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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
814
3.9 out of 5 stars
Colour: Blue|Style: With Heart Rate Monitor|Change
Price:£49.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 6 November 2014
I bought two Garmin Vivofit fitness bands; a blue one for my wife and a black one for myself. The Vivofit with the blue band came with a 'vivokeeper' safety band, the black one did not. I mention this because other reviewers have reported that the bands have come undone whilst wearing them (more on this later).

The setup instructions that came with the fitness band is sparse and very basic. After a search on the internet, however, I found an on-line manual here

http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/vivofit_Owners_Manual_EN.pdf

This will fully explain the setup procedure and therefore I won't duplicate it here.

There are two things you must do. The first is to download either Garmin express for your computer or the Garmin express app. for use with a smartphone. This download is used purely to sync the Vivofit. If using the fitness band on a smartphone, Bluetooth must be enabled; on the computer a small USB + Ant stick is provided and must be put into a spare USB port on the computer Once this app is download and you have paired your device with the app, you will be invited to setup an account with Garmin Connect. This is the business side of the whole kaboodle.

Garmin connect is where you see the results of your endeavours and is also a 'control panel' for setting up your device and user settings. Neither of these can be done directly from the fitness band. Each time you sync the fitness band using Garmin Express, not only will your daily endeavours be uploaded to Garmin Connect, but also any changes you have made to the device and user settings in Garmin Connect will be downloaded to Vivofit. There is a link from Garmin Express to your Garmin Connect Account. Those who use other Garmin fitness products will be familiar with this process.

The Strap:
I have worn the Vivofit (the one without the vivokeeper) continuously for about a week. Every day during that time, I have done weight training in the gym, swimming and other domesticated things like showering etc. So far, the strap has not come undone. When lane swimming at particularly busy times at the pool, on a few occasions, I have hit the strap accidentally on the lane ropes. The strap did not come undone. It also behaved itself when I caught the strap on clothing. Having said that, if, like me, after reading other reviews, you have concerns about the strap coming undone, for extra safety you can order a free 'Vivokeeper' here. http://www8.garmin.com/en-GB/vivokeeper/

Delivery time for the Vivokeeper is 4 to 6 weeks. So far though, I've had no problems with the strap.

****Update****** I've now been wearing the Vivifit continuously for four weeks. I have had no problems with the strap coming loose whatsoever.

Accuracy
The fitness band converts the number of daily steps you take into equivalent mileage. I decided to check the accuracy using my Garmin Forerunner 305 (GPS enabled) watch which I use for training. I appreciate that there will be some inaccuracies with the GPS watch but I estimate that the fitness band is about 90% to 94% accurate when using my height as the default setting. It is possible to calibrate your pace length by putting the result of how many steps it takes you to cover ten feet. To be honest, I tried this and found that the accuracy got worse. It was probably because I wasn't walking at my normal stride length when counting my steps over ten feet.

Heart Rate Monitor
I already own a Garmin heart rate monitor that came with my Garmin Forerunner, hence I bought the fitness band only. As a result, the device setting on this particular Vivofit had no 'page' for heart rate. I therefore had to go to Garmin connect and tick a box to allow heart rate to be displayed (remember to sync fitness band). The fitness band paired very quickly with the heart rate monitor and for me, I found this very useful for getting 'into the zone' when using aerobic fitness equipment in the gym. It was also useful for counting calories whilst swimming. I understand that if you purchase the fitness band version that comes with a heart rate monitor, the 'heart' page will already be set as a default setting.

Summary
I found the fitness band to be neat and unobtrusive. The display is very clear and easy to read. There is only one button on the band that you use to scroll through the different pages. It is really easy to use. Having said that, it took me a couple of days to get used to the various symbols so I knew what information I was looking at on the display. Alas, there is no backlight so when it gets dark you are unable to read the display.

If you want a training aid for use in sport then this is not really for you. However, if you want to keep track of how many calories you are burning and need an incentive to get out and do something, set yourself goals and join online challenges then yes, I would recommend it. Indeed for me, the great thing it has got going for it is that I can wear it whilst swimming (waterproof up to 50 metres) and get an idea of how many calories I'm burning in the gym. My Garmin Forerunner 305 will not allow me to do either of these things because it needs a GPS signal to determine what distance I have travelled in order to give me a calorie burn figure. So for me, now I have the fitness band, I have the best of both worlds.

The reason I gave 4 stars is because there is no backlight and I would like to see better accuracy.
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on 10 January 2015
With so many on the market it is difficult to choose between them. I'm glad I chose the Garmin for the following reasons:
1) it is also a watch (my friend who has a fitbit has to wear two things on her wrist)
2) it doesn't need charging
3) it syncs with my fitness pal (an app for monitoring your food)
4) you can get it wet (although I choose to take it off in the shower)
5) the strap is secure (I was concerned reading other reviews, but Garmin have added a piece of strap to prevent it falling off)
6) the step counter is as accurate as my friend's fitbit
7) syncing with my phone takes 8 seconds (turning your phone off then on after the initial connection between Garmin and phone helps- you don't need to do it again)
8) the Garmin screen tells you time, date, steps, distance and calories. Fitbit requires you to look at your phone
9) overall I have no complaints. It does what I want. Very pleased with my purchase!
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on 13 July 2015
Had this for nearly 3 months now and I love it. I've never had a fitness tracker before but I did a bit of research before choosing this one. I had read that the heart rate monitor on the fitbit was less than perfect so I went for the vivofit. When I bought this I actually thought the heart rate monitor was in the wrist band (duh!) but it's actually a separate strap that you put around your upper torso/under chest when exercising, and it's not like you really need to know your heart rate all day long so this works for me. Here is what I think is really good about the vivofit and why I would recommend it to anyone who are serious about fitness (or wants to get fit) and who likes to keep track and push a bit harder:

Pros:

Looks good and is very comfortable, I virtually never take it off
It is waterproof so you can wear it in the shower or when swimming
The software for your phone that links with it is really nice and easy to set up and use
When you do a workout if you put the heart rate monitor on and synch it, it automatically tracks your workout for you
It gives you an idea of how many calories you burned on your workout/run
It has handy info on it like: The time and date and how many steps you've done and what your target is, also how many miles you have walked.
A red bar gradually appears when you have been sitting too long, great to remind you to get up and move!
It seems really accurate at tracking activity - you cannot cheat! I tried pretending to jog - it would have fooled a wii fit, not the garmin vivo though
It Never needs charging
Even when you hit your step target it adds more/sets new target
On the software (on your phone) you can track the food you eat (you start typing something in and it suggests what you mean and is accurrate) handy if you need it, I don't use this feature myself
When you synch with your phone software it shows you how well you slept (according to how much you moved about)
It is extremely motivating if you do a good workout in the morning and see the number of steps really high before your day's even got started.
You can get different colour wrist bands for it

Cons:
It's a great product but the price of having a battery that you don't need to charge up is that you do NOT get an illuminated display, so if you try to check the time in the night you cannot see a thing.
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Colour: Black|Style: Without Heart Rate Monitor|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Honestly, this monitors your progress, tracking your movements and sleep - to some this may sound very Big Brother! There's no more pretending to walk the dog with one of these little fellas; the step count just doesn't lie.

What I love about the Garmin Vivofit Wireless Fitness Wrist Band and Activity Monitor-
With a click of the button on the front of the band I can scroll through a screen, which clearly shows:
a) My step goal
b) The distance I have travelled
c) My actual step count
d) The time
e) The date
f) My heart rate (although this only shows when using a heart rate monitor - that is separate to buy)
g) The 'red line' that appears as a reminder when I've been sitting too long.
Handy if you work in an office, and a quick trip to the loo, or the photocopier will solve this.
h) it's easy to sync (using a dongle plugged into your computer) by pressing and holding down the button on the wristband until the word 'Sync' appears.
i) It's easy to 'put yourself to sleep' by holding down the same button a little bit longer until you see the word 'Sleep'. This makes keeping count of my sleeping hours until I awake in the morning. Great to see if you getting enough sleep each night.
j) BEST OF ALL it does not need re-charging weekly, like one of its competitors 'FITBIT FLEX Activity AND Sleep Tracker' does, and for me that is a real annoyance. A smart move for the Garmin Guys!
k) I also LOVE that I can connect with others doing similar challenges without paying extra!
l) It's water-resistant (up to 50 metres), so you can shower with it on. This I haven't tested though as I do not have a shower, and I think submersing it in a bath for long periods may be asking for trouble...

Dislike?

Hmmmm. If comparing to the Fitbit, which I still think is very good and worth a try - the Garmin Wristband is chunkier and not so sleek looking. At first I didn't like this, but it's actually grown on me, especially as all the other Garmin features are so cool.

I love it, and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Whether you have large or small heath goals, the Garmin Vivofit Wireless Fitness Wrist Band and Activity Monitor will help you keep track of them, so you can actually witness your fitness all day long!
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Colour: Black|Style: Without Heart Rate Monitor|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I will update this review when I've had my Vivofit monitor for longer, but wanted to post now as it's recently become available in the UK and many will be wondering how it compares with other fitness monitors and I'm able to compare it with the fitbit flex.. My left wrist is currently sporting both my Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker & Sleep Wristband and my Garmin Vivofit so that I can do a direct comparison. I have also owned previous incarnations of the fitbit - the ultra and the one, and now have the Fitbit Charge.

I was lucky enough to get the Vivofit bundle with the Garmin HRM strap and have found that very useful. Vivofit works with any ANT+ strap, so if you already have one then just this unit is all you need.

Pros

+ Vivofit can be linked to a HRM so you can view your rate rate as you run - Vivofit works with any ANT+ straps so if you have one already you don't need the bundle
+ Vivofit links to Garmin Connect. The Heart rate band picks up higher heart rates and logs them as activities. If you already have a Garmin it is possible to integrate this with the rest of your data
+ Garmin Connect data can be uploaded to the Fitbit site, so there is the possibility of using this tracker and the overall calorie in/out info provided by the excellent Fitbit site (I haven't tested this capability yet)
+ Charge is via watch batteries and should last a year, rather than via USB every few days/per week
+ Waterproof to 50 meters, so good for swimmers
+ Display is on permanently and you can toggle through steps (daily total), goal (steps remaining), distance covered (in miles or kilometers), calories burned, time, date and heart rate (when connected via HRM strap) and you can remove any of these via the website.
+ Goal for daily steps is automatically set based on your performance to date, though this can be manually overridden. Default start is 7500 which is lower than fitbit's 10,000 default
+ Set up is straightforward and syncing is via USB dongle on your computer or via the Garmin connect app. Videos are available online and instructions point you to the online site
+ Website Connect UI for vivofit is widget based and not dissimilar to the fitbit one in look, but has less functionality and is generally less slick
+ Bracelet clasp feels secure and is similar to the fitbit flex
+ Has a sleep function
+ Has a red inactivity bar which highlights when you have been inactive for an hour or so. This has prompted me to get moving when it catches your eye.

Cons

- No altimeter, so doesn't give you a stair count like the fitbit one and fitbit charge does
- Display is always on, but doesn't have a back light so can't be read it in the dark
- Style is functional rather than aesthetically pleasing and it's a bit clunky and heavier than others (trade off with the battery life) and it's certainly less pretty than, say, the jawbone. Other colour straps are available though.
- Website does not have the food database of fitbit and the links to partner sites such as Withings and MyFitnessPal, but Connect data can be ported to Fitbit (UPDATED 6/1/2014 The link rot MFP is supposed to be there but has been reported as not working in other reviews)
- Sleep function is rudimentary and does not provide as much analysis as the fitbit, for e.g. and I have not found it as accurate
- Have to press button to initiate sync instead of it happening in background (no doubt to preserve battery life)

In terms of accuracy: the Vivofit and my Fitbit units are providing almost identical measures when compared - within 5%

In terms of websites the fitbit website is better for overall healthy lifestyle monitoring as you can get an overall picture of calories in and out. There is the possibility of syncing my Vivofit data to the Fitbit site automatically but I have not been able to complete that successfully.

One of things that I have found most motivating about wearing my fitbit has been the linking with friends on a leaderboard for competition and, of course, I would lose that if I were to switch. I will report back once I have used them in tandem for longer.

In summary:
--------------

If you're already a Garmin user then this will fit in nicely with your suite of other gadgets. If you're already a Fitbit user then the reason to change would be for the link to HRM info on the tracker. Currently, I wear a Polar RS300X G1 Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch when running and it would be nice to cut down on devices. The other reason to change would be for the convenience of not having to think about charging your tracker, though the fitbit sends me warning messages when charge is low and charging takes only an hour or so. You'd have to weight those advantages against the less good website, the overall calorie in/out info and the history and links to friends that you'll have set up.

If you're in the market for a new tracker and are more interested in fitness activity than in measuring both your calorie input and output then this is a great unit - especially with the HRM strap as an add on.

Recommended

Update 18/12/2014 Although it's my Fitbit Charge that I wear every day now I was very impressed with the Garmin Vivofit and particularly like it for its link to an HRM when running. I have never had any problem with the clasp.

Update 6/1/2014 I have reduced my rating of this to 4 stars, from 5 - my comments about the website and syncing with partner websites still stand and this is less good than the Fitbit Charge I am now using on a daily basis.
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on 12 June 2014
I have another Garmin fitness product and thought this would work well with it. Well it doesn't fight against it. They share the heart rate band quite happily.

If you are after tracking how many steps you take in a day then there are considerably cheaper units out there. Indeed this is an excessively expensive way of tracking steps so there has to be something extra. Right? Well the extra comes in the web based data logging (when the Garmin site is working correctly). You can keep a catalogue of your steps and how you sleep. You can even be in gentle competition with others around the globe if you choose to be. On the web site you can set your self goals; but you cant say how many steps you plan to take this week. Why would you want to do so? To manage all your different exercise / well being activities (swimming, jogging, running, cycling etc).

The band itself sets a daily goal to entice you to the 10,000 steps. I confess I don't know if it continues to entice beyond that as I don't routinely do 10,000 steps. And here's the rub.

I am improving my fitness by cycling. The Vivofit senses I've expended energy (by the heart band link) but not taken any 'steps'. Hands don't move in the right pattern when cycling. My understanding of walking was to improve (or at least maintain) health. So I'm bemused that the unit ignores an hours exercise and still indicates 3000 steps to go today. Give me a break! Or am I expecting too much from the Vivofit?

Here's another interesting example. I sat down and stroked my cat for five minutes - yes you've guessed it. I was walking vigorously; hundreds of steps.

I'm not sure how reliable web-information is but I read somewhere pedometers should be accurate to 3% i.e. 10,000 plus or minus 300 steps.

Do I trust the counting. Not to the last step, or hundred. Possible believable to the nearest 1000. I think it is outrageously expensive for what it is. I do use it because I'm so data-centric - yes I;m clearly inconsistent - and I find it spurs me on to more exercise.

I do forget to 'tell' it I'm going to sleep. So that mucks that data up, and starts my day with usually 50 steps already taken ever before I get out of bed.

Would I buy it again? No.
Are the web services worth the extra price? No
Does it work with other Garmin products? No.
Does it really integrate with other Garmin products via the website and goal setting? No.
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on 8 August 2016
Has anyone read the warning on the bottom of the box?? It says that the chemicals in this product can cause cancer ! I bought this for my 9 yr old grandson as all his friends have this particular one. Obviously I do not feel comfortable giving this to my grandson now so I have sent it back.
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on 15 January 2015
I'm not sure why anyone would leave a negative review, but this product is perfect. It is small and discreet and comes with two straps, large and small, easy to clip on and very secure. It accurately measures steps and can be easily synced and registered with iPads etc. it comes with a wireless dongle for PCI users. User guide is online and very simple to understand even for someone who is rubbish understanding technology like myself. Syncs with my fitness pal. As Katy Hopkins would say "Eat less, move more", this little gadget certainly helps you be aware of any sedentary activity by displaying a red line when you're inactive. If you're serious about getting in shape for the summer, this is a great investment. So good I've just ordered another for my daughter
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on 9 May 2014
This product should be awarded 5 stars for it's usability, programmes and capabilities but unfortunately it's major flaw is the clasp. I bought this for my fiancé as a birthday present because he's a keen cyclist and runner and I knew it would suit his requirements, on day 2 of using it the clasp came loose just from putting his coat on and the next day from just closing the car door! The title vivofit would indicate (correctly) it is meant for use during fitness activities, sure enough day 5 the watch must have come off on his bike ride never to be seen again. For £100 I'd have expected at least a proper watch clasp not something I've seen on children's dress up bracelets, 2 push through nodules and a weak magnet, I have contacted garmin to discuss this fault in design but have not had any feedback :-(
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on 28 July 2014
Whilst the device itself is very good at what it does and is a potential market leader, my issue is that it is designed to be worn on the wrist yet is secured by only a push shut plastic clip which has proven itself to be completely inadequate.

On several occasions I have noticed the device falling of my wrist by simply rubbing against myself or clothing as the clips can very easily be removed with little pressure. This is exasperated by the fact it is a watch like strap so has a certain amount of overhanging tab which is prone to catch on anything and everything.

On most occasions it has been ok as I have noticed it imedatiely, however recently I was walking along the beach when I noticed it was missing. This resulted in having to retrace 3 miles of steps in the vain hope that I would find it again. It was only thanks to the honesty of some unknown person that I indeed did recover it when I found someone had picked it up and put it on a bench near the start of our walk. Since this time I have been scared to wear it in case I was to lose it again – very much defeating the purpose of a fitness device meant to track activities.
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