Garmin Vivomove HR Review: It’s Really a Smartwatch!

Is Garmin Vivomove HR a good sports smartwatch? Yes. It is also great if you value an old-style analog watch look. Read more in this review.

Garmin Vivomove HR is a unique hybrid device that has the look of “traditional” watches with broad smartwatch functionality. It has powerful sports features and a semi-hidden screen that allows you to check your exercise data, read notifications, and check stress levels.

garmin vivomove hr overview

Fitness trackers, in its classical form, might not be for everyone. They have great functionality when it comes to sports and health tracking features.

Still, its appearance doesn’t fit people who prefer classy, smart looks with an old-fashioned mechanic watch. Garmin Vivomove HR solves this duality once and forever, bringing smartwatch features into the world of traditional watches.


Our verdict

Garmin Vivomove HR possesses significant benefits such as sophisticated design and the most-demanded fitness features which will fit everyone’s taste. Still, there are some disadvantages. For example, it has no GPS, so it won’t suit people who want to track running precisely. The screen might have worse visibility at daylight, and you might experience difficulty when you unlock the device.

Why we like it:

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Great design
  • Many fitness features
  • Good battery life

Why we hate it:

  • Smeary screen
  • Logging can be problematic
  • No GPS

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Design

Garmin Vivomove HR design

The main design feature of this gadget is to look like an analog watch. That is why its face is a flat circle. It has a reactive finish that sends beams from the center, which catches the light. There are both normal-looking minutes and hours hands and a little “minute” pips on the face edge.

Standard Version

There are no obvious signs Garmin Vivofit HR is a smartwatch. You may opt for the Sports version, which is less traditional-looking, or the Premium one, which resembles a mechanical watch with its metal and leather. There are detachable straps that you might change as you like.

The standard versions look a bit more colorful and do not look super chic. You can see the edge of the glass that doesn’t have a perfect finish. So, instead of the metal bezel and the clock face, you can see the edge of the glass.

Premium Version

However, the Premium version gets rid of all the colorful parts on the watch face. That creates a more classy-looking appearance. A silicone strap is now a leather one, so it makes a smart look altogether. This model also uses more metal and no plastic at all.

However, if you opt for this version, mind that it will be heavier than the silicone and plastic ones. As for the ergonomics, you can get it tight enough without feeling too tight. That helps a lot when you decide to wear a watch during the nighttime, too.


Screen

Garmin Vivomove HR has a LED screen hidden under a mechanical watch appearance. The screen is two-line and monochrome. To activate it, you need to flick your wrist or double-tap the little display area.

Garmin Vivomove HR screen

This smartwatch has no crown or buttons. You can only interact with it using the touchscreen, which isn’t always convenient. Many users mention this feature as one of the real issues of this watch. Mainly, this happens because of the low responsiveness of the touchscreen.

For example, the watch often can’t register a double-tap. That problem occurs in the first days of use, and you need to adjust to the right strength of the tap. However, when you flick through the pages of the watch interface, the system is fast and responsive. So, the missed double-tap is only one such issue.

Also, the screen is not very clear when you are outdoors. When you are indoors, it is bright and sharp, but the more ambient the light, the worse the visibility is. If you live in a place where the sun doesn’t shine much, you will be okay with this. However, in sunlit areas, you will have to struggle with this screen.


Features and Notifications

First of all, the digital watch face is adjustable. You can choose what to display, for example, step count or date, or many other counters. If you flick right, the smartwatch will scroll to the pages with exercise and other smart features.

The watch can show you music controls, the weather, and smartphone notifications. Still, you won’t see the full messages because the screen can fit only a word or three. This is good for quick SMS and WhatsApp messages. You don’t have to get your phone out to respond quickly.


Fitness and Sports

garmin vivomove hr Fitness tracker

Although Vivomove HR has many sports features, it isn’t as sports-focused as many other models. This model has no GPS, so when you run, you do not get a map of your session. Still, the watch can record speed, distance, and graphs of pace and heart rate.

Heart Rate

The heart rate function is accurate. The wrist sensor on the back of the clock might need some minutes to reach the peak, but after this, it measures all the data correctly. According to the customer reviews, the watch makes correct heart rate measurements for both interval workouts and a simple walk, so you can rely on it.

Running and Walking

The front page of the devices shows a couple of boxes showing relevant data such as the day’s activity and the stats of the last several days. Also, there is a weekly steps challenge to compete with other Garmin users, so you can challenge friends who use the Garmin Connect. That is not a watch for running-obsessed users, but it provides you with basic functions if you want to watch your health while exercising.

Gym

People who go to the gym will benefit from this device. As the gym requires no GPS with its treadmills, the watch can correctly measure the heart rate during exercise. There is also a repetition counter for those who do weights and cardio training.

Swimming

Garmin Vivomove HR is water-resistant up to 5ATM and has an accelerometer to track indoor swimming. However, there aren’t many swim modes. The screen works perfectly when it is wet, so here is another advantage of this watch.

Stress

garmin vivomove hr stress tracker

The watch can look at your heart rate and compare the variability of your resting heart rate. There is a score out of a hundred, so the watch might help you with mindfulness in day-to-day life and assist in stress management.


Battery

The battery can last about four days when used for sports tracking. For example, if you use the watch for short gym sessions, walks, or runs, it will last exactly as stated. If you don’t use the smartwatch all the time, it will last the promised five days.

If you switch the device to the watch mode, the screen will switch off, and you will see only an analog watch face. It can last up to two weeks.


Specs

Compatible withAndroid ver. 4.4 or higher, iPhone ver. 11.4 or higher
ColorsGold / Leather, Onyx Black / Suede, Rose Gold / Suede, Silver w/Tan / Italian leather, Black / Rose Gold, etc.
AppsHeart rate monitor, Intensity minutes, VO2 max
Sports featuresSteps, Calories, Distance, Heart rate
FeaturesSmart notifications for incoming calls, Music controls, Calendar reminders, Text messages, Advanced sleep monitoring
Battery lifeUp to 5 days in smart mode, Up to 2 weeks in watch mode

Conclusion

Garmin Vivomove HR is a great hybrid smartwatch that has plenty of useful fitness and sports functions. They include logging sleep, heart rate, steps, and stress. The device is water-resistant, and its heart rate tracker is accurate. The design looks great and has a fair price for its functionality. There are both more affordable and premium versions for everyone’s taste and budget.

Still, when it comes to running track, the device might not be as functional as you might want. If GPS is essential for you, opt for another device. Still, if you mostly run in the gym, this watch will be great. The device also supports smartphone notifications and message previews, so you won’t miss an important call.

Overall, this watch is for those who want an analog watch and a smartwatch with fitness features. Garmin Vivomove HR offers an all-in-one, despite some functions like GPS, and a brighter screen will benefit it.