Not to be upstaged by Polar or even Microsoft, Garmin gets ready to release their own activity tracker with optical heart rate sensor–the Vivosmart HR. By ditching the external heart rate strap in favor of their own Elevate optical technology and adding a new display, Garmin hopes to better compete with the other high-end activity trackers on the market.
In addition to tracking the usual steps, distance walked, and calories burned, the Vivosmart HR measures floors climbed using an internal barometric altimeter and levels of activity intensity based on your heart rate. The device learns your current activity level, then assigns an attainable daily goal. As you meet your milestones, Vivosmart HR will adjust your goal for the next day in an attempt to make you more active.
Once connected with your phone via Bluetooth Smart, you will be alerted each time you receive a text, email, social media and calendar alerts, or a call–your Vivosmart HR will gently vibrate and automatically display the information. Simply touch and swipe the screen to read more (you can turn alerts off if you find them annoying).
After 1 hour of inactivity, the activity tracker vibrates to let you know that it’s time to move. Walk just a couple of minutes to reset the timer. Much like the original Vivosmart, the new Vivosmart HR can track your workouts separately but now can also send your HR information to an external ANT+ compatible device such as your bike computer (but doesn’t pair with sensors).
Once set in sleep mode, the activity tracker monitors your rest. Over on the Garmin Connect app or website, you can view your total sleep hours, as well as periods of movement and restful sleep. The built-in alarm will alert you with a gentle vibration instead of an annoying noise in the morning–not sure if this would wake most people up but it sounds great.
The rechargeable lithium battery lasts for up to 5 days before needing to be charged. The Vivosmart HR has a water rating of 5 ATM (50 meters), so you can shower or swim with it on.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR retails for $149.99 and is available exclusively at Best Buy from November 1st – January 1st, everywhere after that date.