The Vivosmart 5 is Garmin’s newest reply to the Fitbit Luxe and Cost 5. It’s a slim-form-factor band design wearable designed for runners that need a discreet wearable to trace their weekly exercises and 5km runs or cycles. Whereas it’s removed from the prettiest wearable, it’s by the far the neatest you’ll discover at this worth providing respectable health monitoring options, a cushty, swim-ready match and prolonged battery life. The one downsides are that its small design signifies that it may be arduous to make the most of its restricted notifications performance and the shortage of an in-built GPS means you’ll must take your telephone with you in order for you dependable distance monitoring.
- Dependable health monitoring for the worth
- Week lengthy battery life
- Cozy gym-ready match
- Display is just too small for many notifications
- Restricted smartwatch performance
- UKRRP: £129.99
- USARRP: $150
14 totally different exercise monitoring choices Choices embrace strolling, biking, outside working, treadmill working, swimming, power, cardio, stair stepper, pilates, yoga HIIT breathwork, indoor rowing and “different”
7 day battery lifeThe Vivosmart has a quoted week lengthy battery life, although this may radically shorten in the event you make the most of a few of its always-on monitoring choices
Interchangeable band designThe Vivosmart has an interchangeable band design that permits you to customise its colors utilizing possibility bands obtainable from Garmin
The Vivosmart 5 is the most recent health band from Garmin, the corporate behind a few of our top-rated fanatic watches to this point.
Slightly than going after critical athletes, just like the Fenix and Forerunner strains which are a constant presence in our greatest health tracker and working watch guides, the Vivosmart 5 takes intention on the entry-level market at present dominated by Fitbit with its Luxe and Fitbit Cost 5 wearables.
I’ve been utilizing the Vivosmart 5 as my major health tracker for per week now and it’s a superb possibility for amateur runners, swimmers and fitness center followers seeking to get critical about their exercise. The machine affords superior monitoring choices and extra sturdy post-workout analytics than its rivals. However its give attention to perform means some niceties have been lower that may make it much less pleasurable to make use of exterior of exercises than most rivals.
Design and display screen
- The Vivosmart is properly constructed and can survive the odd unintentional bump or scrape
- Altering the strap may be very simple to do
- The brand new bodily button on its entrance makes it so much simpler to make use of
Out of the field, the Vivosmart 5 has a really unassuming look. My pattern was a matte black rubber band that appears like a slimmed down model of the Vivosport we reviewed in 2018 and former era Vivosmart 4. This implies it doesn’t have the visible aptitude of its Fitbit Luxe rival which has a colored lining across the central unit and clean end band choices.
The one new design characteristic is a bodily button sitting underneath the OLED contact display screen. Whereas this sounds small it’s an enormous change for the Vivosmart 5 that makes it considerably nicer to make use of than previous Vivo bands and the Luxe.
When navigating menus, the button acts as a house/again management. From idle it takes you to the exercise monitoring menu and mid-tracking it acts as a cease/pause management. This appears like a small tweak, nevertheless it makes the Vivosmart 5 considerably extra nice to us each day than many of the health bands I take a look at.
It is because, whereas the compact designs are nice for consolation, the contact display screen’s small dimensions could make them barely fiddly to make use of. When exercising, utilizing the inbuilt music controls I’d typically both mispress a component or the display screen merely wouldn’t register my finger except I actually telegraphed the motion. The bodily button fixes this making it far simpler for me to return to the watch’s principal face, pause music and finish my exercise with out experiencing these frustrations.
Like earlier Garmin gadgets, the Vivosmart 5 is extremely snug to put on and pretty simple to wash. The watch’s 5ATM water resistance score let me comfortably swim in my native pool and I might hold it on whereas showering with zero bother. 5ATM means the watch is designed to outlive depths of as much as 50 meters.
After by accident bashing it right into a rock on a climbing wall I can comfortably say the display screen is rugged, with it surviving the expertise with no noticeable injury. All through testing, I’ve not skilled any consolation points. Even after I was doing an intense HIIT session I by no means skilled any rubbing or observed it catching my pores and skin.
Not like some bands, the primary display screen can also be simply faraway from the rubber strap with out having to fuss about with clasps. It is a massive assist and let me simply clear the unit when it started to choose up grime and smudges after a number of days of use on the fitness center. All-in-all it’s a splendidly designed health band.
There are some compromises, nonetheless. For starters, in contrast to the Vivosport and Fitbit Luxe, the OLED display screen is black and white. This isn’t a deal breaker however coupled with the display screen’s small dimension it does make benefiting from among the band’s good options just a little difficult.
Health monitoring and options
- The Vivosmart 5 can monitor 13 totally different actions
- It affords surprisingly deep well being and health analytics
- Smartwatch performance may be very restricted
The Vivosmart 5’s small display screen meant that incoming notification alerts had been barely squashed and arduous to learn, regardless of the display screen being greater than sharp sufficient and shiny sufficient to stay legible after I was utilizing it on a sunny day. With incoming notifications all I’d typically be capable of see was the app, or sender’s title, making it little greater than a 90s buzzer on my wrist.
The inbuilt music controls additionally had been just a little small and I’d typically discover myself hitting pause as an alternative of subsequent monitor, notably when utilizing the watch mid-run or on the fitness center.
However this was typically made up for by the watch’s surprisingly developed health monitor analytics, that are a common step up on what you get from most bands.
The Vivosmart can monitor 13 actions, you’ll be able to customise the order they seem within the exercise menu utilizing the accompanying Garmin app which works on iOS and Android.
This isn’t anyplace close to the providing you’d discover on one in every of Garmin’s extra premium trackers and the actions on supply are likely to have a extra generalist focus. Choices embrace strolling, biking, outside working, treadmill working, swimming, power, cardio, stair stepper, pilates, yoga HIIT breathwork, indoor rowing and a nebulous “different”. That is far faraway from the Fenix 7 which incorporates way more particular options for every little thing from browsing to cross nation snowboarding. However based mostly on my expertise, what’s right here is greater than adequate for many.
Monitoring is mostly glorious with one caveat – there’s no inbuilt GPS. Not like the Vivosport, all you get is related GPS, which implies you’ll must have an energetic connection between the Vivosmart 5 and your telephone in order for you correct distance monitoring.
Contemplating the worth, and the very fact its direct rival the Fitbit Luxe additionally doesn’t have one, this isn’t a deal breaker, however will probably be a problem for those who need correct distance monitoring without having to lug their telephone with them.
Testing it on a route I do know is 5.3km the related GPS performance did work properly, nonetheless. Although the Fenix 7 I examined it towards was undeniably faster to choose up a sign, the Vivosmart 5 by no means felt prefer it was taking extortionately lengthy to connect with my telephone’s GPS.
Over the three runs I did the discrepancies in distance had been inside their typical vary, with the Vivosmart 5 by no means being greater than 0.3 km out of whack, exterior of my third run the place it appears like my telephone misplaced its connection. The discrepancy is according to the outcomes I’ve gotten testing different related GPS trackers previously and can solely be an actual problem in the event you plan to run longer distances.
Coronary heart charges are additionally according to what you’ll discover on most bands. This meant that although they had been good at displaying developments, they weren’t as correct because the HRM strap I examined them towards, with the band continually displaying greater outcomes. The Vivosmart additionally struggled with speedy modifications in my coronary heart price.
On one event the numbers it threw at me throughout a HIIT seemed extra like a hummingbird’s than a human’s resulting in it throwing up an irregular coronary heart price alert that wasn’t related or according to what I used to be getting on the HRM strap I examined it towards.
Sleep monitoring can also be good, particularly when paired with the band’s SpO2 sensor, which is used to trace blood oxygen ranges. It is a key metric for well being that permits you to spot potential points together with your respiration. The Vivosmart 5 was typically good at providing a God’s eye view of my sleeping sample. The one actual problem I observed is that it might once in a while register prolonged periods watching Netflix earlier than mattress as gentle sleep.
What units the Vivosmart 5 aside from its rivals, just like the Fitbit Luxe, is the put up exercise analytics it then affords. Not like Fitbit, which requires you to pay a subscription payment to unlock your full exercise information, Garmin contains all of it totally free.
The watch will supply a full suite of knowledge together with your depth minutes plus helpful metrics like your physique battery and VO2 Max estimate and health age. I’m a specific fan of the latter because it makes use of a mixture of the watch’s information and my BMI to estimate how outdated I’m from a efficiency perspective. Being informed I’ve the health age of a 27-year-old is certainly a praise at this level.
VO2 Max is a key metric that measures how a lot oxygen you’re taking in whereas enacting a tough exercise. A better determine is taken as a dependable measure of your general health. The determine on the Vivosmart 5 known as an estimate as a result of to get a dependable studying it’s a must to have a managed surroundings and a few fairly horrible tools hooked up when you enact excessive train. The numbers didn’t match the identical estimate I obtained on the Fenix 7, however they had been uniform and confirmed an appropriate pattern throughout testing, which is all I’d anticipate from a wearable this worth.
Physique battery is a common metric of how a lot power you have got all through the day that’s designed that will help you know if it is advisable to relaxation or ought to do a exercise. The Vivosmart 5 doesn’t domestically supply restoration time estimates put up exercise, like its dearer Forerunner and Fenix siblings do, so the metric is helpful. Restoration time is a characteristic that tells you what number of hours it is best to relaxation earlier than your subsequent exercise.
The monotone display screen additionally doesn’t supply an in depth breakdown on what anaerobic and cardio advantages you bought from the train, just like the Forerunner and Fenix’s do, however once more this info isn’t one thing I’d anticipate from a wearable this worth. There’s greater than sufficient information on supply to assist extra informal runners and fitness center goers hold monitor of their progress.
- Round 7 days of battery life in the event you restrict the characteristic set
- However it’s nearer to three days with spO2 monitoring on
Garmin quotes the Vivosmart 5 ought to supply a median of seven days of battery life and that is what I achieved if it’s configured with sure settings.
With the display screen brightness set to computerized and the all day SpO2 monitoring possibility off, it can simply final per week. Utilizing it as my major tracker to maintain tabs on my morning 30 minute indoor cycle and 3km I managed to get via Monday to Sunday with round 10% of the battery remaining. Turning on all-day monitoring this determine drops considerably and I solely managed to get 3 days use out of the Vivosmart earlier than needing to offer it a cost.
These figures don’t match the prolonged 2-3 week battery lives I’ve recorded testing Photo voltaic variants of the Fenix 6 and seven, however they’re nonetheless a lower above most smartwatches, just like the Apple Watch SE, which struggles to make it previous two days use based mostly on our testing.
Must you purchase it?
You should purchase the Vivosmart 5 in order for you a implausible entry degree health tracker: Regardless of trying pretty primary the Vivosmart 5 packs a stunning quantity of monitoring options and put up exercise analytics, making it an ideal selection for entry degree, or informal fitness center goers seeking to take their exercise to the subsequent degree.
You shouldn’t purchase the Vivosmart 5 in the event you care about smartwatch performance: The Vivosmart affords primary notification push companies and music controls. However because of its small display screen even these really feel like compromised experiences.
The Vivosmart 5 isn’t a revolutionary wearable, however by getting practically all of the fundamentals proper it turns into a simple advice for individuals who wish to monitor among the fundamentals.
The glossy design is snug to put on, even after animated exercises and it supplied surprisingly detailed, and uniform analytics that made it fast and simple to trace progress.
For its goal market, the one actual draw back is that it doesn’t have an built-in GPS, so that you’ll must take your telephone with you in order for you correct distance monitoring open air. If that’s what you’re after you’ll be higher off investing in a extra premium wearable just like the Vivosport or Fitbit Cost 5.
How we take a look at
We totally take a look at each smartwatch we assessment. We use trade customary testing to check options correctly and we use the watch as our principal machine over the assessment interval. We’ll at all times inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.
Worn as our principal smartwatch through the testing interval
Coronary heart price information in contrast towards devoted coronary heart price gadgets
Aspect-by-side GPS comparability with our greatest scoring smartwatches
No, the Vivosmart 5 doesn’t have an inbuilt GPS. If you would like correct distance monitoring you’ll must have it related to a smartphone.
The Vivosmart 5 doesn’t have native music assist. All it might do is management music being streamed out of your telephone.
The Vivosmart 5 doesn’t assist native mapping or instructions for run routes.
You’ll be able to see a breakdown of the Vivosmart 5’s core specs and options and the way they examine to the Fitbit Luxe and Cost 5 within the desk under.
First Reviewed Date
Garmin Vivosmart 5
19.5 x 10.7 x 255 MM
Garmin Watch OS
Black, Mint, White
17.6 x 36.30 x 10.05 MM
Gold, Black, Silver
Fitbit Cost 5
An abbreviation for figuring out ‘blood oxygen saturation’, particularly the degrees of oxygen discovered inside the bloodstream at any given time. A low SpO2 depend will be the results of a critical sickness.
Natural Gentle Emitting Diode is panel expertise that enables every particular person pixel to provide gentle fairly than counting on a backlight. This allows the display screen to precisely show blacks by turning off the pixel, leading to improved distinction in comparison with standard LCD panels.