Garmin’s Activity Tracker

With the vívofit activity tracker, Garmin is caught on a few months ago on the train of the currently very popular fitness bracelets. I could test whether and how useful is thus an activity tracker, even recently. Garmin has provided vívofit the brand new me to do so.


As for Garmin comes also the vívofit in fancy packaging. A tiny ANT + USB includes receiver, as well as a brief guide the activity tracker with 2 bracelets of various sizes,.

Looking for a USB cable, charger or charging clip in vain. Need one but do not, because the vívofit is operated with two conventional, even replaceable button cells (CR1632). Garmin touts with a battery life of over one year, depending on use (the term is reduced for more frequent use of ANT + heart rate chest belt).

The activity tracker itself is housed in a waterproof housing made of plastic and has a particularly low power E-Ink display. The readability is excellent during the day. Since the display but does not have a backlight, you can see in low light or at night of course absolutely nothing. For this, the display is but permanently active, which means you must not only press the button so that the display will turn on. So you can use vívofit as a wristwatch.

The bracelet is made up of soft TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and is currently available in 5 different colors and 2 sizes. The buckle made of plastic is fiddly to close something with one hand sometimes, and also already times by itself opens when you somewhere.

The synchronization of data and settings is carried out either with Smartphones/tablets via Bluetooth (free Garmin Connect mobile app required), or with a laptop/PC via supplied ANT + USB receiver.


The primary function of the Garmin vívofit is certainly the record of the number of steps by the integrated 3D-Beschleunigungssensor. Based on this information, the activity tracker calculated the return distance in kilometres, as well as the calories consumed. On what basis, the mileage is calculated, is still a little beyond me because in the user profile, no step length will be deposited (only the date of birth, gender, weight and height must capture the user).
Daily goals can be defined as a motivational aid to more movement in everyday life. This one sets the total number of steps settings which you want to reach on the day. Alternatively it calculates a new target vívofit, on the basis of the least traveled steps independently every day. An additional motivator represents the red bar of the activity, the insight is, whether it has moved far enough. This occurs after a period of inactivity and expands the longer it does not move.

In addition to the number of return specified steps, remaining steps up to the day’s destination, distance, and calories, the vívofit may show also the current time and date bracelet. All this information can switched on or are hidden via the device settings. You can then query the individual information about the (only) button on the bracelet.

You have about an ANT + heart rate belt or bought the vívofit bundle with heart rate strap, can be read also the heart rate directly on the vívofit. Also the activity Tracker records an activity that one portal can analyze later on the Garmin connect, as soon as it connects the heart rate belt with the vívofit, and ends when you stop the heart rate display.

Another feature of the vívofit is the recording of sleep activity. In the evening, go to bed, turning the activity tracker in the sleep mode. In the morning it will stop this by pressing the button on the bracelet. On the Garmin connect you can then analyze his sleeping patterns Portal after synchronization. There is more information about the sleep mode in the Garmin Blog.


In everyday use as a watch and step recording, the bracelet is quite handy and comfortable to wear. Once configured and connected to the Garmin connect profile, the handling is very easy. A prolonged pressure on the button and it completes the synchronization via the Smartphone or laptop and you can get all information about the connect portal.

I’ve used the vívofit several times while running and fitness in combination with my forerunner 620. The heart rate is rendered this easily 1-to-1 on the vívofit like on the forerunner. In contrast to the forerunner who record an activity only when you press the Start button, the vívofit starts the activity directly at the pair with the heart rate belt. In direct comparison to the Garmin connect Portal can be seen beautifully this difference:

As you can see, the vívofit on my lap 10 km has calculated about 800 meters as the forerunner. Here one must pull off to the “start” and back again but still about 300 meters from the locker room. This makes on the vívofit under the dash goes deviates from the real, around 5% so completely in order. However, the bracelet detects other movements ever as steps, so come in the teeth quickly 500 additional steps to clean (if you hold the toothbrush in the same hand as the vívofit).
Heart rate is, however, absolutely identical on both devices, but also not surprising because the data comes from the same sensor. Also the calculated calorie consumption is almost the same.

I have tested the analysis of sleep over several nights. Overall an interesting feature which gives very accurate information about the duration of sleep. However, the motion recording is quite inaccurate and the diagram can be only guessed at what time you even got up to go to the bathroom.


Garmin certainly not reinventing the wheel with the vívofit, but overall offers a very interesting package of features. The permanently switched on E-Ink display gives the vívofit a perfect for everyday use as a watch which serves also as the activity tracker. The device showed up so me how little I move in my office job, except when once again a training session during the lunch break was on the agenda.

As an ambitious hobby runners is the vívofit a nice gadget, but replaced in any way my forerunner GPS watch. But that is also not the goal of activity trackers. The part is, however, perfect for less active people who wish to motivate himself by the vívofit to more movement, because he makes Portal very well that in conjunction with the Garmin connect.

The vívofit activity tracker is now available for 119 euros or 149 euros with heart rate strap.

There are more test reports among Rebekka RunningCherry and Michael at Computer Bild.