Garmin vívoactive: A GPS smartwatch with fitness capabilities

Garmin Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd., announce the latest addition to the vívo Series, the vívoactive. vívoactive is a lightweight and thin GPS smartwatch with built-in sports and activity tracking apps. It also features a sunlight-readable, high-resolution colour touchscreen which can be accessorised with a range of colourful and interchangeable straps to compliment any style.

This smartwatch is designed to help users develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle and captures more of their activities with running, cycling, golfing, swimming and activity specific apps. vívoactive is designed to be a comfortable and fashionable piece, with smart notifications features so users stay connected family and friends. In addition, apps are available free, from the NEW Connect IQ store, so users are able to easily customise their vívoactive with a variety of watch face designs, widgets and other apps.


Garmin vivoactive GPS smartwatch.jpg


“vívoactive combines built-in GPS technology, extended battery life and a sunlight-readable display with design, to create the ultimate smartwatch for users to stay connected,” said Marc Bainbridge, Category Manager for Fitness. “This smart watch has been designed to be fashionable and functional. The interface can be completely customised with a wide range of apps and widgets available for download, interchangeable straps and unique watch face designs.”


Play Harder

vívoactive’s interface is run using built-in GPS-enabled sports apps so users are able to track their stats whether they are in range of their smartphone or not. It is also able to connect to range of sensors when paired to a heart rate monitor1 or bike speed sensor2 so users are able to capture more data. vívoactive is also able to connect to a sensor, which in this case allows it to act as a remote for a Garmin VIRB Elite action camera.


The Running and Cycling App

Runners can access the Running App which display pace, time and distance using GPS and because the vívoactive has a built-in accelerometer, it is able to track metrics like speed and distance when GPS is not available or indoors. In addition to this, the app features Auto Lap, Auto Pause and vibration alerts for heart rate, pace and run/walk intervals. The Cycling App is able to provide information for time, distance, speed and calories for rides.


The Golf App

Golfers are able to download course maps from over 38 000 worldwide courses which are automatically updated when accessing the Golf App. vívoactive uses GPS to measure layup and dogleg distances, as well as distances to the front, middle and back of the green. Golfers can also use vívoactive to keep individual stroke play scorecards and measure shot distance on favorite and new courses during a round.


The Swimming App

The water-resistant (to 50 meters3) vívoactive uses sensor-based technology for the Swimming App to compute metrics including the number of lengths, total and interval distances, pace (by length, interval or for the full session) and calories burned. The app is also able to determine swimmer’s SWOLF score count, which is the number of strokes taken to complete a length and uses this to indicate user’s swimming efficiency rating.


The Activity Tracking App

The Activity Tracking App monitors user’s physical activity in between workouts by tracking steps, calories and distance. vívoactive will set a personalised daily step goal and send a gentle reminder when users have been inactive for too long by displaying a red ‘move’ bar. Research has shown that prolonged periods of inactivity, that very often occur when sitting at a desk, decrease the body’s production of fat-burning enzymes. To reduce the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, users need to walk for a few minutes throughout the day. This is the very function of the ‘move’ bar which resets after your activity has increased.


Work Smarter

vívoactive is ultra-thin and lightweight making it comfortable for all day wear. It features a battery life of three weeks in watch/activity tracking mode and up to 10 hours in GPS4 mode. The smartwatch provides gentle vibration alerts to inform users of incoming smart notifications coming from a compatible Bluetooth-enabled device5, allowing users to remain connected. The sunlight-readable, high-resolution colour touchscreen will display the same notifications as the smartphone including caller ID, missed call information, messages for texts and emails (with sender and subject), calendar reminders, social media notifications and other mobile apps. Furthermore vívoactive will allow users to play, pause or skip a song on their smartphone’s music player and send an audible alert to help users locate their smartphone if it has been misplaced.


Live Better

vívoactive will automatically sync with the paired mobile device5 throughout the day, through the Garmin Connect Mobile app, so users can see a complete picture of daily activities. Garmin Connect is a free online fitness/golf community which allows users to track workouts, sleep patterns and trends. Users must register and create a profile to join online challenges and earn virtual badges for extra motivation. To get additional calorie tracking details, users can link their Garmin Connect account with MyFitnessPal. Users can view calories burned compared to calories consumed to see their net count for the remainder of the day based on goals set in MyFitnessPal.


vívoactive can be completely personalise to represent users interests and style. Garmin have a range of colourful interchangeable watchstraps6 and free downloads from the Connect IQ store. Connect IQ is the first-ever open platform for third-party developers to create apps for Garmin products7. Users can customise their vívoactive’s watch face, add data fields and download additional apps or widgets which provide information at a glance. Garmin is working with several app developers to bring a range of vívoactive apps to the Connect IQ store. Tempo, for example, is creating a smart calendar app that will allow users to see their upcoming events and send an email from their watch if they are running late. LifeLine Response is creating an app that allows users to alert LifeLine to send their exact GPS location to the nearest first responders in the case of an emergency. Accuweather is building an app to give users allergy information at a glance. Octane is building a Connect IQ app to bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor workouts on the Octane ZeroRunner, so users don’t lose valuable data and can easily transition their training regimen. Moxy, an external muscle oxygen sensor, is creating an app that monitors the oxygenation of critical muscles during a workout, so users can have more insight on what is happening within their muscles.


Vívoactive is available in black or white and comes as a single unit (R 4499) or as a bundled version which includes a heart rate monitor (R5099).


Shebeen, Jun 02 2015 07:59

The future. All this with three weeks battery life, kicks iwatch in the nuts

Lurch the stalker, Jun 02 2015 08:15

I have checked my crystal ball and I see a new toy in my future...

GLuvsMtb, Jun 03 2015 02:35

I'll take 1! 

Runbikeswim, Jun 03 2015 02:53

Meh.... I went to look at this and the fenix 3. Took the fenix 3 as this day vice has very limited Cycling and running capabilities. Go check the DC rain mailer review.

JannievanZyl, Jun 26 2015 10:40

Spend a lot of time pondering the various smart watch options, including the Apple Watch, the various Android ones and the different fitness models.

Eventually you need to find your own sweet spot on the continuum of features and I ended up getting the Vivoactive.

Pretty happy after the first week.

WrightJnr, Jun 27 2015 08:32

I bought my wife a VivoActive. Had it for a week. Awesome watch but have had serious battery issues. Battery full and the next morning flat! I updated to 3.0 firmware last night. Let's see if it's any better.

JannievanZyl, Jun 27 2015 08:51

Had mine for a week now. Battery still on 80%.

But I updated immediately to 2.90 when I got it and then to 3.0.

Do recall there were some issues with earlier version of the firmware.

WrightJnr, Jun 29 2015 07:31

So far so good with new firmware. Charged the phone Friday night after Critical Mass and still going strong this morning.