Garmin Vivomove HR Smartwatch

8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.9)] = ( score (8.9)/10

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Editor rating: 8.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Garmin Vivomove HR Smartwatch Review Facts

The Garmin Vivomove HR is the new generation of hybrid smartwatches that are geared toward the needs of the fitness community. By implementing an intuitive activity tracker into a sleek, analog style watch that can be comfortably worn anywhere this watch is an excellent choice for those who want a hands-free experience with their fitness watch. Compatible with all iOS and Android devices - conveniently track your steps, monitor your heart rate and stress levels while staying linked to incoming messages and calls from your smartphone. Adding to its live-in ability this watch is safe in water up to a certain level so you can wear it swimming or while showering and has more than week-long battery life. Look below for our in-depth review of this exciting product from Garmin and decide if it’s your next life upgrade purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Intuitive fitness tracker with a full readout of progress logged on Garmin app
  • Connects to a smartphone for receiving notifications
  • Sleek design suitable for all personalities
  • Interchangeable bands
  • Decent battery life
  • Waterproof up to a certain depth
  • Watch face is smear-prone and hard to see in bright sunlight
  • No GPS
  • No turn-off switch to conserve battery


The base model of this watch known as Sport comes in a variety of color options between all black with yellow accents to a rose gold face on a white band. These colorways may designate feminine and masculine options but the face is one universal size and the 20mm bands come in different sizes and can be swapped out for a more personalized touch. With a brushed steel bezel on top, and plastic underneath many appreciate this watch for its simplistic design. The Premium version of the Vivomove slightly upgrades the external structure and offers more color options if you are willing to shell out the extra cost. Smooth and lightweight, you'll hardly notice this timepiece is on your wrist until you need to check the time. Customers say they received a lot of compliments on the Vivomove HR before anyone even knew its hidden smart capabilities. Without the screen on this looks like a traditional analog watch, and when you lift your wrist or double tap the LED display that’s when the fun begins.


An all day heart rate monitor is the one feature that upgrades this watch from the previous version and sets it apart from other basic fitness trackers. Gone are the days of the external heart rate sensor, accurate data is calculated from a built-in sensor that rests comfortably against the wrist. Whether you’re exercising or sitting still the Vivomove HR samples the wearer's heart rate 24/7. If you find yourself stressed throughout the day, the Vivomove HR can also help reduce your anxiety through the use of the HR monitor. A four-fold breath function will manage a pre-determined period of breathing in and out for 4 seconds intervals with 4 seconds of held breath in between. Many found this feature helpful in times they were feeling stressed but had no way of monitoring it before. When performed for 2 to 3 minutes this breathing exercise has been shown to help decrease stress levels and diminish anxiety.

The activity tracker feature on this watch displays stats of steps, sleep, calories, floors climbed, distance traveled, stress, estimated VO2 max and will count reps. There are 4 modes of exercise available – cardio, weights, running, and walking. When in training mode a swipe of the display will move between duration, heart rate, distance & steps, and music controls. All of this information is uploaded to the Garmin Connect app where you have full access to an in-depth report of tracked fitness data. This wrist size trainer also works as a stopwatch and timer that will remind you when it’s time to move so you keep up with weekly activity goals. All of these tools are available on the touch display to assist in your daily exercise routines and improve overall performance.

Besides providing a clear cut time and date display, fitness tracker, and HR monitor this watch smartly syncs with your phone to receive notifications from text messages or third-party messenger apps. The screen only holds about three words on the screen but will save you from pulling out your phone. Wake up with a preset alarm while leaving your phone to charge, show the current and upcoming weather forecast, control music, and phone camera all on a tiny touch screen display. Online reviewers love the fact that this has the look of a traditional watch that goes with any outfit or occasion and has the useful features of a smartwatch.


Many have grown to appreciate the very extensive set of user-friendly features and charts that the Garmin Connect app provides. Available on iOS and Android, it intuitively shows daily activity and heart rate, logs sleep and estimates stress levels. Four different fitness activities can be logged by the Vivomove and it offers a weekly social fitness challenge that you can compete in against friends. The front page gives a clear readout of your ongoing health stats, while there are tabs for challenges, a calendar of your activities, and a news feed that can be synced with social media accounts such as Facebook, Strava, and Google. One of the biggest gripes from users of the Vivomove HR with all of its capabilities and no GPS. Most exercise apps show a map of your route to get a better idea of pace and timing but you won't find that with this watch and there’s no option to tether it to use your phone’s GPS.


Most online reviewers are happy about its lightweight design and their ability to keep this on during the day and at night when tracking sleep. The watch band on the Sport version is an industry standard 20mm silicon. Rubberized silicon makes these great for sweat resistance while fitting in a daily workout or playing your favorite sport. Unlike other bulkier sport watches, the Vivomove HR is one of the more comfortable wrist wearables available now.


Made up of a fiber reinforced plastic polymer case and rubber wrist band, the Sport version will hold up against daily use, however, many have noted issues with the durability of this watch. Scratches or cracks on the glass have occurred from accidental bumps or when tossed in a bag and these blemishes can compromise its water-resistant capabilities. The glass panel on the Vivomove is chemically strengthened for protection against cracks, scratches, or dings and the stainless steel bezel reinforces the strength of the face. We suggest using a screen protector on this smartwatch just in case to save yourself the headache of additional cost in repairs or worst case, replacement.


The Vivomove HR uses Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to sync to external iOS or Android devices. You can also use the LiveTrack feature to alert fellow Garmin users and friends of your location while exercising. When in HR broadcast mode you can also transmit stats to any ANT+ compatible external sensors or bicycle computers which is an excellent feature for cyclists or the serious athlete wanting to keep fitness data in one place. Naturally, in order to use smartphone connected functions and receive notifications your phone must be in close proximity to you while using the watch.

Power Source

Battery life on this watch runs close to what Garmin quotes on their website. Dependent on how frequently you use the touch screen and in which fitness settings, the battery can last anywhere from 5 days to 14 days on a single charge. Turning off Bluetooth and tracking of daily movements to use simply as an analog watch can defeat the purpose but at the same time conserve power. The analog watch will still work for another week or so when the battery is exhausted but will not record any fitness data. The no power off option will ultimately run down any and all technology. The upside to an uncomplicated lower resolution display is lower power consumption and better battery life.


The fitness data reported on the display and app is spot on for its many users making this watch a trusty workout companion. For example, after a run, Garmin Connect will display a chart of your heart rate during the workout and read estimates on pace, distance, and calories burned. If the distance and pace numbers that were logged by the Vivomove HR seem a little off they can be manually edited to match actual numbers. This may affect estimates on future readouts but luckily a little tweaking takes no time to fix.

The built-in HR monitor also works to detect sleep and can provide insight into how much sleep you are actually getting and the quality of it. In this watch, they are using the same technology as other Garmin devices to record light and deep sleep so you know it’s a system that continues to work well. Some users have had issues with the accuracy of sleep times recording properly. If you decide to stay in bed after waking up to check your phone or just needing a couple more winks before getting up, the watch will think you're still asleep and log that time unnecessarily. Manually changing these times is an available option but can mess with the accuracy of the reading.

Ease of Use

With no buttons and no crown, the Garmin Vivomove HR is controlled completely through the virtually hidden touchscreen. The screen is offset to the center-left to include a back button but most information displays centrally under the center dial of the hands. It can sometimes be obscured by the hands depending on the time of day but raising your wrist or a double tap on the area reveals a white LCD screen with simple dot style read out. When prompted the hands mechanically move to 10:10 leaving the screen space free in a fun, and impressive feature that is sure to impress onlookers. This screen easily responds to swipes or taps and can be set to different home displays. The menu is limited to really just suggestive symbols for each feature so it requires a little memory retention at first to get the hang of it. When you’re finished and the screen fades the analog watch hands will instantly move back to the correct time. Due to its limited interaction ability, most users say they just set the watch up then leave it to monitor activity and wait to look at data later in the app.

Key Features

-A hybrid analog & digital OLED touch screen display
-Fully functional fitness tracker
-24/7 heart rate monitoring
-Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled
-Tracks steps, floors climbed, calories burned, and sleep daily in a detailed report
-4 exercise modes - run, walk, cardio, weight lifting
-All day stress tracking with a relaxation timer and movement alerts
-Music & camera control, weather forecast, and smartphone notifications
-Average 5-day battery life
-Sport and Premium style options
-Water and swim proof

Bottom Line

Considered one of the top fitness trackers disguising its smartwatch capabilities in a stylish design. Its simplified build doesn’t include GPS, a top feature among other Garmin watches but it records the right stats for gym fans in a traditional looking watch that includes an intuitive heart rate sensor embedded in the back. Along with providing the time and date, the Vivomove HR will also record activity for 4 different fitness regimens, track your calories burned, steps, floors climbed, quality of sleep along with a reminder to move and breath. Some had issues with clearly reading the display in bright sunlight and keeping it clean but luckily there are screen protectors that easily solve those problems. Serious runners might not find what they are looking for in the Vivomove HR but this attractive timepiece brings every feature you’d want in a smartwatch all with a comfortable fit and affordable price tag. We think you will enjoy this watch from Garmin along with the numerous customers on Amazon that give it 5 stars.