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Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (Regular)


£103.47

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£139.99

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£139.99

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (XL)


£118.61

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£139.99

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Garmin Vivosmart HR (Regular)


£92.99

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£137.39

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Never in a million years did I think I’d be sitting down and writing this review right now. The Vivosmart HR was only just launched last year, and here I am just a few months later talking about the HR+. What’s going on? To put it bluntly, Garmin got it wrong. They introduced the Vivosmart HR without GPS which, let’s face it, is pretty standard in an activity tracker these days. I can’t be sure, but I imagine Garmin fans kicked up a bit of a stink, which is why I now have the Vivosmart HR+, too. On the one hand, it’s good that Garmin addressed the issue. On the other hand, it’s concerning that they’re letting products loose that aren’t quite up to the job. Hopefully they’ve gotten it right with the HR+.

 

What is the Vivosmart HR+?

It’s essentially the big brother to the Vivosmart HR, which in turn was sort of regarded as Garmin’s answer to the Fitbit Charge. If the features and price of the Charge were sealing the deal for you, then the Vivosmart HR+ is probably going to throw a spanner in the works we’re afraid. It’s definitely a good contender. In fact, it might even be a better option because it can be worn while swimming – a feature that Fitbit didn’t introduce until the Flex 2. It’s got a 160 x 68 pixel, 25.3 x 10.7mm display, which is perfectly fine for stats. It’s not a colour display, but then a colour display really isn’t a necessity.

 

A Running Focus

The addition of GPS almost brings the Vivosmart HR+ up in line with other dedicated running watches. We can’t deny it was definitely lagging behind before, but now it’s probably going to make a name for itself amongst hobby runners. It’s unfortunately missing some classic features that would have pushed this to be a top choice, like the interval training feature of the Forerunner 235, but then again it does have features that other trackers made by other brands don’t. The optical heart rate monitor is one, which means you can finally bin those chest straps. Believe it or not the Elevate sensor is accurate!

 

Style

Although the GPS additon is the big change between the Vivosmart HR and the Vivosmart HR+, there’s another minor change: the size. The HR+ has a little extra bulk, but really a bit more chunkiness on an already slim tracker isn’t the end of the world. I actually like it. It’s one of those rare fitness trackers that’s a little too thick to be classed as ‘feminine’, and a little too narrow to be classed as masculine, and this is what tracker brands should be doing. We’re getting a bit fed up of gender marketing in trackers.

 

Anything Missing?

On the whole, I think Garmin have done themselves proud here, but there’s one area where we feel they’re not quite hitting the mark in. One of the biggest advantages of Garmin over other brands is that most of their products, including this HR+, are waterproof (well, they’re water resistant enough for your average pool). Great. But where’s the swim tracking? They always say ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’, and it feels like Garmin are underselling themselves here. The potential is there. Use it! To be honest, the rage of activities on the whole is pretty sad. Running, cardio, or ‘other’. If you’re a runner, then the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ really is a great choice. If you do any other sports… make sure to consider other options.

What’s in the Box

  • Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Activity Tracker
  • Charging Cable
  • Instructions

Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Design78%
Usability82%
Battery Life71%
Features72%
76%Overall Score
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