The Garmin Vivoactive is a Powerful Fitness Tool That Doubles as a Wear-Anywhere Smartwatch
It accurately logs workout stats, receives phone notifications, and pairs well with a suit.
Don’t let it’s name fool you: The Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch is a powerful training tool that just so happens to double as a stylish, wear-anywhere smartwatch. And it succeeds brilliantly. While most training devices are wrist-dwarfing, the vivoactive has a slim 8mm square face with an 205 x 148 pixel resolution touchscreen. Able to log everything from bike rides to 5Ks, the watch has a built-in GPS, accelerometer, and pedometer. It also features a suite of apps to track running, cycling, golfing, swimming (it’s waterproof to 50 meters), and other activities; it pairs with separately-sold heart rate monitors, too, and works with Garmin’s Connect training portal. We only tested the running and cycling apps, but both proved accurate, with read outs for split times, coordinates, and stats such as calories burned and pace displayed. The screen is glare-proof and is easy to read in daylight or darkness; a simple swipe lets you scroll down to see additional stats. In terms of smartwatch capabilities, the Vivoactive receives text, calendar, and other such notifications when within 30 feet of a paired phone, alerting you with a subtle buzz. We’ve been wearing the watch for week and a half and it has yet to require a charge (it lasts for 10 hours with GPS tracking and three weeks in standard watch activity mode) or for us to rethink our wardrobe: It pairs as well with cognac wing tips as it does cross trainers. $250; garmin.com