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Garmin’s Vivomove HR: Everything you need to know


Sometimes, beauty is only skin deep.

And unfortunately in the case of the Vivomove HR – that’s never been more true.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  The Vivomove HR is the second iteration of Garmin’s dabble in classic timepiece looking watches, which they kicked off last summer with the original Vivomove.  These watches were Bluetooth Smart connected, but mostly looked like a regular watch.  They did, however, have an internal step-counter in them, and could track other activity metrics like sleep and even some exercise.  They were essentially Garmin’s take on the once popular Withings Activité trackers.

And while Garmin didn’t sell a ton of them – I actually thought they were pretty darn cool and looked really nice.  The one challenge they faced though was lack of a heart rate sensor on the back (which Withings added in their Steel HR variant), as well as more clear smart notifications.  Add those two things in, along with a pile of other features like stress tracking and you’ve got yourself a Vivomove HR (priced at $199USD).

(Yes, I’m slowly iterating through each of Garmin’s three announcements last Thursday. Given I only have so many wrists…and so many workouts…I’m spending quality time with each. Sometime tomorrow I’ll also post on the new Vivosport after I’ve finished a couple more workouts.)

The Tech Details:

As noted earlier, the Vivomove HR is designed to be the upgrade for the existing Vivomove.  That watch lacked an optical HR sensor, or any sort of data fields on the display aside from mechanical step counters.  On the flip side…man, it looked nice.

With the new Vivomove HR you’ve got a display hidden behind the watch face.  It’s an incredibly impressive piece of engineering.  If you look at the watch in any light, you won’t see the display hidden behind. It just looks like a normal watch:


Yet once you tap it or raise your wrist, the display illuminates and you get data:


The watch can show all sorts of metrics, with similar data fields to that of the base Vivosmart units.  For example, you’ve got the following data pages:

Date/Day + Steps
Date/Day + Time + Battery Status
Steps and Step Goal for Day
Flights of Stairs and Stair Goal for Day
Intensity Minutes and total goal for week
Distance walked
Music control (for phone)
Weather at current location, high and low forecast
Smartphone notifications (anything from texts to Snapchat)
Current Heart Rate + 7 day Resting HR
Current Stress Score
VIRB Action Cam Remote

Phew! Lots of options, all customizable via the Garmin Connect app.

2017-09-06 14.07.58 2017-09-06 14.07.53

Here’s a small gallery of some of the data pages:

I really like the icons and such on the weather page in particular, just super clean and well done.


Another subtle touch is that when data fields are illuminated, the watch hands actually move up and out of the way, kinda like doing the YMCA song.  That way it doesn’t block the text fields.  The split second the display turns off – the hands go back to their position.

When it comes to the band, the stock/default is a silicone material, though they use standard quick release watch bands – so any 22mm band should do just fine.


Charging-wise, they skipped the semi-universal (2017 anyway) charging cable that’s on the Fenix 5/FR935/Vivoactive 3/Vivosport and went with the same connector used on the Forerunner 735XT, Forerunner 35, and a few other watches I can’t think of at the moment.  Battery-life wise, the unit claims 5 days in smartwatch mode, and two weeks in non-smartwatch time-only mode.  Note there is no GPS in it, and it can’t leverage your phone for GPS either.  It does however track/determine VO2Max, which is a nice surprise for a unit of this price point.

For the optical HR sensor on the back, it’s the same 2017 edition of the Garmin Elevate sensor you see on the FR935 and Fenix 5, among other watches:


This means it’s recording resting HR 24×7 at 1-2 second intervals, which is kinda nifty.  Same goes for daily stress levels, which was introduced on the Vivosmart 3 this past spring (and is coming shortly to the FR935 and Fenix 5 too).  All of that is viewable on Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile as well:

2017-09-05 23.41.43 2017-09-05 23.41.54

In addition to capturing the data on Garmin Connect/watch, you can also re-broadcast your heart rate over ANT+, using what’s called re-broadcasting.  This is useful if you have another device like an Edge cycling device or perhaps even Zwift on a desktop computer.  Virtually all of Garmin’s wearables with optical HR sensors support this function.

Furthermore, all of the step and related data will show up there too – and even in the new interface that consolidates the data far better on the home page:

2017-09-05 23.40.43 2017-09-05 23.41.02

Same goes for sleep data and any other activity metrics.  Note that it will automatically track certain activities like riding a bike or running.  The default trigger time can be set within the unit, and then from there it’ll create legit activities in your activities page.  Else you’ll just see them show up as sorta-activities on your calendar like below (my calendar is a mess because of all my devices, but note the 17:00 cycling activity):

2017-09-05 23.42.03 2017-09-05 23.41.27

You can manually trigger a workout by holding down the screen and starting a handful of workout types.

Now everything I just covered works great.  I’ve had no issues with anything above from a technical standpoint.  It’s clean and happy and life is grand.  Except one itty bitty thing.

Where it all went wrong:

What’s somewhat ironic is that I didn’t actually notice this…umm…’glaring issue’ at first.  See, Garmin had sent over a white and goldish Vivomove HR to try out, mostly aimed at The Girl giving it a whirl.  As such, I didn’t end up wearing it much the first few days at Eurobike, aside from pairing it to my phone and poking at it a little bit inside in the evenings.  Then, over the following few days the weather was dismally rainy – so again, I was either inside or the thunderstorms kept the outside light pretty dark.

So it wasn’t until this past Sunday while walking around with it outdoors during the day that I realized something crazy: You actually can’t see the screen outdoors with any daylight.

Here, let me explain.  This is the screen outdoors:


Oh, and the above? There’s actually text on the screen showing my steps.  But you can’t see it – it’s totally invisible. (You know the picture above is legit with data because the hands on the watch are doing the YMCA dance.)

Here’s what happens if I find a darker/shadier spot near the bushes.  The text is faint, but still visible (it actually looks better in the camera due to getting the exposure just perfect with the refresh rate).


And thus, the fail boat we have.

With confusion I went back to Garmin to ask what I was doing wrong, and unfortunately the answer was nothing (and it wouldn’t be appreciably different on the other color scheme model).

This was simply the tradeoff they made to make the underlying display totally invisible when not showing text.  And to be fair – that part does work well.  Really damn well – it’s incredible.

Except, the invisible part carries over to where it shouldn’t: When you actually want to see the text.

And thus you end up with a watch that doesn’t show you anything when outside.

And honestly, that’s really all there is to say about it.  I’m not sure how many more ways I can say that the display is totally useless outside.

Oh, wait, actually, here’s The Girl’s official one word review on it: “Eck.”

She’s back on her Fenix 5S.



The Vivomove HR is a watch that is stunningly beautiful when used inside.  It’ll look great on trade show floors, as well as inside your friendly Best Buy.  Really – I’m not kidding when I say it’s a stunning watch, especially technologically to have the display hidden behind the watch face and only appear when you raise your wrist.  It’s brilliant.

Unfortunately, it’s just a bit too far ahead of its time.  Without the ability to go outside and use the watch for the very thing you’re likely to do outside with it: Use it.

As such, it seems half-baked at best.  Yes, the display technology is cool, but not when you make an active watch that can’t be used outdoors.  Hopefully, we’ll see them take another crack at this, because if it had worked I’d happily recommend it to those that fit a certain profile.

But in this case, I can’t see who I’d recommend it to.

With that – thanks for reading.

(As an aside, in the next day or so I’ve got a post on the Vivosport that was also announced last week. While I see the Vivomove HR as a flop, Garmin did announce five products in total last week – the others being very solid.  So four out of five isn’t a bad ratio, or so says pharmaceutical TV commercials.)

Update FYI: In the event you’d still like to purchase the Vivomove HR (perhaps you live in Seattle where it’s always overcast), you can do so via Clever Training.  You’ll get 10% back in points with the DCR/CT VIP program, which you can use towards other products.  Thanks for the support!

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  1. Andrew

    Quick question – you show a screenshot with a new interface – is this on the iOS ConnectIQ App? Is it Vivomove specific or some unreleased version we don’t have yet because its rather different tow hat I see.

    • Jo

      It’s the Beta version – you can switch in the Settings menu on the app

    • Neil Jones

      I’ve yet to see anyone confirm that this is an option with the iOS version though. I could be wrong, but I certainly don’t see it in settings. Are you running iOS or Android?

    • My screenshots are all iOS.

      My understanding is that it’s only being ‘offered’ to a smaller percentage of users. I think like 20-30% is what I heard.

    • Clint L

      It was my understanding you had to opt into the beta testing program for Garmin to even be offered the new platform. I have been using for about a month and I personally love it.

    • paul barton

      i have the option, seems like a 50:50 split on people who see it in settings

    • Daniel

      I opted in for the beta and received the new display. After about a week-ish I received a question. They asked what I thought. I told the truth….I loved the new interface. I thought it was the best I’ve seen. A day or so later….bang ….new interface gone and I got stuck with the old one.

  2. portemat

    I disagree with you here, Ray.
    I like having 24×7 HR / steps / other tracking etc.
    But I hate wearing an ugly watch all day. And, you know what… I only look at my trackers during the day to see the time. The other data, I use only on the phone app (as I am really only looking at trends)
    So, while there is clearly an issue with this screen, I am most definitely in the market for a full-featured smart watch that looks like a watch. A mostly invisible screen is fine for me.

    • Same here. I’ll switch from my Withings as soon as this is ready to buy. I just wish it had a mechanic date element on it.

    • CG

      Ditto, very interested in this for those very same reasons

    • Peter

      I would strongly agree, not being able to see notifications in the sunlight really wouldn’t deter me. As someone looking for a something stylish to wear in business and in every day life this really ticks the box.

    • Thomas

      I can see your points, but wouldn’t also be achieved with some sort of a screen-saver? I mean… with this display, you never can see the details in sunlight. It should be that you don’t need to see them when you don’t want to see them.

    • Peter

      I think the point is not necessarily that I want to be able to hide the screen but more the point that I really wouldn’t be checking this information on the watch religiously. This is a great looking timepiece first and foremost, one that also has the benefit of the activity tracking etc. I just think for a lot of people like myself wouldn’t put this viewing issue in sunlight as a big fail. If I’m outside doing an activity I’m using my Garmin running watch, I certainly wouldn’t be using this.

    • Adam

      I have recently purchased a used Vivomove MKI watch and as long as you don’t want the “bells and whistles” of the MKII may be suitable.

      I’ve recently moved to Garmin from Withings and the Vivomove MKI gives most of the features of that system, except the alarm.

  3. Vladimir Gorbunov

    Thank you for this review! I am very interested in this watch. How do you think, will the screen look better on men’s black background?

    Also do the watch hands show the actual time during HR broadcasting via ANT+?

  4. Jasper

    You’re a lifesaver Ray.
    I’m in the market for (possibly) a vivoactive 3 for myself and (possibly) a vivomoveHR for The Girl. But after reading this… I will look elsewhere for The Girl!!

  5. Jeff K

    So what smart watch would you recommend for skinny wrists that looks reasonably attractive, lasts close to a week, and doesn’t cost more than 200-ish? My wife loved her pebble round… for about a week. The battery rarely lasted more than a couple days.

  6. Johnny

    “Unfortunately, it’s just a bit too far ahead of its time.” – Nice one in a watch review…

  7. I think everything I want to know would also include the price.
    Or did I miss it?

  8. Jason


    While the watch face doesn’t display well in out in open daylight, can that be somewhat remedied by you know, creating a shadow with your other hand? If that works then I’d say it’s a minor annoyance rather than a complete fail.

    • A little bit, but depends on the brightness. Full sunny day and you’ve gotta play pick-a-boo a bit. I guess my thinking is at that point you might as well just get the original Vivomove. After all, you’re paying a premium for the display.

    • Dan

      Seems as though the display is part of the ‘premium,’ but as you point out above there are also many other additional features.

      “Add those two things in [“heart rate sensor on the back”…”as well as more clear smart notifications”], along with a pile of other features like stress tracking and you’ve got yourself a Vivomove HR”

    • Matthew Weigel

      To be honest, I’m more interested in the vibration alert than being able to read the alert on the watch most of the time. I have just found that I prefer wrist vibration to phone vibration.

      I recognize that it’s a little weird to pay a premium for a smart display you can only sometimes use, but that “sometimes” will include most of my day and I’ll still at least know I should look at my phone when I’m outside.

    • Jason

      As always thanks for the input.

  9. Cody L Custis

    “Charging-wise, they skipped the semi-universal (2017 anyway) charging cable that’s on the Fenix 5/FR935/Vivoactive 3/Vivosport and went with the same connector used on the Forerunner 735XT, Forerunner 35, and a few other watches I can’t think of at the moment. ”

    Yikes. If Garmin won’t commit to using a universal cable, I see no reason to commit to their marketing departments description of said cable as universal.

  10. Richard Kaufmann

    I think the fine folks at Garmin can never make up their minds. My Vivoactive HR is hard to read indoors, but easy in sunlight. Here we have the opposite!

    The Withings/Nokia Steel HR has different issues. The digital display is bright, but too small. And the hands (at least on the black watch) are too skinny, and it’s even hard to tell the analog time!

    Extremely frustrating. I think I’ll go back to using sundials.

    (Serious note: for my day job I work for a company whose sister company makes sport watches. I don’t know those folks, and am writing this as an individual.)

  11. JR

    I’m going to disagree on the screen being a dealbreaker. Most people aren’t actually outside all that much, and it isn’t a huge issue to have to wait until you’re inside to see your data. If it’s really urgent for some reason, you can always check on your phone. Which reminds me that it wasn’t all that long ago that you couldn’t see most smartphone screens outside either!

    The bigger issue to me is that the watch is simply much less attractive than either its predecessor or the Steel HR.

  12. PeterF

    Can you log a workout manually using the app (preferably with the ability to specify what type of workout, like “yoga”)? One of the things I like about my fitbit is being able to check whether todays workout really was harder (HR based) than yesterdays or if it was just in my mind.

    • You can log a workout using the app, but it won’t have data associated with it – except those values you manually stick in.

      But workouts will auto-detect for certain sports, so then those would show up within the app.

    • PeterF

      Thanks Ray. That is actually more of a deal breaker to me than the screen-in-daylight problem.

      If/when you do a full review of the new trackers, could you also compare the vibration strength (for alarms) compared to Fitbit? I returned a VivoSmart 3 because it failed to wake me…

  13. Peter

    Can it be used as an BT HRM? I.e. for Endomondo on my phone.

    • Peter

      Whops – I just found the answer here:
      link to buy.garmin.com
      “HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+™ to paired devices)”
      How silly is that?? Only ANT+, but why not BT???? :-(

    • No, Garmin’s only done ANT+ re-broadcasting on their products, not yet BLE re-broadcasting.

    • And to clarify further there, there’s only one product today (Polar A370) that does true BLE re-broadcasting to my knowledge – and even that’s got some weird quirks in it.

    • Erik

      As someone asked earlier, but I didn’t see a response – does it continue to show the time when it’s broadcasting HR over ANT+? Or do the hands just stay at 10 o’clock so you can read the screen?

    • In HR broadcasting mode, it’ll briefly do the YMCA dance, and then within a few seconds the hands will go back to normal and the screen will turn off. It’ll remain broadcasting.

      Said differently: It works exactly like one wants it to.

  14. David W

    Garmin isn’t the only one that completely screwed up the outdoors readability of a display. I had (briefly) a Mio Slice. The display was great indoors but completely unreadable outdoors. The display was dim and there was a huge reflection from the “glass” (really, plastic, I think) in front of the display. Mio’s recommendation was to stand in the shade to read the watch- hardly a viable option. So, back to them it went.

  15. Orestas

    So if I understand correctly, everything else other than outside readability (like HR accuracy, sleep tracking) is great? If so, this is a very interesting watch for me.

    Ray, in one of your posts you previously mentioned that you would have more details about Withings Steel HR, but that was about half a year ago, can we still expect a review? Steel HR and this one seem the most interesting watches for me with Steel HR having a better battery life, but not sure about anything else.

    • Yeah, I haven’t played with it a ton since then. My primary concern right now with Withings is the whole Nokia mess. I’m not sure I can trust anything in the company at this point from a long term viability standpoint. Which is really too bad, as I loved their stuff when they were independent.

  16. Björn

    Have you got a release date (especially for Germany)? Dispite your concerns this still seems to be the watch/tracker I have been waiting for so long.

  17. Markus

    Do you think the stress really uses hrv Data ?
    Or does it only show stress when heart rate is elevated?

    • Markus

      Hi yeah but do you think they use real hrv? 1-2 sec readings just seem not enough for this. Or do they use : ” oh pulse is high without moving – it’s stressful ” you know what I mean?

    • It seems pretty real to me. Companies can do HRV at rest just fine with optical HR sensors these days, it’s while moving where things go to crap (hence why the Stress feature doesn’t work with lots of motion).

    • Markus

      Okay cause I saw your day and it seems it measured stress everytime ur pulse goes up so I thought it’s pulse high = stress?
      But you think it really correlates to hrv? Not high or low pulse?

    • No doubt there’s an element of the two being linked loosely, but no, I really don’t think it’s a simple 1:1 ratio. The FirstBeat folks have talked at length about this, so I’ll have to dig up some info on it there.

  18. “Charging-wise, they skipped the semi-universal (2017 anyway) charging cable that’s on the Fenix 5/FR935/Vivoactive 3/Vivosport”
    Why they did this? Is it really so hard to make one connector for all devices?

  19. Jose

    Still think this isn’t a complete failure…
    Anyway do you know when it is available to buy in the UK?

  20. Pete Parfitt

    And presumably this will work with True Up, Garmin’s step amalgamation platform. So maybe this for all day tracking and 935 for workouts (if I had the money to buy them)

  21. Michael Robertson

    I was 99% sure I was going to get this watch, and then I read this.

  22. Anonymouse

    Not that this is a perfect solution, but how readable is it outdoors if you cup your other hand around the screen when you are trying to read it? ’cause it sure is pretty . . .

  23. Just as an FYI to folks, I added in the Clever Training link for the Vivomove HR: link to clevertraining.com

    You can use the DCR/CT VIP program to get 10% back in points: link to dcrainmaker.com

    I didn’t add it initially because honestly I didn’t think anyone would want to order it. But if this is your thang, then using the links helps support the site. :)

    • Vladimir Gorbunov

      You wrote funny description, I see!

      I’m still planning to purchase this watch: I need an ANT+ HRM sensor for my weekend bicycle rides, which would include several alarm clocks, display the time during HR broadcasting and look like a proper watch.

      My current Vivosmart HR has only single alarm clock, and it doesn’t display time while broadcasting, so I’ll be glad to replace it to Vivomove HR. Bad sunlight visibility of secondary display is not an issue to me. I don’t see many features here which require constant and unflawed screen visibility. It’s not a true sports- or smart-watch anyway.

  24. Peter

    Thanks for the review Ray, I had read a couple of other reviews on this and you are the only one who mentioned this flaw. I bought the original vivomove last year and have been pretty happy with it. The one thing missing for me was 24×7 HR so I was interested in this when it was announced. While the ability to read the screen in daylight is lacking, I’m not sure it is a deal breaker for me. One thing that the Withings watch had that the Vivomove lacked was automatic syncing of the time off the phone (only a little thing but handy when you travel a lot) does the Vivomove HR get this feature?

    • “Thanks for the review Ray, I had read a couple of other reviews on this and you are the only one who mentioned this flaw. ”

      Likely reason: I’m the only one with a unit that was allowed outdoors. Others that have seen the units have all been indoors at IFA tradeshow, and never went anywhere with it. In my case, I’ve got a unit to do as I please.

      “One thing that the Withings watch had that the Vivomove lacked was automatic syncing of the time off the phone (only a little thing but handy when you travel a lot) does the Vivomove HR get this feature?”

      Yes, automagically happens.

  25. Andrew

    The other issue I have with all the Garmin activity trackers (and scale) compared to my beloved Witihings is that it’s difficult to impossible to get the data out of Garmin. Nearly every platform out there can pull weight from withings and the vast majority steps as well. Their sleep data is accessible though I don’t know anyone pulling it right now.

    As an aside Ray every time I ask either Withings or Training Peaks about syncing sleep data over they both say to ask the other. So if you have the ear of someone who can make that happen it would be much appreciated.

    • Dr. D

      @Andrew – I know there is an option on Garmin Connect web to export a daily summary file.

      I have not dissected one of those files but I do know you can only export when on your Daily Summary page which shows your Goals, Timeline, Step Details, Intensity Minutes, Sleep, Calories, Activities.

    • Andrew

      You can get data out that way. One day at a time. But as far as I know none of the major training analysis platforms can parse the fit file that it exports. Presumably because they are designed to read activities from fit files not metrics.

      Also there’s approximately a 0% that I’m going to go into Garmin everyday and download this data file.

      To be fair AFAIK neither Withings or Fitbit are currently syncing every metric over to TP (haven’t tried enough with any other platforms to know for sure). I would love to have my sleep data to look at alongside training data to look for trends. It would be great if I could get HRV data out as well. I believe Garmin’s stress score is just based on HRV.

    • Aaron

      Garmin certainly allows you to access your data via API – weight, sleep, steps, etc. Auto-sync is neither difficult nor impossible. Your complaint is about the partner websites needing to do the work, not Garmin, I think.

      SportTracks currently pulls in weight, lean mass, water weight, etc. measurements and will likely begin pulling in other activity tracking metrics soon as well. Their API is quite nice, actually.


    • Andrew

      That was never the impression I got from asking partners about integration but I dug some more and you’re certainly right. Fitness Syncer should be able to pull all of your Garmin data and push it to Training Peaks or wherever else you need it. It worked for my Withings data that Training Peaks didn’t want to pull.

  26. Dr. D

    Ray, you stated…. ‘Note that there isn’t a way to manually start an official workout on the Vivomove HR, though it will automatically track certain activities like riding a bike or running.’
    You can start an activity manually or let it auto-detect (MoveIQ).

    On the display side, did you leave it in Auto mode? Do you know if setting it to max brightness improves visibility for you?

  27. Martin Perry

    Sorry, on a tangent you mention in the review that daily stress levels is coming shortly to the FR935 and Fenix 5 too, have Garmin recently confirmed that’s still happening and how long is shortly? The Vivosmart 3 was released some time ago when they said this would come soon.

  28. Sylvain Michaud

    The typical example of today’s stupid way of bringing a product to market.

    The only one in the company that had the balls to say that it wouldn’t make sense to bring this watch to maker as such, probably got fired due to a negative attitude issue and inability to work with his/her teammates. But everyone knows in the company that it doesn’t make sense to bring the faulty product to market. But they do it anyway.
    Since everyone, but one who got fired, approved, no one is really at fault. The product manager who was pushed to bring the product to market, no matter what on a time schedule that usually doesn’t make sense, won’t lose his job, the marketing manager who pushed and approved won’t get fired, the human ressources managers who hired a bunch of yes men and woman won’t be fired and the CEO will get his bonus anyway.
    In the meantime, the only person that has common sense his now unemployed and having difficulties finding a job due to bad references.

    Well hopefully they won’t sale a single unit.

    Aren’t you fed up to be sold crappy unfinished product ?

    • Sylvain Michaud

      Ho, and I forgot.
      The next time you’ll buy a Garmin product, remember that a part of it’s price goes to cover the losses generated buy this watch. So in a way you are buying a piece of this crappy watch.

    • Juro

      That’s a whole lot of assumptions you are making on the basis of Ray’s opinion (which a good couple of people in the comments do not share/care about). If the watch fails, it will hit Garmin’s P&L and decisions will be made. If it does matter to Ray only, the watch will sell. Don’t quite follow where your rage is coming from.

    • Peter

      What about the tea lady/man….. surely you can find some reason to blame him or her.

    • Volker Droysen von Hamilton

      There are millions of people looking for such devices, with countless of different expectations – and there are dozens of models in the Garmin range. You should not think that everybody wants the exact same features as you… fx if your sport is cycling, you need a HR-sensor, but have all your data on the Edge (and don’t want to look on another device while riding). And may you want a good looking watch at your wrist rather than a Fenix or a Vivoactive HR? So why should they not make this watch and offer ton’s of alternatives to those who are looking for something else???

  29. I commend Garmin’s effort to fuse fashion & performance but the dismal result was predictable. I say that because I made the same mistake at Meta Watch (leveraging a sexy, but hard to read display in a watch designed for performance monitoring). We also designed a similar hidden display concept for one of our clients – and received similar negative feedback.

    The crux of the issue is there aren’t many display options to select from that are 1) clearly legible in direct and indirect light 2) sufficiently inexpensive and 3) unique and aesthetically attractive. Hopefully, connected watch makers will have more display options in the future.

    Keep up the great work. Love your reviews!


  30. Laird M.

    Hey, it’s not always overcast in Seattle! Right now we have smoke from forest fires. Totally different (and much more gross).

    Seriously, thanks for the first impressions. I’m really curious to read tomorrow’s on the Vivosport.

    Bummer they could not get the magic screen to work outside, because I have to say that the Vivomove looked interesting to me as a watch to wear more generally than my my 935 or Vivosmart.

  31. jose

    I read again your review, not quite sure I get it.
    You said “display is totally useless outside.” Yet all of the pictures you show of the watch with text are outside?
    The only time you can’t see the text is when the sun is directly on the display? If this is the case not sure why you’re being so harsh when they seem to get everything else right and a simple hand over the watch(to cast shadow over the display) when in direct sunlight seems to work?

    • I took all the outside photos at/near sunset, or on dark overcast days, or under trees. I also used a bunch of camera work to get those photos right (clamped down ISO, lower shutter speed, etc…).

      If folks want to hold their hands over their wrist to see their $200 watch, that’s fine be me. But I think it’s utterly stupid.

    • (To be clear, I’m calling the design stupid, not people.)

    • Jose

      I understand, and agree the design is flawed, but I don’t see it as a deal breaker(for me).
      The way I see it, is a nice looking watch with smartwatch benefits. Everything else works as it should and I appreciate the fact you flagged this issue up to help others consider if it is worth buying it or not.
      Keep up the good reviews.

  32. Thijs Rieken

    That is just simply complete failure. Illegible device screens were not tolerated in phones 10 years ago and neither will this.
    Sure hope they didn’t make too many units yet.

  33. Maxi MC

    Hi there,
    I’ve been a long time reader but the new Garmin lineup has finally given me the push to poke you with more questions :) On the Garmin website, the depth of the move HR is quoted as “11.6 mm” which is just 0.1mm less than what they indicate for their upcoming active 3. Can you confirm that both of those devices are essentially equally deep ?

    Further, what material is the watch casing of those two devices ?

    Thanks for your hands on reviews!

    • Yup, with both of them on a flat surface side by side, they’re basically identical.

      On both units the bezel is a metal of some sort (silver colored on my Vivoactive 3, and rose-gold colored on the Vivomove), and the rest of the case is plastic on both.

  34. AdamR

    Dying to know about Run/Walk intervals. Do anything of these new products. ESPECIALLY the VivoSport have configurable Run/Walk intervals?

    • The Vivosport has a Run/Walk mode. You can specify both run and walk times in minutes/seconds (not distance).

      The Vivomove HR does not have a Run/Walk mode. But you can configure both autolaps for running, as well as distance/time/calorie/HR alerts.

  35. Nathan B

    Hi Ray.

    This would be ideal for the wife, as she wants her tracker to “look like a watch”.

    This appears to have MoveIQ.

    Does it still count steps when you are riding a bike?!

    This a serious annoyance of mine. I ride to work, and have 6000+ steps on arrival. There’s no way to delete them, and it makes tracking pretty pointless.

    • For better or worst, still get step and stair accumulation/goals while cycling.

    • Nathan B

      Why do Garmin not stop counting once a cycling activity has been detected?

      I have the same issue with my Withings watch.

      The only one that appears to not do it is my Sony Smartwatch 3 using Android Wear. Great watch, but the GPS is shocking on it!

    • jonathan pattterson



      O *love* my Activitee Pop, but having bike steps frustrates the hell out of me. Its even worse if I just leave it in the bag…not even a way to manually delete them. Perfect example of real world usage

      Almost as annoying as the TOMTOM newly introduced app bug where activities don’t show in the app despite being sync’ed with the watch…*sigh* I wish people who sold these would use them in the real world first…

    • Juro

      My theory for all devices counting steps for activities like cycling is that the my take “steps” as an “unit of activity” and a proxy for calories. Let’s say your bike commute gives you 6k steps, then you need to do only 4k real steps for your combined activity to be on the level that corresponds to 10k real steps. Once I started to look at things that way it stopped looking like an oversight.

  36. codyish

    Anybody else like the DCR reviews for products that he dislikes just as much or more as the reviews for products he likes?

  37. Markus

    So you think this is a reliable Feature to Set ones Recovery right? Means to take it slow when too much stress and to do harder workouts when good recovered?

  38. Actually, the girl’s one word review is a great time saver if you don’t have time to read the whole thing.

  39. Tyler

    Is the lack of visible display in sunlight something that could be corrected by:
    * a light sensor, and auto-boosting the backlight?

    or, if backlight isn’t possible with the display,
    * the same light sensor, and creating a reversed color display, such that light is dark and vice versa?

  40. maxfrance

    About the Beta Connect,

    I can confirm it hasn’t been offered to everyone; it automatically rolls back to the current released version every two or three days asking for a feedback.
    Having not found any flaw yet, I didn’t submit comments but simply re-enabled it, because it’s IMHO much better than the old (current) one.

  41. KJ

    Potentially daft question ….. is it luminous? Or is it a case of can’t see notifications in the day, and can’t see the time at night?

  42. BartMan

    @Outdoor visibility – this is a bummer – I really wanted to buy this product. I guess the screen is some sort of OLED. The original Vivosmart had more-or-less same issue: the screen was invisible (so you could not tell there is screen there at all) when turned off, nicely visible in-doors, but outdoors it was almost non-readable, especially on sunny day. What is more, the OLED screens in Vivosmart were failing very often – I have seen tons of reports that after several months screens were failing (missing lines, missing pixels, low brightness etc). Some time ago I had one of very first smartwatches, by non-existent now Sony-Ericsson watch had OLED screen which died after a year or so. Now, I’m pretty cautious with monochrome OLED screens.

  43. Samantha

    I take it there’s no way to adjust the display brightness through the watch or app? That seems kinda dumb.

  44. Rui

    Ray, what happened to the Vivo Sport 1st look you talked about?

    • I ended up shifting from just writing a first look to a full in-depth review. Mostly because it’s shipping now and doing a first look on an activity tracker type device ends up being about 50-60% of the work I’d do anyway. My goal is to publish prior to the end of the week. Pretty close.

  45. Rui

    Thanks Ray, looking forward to it.

  46. Ryan Richard


    So it looks like the gold/white model is a size small/medium and the black one is a size large. Is the display the same for both just different sizes on the bands?

    Thanks for all the great work!

  47. Thomas

    On iOS can you filter the notifications sent to the watch or is it “all or nothing” as on my FR230?

  48. Piotr

    Hello Ray,

    Does this model offer assisted breathing exercises and “move away from your desk” notifications?

    Also, on the legibility issue – the display only enables when it’s tapped, or also on some kind of wrist gesture and notification arrival?

    Thanks for the great review!

  49. Bjoern

    Hi Ray. Do you have any update about the availability of the Vivomove HR?

  50. David

    Some time ago you mentioned Garmin might add the ability to tracking via multiple watches.
    Is this ability still on its way?
    Would be good to have the Fenix 5 for active stuff, then a watch such as this for everyday stuff, without the faff of swapping watch every time in Garmin connect

  51. Josh

    Ray, thanks for the review. I was/am tempted to get this watch mainly because it is a hybrid watch with fitness features. Regarding the display, I am indoors about 80% of the day so I am torn on whether or not the outdoor visibility is an issue for me. I currently have a Fitbit Alta and notice the same issue with not being able to see the display in direct sunlight. Can you comment on how this visibility issue compares to the Fitbit Alta, Blaze or other devices?

  52. Scott Zinda

    The outdoor lighting issue is a bummer! I was totally considering this watch hard! Thanks for the review.

  53. Bjoern

    Hmmm, I am wondering why it takes so long to release the watch.
    Is there any chance the try to improve the display? Probably not…

    • It’s actually been out, and people have been buying it. My understanding though is that Best Buy had an exclusive on it for a set period of time (which I think expires around now), thus, it was pretty limited.

    • bjoern

      oh, thanks for the head up, wasn’t aware of that. just saw the release date slipping on the german garmin site.

    • Oh, yeah, Garmin.com shipping dates are always totally wonky. They’re usually the last to fulfill (for reasons I’ve never quite understood).

  54. Paul

    The device is water resistant rated at 50M, so are there any use for that property like swimming metrics collected if kept on wrist during pool sessions?

    I am looking for lap count (at least) and prefer also additional statistics like stroke count etc. Can this device deliver?

    • Unfortunately, the Vivomove HR doesn’t do swim metrics like you’re looking for. The best bet would be something like the Vivoactive HR or Vivoactive 3.

      As a general heads up, the Vivoactive HR is actually on sale this week for $50 off, which is a pretty solid deal. Full review here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      It’s a bit older watch (a bit over a year), but still one of the favs out there. The Vivoactive 3 meanwhile just came out last month.

    • Paul

      OK, I still wonder of Garmin product policy to cripple all small and simple fitness devices by left out basic swimming metrics of devices already waterproofed.

      Wide support of at least basic swimming metrics over the existing waterproofed fitness gears would really separate them from the sea of otherwise similar products. Missed opportunity here IMHO.

    • Paul

      Thanks for tip, I am certainly looking VAHR option, it’s quite package with really affordable price sticker nowadays.

      I expect that all toothing problems (SW/HW) should be fixed with these last production units available. How is the life with VAHR currently, any users around to comment?

    • Domster

      It’s pretty good actually. It was my first garmin watch. Just be warned though… the honeymoon phase with the angular look of it wears off pretty quickly when you need to head out to dressier occasions.
      Also, on another note, the HR monitor protrudes too much. I had to sell mine because the HR monitor on the underside of the watch created a dent on my wrist. I didn’t give it much thought at first, that is until I started feeling this overwhelming sense of fatigue radiating from my wrist. I stopped wearing the watch after weeks of self debate. It took about 8 months to a year before the dent went away.

      If I were you, I’d spend on the Vivoactive 3 instead. It’s lighter and looks much more comfortable, and can pass for a dress watch when you change the strap. I almost gave up on garmin. Now im going to ditch my samsung for the Vivoactive 3.

    • Volker Droysen v.H.

      @Domster you must talk about another watch! “It took about 8 month…”, and you have worn it some time before, as you said, so you bought it ~1 year ago, but the Vivomove HR is new, in many countries not available till now… and btw, the back of the Vivomove HR is almost flat

  55. Derk

    Is it possible to show altitude height and climbingspeed on the watch face or do you have to look that up in the app?

  56. Franklin Drake

    I have a black version and it does not have this issue. I can step outside and it will change the contrast so I can see it. maybe its something with the pink ones.

  57. Emre

    Hi, I have a question about HR measurement of this watch. In some reviews, they say that the vivoactive 3 measures the heart rate very close to a chest strap. But in some reviews, they say that vivomove hr lacks measuring the exercise heart rate. I though they both have the same sensor. I wonder how accurate is the vivomove hr’s heart rate sensor? I’m not seeking for dead on accuracy, i just don’t want it to differ too much compared to a chest strap.

    • Franklin Drake

      Hi Emre, I do not have much experience with the chest strap so I cant compare it, but I have found the Heart rate monitor to be extremely accurate, if you get the correct fit on the watch. I hope this helps you.


  58. Eugene

    I agree with others who said the display is not a ‘glaring issue’. For people who want an outdoor watch your better suited with one with a GPS anyway. This watch isn’t intended to be primarily for hiking and biking, this watch is for the worker to wear in meetings and tracking steps walking the length of the office and tracking their training at the gym after. This is the watch you wear with a suit to the club and have a last name of Bond.

    • Eugene

      Yes, I know I’m replying to myself. The one feature I think missing from this watch is Garmin pay. This is the watch I’d have when paying for my coffee, business lunch, etc. I got mine on the 16th of December (2016) and I could have bought a lunch or two at work already.

      The other minor issue I have is I’ve popped the band off 4 times so far. Not sure if its weak or just me, but I was always rough on watches because of skinny arms causing them to stick out a little more than the average person.

  59. Nina

    Hey there,
    I have the vivomove HR and am very satisfied with it. But the heart rate is sometimes (way) off, when dancing and moving my arms a lot, so I wanted to know, if I can pair it with a chest strap.
    It does support Ant+, so I guess it will work? But I can’t find any evidence on the web, that it actually does. Do you know more?
    Best, Nina

    • Emre

      Hi Nina, It does not support external sensors. I had asked it to the garmin support and they had said that they recommend vivoactive 3 if i want external sensor support. Ant+ is for the phone connection i guess.

  60. Manu


    does anyone know about the calibration issues?
    I have my watch since Christmas and I need to recalibrate the hands every two days. For some reason they display the wrong time (the digital time is correct). One can also see this in effect because they turn to a wrong time when showing the digital time zone.

    I have contacted Garmin about this, but did not get a response so far.

    It seems as if I’m not the only one: there’s a Reddit post on this, Garmin forums talking about it and some Amazon reviews mention this defect too.

    Would appreciate help or any suggestions,

    • Eugene

      I bought mine a couple weeks before Christmas and calibrated the hands once the first day i had it. I’ve went on walks, did pushups, lifted weights, danced at the club, and even caught it and popped it off the band a couple times and the hands have stayed calibrated.

    • Manu

      Lucky you (or unlucky me). That doesn’t work for me.

    • Eugene

      I wonder if there is some kind of QC issue there where some of the hands aren’t as tight on the motor shaft or something. Mine has defiantly gotten used, thought I haven’t done a bike ride or anything like that, but its gotten bounced around a bit so I would think if it was going to get knocked out of calibration it would have already.

  61. Neil

    Hi Ray,
    I know this is an old post but I only just saw one of these.
    I am happy to use my trusty Garmin 910 for my Swim, Bike, Run sessions, but would like something to wear between sessions to monitor sleep, resting HR etc. Given that I won’t be using it as a sports watch, just a general fitness tracker, will this be a good option? I like the styling, and visibility in daylight won’t really cause a problem as I wont be using it during activities.
    Or is there a better/cheaper option that you would recommend?

    • Eugene

      Thats how I sue mine. Mostly indoor and if I do go ona hike/ride/etc I take my Handlehd GPS.

      This watch lets me keep my phone muted and look at my wrist to see if I get a message that I need to respond to or if it can wait until later as well as monitor steps, sleep, HR, stress, etc.

  62. iman

    can this watch control spotify and other music app?

    • Eugene

      It can, however, you used to be able to select a music player within garmin connect for it to control, but a recent update of garmin connect removed this selection and the intended behavior is that is controls the currently running music player. People on the Garmin forums have reported issues with this where it will randomly stop/start the Google play instead of whatever they were running.

  63. Laci

    Regarding to the manual the band width is 20mm, not 22mm. Which one is the truth?

  64. C. Barber

    Having problems syncing the time on the Vivomove HR. It kept going to USA time then corrected it, but now with DSTime I can’t get it to sync properly. I live in the UK and have my preferred hour (in the settings via the website) linked to GMT time.

    Did the noon hands sync etc as suggested but it’s either an hour ahead or behind still, but not the right time. HELP!

  65. Antti

    Regarding earlier comments/complaints about data portability from Garmin, once the general data protection regulation is in force, at least EU citizens should be able to download all of our data from Garmin, and Garmin (and others) should make that data available in a format that can be easily transferred to their competitors. I’m guessing it will take some encouragement from authorities for Garmin and others to comply though…

    • It’d be interesting to see how that plays out for Garmin, since they’ve actually long offered the ability for you to download your own data. And they do so in multiple industry standard formats.

      What’s lacking is the ability to easily download everything in one click. Instead, you have to do it on a per activity basis…which is a solid pain in the butt.

    • Tommaso

      It is a pain in the butt, but it definitely is not something that goes against the provision in GDPR.

  66. Antti

    “What’s lacking is the ability to easily download everything in one click. Instead, you have to do it on a per activity basis.”

    It’s been some time since I logged on to my Garmin account. I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t download my entire history. My 24/7 HR, step, etc data are in Garmin Connect but if I remember correctly, I could only download the detailed data for one day at a time, or was the full detail actually only available for activities and not the full day?

    It’ll be interesting to see what will become the accepted level of ease for transferring data and what impact it will have on the fitness tracker companies.

  67. Bianca.Bian

    thank for your review, it helped me to know more about this watch. I have one question, can this watch connect to external HR chest band, for example Polar H7?


  68. David G

    Thanks for the review Ray.
    Since I live in Ireland, thus experiencing over cast days for 99% of the year, I decided to take a risk and order one. I wanted something that looks like a normal watch to compliment my vivoactive hr (which is great apart from its out-on-day-release astetic).

    Anyway, by chance we’re having an unusually period ofsunny weather here at the moment. And I have to say the display is actually quite usuable in direct sunlight. Certainly I can read it without having to cup my hand over it. Could be a difference between the mens black face and the copper on the ladies model.

    Apart from that I’d agree with everything else in the review.

  69. Dan

    I think the unreadable display issue is only really present on the rose gold watch face, not the black watch face so much.

  70. Steve H

    Such a disappointment. I received my Vivomove HR Premium 3 days ago. Nothing but problems. It too hours to pair with my phone. It kept connecting and then would give me a fail message. I had to wait about five minutes between each failure because the lack of buttons meant I had to let it time it before trying again. The double tap is almost never sensed which is pretty important since the edible tap activated the screen and timers. Last straw was that, at 3 said in, the Hour hand disengaged and is simply sitting in one spot. It appears to be a physical QC issue as a reset, calibration, etc. Does not move the Hour hand. So disappointed. I had high hopes.

  71. Steve H

    BTW, I could read the display in the sun the three days I used it. Not in direct sunlight right into the face (I never tried), but walking around on sunny days, it was never a problem.

    • Steve H

      After 3 days, my watch died (hour hand wouldn’t turn). Swapped it for a new one. Had it two weeks now. I’m loving it. You are correct though… I cannot read the display at all when the sun is close to directly in the face. This watch gets compliments. It’s very nice looking and the heart rate works grear as well. Much better at steps and stairs compared to my old Fitbit and Android Wear (tried three different models). The strap is move looking too. I got the premium version and it compares to my Seiko and Citizen in looks.

  72. Hari

    why didn’t they include run tracking/gps?

  73. JL

    Thank you sooooooo much for this review. I was about to buy one for my mother for Mother’s Day and I’m so glad to saw this review; can you imagine, she’s 76 and wouldn’t be able to see the screen. She’d have thought she was losing her vision or something!

  74. Al Olsen

    After moving from a Vivosmart 3, I really like this unit. The Vivosmart 3 had the same problem with viewing anything in the sun. However, my issue is that I want to see the time of day, and with this unit, that is easy. I don’t need to see the other stuff, and am happy to know that it is collecting the data.

    These are not units for the more hardcore among us. I use a Fenix 5 for running and swimming and an 820 for my bike rides.

    Now, if it only had a second hand.

  75. Julie Young

    i can’t get the hands on the watch to show the right time, no matter what i try

  76. Anne Dawson

    Had the watch for 2 weeks and much prefer it to my Fitbit charge 2.
    It looks like a dressy watch and I like that the clock time is on permanent display.
    Great for counting steps, incoming calls and texts.
    Have to shade it to read message in sunshine but that doesn’t matter to me. Will continue to use my TomTom Spark for running as I like the big heart rate display.
    But as a general activity watch I love the Garmin Vivomove. Nearly never bought it after the review but really glad I did..

  77. Martine Duperré


    Do you know if Garmin improved the screen when used outdoor since your review of September 2017?

    Thank you

    • Mark

      There’s something funny going on then. We’re having the driest, sunniest, summer I’ve ever seen and I’m to have any glare issues.
      I actually bought it thinking I’d live with the problems as I didn’t expect to look at the screen often anyway, so it’s been a pleasant surprise.
      Maybe worth comparing your initial review with a black version?

  78. Ross Graham

    DC Rainmaker…I am a fan of your website but i think you missed the mark on the review of this watch somewhat. There are plenty of business professionals like myself who use watches like the Fenix 5x all weekend and for any outdoor activity but find it too big and the other Garmin options to ugly to wear with my business suits.

    I am buying this watch to wear mostly indoors when i work and then with Garmin’s true up feature i have all my steps from my two devices as well as other data all consolidated in Garmin connect. For that reason I love the fact I have an option to wear to a business meeting or to the hotel gym when i am travelling. The rest of the time i wear my Fenix 5X every chance i get! :>

    • Thanks Ross!

      Yeah, I think if you use indoors like you noted – then it’s great.

      But I think it’s also unfair for me to assume people will want to buy two watches, just because one of their watches they bought from an outdoor company specializing in fitness watches isn’t viewable outdoors in the sun. :)


    • Eugene

      This is where I think garmin could do a better job of marketing and describing the intended market for each product. But as far as I can tell the move line is intended to be fitness trackers for people who are not big into outdoors activities, then the active line is the more outdoorsy and the smart line is the full smart watch.

      Years ago I worked for a computer VAR and would always question my Compaq reps as to why they were selling the Presario line in office supply stores because the small business that bought from those stores expected on site service which wasn’t part of the consumer line (presario) and was part of their small business and enterprise lines. I always told them they should leave the home/consumer stuff to the best buys and put the small business line in the office supply stores where the small businesses shop so we wouldn’t have all those small businesses calling us and getting upset that they didn’t get an onsite warranty because they bought the consumer presario.
      Same with Garmin, I think they should more clearly define the target user of the move line as an office worker who goes to Gold’s Gym before/after work.

      while buying two watches might not be reasonable, buying two devices is reasonable. I already have an Etrex and a Virb to record my outdoor activities so rather than $99-$150 for a fitbit and $50 for a Virb remote I can just buy a Vivomove HR as it fits my lifestyle fine.

      I think this is more of a situation where this product simply doesn’t fit your lifestyle rather than a flaw in the product itsself.

  79. James Singlehurst

    I have no problem with the “invisible display” as a watch it makes it more attractive. Outside I find it’s visible with a cupped hand and a thumb swipe.

  80. Ang

    Hi all! Just a quick side note – you can adjust the brightness of the data, just whack it up to full?! You’ll get a message that says the brighter the display the shorter your battery life will be but that’s the trade off I guess! I personally LOVE the design and the all the features it has, and as a girl with skinny wrists even I find this one comfortable and not too bulky. I had a forerunner 235 and just found it too bulky and not very girl friendly – so I upgraded! I love this smart watch! I went for the gold with tan leather strap and it looks nice for every occasion. The hands moving out of the way blew the kids minds too – they thought it was a magic watch ;-) and I agree with others who say that the vibration alert is all you need most of the time to check your phone – I’m constantly being told to check mine more often, and as I have Microsoft teams for work, plus social media and the usual calls and texts I can just glance at my watch after it shouts at me to week out the unnecessary phone out of the bag operation!! I usually find myself wasting time on social media by habit if I unlock the phone anyway so I’m seeing it as a positive lifestyle change haha!! Totally worth every penny this watch, and I was torn between just getting a cheap Fitbit and spending a bit more on a hybrid – so glad I went for this one.

    • FWIW, the Vivoactive 3 has roughly same measurements as this. I have the Vivoactive 3 now and it looks good on my small wrist! That being said, I’m thinking of getting this for day-to-day and using my VA3 for hiking/biking/etc. I miss the look of an analog watch.

  81. Rune Isaksen

    Is there any way to switch the unit OFF?
    Having 5-6 different Garmin units it would be nice to save the battery when not in use.


  82. Lauren

    I hear what you’re saying about the screen readability outside. I have a pioneer car display with the same issue. I’m curious, how easy is it to trade Garmin devices back and forth, from a data perspective? My Fitbit died right after I got my Forerunner 235, so I just wear it 24/7. Something like this would be prettier 9-5, and even suffice on the treadmill if the data tracking is good enough. Curious what others think.

  83. Thomas

    sorry for reigniting the old thread but maybe someone can respond to this maybe silly question:
    If I go for a run, can I leave my phone at home and the heart rate monitoring, distance travelled (and whatever else the watch measures) will be visible for me during the run? And if so, will I just sync the phone with my watch once I get back home?
    Thanks and greetings

    • Jared

      I should preface this with 2 quotes from the article:
      “Note there is no GPS in it, and it can’t leverage your phone for GPS either.”
      “You actually can’t see the screen outdoors with any daylight.”

      To answer your question though, yes those metrics are there – see link to youtu.be

      Best of luck

  84. Jacky Chester

    I can’t get the cycling widget on my watch? Any ideas?

  85. Debbie

    Can you change the unit of measure from inches to cm and lbs to kgs?

  86. Shannon Yin

    idk i was able to see the OLED hidden text on mine outside just fine though.

    I was in 115F summer day weather in California on a hike. Usually I don’t even do hikes.

    Plus i’m guessing this type of watch isn’t really for super super serious-business active people. It’s meant more like for the more casual people who just want to buy ONE watch and not a “nice” watch and a second “active” watch. And only if you’re active indoorsy like gymming and HIIT cardio, because I don’t know why I would be outside in blindingly sunny weather with this watch on in a serious manner. That ain’t for me.

    I have fair Asian skin so I only exercise indoors most of the time. Also it looks “rich” and “luxurious” so it’s more my style than going back to my old baby-g sports watch. Those watches are great but they just don’t look good when you’re wearing a dress, yknow?

    This is basically the watch to get if you’re more of a girly girl and all you do is indoors cardio or weights.

  87. anon

    Are there volume controls for music [synced w/ spotify via iphone] on the Vivomove HR?

  88. Kristjan

    Hi everyone
    I have a different problem with this watch.
    It shows steps notification after every move. Even if I do few steps.
    Does someone else have/had that kind problem?
    All the best

  89. Mark J.

    Gotta agree with the folks who don’t care about the direct sunlight issue. This watch looks classy and keeps track of the data I want. And it’s easy to switch back and forth between this watch and my Vivoactive 3. This will be my “daily driver” watch with the VA 3 being my activity specific watch.

  90. Vivienne Law

    Hi. I have to say this is the worst device I have ever been given.

    Whoever wrote the instructions needs to be shot. I gave up after 2 hours trying to figure it out when I first got it. I then gave it to my techy son and he gave up after an hour. I then took it back to PC world for them to have a go. They finally managed it after an hour in the shop trying to figure out the instructions.

    Oh and it doesn’t end there. I have since had to sync with my phone after recharging. Can I get the hands to sync with the time – err NO. I now have a watch that tells me the wrong time unless I look at the digital time indoors. And yes I have followed the instructions and calibrated the hands at least 10 times.

    What a load of rubbish.

  91. Emily

    I just wanted to thank you for the great write up. I did get it, so I thought I’d share since you weren’t sure who to recommend it to. I’m an ultra runner with a Fenix 3 that I got because of you review years ago. I have a small wrist, and it is huge on it (perfect for running) but not great every day. I found I’m a sedentary ultra runner, so it is good to keep an eye on my movement. I goofed off with a cheap tracker a couple of years ago and decided I want to wear one all-day for the data, but I don’t want an ugly tracker. I want a Garmin so it merges with my running and I don’t have to wear both (your review let me know it does this). Because of your review about how the display is really only the time in the daylight, I was not disappointed, it was expected. I bought a great watch that has extra info when I’m sitting down at home/office, as when I’m out and about, my attention is on the activity and not my steps or what is happening on my phone so I can choose to go pick it up or ignore a call with a quick tap on my watch. This is excellent for someone who wants a watch, but also know data at the end of the day – for the person that pays more attention to what they are doing when out and about than their phone but likes the notifications when sitting on the sofa (sometimes too much). :) THANK YOU!

  92. Emily

    Hi Vivienne –

    I’m sorry you had trouble getting it set up. Mine kinda did itself, so I didn’t do too much. I already had the Garmin app for another watch for running.

    My watch did get off on time for me once and this is the video I found as to how to calibrate it. MIne has been correct since. I think it is from the hands moving to 10:10 all the time to read the messages. It is like it knows the time but the hands just hit the wrong spot to go from.

    link to youtube.com

    I hope this helps!

  93. Jim

    Are you planning on doing a review of the newer Vívomove 3?

    Is the sunlight readability any better on the 3?

  94. Dennis Rogers

    I recently got a vivomove Luxe and is much better than the vivomove hr. Clear screen with colour, slightly higher res. Also have an upper and lower screen and found in sunlight I can see the screen without needing to be in shade.

    And that is with auto brightness on.

    Would love to see you do a review on this.

    Think the style is the same as the luxe only the cheaper model.

  95. Kirsty

    I don’t know much about these watches but it keeps coming on my bluetooth device when I’m in my kitchen but nowhere else. I havemt got one of these watches and wondered if you can record conversations and video on them?

  96. Nigel

    No show, no deal breaker. While I’m working out, pouring over data is the last thing I’m interested in.
    Nope. Take the watch for what it is, a well designed capable smart watch. Future display iterations will improve. Look upon it as a minimalist masterpiece!

  97. Peter Swanepoel

    Can this be paired with a Bluetooth hr strap?

  98. Henrik

    Could you please review Vivomove 3 and Vivomove Style?

  99. GB Nijeholt

    In Holland, warranty is 2 years. Regretfully though, after two years and 3 months, the display of my GF’s vivomove HR is fading. Set the intensity of the display to 7 (which seems to be the max) but no improvement. Completely unreadable outside, hardly readable inside. (Earlier, readability was fine). Read on Garmin support site that there are more people with similar issues. Seems like the OLED display doesn’t last too long….