vivosmart HRM, Black, LargeTouchscreen Fitness Band
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vivosmart HRM, Black, LargeTouchscreen Fitness Band
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
At one month, I have to say I am still very happy with this purchase. I have an HTC One and have not experience the Bluetooth issues most are complaining about. The constant notifications whenever the connection was lost were annoying, but I just turned off the Bluetooth during the day and turn it on to sync a couple times a day.
First let me say I still love this device. It has helped keep me active and motivated. However, I have started to experience an issue with the display after 9 months. A few weeks ago I noticed I could not read the time and thought maybe my screen was dirty. After I realized that is was missing a few horizontal lines, I synced hoping it just needed an update, but that did not fix the issue and since then more lines have disappeared. I read the forums and have submitted a support ticket with Garmin. Since it is still under warranty hopefully can fix/replace quickly.
Yaay for Garmin! Got my replacement today. Whole process was really simple. Submitted my RMA request and sent my tracker in and in less than 2 weeks I got it back. Garmin sent what appears to be a brand new tracker. Regardless glad to have it back and pleased Garmin stands by their product and return policy!
Here is a quick comparison to help you purchase what would work better for your needs:
- Vivosmart is definitely thinner than Fitbit with looks better - does not have the cheap plastic feeling to it. It is also waterproof!
- Battery life is amazing. I almost forget that I have to charge it, it lasts more than a week, and I wear it 24 hours.
- I like the dashboards on the app - tracks many things and displays in a nice graphical manner. Dashboards are much better than Fitbit.
- Can integrate with a heart rate monitor and track heart-rate - sold separately. I like this approach better than to have a bulk device on my wrist all the time. So you can buy the monitor and use while working out.
- Bluetooth connection is much more robust, and it never breaks (Fitbit bluetooth connection breaks often and device gets confused a lot.)
- Move indicator is a good plus. As a persons sits on front of screen all day without realizing how static I am it definitely helps me to remember how long I have been sitting without movement. ( This is the reason I decided to try it actually.)
- Can receive communications from your phone - your calendar/ meeting reminders, text messages, etc... Any notification that ends up in your notification menu can be displayed.
- More accurate sleep tracking. Instead of awake and sleep, it has three modes: awake, sleep and deep sleep and makes a huge difference to understand sleep quality.
- Vibrates if you are away from your phone to remind you you left it behind. This is an interesting feature that is a blessing and a curse. it definitely helped me to get back to home to pick up my phone couple of times, but there is a downside. See Cons below.
Now, sounds nice, right? Right???
Not really, here is why it is three stars:
- The screen brightness is a problem. If it is too dim, you cannot read it at all, if you increase brightness ( adjustable) then it becomes too bright. So bright that during sleep you move your arm and wake up with a bright flash of light in your face. I use it at low mostly, and grumble if I cannot read it. Or you have to remember to dim it while sleeping.
- Alarms... probably the worse feature compared to Fitbit. I loved the Fitbit's ability to setup multiple alarms and turn them on or off as you wish. So you can have different reminders during the day. Unfortunately, vivosmart only allows you to setup a single alarm, that's it. So if you need to wake up at different hours, you have to setup the alarm each time. And it is not the easiest task, because the alarm menu under the applicatiion is hard to find and takes couple of taps and screens to set it each time. I hate it. Also the device has no indication the alarm is set. You have to check your phone to check it or set it.
Here is the algorithm to set an alarm: tap (my day)> tap (more) > tap (settings) > tap ( my vivo) > tap ( alarm) > tap (time) > tap (done) > tap (frequency) > tap (frequency you want) > tap (device settings) > tap ( wait for the sync) > tap ( more) --- finally you are back at your dashboard. Ugh! Seriously?!?
- Notifications - Ok, nice to have the option to get some notifications but not all of them, right? Unfortunately, notifications mirrors your phone, so any notification you get on your phone, you will get on your wrist. So your wrist will keep buzzing during the day, and you have no idea if you missed a call, or your colleague texted you, or you need to pick up your kid at certain hour, or your facebook friend liked your post. Be prepared to wake up with a buzzing wrist, because your friend could not sleep and decided to tweet you at 3 AM. Yup, vivosmart makes sure that you feel all of these. After thinking it is cool that you can read your text messages from your wrist, you'll hate this feature. The solution is to turn off the notifications on your phone - yes on your phone so you never see them. Apparently, designers had no clue that there might be some you want to be informed right away, and some you don't. Very frustrating!
- Ok, now you are fed up with notifications. You tried to disable the notifications on your phone, but didn't like it because you want your facebook notifications.... on your phone... not on your wrist (gosh, is this so hard?) Well, you finally decide to get rid off this function - it was a bonus feature anyway ( note that Fitbit does not have this, the only notification on Fitbit is a call notification and it works on and off). So, you turn off notifications on vivosmart - oh bummer! Apparently Alarm is also a notification, so it stops working....and there was only single one anyway. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?
- The notification nightmare and the bright light eye hazard ends up you not want to wear it to bed. Remember the superior sleep tracking feature??? Yeah, you just lost a biggest pro feature because now you hate to wear it to bed for other reasons.
- Remember that great feature that allows you to find your phone? In couple weeks you're going to hate that,too. It will drive you mad at home. You will go upstairs ( your phone is downstairs) - it will buzz. You go the next room - it will buzz. You go to laundry to pick up clothes - it will buzz. Apparently, the spot I sit at breakfast is the edge of this alert ( it is triggered by bluetooth signal range) so as I eat my wrist keeps buzzing. It is so annoying, either I have to carry my phone at home with me, or I take off the device.
Ok, I am still wearing it - because of the move around nudge it has...and my fitbit peeled off and looks awful. But every day I think about going back to fitbit... more and more. It feels like a painful break up.
Hope someone from the developers team will read it and address some in the new update. Otherwise, I might be tempted to get a new fitbit.
Happy to answer any questions you have.
EDIT as of 02/08/2016
After couple of sleepless nights ( Garmin decided I was awake and not moving in the middle of the night, so it tried to prompt me to move by buzzing at 3 AM couple times last week) I buried this gadget in my drawer for good, and planning to return it. I actually switched back to fitbit.
But... it is still buzzing in the drawer. Feels like sort of a horror movie - return of the undead.
I cannot provide any useful feedback on the HR monitor band because I never used it - seemed like more trouble than what it was worth.
I will research the new Vivosmart HR as a replacement for my current device. Although the display on the new model reverts back to the previous technology, I have not seen any complaints about this style of display becoming illegible or dysfunctional. So, while I'm not crazy about the style of the display on the new model, I am happy that Garmin discontinued the touch screen for the good of their reputation and for the sanity of their consumers.