Skip to main content

Garmin's new $170 Vivosmart fitness tracker is almost a smartwatch

Garmin's new $170 Vivosmart fitness tracker is almost a smartwatch


Tracker has OLED touchscreen and vibrates when you're being lazy

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Garmin's new Vivosmart fitness tracker is a plastic band that sits on your wrist and tells you when you're being lazy. The Vivosmart has a "move bar" that displays five segments that fill up slowly if you're sat in place too long. After an hour of inactivity, the tracker vibrates with a suggestion to get up and out of your seat that can be dismissed by taking a short walk.

When it's not jabbing you for being a slob, the Vivosmart also advises you if you receive calls, text messages, and emails if you sync your smartphone or tablet with the device using Bluetooth. Double-tapping the touchscreen OLED display also shows the time, the number of steps you've taken, and personalized goals. When it's not in use, that screen fades out of sight, making the Vivosmart — available in five muted colors — look more like a chunky charity wristband than a piece of jewelry.

The Vivosmart keeps track of sleep, food, and exercise habits

The best fitness trackers are unobtrusive and can be worn for extended periods of time. Garmin says its Vivosmart is lightweight and it expects users to "rarely take it off," giving the device a 7-day battery life and making it waterproof to allow you to keep it on your wrist for longer. Like the excellent Jawbone Up, the Vivosmart can also send data on exercise and sleep habits to the Garmin Connect Mobile app, and food data to the widely used MyFitnessPal app.


Garmin's previous activity tracking device, the Vivofit, lacked the features that made the Jawbone Up the better tracker. But with access to the reams of sleep, exercise, and food data that the cheaper model is missing, the Vivosmart looks like a legitimate rival to the best fitness tracker on the market, and close to a full smartwatch in terms of functionality. It'll be available to purchase in Best Buy from the middle of September in the US, and elsewhere from November, for a price of $170, or $200 with a heart rate monitor.