The new Garmin watch is aimed at people who want to have an analog and even want some smart features
- Garmin now offers a new Vivomove Sport hybrid watch.
- The smartwatch is priced at Rs 18,990 in India.
- The Garmin Vivomove Sport has a classic analog watch design.
Garmin has added yet another hybrid watch to its portfolio: the Vivomove Sport. Hybrid watches are basically a fusion of both smartwatch and analog watch. Reason: Some people, particularly those used to such watches, love the looks of classic watches. These analog looks have a kind of charm that the digital ones lack. So companies like Garmin are increasingly mixing smart features with analog watches.
The new Garmin watch is aimed at people who want to have an analog and even want some smart features. The wearable can measure your heart rate, sleep quality, blood oxygen level, stress levels, and other things. It is priced at Rs 18,990. But, is it worth buying under Rs 20,000? Read our detailed review to find out.
Design, build, display
The Garmin Vivomove Sport has a classic analog watch design. Consequently, it is one of those watches that you will not recognise as a digital watch unless you wear it or take a closer look at it. There are no side buttons on this wearable for navigation and the mini-OLED screen at the bottom side is hidden quite well. Garmin has done a good job of giving benefits and feel of both a smartwatch and analog timepiece here.
The device has a plastic build, and it doesn’t feel like an expensive watch. I believe Garmin could have offered stainless steel chassis to justify the high price of the watch and give users a more premium feel. But, this doesn’t mean that the Vivomove Sport isn’t worth your attention. It is quite lightweight and can be worn easily day and night. The build quality is good enough. People can easily replace the silicone straps. We got the Mint color variant for review, but I would advise you to go for the black model as it will match better with all of your outfits and look classy.
This is a hybrid watch. So, there are certain limitations and you don’t get a full fledge experience of a smartwatch. It features a very small screen, which is why it is difficult to read full messages in one go. The watch is not basically for checking out all the messages or notifications. But it can be used to know when you should check your smartphone for important messages. Since this is a hybrid watch, you can’t reply to messages using the wearable. I had one more issue with the watch. It displays all the unread notifications or messages every time I receive a new message, which is pretty annoying.
Also, there is no dedicated button to go back to any watch interface and you will have to swipe left or right, which too is a bit annoying. The speaker and microphone are also missing here, so you won’t be able to attend calls via the wrist.
But of course, it’s not all bad news. Because there is a lot of goodness in the Vivomove Sport. What I liked most about this hybrid watch is that it still works even if the battery dies. Confused? Well, this one has the traditional coin battery that is used on analog watches to offer at least one year of battery life. So, you won’t be able to use it as a smartwatch, but you will be able to check the time as if you are using an analog watch. If you want to use the smart features, then you will have to charge it when the battery dies.
You can flick your wrist or double tap on the bottom side of the watch to wake up the tiny screen. When the watch receives notifications or calls, the analog hands automatically move to the three and nine positions and the message gets displayed on the lower side of watch. The same also happens when navigating through menus or notifications.
The display is visible enough under sunlight. There is a way to increase brightness, but for that you will have to dig a little deeper into the settings menu. Speaking of which, it was a bit difficult to check the time in dark as there is no backlit. Additionally, I noticed a visible lag in terms of response while waking up the display. Also, the touchscreen is not smudge-proof, so you will have to keep cleaning it.
One of the biggest downsides of the Garmin Vivomove Sport smartwatch is that it doesn’t have inbuilt GPS, which is disappointing considering the price it is selling for. The wearable uses the phone’s GPS to offer you data on location, pace, and the distance you have travelled. I did get pretty accurate data with the Garmin watch, which is not usually the case with the smartwatches that support connected-GPS feature.
The step counting on this one is fine. The smartwatch registers 20-25 steps extra. But, this is usually the case with most of the watches and you never really get a complete accuracy level in these activities. In addition to this, the watch recorded 15 steps taken even when I was sitting in a car for about 30 minutes, which shouldn’t happen.
The sleep tracking data is sometimes not accurate, which was the case only a few times. I liked the fact that it even registers data of Pulse oximetry (oxygen level in your body), average heart rate, and respiration rate. All this data helps offer a much idea of your health.
I found stress level tracking to be fairly accurate. In addition, there is a feature called “body battery,” where the watch shows the overall energy level of a user by analysing different kind of data that it records throughout the day. Odd naming aside — I mean who calls the energy level of humans “body battery” as if we are smartphones — I find the feature useful because it kind of shows how tired or energetic a person is. The “Body Battery” level of a user is calculated on the basis of sleep quality, exercises, and stress levels. And the body’s energy levels are displayed in different values: Very low, low, medium, and high with points.
While using the watch, I was impressed by the level of detailed data the app provides. Often I come across with fitness watches and fitness bands that are not at all accurate. But the Vivomove Sport is not one them. I found it fairly accurate. The Garmin Vivomove Sport can also track a user’s respiration rate, fitness age, as well as blood oxygen levels. It is capable of showing maximum and average heart rate data. The app provides heart rate zones and displays abnormal heart rate data in the graph. Additionally, you can also swim using this watch as it is 5 ATM rated for water resistance. And, not surprisingly, it can also withstand showers.
There are several smart features that work in tandem with your phone. You get to change music using the smartwatch. However, the feature is not immediately visible and one will have to swipe left or right several times to access the music interface. Garmin also doesn’t give an option to shuffle or change the position of each watch interface. This would have helped me in re-arranging faces as per my preference.
The watch shows weather and events if you have saved any on your calendar app in the phone. The hydration level tracking feature, in my opinion, is of no use. There is no option to set reminders for drinking water. The app lets you set a goal of how many cups of water you would want to have in a day. Once this is done, you can update the number of cups you had in a day manually. Honestly, most of users won’t likely use this because they first need to remind themselves about the target they have set for the day and there is nothing “smart” about it.
There is also a Safety tracking feature on the Garmin Vivomove Sport. You can add any of your closed ones as an emergency contact, which is a great feature because in case of some accident or if a user falls down, the watch detects it automatically and notifies the emergency contact.
Battery life isn’t the strongest point of the Garmin Vivomove Sport smartwatch. I got only one day of battery life with casual usage. This included checking notifications, heart rate tracking, stress level monitoring, step, respiration, and sleep tracking. The data for all this gets registered automatically. With one hour of GPS-enabled activity via the phone or non-GPS activity tracking, I got less than 7-8 hours of battery life. Unfortunately, there is no battery-saving mode that I would have enabled for prolonged usage.
But like I said earlier, even if the battery drains out, the watch becomes an analog timepiece.
Garmin Vivomove Sport review: Should you buy it?
The latest Garmin smartwatch is a good option for those who want an analog watch with some smart features too. But, I feel the price is a bit too high, given the features you are getting. This is not a watch for hardcore fitness enthusiasts. With this hybrid watch, you will be able to check all your phone’s notifications, control music, and measure your health as well as some basic activities. You can probably buy it when it is available with some discount offers via online channels. But otherwise, there are several other options like the Fitbit Versa 3 and Apple Watch Series 3, which is available in the similar price range and will appeal to users who want a more thorough and “smarter” package.
Garmin Vivomove Sport review 7.5/10
- Classic looks
- Hybrid features
- No GPS
- No speaker or microphone
- Tiny display