Review of Garmin Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker’s features, usability, tracking accuracy, and competition comparison... Read more
Test of Garmin vívosmart® 5
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Larger display for easy reading
- Tracks wide range of health stats
- Advanced sleep tracking and scoring
- Powerful 7-day battery life
- Emergency contact and incident detection features
- Includes gender-specific health features
- $20 more expensive than previous model
- Accuracy of activity recognition is hit and miss
“In my experience, the Vivosmart 5 stands as a well-thought-out fitness band that comes with a slew of new features and a significantly improved design over its predecessor, the Vivosmart 4. Its lightweight and comfortable wearability, the variety of tracking capabilities, the larger display, and the extended battery life are particularly impressive. However, the fact it’s $20 more than the previous model does bring a moment of pause. Nevertheless, when compared to similar fitness bands like Fitbit Charge 5, whose secondary features are behind a paywall, the Vivosmart 5 proves to be a worthwhile investment. Despite minor discrepancies like occasional heart rate inaccuracies during high-intensity workouts, I find the Garmin Vivosmart 5 to be an all-round reliable fitness tracker for anyone looking to monitor and improve their health and fitness status.”
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|Model Name||Vívosmart 5|
|Screen Size||0.84 Inches|
|Special Feature||Pedometer, Heart Rate Monitor, Time Display, Notifications, Touchscreen, Sleep Monitor, GPS, Daily Workout Memory, Calendaring, Breath Monitor, Oxymeter (SpO2), Cycle Tracking, Stress Tracking, Calorie Tracker, Activity Tracker|
|Age Range (Description)||Adult|
Hey there everyone! Get poised for an insightful review of Garmin’s latest addition to the fitness tech family – the Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker. Now, as someone who’s always on the lookout for the next great gadget to make my workouts more efficient, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one and test it out.
A First Look at the Garmin Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker
Coming from Garmin, a brand renowned in the sports tech arena, the expectations were naturally high. The Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker promised a raft of health metrics – 24-hour heart rate monitoring, calories burned, steps taken, and even blood oxygen saturation levels. It had my curiosity piqued the minute I unboxed it!
Comparing the Vivosmart 5 to its Predecessor, the Vivosmart 4
Any review wouldn’t be complete without a comparison to its predecessor. The Vivosmart 5 is touted to be a significant upgrade over the Vivosmart 4, with an array of updated hardware, some new health features, and improved safety and tracking capabilities. But, does it really live up to the hype? Keep reading to find out!
Note: This review aims to give an unbiased overview based on my personal experiences with the product. None of the views expressed here are influenced by any brand or product affiliations, and I aim to provide a comprehensive yet concise review. Remember, everyone’s experiences may vary, so what worked (or didn’t work) for me may not necessarily hold the same for you.
Hardware & Design
- Vivosmart 5 has lightweight, replaceable band
- Available in stylish color variants and sizes
- Features a larger display and touch screen
As I bound the Vivosmart 5 around my wrist, what struck me first was its lightweight and comfortable feel . The band was an upgrade from the previous model with its lightness, against-the-skin texture, and non-intrusive nature making it ideal for 24/7 wearability.
The compact design is a great advantage, especially if you’re someone who isn’t fond of wearing large watches. The Vivosmart 5 gives you a much-needed break with its nice lightweight, comfortable band . Plus the much welcomed additional feature of a new replaceable band makes it all the more appealing. Now, you can easily swap these bands out, providing more flexibility for your individual style, and also extending the life of the device.
Styles and Colors
Stepping into options, the Vivosmart 5 doesn’t disappoint. It’s available in three different stylish color variants – Black, White, and a hip Mint version . Couple this with two different size options – catering for different wrist sizes – and you’ve got yourself a fitness tracker that is both versatile and inclusive.
The bigger, better update in the Vivosmart 5 is the new larger display , which is 66% larger than its previous model. The increased display size certainly makes for easy reading, especially during quick glances. However, any flickering you might see in video reviews is not noticeable in real life. This little hiccup primarily results from improper camera settings, ensuring that your day-to-day user experience remains uncompromised.
Available at your fingertips is a seamless interaction with the Vivosmart 5. It makes the interaction process quite straightforward – through a simple touch screen paired with a physical button . Waking the device can be as simple as raising your wrist, and to access the data, you can swipe up to view the widgets. If you’re concerned about touchscreen functionality, which can often be finicky, the presence of the physical button provides relief, as you exactly know where to press. Trust me, it’s super easy!
Overall, the Vivosmart 5’s focus on subtle improvements, from the replaceable band to greater display clarity, really stand out. Some users might appreciate the strategic shift from the haptic touch screen button to an actual physical button. Yes, haptic feedback buttons give a clean look, but often you would be second guessing if you really made the right contact. This small update solves that issue in a no-frills, effective way.
However, keep in mind that the larger display doesn’t come with a high-end resolution that you might find on other models. That being said, rest assured, the Vivosmart 5 doesn’t compromise on basic usability which it promised in the first place.
The Vivosmart 5 Features
- Garmin Vivosmart 5 features robust health and fitness tracking
- Includes advanced sleep monitoring and blood oxygen saturation tracking
- Offers smart connectivity with smartphone notifications
Welcome to a critical overview of the Garmin Vivosmart 5’s varied features. As a fitness tracker, the device has an impressive capability to monitor a multitude of health stats, but let’s have a deep dive into the features this little band offers.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The Vivosmart 5 stands out as a tracker for a wide array of health-related statistics. It measures common data like heart rate and calories burned, but also monitors blood oxygen saturation levels – something that not all fitness trackers have. This device can effortlessly track your fitness progress across many activities, including running, cycling, and even swimming. Its 24/7 tracking feature keeps an eye on your wellness round the clock, which is quite remarkable.
Advanced Sleep Monitoring
One of the key updates in the Vivosmart 5 is the inclusion of advanced sleep tracking. This new feature not only tracks your sleep stages but also monitors your blood oxygen saturation levels throughout the night. It even provides a sleep score— a great way to assess your sleep quality at a glance. Believe me when I say that this handy feature provides some incredibly insightful data about your sleep patterns.
The widgets on the Vivosmart 5 offer quick access to a raft of useful information right on your wrist. Widgets range from a simple step counter, displaying your steps and calories burnt for the day, to a comprehensive calendar that syncs with your smartphone, showing your daily events. The hydration widget keeps track of your daily water intake – a small yet handy feature to ensure you’re staying adequately hydrated. There are also widgets for weather updates and music control, adding to the overall user convenience.
The Vivosmart 5 boasts excellent connectivity with your smartphone. It allows you to receive notifications from your phone right on your wrist. With an Android device, you can even send quick replies directly from the band, a feature not extended to iPhone users unfortunately. This feature kept me connected without having to constantly check my phone, adding a level of convenience to my day.
In conclusion, the Vivosmart 5’s features offer a dynamic experience, keeping health and wellness tracking at its core while efficiently adding elements of smart connectivity and daily convenience.
Battery Life & Charging
- Garmin Vivosmart 5 battery lasts up to seven days
- Blood oxygen tracking reduces battery life to five days
- Uses a universal Garmin charger
With continuous use, I found the battery life of the Garmin Vivosmart 5 to compare quite favorably to other fitness trackers in the market. Garmin asserts that the Vivosmart 5 can last up to seven days, and it did not disappoint in this regard! A busy week full of various fitness and lifestyle activities barely put a dent in the tracker’s battery capacity, a testament to its smart power management.
Battery Life and Sleep Tracking
However, I did observe a minor point of criticism. Upon enabling blood oxygen saturation level tracking during sleep, I noticed it has a slight impact on the battery life, bringing it down to approximately five days. Now, this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re considering this feature as a primary function. Overall, the battery performance remained commendable given the extensive feature set of this fitness tracker.
As far as charging is concerned, Garmin made a vital shift from a clip-on charger, as used in the Vivosmart 4, to a more universal Garmin charger on the Vivosmart 5. This swap makes life a lot easier since you no longer need to carry around a distinct charging cable just for your Vivosmart if you have other Garmin wearables.
A Thought on Charging Frequency
Even though the Vivosmart 5’s charging time is quite a reasonable few hours, you might need to plan a bit due to its impressive battery life. If you’re not accustomed to a 5 to 7-day battery life, finding your tracker out of charge ahead of a profound workout session could take you by surprise. So, be sure to periodically check the battery level to avoid any inconvenient scenarios.
The battery life is one of the essential aspects of any wearable tech, and Garmin’s Vivosmart 5 excels at it. It offers a solid battery performance that, despite intensifying its tracking features, manages to provide a reliable week-long juice. Although the shift to a mainstream Garmin charger might seem trivial, it’s these small considerations that enrich the overall user experience.
Safety & Tracking Features
- Garmin Vivosmart 5 includes women’s health features
- Device provides emergency alert and location sharing
- LiveTrack provides real-time location updates
Undoubtedly, the Garmin Vivosmart 5 is designed with safety in mind, extending beyond just the physical health and wellness of wearers. The safety and tracking features embedded in this fitness tracker are not only impressive but could be lifesaving.
Women’s Specific Health Features
What initially caught my eye was the addition of women’s specific health features such as menstrual tracking. Although I can’t personally test these, the introduction of such features is a positive move towards inclusivity and comprehensive health tracking for female users.
Emergency Contact Function
Next, the emergency contact function. This could be a game changer for many users. The process for activating this feature is as simple as holding the device’s button for about five seconds. The device then sends an emergency alert, complete with your location, to your chosen contact via a text message. According to the instructions, you can cancel the alert if you activate it accidentally. Yet, in trying times, this could be a potentially lifesaving feature.
Incident Detection and LiveTrack Features
Perhaps even more impressive are the incident detection and LiveTrack features. If the Vivosmart 5 detects a sudden halt in your usual movement, it interprets this as an accident and immediately sends an alert to your emergency contact. The LiveTrack feature lets you share a link that secures and sends your location in real-time, providing a comforting level of safety, especially during solo activities.
The big test was whether these safety functions deliver on their promises—or if they are just hype. From testing these features, I can say they performed fairly well. However, bear in mind that for these features to work at their best, your device needs to be connected to your smartphone.
In the era of evolving digital wearable technology, it’s important for consumers to not only get value for their money but safety and convenience as well. The Garmin Vivosmart 5 does score high in these aspects. However, I do wish the device had built-in GPS to facilitate these safety-centric features independently of a smartphone connection.
Fitness & Sport Tracking
- Vivosmart 5 offers variety of fitness tracking features
- Depends on phone’s GPS for distance tracking
- Provides relatively accurate heart rate readings
As a key component of any fitness tracker, the variety and accuracy of fitness and sport tracking features are critical. For the Vivosmart 5, I found it to offer a robust suite that should cater to a multitude of fitness enthusiasts.
Exploring the Various Activity Profiles
The Vivosmart 5 can track a wide range of activities that extends beyond your typical walking, running, and cycling. Its gym-ready features such as strength training, pool swimming, high intensity interval training (HIIT), Pilates, indoor running and even breath work deserve praise. I particularly enjoyed the ability to adjust the data being displayed during each activity.
Editor’s Experience with GPS Accuracy
When it comes to GPS accuracy, the Vivosmart 5 relies on your phone’s GPS since it lacks an in-built one. From my experience, carrying my iPhone during a run resulted in consistent readings from the Vivosmart 5, spitting out similar figures to the other devices that have built-in GPS. It seems that the device’s dependency on a phone doesn’t hamper the accuracy of distance tracking.
Analyzing Heart Rate Accuracy in Various Setups
Per accuracy in terms of heart rate, the Vivosmart 5 proved comparable to a chest heart rate sensor and optical arm heart rate sensor. While it experienced a slight delay at the beginning of an indoor bike ride, the delay was not significantly different from what I see from similar sensors. Moreover, the device performed relatively well during a run and weight training, despite a few instances where heart rate readings veered off. It’s worth noting that this is quite common for wrist-based heart rate sensors and generally, it did a commendable job.
Assessing the Vivosmart 5’s Performance during High Intensity Workouts
The Vivosmart 5 also holds up during high intensity workouts, being able to count reps and initiate rest periods between sets. While automatic exercise recognition feature could be hit-or-miss, the method of counting reps was, on the whole, pretty accurate. This allows you to focus on your workout, secure in the knowledge that the data you’ll analyze later will be meaningful and precise.
Comparing Vivosmart 5 to Competing Fitness Trackers
- Vivosmart 5 has no subscription costs unlike Fitbit Charge 5
- Vivosmart 5 introduces Body Battery indicator feature
- Vivosmart 5 presents a better cost-to-benefit ratio
Unequivocally, the market for fitness trackers is brimming with a plethora of models, making it crucial to appraise how Garmin Vivosmart 5 fares in this competitive landscape. A notable rival, the Fitbit Charge 5, seems to be a fitting comparison for the Vivosmart 5, given their similar feature sets and price points.
Vivosmart 5 vs. Fitbit Charge 5: A Cost and Feature Comparison
When it comes to pricing, both the Garmin Vivosmart 5 and the Fitbit Charge 5 bear a similar range. However, it’s essential to consider the value delivered for the price paid.
1. Subscription Costs : The Vivosmart 5 outshines here as it lavishly offers all its features straight out of the box. Conversely, to access all the features of Fitbit Charge 5, one has to subscribe to the ‘Fitbit Premium’, which costs anywhere between $20 to $70 annually. This recurring cost makes the Fitbit a relatively pricier option in the long haul.
2. Feature-Set : Both wearables furnish an array of similar features, including sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and activity tracking. Yet, the Vivosmart 5 takes a slight edge with its new addition – the Body Battery indicator, an ingenious feature that enables you to monitor your energy levels.
3. Design and Display : Both trackers are designed keeping comfort and style in mind; however, the Vivosmart 5 sports a larger display, making it more user-friendly.
4. Battery Life : Here, there’s a stalemate. Both devices offer up to a week of battery life, although this can fluctuate based on usage.
In conclusion, while both devices have their unique pros and cons, the Vivosmart 5 seems to provide a better cost-to-benefit ratio. It offers a comprehensive feature-set, sans any subscription costs, making it a worthy contender in the high-end fitness trackers market.
After spending an extensive amount of time utilizing the Garmin Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker, I can state with a fair degree of certainty that it is indeed a solid, feature-rich device that is true to its promise of offering comprehensive health and fitness tracking.
On the plus side, the Vivosmart 5’s lightweight and comfortable design makes it convenient for all-day use. The enlarged display is a welcome enhancement, making data easily readable at a quick glance.
The variety of health and fitness activities it can track, from heart rate to sleep patterns including a sleep score, is impressive. The necessity for widgets for elements like weather, hydration levels, and smartphone notifications further add utility to the device.
Advanced Features and Battery Life
Despite its compact size, the Vivosmart 5 positively surprised me with its women’s specific health features, emergency contact function, as well as incident detection and LiveTrack features. Nevertheless, despite the advertised 7-day battery life, I noticed that extensively using certain features such resizing the blood oxygen saturation levels during sleep would reduce battery life to about five days.
Comparing to Competition
When compared to a similar product in the market, the Fitbit Charge 5, the Vivosmart 5 stands its ground, offering comparable features at a similar price range. However, Garmin leaps ahead in that it doesn’t require a yearly subscription to access all the features. This I believe, aids in enhancing the overall value of the Vivosmart 5.
That being said, the Vivosmart 5 does come with a $20 increase in price compared to its predecessor, the Vivosmart 4. This could potentially act as a barrier for some potential users when weighed with the feature updates.
A Few Limitations
Although the Vivosmart 5 performed relatively well in testing, I noticed some issues, particularly related to its GPS functionality, which relies on a connected phone. This could potentially impact its accuracy as phone qualities differ greatly. Additionally, the exercise recognition feature was slightly hit-and-miss during my strength training sessions.
These critiques, though minimal, could definitely allow room for improvements on future models. But they don’t necessarily take away from the Vivosmart 5’s efficiency.
In conclusion, the Vivosmart 5 Fitness Tracker comes across as a comprehensive, feature-rich device that paves the way for an enriching user experience. It ticks nearly all the boxes when it comes to tracking health and fitness parameters. Garmin has once again shown their commitment to delivering quality wearables that cater to the evolving needs of the fitness-conscious consumer.
Should you buy the Garmin vívosmart® 5?
Buy it if…
You want all-inclusive health tracking
Garmin Vivosmart 5 tracks a plethora of health stats: heart rate, calories burned, steps, blood oxygen saturation levels, even sleep stages, and stress levels.
You’re an active person
This device covers a broad range of physical activities, from running and cycling to weight training and swimming, in addition to new features like high-intensity interval training and pilates.
You like user-friendly gadgets
The Vivosmart 5 is lightweight, comfortable to wear, easy to read at a glance, intuitive to use, and comes with a universal Garmin charger.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a tight budget
While packed full with features, the Vivosmart 5 is priced higher than its predecessor and could be an expensive choice compared to other fitness trackers.
You must have built-in GPS
This fitness tracker does not have built-in GPS and depends on the GPS of your phone instead. If you desire a device with independent GPS tracking, this might not be the best option for you.
You prioritize accuracy during weight training
While generally accurate, the Vivosmart 5 may struggle with detecting quick changes in heart rate during high intensity weight training sessions.
- Does the Vivosmart 5 have built-in GPS?
The Vivosmart 5 uses connected GPS, meaning that it connects to your phone and uses your phone’s GPS. It does not have a built-in GPS.
- What new health features does the Vivosmart 5 have compared to the Vivosmart 4?
The Vivosmart 5 has advanced sleep tracking that tracks your sleep stages, blood oxygen saturation levels at night, and provides a sleep score. It also tracks your respiration rate. Additionally, it comes with new women’s health features like menstrual tracking.
- Can I change the band of the Vivosmart 5?
Yes, unlike the previous generation, the Vivosmart 5 has a replaceable band that can be swapped as needed.
- What safety features does the Vivosmart 5 have?
The Vivosmart 5 has safety and tracking features including the ability to send an assistance request to an emergency contact, incident detection for select activities, and live track that lets you share your location during an activity.
- Does the Vivosmart 5 have a subscription cost?
No, all the features of the Vivosmart 5 are available out of the box, with no need for a separate subscription.
- What is the battery life of the Vivosmart 5?
The Vivosmart 5 has an advertised battery life of up to seven days. However, if you enable blood oxygen saturation level tracking during sleep, it may drop to about five days.
- Can the Vivosmart 5 track hydration levels?
Yes, Vivosmart 5 has a hydration widget for tracking your hydration levels throughout the day.
- Can the Vivosmart 5 control music on my phone?
Yes, the Vivosmart 5 has a widget for controlling music playing on your phone.
- Does the Vivosmart 5 allow for quick replies to texts on Android?
Yes, when paired with an Android phone, the Vivosmart 5 allows users to both receive and send away quick replies. However, this feature is not available on iPhones.