When writing the review for Garmin Vivosmart HR+, the comparison with Fitbit Charge 2 inevitably comes to mind. Specially, when these 2 are directly competing products. I have had the opportunity to use both, and I must say that the Garmin product is at best a poor cousin of Fitbit. Reasons : 1) Rudimentary app of Garmin Connect. 1) a) Dashboard is prehistoric and does not provide user friendly drill down features, that the Fitbit app provides. 1) b) You cannot log inputs such as water & food consumed directly in Garmin - you need another app called MyFitnessPal to do that. Fitbit has everything in one place, and is therefore very convenient 1) c) When logging weight, Fitbit app allows you to enter the weight as well as Body Fat %, which Garmin does not provide 1) d) The Garmin app is very complicated and not user friendly at all. The Fitbit app on the other hand is simplistic and very user friendly. The obvious comparison that comes to mind is if the Fitbit app is a contemporary ERP software, the Garmin app is Mainframe! 1) e) The Fitbit app allows choosing an Indian food database, which makes logging of food for Indians so much easier, while Garmin/MyFitnessPal does not provide any such option 2) The Garmin app has a black background with white fonts, which are very dim, and not legible, specially if you are middle aged. One has to really strain one's eye to read them. The Fitbit app on the other hand is vibrant with fantastic visibility 3) Garmin is waterproof and has GPS which you can use for external activities. Fitbit lacks in these features. But the GPS hunts for most of the time. I personally feel that being waterproof has limited application, as I would in any case remove the tracker when taking bath for example. Garmin device cannot be used for swimming either. 4) The display of Garmin is very dim and it is a challenge to see this in bright sunlight. Firbit on the other hand has excellent brightness 5) The Garmin device looks out and out like an activity tracker (which I actually like), while the Fitbit device looks like a style statement 6) The Garmin device does not record sleep during day time, while the Fitbit dutifully records it
Net, net, after using both the devices, my vote entirely goes to Fitbit Charge 2. The biggest drawback for Garmin is the app, which is essential for any meaningful analytics. Without a proper app, the device has limited utility.
I found 3 more issues with this tracker, which I wanted to update :- 1. Syncing of tracker with mobile is erratic. It fails frequently. Restarting the tracker is the only option then 2. Battery indicator showing incorrectly. Shows 3 bars (out of 4) even after full charging. Battery life is also very poor. Within 2 days, it is showing at 50% 3. Step count showing incorrectly. Increases even if I am static. Not to talk of the increase in steps when I have travelling by car