing those chores.

Speaking of the rewards section, this is where a kid can redeem coins/points for the rewards you’ve specified.  You can specify rules for the rewards, in the event you’re a lawyer and need to implement additional terms and conditions.

Vivofit-Jr-Rewards-Child Vivofit-Jr-Rewards-Details

These rewards are much like chores in that you set them up either from a list of rewards with varying point values required to redeem them, or you can make up your own.  They also have custom icons, and can also be set across all kids, or just a given child.

Vivofit-Jr-Rewards-Creation-1 Vivofit-Jr-Rewards-Creation-2 Vivofit-Jr-Rewards-Creation-3

Last on that four-panel option, there’s settings for that child.  This is the same as above, simply allowing you to change the picture (or icon), background color, steps icon, alarms, and so on.

Vivofit-Jr-Child-Settings-1 Vivofit-Jr-Child-Settings-2 Vivofit-Jr-Child-Settings-3

But there’s still the most kid-focused piece left, which is the Adventure portion.  This is tied to the Disney component and will only unlock each day that the kid hits their 60-minute activity goal.  It’s the big play button up top.  This launches into a mini-game related to that particular adventure.  For example, below is a big pile of screenshots from the Mickey Mouse game. Regrettably, you can’t hear the music in my textual post, which is very Disney-like:

Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-1 Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-2 Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-3

As the child gets more and more days worth of activity, they get to unlock step icons, badges and so on – along with the all important move within the game.

Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-4 Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-5 Vivofit-Jr-Mickey-Adventure-6

The same is true for each of the other adventures.  For example, here’s the Star Wars one…which also has awesome music.

As you can see, the whole point to all of this is to find a way to keep kids engaged in being active.  It’s doing this on multiple levels, with varying incentives.  Whether it’s the Toe-to-Toe challenge or just hitting activity goals to unlock more badges/icons, they’re all tricky ways to get kids off of a video game and moving in real-life.

While my little one is still a bit too young to understand it all (she’d just prefer to press the button all day long), every other parent I’ve talked to that’s picked up the Vivofit Jr. over the last year seems to indicate their kids love it.  Since I haven’t had an in-depth review for it, there hasn’t really been a consolidated comments section – so it’s mostly just conversations in passing.  But I’d be curious to hear your thoughts below.

Wrap-up:

Vivofit-Jr-2-Bands-Collection

Overall, I’m impressed.  At least from the parental standpoint, I’m impressed with how much structure they provide in the app while still giving you tons of flexibility to build out your own chores/rewards scheme.  Same goes for silly genius things like the ability to set reminders on the kid’s bands for certain chores like brushing their teeth, or taking out the garbage.  As well as the ability to set quick count-down timers for homework or screen-time.

I’m sure there are probably nuances to the app and platform that I’m missing, lacking a gaggle of slightly older kids running around using them.  So I’d be curious to hear of any of those quirks in the comments from those of you that have been using the Gen1 devices.  But from a software and ‘story’ standpoint, it’s really impressive.

I’m also happy to see that Vivofit Jr. 1 folks can pick up the new Disney bands and not have to re-purchase entire units.  Obviously some features aren’t carried over (for example, the lack of color screen on the older units is limiting), but otherwise, the app unlocks properly based on the given band you bought.

All in all, pretty cool stuff – and really the only major player in this particular market at this point and time.  Certainly there are cheaper step-only solutions, but Garmin’s seems to go much further into making a cohesive system that’s more than just step tracking, but rather trying to help out in other areas of the house.

With that – thanks for reading, and feel free to drop any questions below!

Note: You can pre-order the Vivofit Jr. 2 activity trackers via Clever Training, which helps support the site here. In doing so you’ll get free US shipping as well as pickup redeemable points with the DCR/CT VIP program.  I appreciate it!

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48 Comments

  1. Paul S.

    So I assume the Peanut wears one on each arm?

    Those bands look suspiciously like the (old) Disney Magic bands. I’ve always wanted Disney to write an Apple Watch app to serve as a Magic Band so I wouldn’t have to wear something extra when I’m dragooned into going to Disney World, but I doubt the AW actually has the necessary hardware. Here Garmin could just drop the needed chip right into the band or the device. Then all they need to do is a periodic reminder that Parental Units should take the kid to the nearest Disney money sink…

    • James

      My kids have the vivofit jr 1’s. These are different hardware in the same form factor (as evidenced by the bands being swappable – and FYI, these units can also use vivofit 3 bands as well).

      They are definitely not nor have anything to do with the Disney Magic Bands – that’s a completely different set of kit. I like your idea but I don’t know that it’ll ever happen.

  2. David G

    Any Idea on availability in Europe? The CT link says “late October”. Was about to purchase the original model for sons Birthday on Oct 25th. But this one looks like a better option for my Star Wars fan!

  3. Bob

    This makes me wish my kids were still young. Looks great.

  4. Gonzalo

    I would like if the Vivofit Jr. 2 could track were my little one is.

    • Robert

      No GPS receiver in there, so no tracking…

    • Tyler

      Indeed, that would be a nice added feature.

    • Seems like a good idea on the surface, but it’s really not. Making a child trackable has its downsides as a little research will show you. No security is perfect so the same technology could be made into a child finding service for people other than the parents. You’re also missing the problem that the one time you would want to track your child, their wrist band may have been removed and placed in the park leaving you thinking everything is safe and fine for many hours after they went missing.
      That’s even ignoring the fact that teaching kids that being tracked 24×7 is fine will lead to an even worse future given the present day government fetish for spying on citizens. We need to tech them freedom instead!

  5. Randall

    My boys have been using and loving these units since they were released (v1). Garmin did an amazing job with the software. Each of them (5&8) have been empowered to learn great habits. They use the toothbrush timer on their own, they use the timer for Xbox time limits, etc. We setup chores together and the reward amounts for each then decided what they get when they redeem coins. That’s kept them motivated without dad harping to get chores done. E.g., 1000 coins = Xbox game. The magic is the phone app. Bedtime every night we sync up, they see their progress on their adventures, we check off “chores”, and then they get excited about who has the most “activity” steps. The app syncs steps from other Garmin users, so in this case, the boys love to see if they beat me or their mom. Really a well designed platform and device.

    • Scott

      +1 ditto!! my 4 and 5 year olds love them!

      my only complaint on the gen1 is they get dead pixels after 4-6 months of use. this has happen to use 2 already.

  6. Anders Skibsted Mogensen

    Great post, thanks. The cores part is awesome, I’ll for sure set a competition up between the kids :)
    The band seems to be for smaller kids, or are there also just simple colored bands available?
    Have you any advice for a tracker for 11-14 YO?
    Thanks,

    • Jeremiah

      Both Gen one and two can use the Vivofit 3 bands. That opens up the door for sizes and designs of all types. If the are a little older and into sports, maybe one of the full blown trackers like the Forerunner 35 or something like that would be better. They wouldn’t include the chore part, but might be more interesting for the sport part of everything.

  7. DJE

    Year Age werden had those Tamagotchis
    Now we put put Kids a wrist based tracker on so that they can beiden treared like the small computer pets: die you Drink, eat, walk enough? Healthy cute thing ;o)

  8. Felix

    We purchased the Gen1 device in December ’16 and were quite disappointed.

    1. The strech band was terribly small and led to itchy skin colorations. But at least the device was compatible with the normal Vivofit bands.
    2. The BT connection and resulting sync behaviour was a real pain. Especially with an eager kid waiting for some points to appear on the device.
    3. The stats were seriously lacking, too and the non-availability of a server-side sync means that everything is lost, when getting a new phone. Very annoying when one is used to the other Garmin devices.
    4. The device’s screen is of the same make as the Vivofit devices. Which means that the screen was scratched beyond use basically within four weeks. Our 7-year-old is still quite the sand builder and that was not something the Vivofit Jr. could stand well.

    All in all we liked the idea, but the product itself was seriouly lacking for us.

  9. Vic

    What age group is this tageted at? Looking for an excuse to spoil the grandchildren….

  10. Bruce

    Gen 1 user since Christmas for kids ages 9 (girl) & 5 (boy).

    Overall very positive experience, though expectations should be managed accordingly for a $69USD piece of sports tech, as it is not without shortcomings, but benefits far outweigh.

    Stretch bands are mostly durable, having been through skateboard camps and the occasional cycling spill. Our daughter’s had to be replaced at around six months, but that is more due to her fidgeting with it constantly and twisting it until the point it tore. Was able to find its replacement online for $10USD, and the twisting has stopped because she was told the next band comes out of her own savings. Our son’s band is still fine.

    Device face is fairly durable, but hard scraping contact with pavement, like from a bike spill, will scar it. Both of our kids’ device faces are scarred but legible, so sapphire crystal it is not, but neither is the price point.

    We like that the device can be customized with the child’s name. Unbeknownst to us, our daughter took hers off at Sea World when touching the rays and forgot it, leaving it behind. When we checked at their lost and found, it was nice to be able to validate it was indeed ours by informing the employee of her name on it.

    Steps and activity time work great for goal oriented children, as ours immediately became aware of their own activity, and they routinely strive to achieve their 60 minutes of exercise. On weekends, we also tie any video game time to completion of their daily activity, which further reinforces their motivation to get out and about.

    Only significant negative we found is with the Vivofit Jr. App itself. Another motivator for our kids to achieve their daily goal was they really wanted to make their daily move in the Adventure, essentially a wildlife nature trail learning experience. After hitting their goal daily for six months straight, they actually hit the ‘end of the trail’. I contacted Garmin about it, but obviously it was months before this portion of the App was addressed.

    One unexpected but significant positive. Our 5yo son could ‘read’ a clock, but couldn’t really tell time or have awareness of how long things took. With the activity tracker on his wrist, he quickly learned how to tell time all the time, and if we told him something would take five minutes and explained what that meant in terms of the time on his tracker, he could patiently wait without continually making the same request.

    Obviously others’ results will vary dependent on kids’ specifics, but our experience is positive enough that we’d definitely purchase again.

    • Bruce

      One add that I didn’t notice in the article or comments is that I believe the core pod is form, fit and function the same as a Garmin Vivofit 3 (Ray, correct me if wrong on specific item please), so if your kids outgrow these bands or you want a more neutral band AND their wrists are big enough to fit a Vivofit 3, then the benefit can continue, albeit still within the Vivofit Jr App constraints…

    • Nena

      Exactly the same as vivofit 3. So can use vivofit bands. However the bands also come in an extra large size. I prefer the bands for kids cos you can slip on and off without need for buckles.

    • Akal

      I can relate to this feedback! I am big fan of the vivofit range and all the family has one.
      The jr v1 had two problems however: stretchy band broke quite early and the screen is both scratchy and filled by a black spot having the time almost not readeable.
      Good excuse now to upgrade.

  11. Bunny

    I would like to get some of these to feed little monsters at Xmas night.
    Anyway , are there Pokémon bands?

  12. patrick

    Wow. This is a really interesting turn to a new market. I’m super impressed.

    Definitely looking forward to shots on the Peanut’s wrist now!

  13. Ale Muñoz

    Hey Ray, congrats on the upcoming P2 (I’ve recently joined the 2nd kid club, so welcome!)

    Quick Q, since it’s not clear on the article: is it available in a non-Disney package? I’d rather have non-branded content on the device and the phone app, since our kids are already subjected to enough brainwashing through other channels.

    Thanks!

  14. Tony Goncalves

    “The adjustable bands are aimed at kids 6+, while the stretchy bands are aimed at kids 4-7 years old. Previously there was only a single size band.”

    Correction: they actually do make a Vivofit Jr XL stretchy band, available in 5 colours, for about $20 each. My 10 year old outgrew his original band pretty quick last winter, luckily the XL band fits perfectly.

    Tony

  15. Aasen

    The band looks like something that I most likely will buy for the little one (2 1/2).

    But are a few things relating to the account that is not entirely clear. Not sure if anyone here can answer these questions.
    When you set up this profile, can this information be transferred to a future “full Garmin” accounts?

    Is it possible to set up these “JR” accounts towards to the Garmin index scale?

    Have turned out that the Garmin Index scale doesnt work for anyone under 16 or so, as they are not allowed to have a Garmin account. Would be hoping that by setting up these, I could set up an account that keeps all the information and can be turned into a “full acount” down the road.

    • Bruce

      Aasen, I’m not the most tech savvy guy on this forum, more of a knuckle-dragging mechanical guy than app, software or tech savvy gent. So if others found a way, perhaps they will weigh in. In my experience, I was not able to get their Jr data into my ‘full Garmin’ account, though I only considered it directly and not via 3rd party apps. That said, my ‘full Garmin’ data does transfer to their Jr app, which enables parents et al to ‘compete’ with the kids’ daily step activity via the Jr app Leaderboard. Our scale is a Withings (Nokia), so even less help there…

    • RE: Transfer to non-child account.

      Not at the moment, but I passed the feedback along this morning since it’s come up a few times. Garmin seems to indicate that’s something they’re excited about.

      RE: Scale

      I don’t see any obvious way, but I’ll ask.

    • Aasen

      Thanks for following up on this.

      The scale issue is something that has been annoying me since I got it.
      It cant really be used without a Garmin Account, and a garmin account cant be set up for anyone under 16 or lower than 1m.
      So whenever the little one steps one, his profile appears but all data (except weight) is crap.

      And for the JR, I would be hesitant to use it if the data is not “open” and could be included in an future Garmin account.

  16. Doug Davis

    My daughter has had the 1st Gen vivofit jr for almost a year (she is 8) and loves it. Watch is nice but it’s all about the adventures, which we usually do right at bedtime. Just updated the Android app but not seeing the new adventures. Maybe the updated Gen 2 app isnt public yet but here’s hoping the new adventures work for Gen 1 vivofit j.

  17. Jeremiah

    Purchased Gen 1 for our oldest son last year for his 5th birthday. Overall he loves the idea of being able to compete with Dad on who had the most steps is a day and then being able to complete his adventure trail if he moved enough during the day. We found that during the winter, it was harder for him to hit that 60 minute goal(we live in Colorado) even though he is still very active inside but just can’t get out a run as much.

    Pros:
    1. He loves tracking his steps and making sure he is moving enough in a given day.
    2. Tracking chores does help them them get done
    3. Great concept and they have continue to improve the app over the last 10 months.
    4. Fun friendly family compition from steps has been fun

    Cons
    1. He’s an active 5 year old and has already destroyed the face of two of them. Somehow he managed to kill pixels and you couldn’t read the watch in places anymore (covered under warranty but still a pain)
    2. Watch face scratches very easily
    3. The stretch band developed cracks and was starting to split (he’s s 5 year old, he never stops playing with it)
    4. Lack of Find My Watch support. He misplaced the watch for a while and it would have been nice to be able to make the watch play a noise like you can on the Fenix 3 etc
    5. Lack of ability to add active minutes from activities such as biking or things where your arms are moving(but that is most devices not just this one).

    Overall it has been a fun device and his brothers are already saying that they want ones when they get older. The head to head competition is a neat feature and should be fun to see in the next few years as the younger ones get older and want to compete as well.

    Thanks for the post as always Ray!!!

  18. Mr T

    I know this isn’t intended to be a sports watch, but if Garmin released a kids multi-sport watch I’d sit up and take notice – probably as a Christmas treat. The idea of unlocking rewards by more traditional sports related activity (for example, completing a 5km Parkrun or 2km Junior Parkrun) might help with the odd grumble when getting up on a weekend morning. And be an incentive to take the bike a bit further rather than just stopping at the playground.

    My youngster currently has an old TomTom Runner hand-me-down watch for tracking weekly runs (not for pace or that nonsense – just for looking back year on year if we keep it up that long) and it doesn’t fit well, nor do a great deal.

    Chuck in a GPS and OHR, wire that into a Livetrack type system that can be remotely activated by parents (may as well if you’ve got the tech) and even with the increased price I’d seriously be thinking about it as a Christmas present. Judging by the number of people who follow this site and like sports tech, I don’t think I’d be alone either.

  19. Tyler

    Bought my kids the original, but the stretchy band only just barely fit 1 of them, so I returned the others.
    Glad to see the new adjustable band, and that it fits the original.

    The added features are also things we were missing.

    Another good feature would be to allow the device to be totally silenced during periods of the day, such as sleep, or while at school.

    Overall, we’re happy with our original.

  20. Stephane

    Hi
    Can you tell me if the band vibrates for alarm or chore reminders??
    Thanks

  21. KilkennY

    I have two daughters. One 6 and the other 8. Both have the vívofit JR, and both watches had pixel flaws within the first week.
    The software has potential but the quality of the watch is not good enough for kids.
    I’m very disappointed 😔

  22. Yan

    Is there any other languages available or only English?

  23. Brian

    My son has had one for the past year and overall it’s great. My biggest beef is that the app is pretty limited in terms of data. I would livw to have a simple reports screen like in the normal connect app that would allow me to see sleep/steps over the course of the week. As a parent it would be cool to be able to say, gee he’s not moving as much on the days he doesn’t go to school. Right now all you get is a one day snapshot and it makes it hard to see trends.

    Also, no idea on this but when they “age out” of the vívofit jr does thier data go into a black hole or would it be possible to migrate accounts to a full connect account.

    Finally, it would be great if they could also add the ability to track actual activities similar to the vivosmart trackers. My son would love to be able to track his runs like me, even if it is just a toddler trot, the functionality is there I’m sure.

  24. Sal

    1 question:
    my sons (8 and 5) love their bands. So I gave one as a gift to my godchild (8).
    Unfortunately they can’t compete agaist each other. Only parents of different familys/accounts can connect (useless for this purpose). Children of different accounts/families can’t connect.
    What about version 2? Can they connect now and chalenge each other (the more dayly steps, etc.) ?

    • Nena

      Except, there is going to be a completely updated version of the app, I don’t think so.
      I’ve just had a look at the app and there is no such updated functionality.

  25. Andrew Clarke

    It looks like these are only available with marketing bands. The last thing I want on my kids’ wrists is some sort of Disney/Marvel/Star Wars consumer tie-in, nothankyouverymuch. A quick look at garmin.com indicates that that’s the only way I can get one of these.

    I considered getting the first version for my kids, but decided against it. I’d rather them learn to do chores based on their own internal drive, rather than an external motivator. Just like I want to teach my kids to do things without me nagging them, I don’t want them to be conditioned to wait for an electronic nagger. I’m not a psychologist, but this just doesn’t seem healthy for a brain that is still developing and learning motivation.

    If I’m just getting it for the activity tracker, I think my older daughter would think it’s very cool for a while, but ultimately would want something more. Maybe she’ll want my wife’s Fitbit Charge 2 if I get her a Vivoactive 3 for Christmas. My younger daughter, still in the target age demographic, would probably think it was neat for about an hour then just want to get back to colouring, riding her bike, or whatever.

  26. Tosin

    So #2 is Walnut? We went Chestnut for our #2.

  27. Cody L Custis

    It goes a year without charging, by using the retained power of a force crystal in a coin cell battery. No wonder everyone wants to buy one.

  28. James

    Tell me this didn’t push the Vivoactive 3 review to the back of the line….

  29. dan

    I got my 8 y/o son one of the earlier Vivofit Jr v1 bands a few months ago. We’re relatively happy with it. My reason for getting it was to track his sleep and – as you noted the brilliance behind the device – to provide incentives to complete simple chores and correct bad behavior (e.g. fighting bedtime). So far, so good. The sleep tracking seems accurate (catches the times he wakes in the middle of the night) and my son is fixated on earning coins, so is excited to do most of his tasks. He also uses the timer regularly.

    One other positive feature (I didn’t notice mentioned) is that the Vivofit Jr can sync to two phones. This lets both me and my wife to check off tasks/chores as they’re done. This is vital for active families and for parents who share the load.

    I’m glad to see there is now an adjustable band in addition to the stretchy band. Before, the only other option was to buy an adult-sized Vivofit band, which isn’t all that great an option for older kids in the target age range.

    There are a few negatives for folks to know.
    We’ve discovered is that the sleep tracker function doesn’t track naps. There also isn’t a manual function for it to attempt sleep discovery either to capture naps.
    The screen seems to scratch too easily.
    The Bluetooth has been frustratingly buggy at times. I compare it to the attitude a cat gives. “I’ll do it when I feel like.” The issues begin and end with an app update so I assume it’s an app issue and perhaps due to failures in Garmin’s QA procedures.

  30. Rob

    The Vivofit Jr 1, was an awesome investment. The only thing I recommend, as my wife found out, don’t buy the cheap aftermarket replacement bands. These are what you pay for. 3 for 20 usually, and you’ll go through all of them in less than 3 months. As a result, the cheap one broke while my daughter was at a concert and she lost her watch. Stick with the tough OEM bands and this thing will last your kids!

  31. Michael Cox

    taking the chore list and the ingame adventures what do you think they could do to make it a adlut version? i’m not talking adult disney but regular garmin units. it’ll be cool to see it developed more!