Technophile

Garmin Vivomove Sport Hybrid Smartwatch Review

Mahananda Bohidar | Updated on: Jun 14, 2022

At ₹ 18,990, the Garmin Vivomove Sport comes close to offering the best of both worlds - tech & fashion.

Hybrid smartwatches exist to satiate the needs of someone who wants the best features of a smartwatch, packaged into a snazzy looking wristwatch. Garmin’s latest, the Vivomove Sport, is a hybrid that aims to do exactly that! 

ProsCons
1. Super lightweight and comfortable to wear 1. No mic / speakerphone function
2. Sleek design and a bright enough display 2. Double taps are sometimes unresponsive
3. Detailed data across multiple fitness parameters 3. App layout can sometimes feel overwhelming

Design details

The digital features take up the bottom half of the Garmin Vivomove Sport

The digital features take up the bottom half of the Garmin Vivomove Sport

Weighing in at a little more than 30 grams, the Vivomove Sport is comfortable enough to be worn round the clock. Despite a standard-size watch face, I was able to wear it to bed to track my sleep, and at no point did it make its presence felt on my wrist. 

The hybrid watch is nowhere as bulky as a dedicated outdoors smartwatch, and manages to look sleek enough. From a fashion perspective, the Ivory version I used didn’t really complement everything I wore. So, if you’re a bit particular about that you might want to consider the other colours - Cool Mint, Cocoa and Black.

Display

You can customise the watch face using the Garmin Connect app,

You can customise the watch face using the Garmin Connect app,

A double tap on the bottom half of the grey analogue watch face wakes up the OLED digital watch face and its integrated features. The watch has an auto-brightness feature which worked quite well when I stepped outdoors, although I prefer choosing the brightness level manually. The screen itself is a bit of a smudge magnet, however the white silicone bands got only marginally dirty after multiple weeks of usage. 

One issue I had with the device was when sometimes I’d want to wake the screen up, it’d take multiple attempts at a double tap to do so. Once up and  running the touchscreen is fairly responsive but the starting trouble was something I faced more often than I’d have liked to. 

Fitness & health features

Distance covered, step count and calories burnt are some of the basic parameters the watch tracks

Distance covered, step count and calories burnt are some of the basic parameters the watch tracks

It’s not surprising that Garmin, a name associated with tracking fitness, has included an exhaustive list of health and fitness features in the Vivomove Sport. It has the basics covered with a heart rate monitor, breaths per minute, a pulse oxymeter, steps counter and some special trackers for stress levels, menstrual cycle, and Garmin’s own Body Battery.

Body Battery

The Body Battery levels run low on a particularly hot and tiring day

The Body Battery levels run low on a particularly hot and tiring day

The company says that the watch takes into account your heart rate variability, stress, and activity levels during the day to track your Body Battery. After a good night’s sleep, my Body Battery level was usually around 85-90 (the highest being 100) and after a full day of work and commuting it’d hover somewhere around the 30-40 range. And, it was pretty accurate in tracking when I felt fairly energetic versus when I was a lot more tired. 

Tracking stress levels

Stress levels displayed on the hybrid smartwatch

Stress levels displayed on the hybrid smartwatch

The stress level indicator on the Vivomove sport was also pretty accurate and one time it really stood out was when it gradually decreased when I was watching a hilarious stand-up comedy show! It also vibrated to indicate a high stress alert when I was in a hot, humid and crowded space without an AC for a couple of hours! 

Timed physical activity 

There’s a special feature for any form of physical activity you might want to engage in. You can choose a particular activity you want - walking, running, cardio, cycling, strength training, breath work, yoga or swimming, and the watch will help you go through your practice, record the sets, reps or asanas, and save the data on the app for later. Double-tapping to indicate a change in set or asana felt a bit cumbersome, as it felt like a short interruption to the flow of the workout.

The watch is swim-proof and although I didn’t get a chance to take a dip with it, it did survive multiple showers and being splashed under a running tap every day. 

Smartphone connected features

Like most other smartwatches, the Vivomove Sport alerts you to incoming and outgoing calls, messages received, media playback, weather updates and calendar events. The feature I liked the most was being able to send off quick pre-programmed replies from the watch itself. 

One of the pre-programmed message replies that you can send on the go.

One of the pre-programmed message replies that you can send on the go.

The media playback wasn’t seamless as I’d have liked it to be. For example, if I wanted to stream a track from Spotify, I had to open the app on the phone first and then use the controls on the watch to play/pause or go to the previous or the next tracks. Otherwise, it’d open the default YouTube Music app, and once even Netflix on the phone. 

Battery life

Garmin claims that on a full charge the Vivomove Sport hybrid will stay on for 5 days. And in our experience it definitely came close to that claim! On a full charge, it lasted us 4 full days, with the brightness turned up and the display mode being changed to ‘Always On’ on the last day!

Verdict

The couple of days that I switched back to my regular wrist watch while reviewing the Vivomove Sport, I found myself instinctively checking my wrist for updates, each time my phone vibrated. It’s only fair to say that the Garmin Vivomove Sport definitely makes an impact and has a fairly low learning curve too.

The Garmin Vivomove sport is available in these four colour options

The Garmin Vivomove sport is available in these four colour options

All of Garmin’s other smartwatches have been priced at ₹ 25,990 onwards. The Garmin Vivomove Sport, however, is priced at ₹ 18,990. One can’t shake off the feeling that you’re definitely paying a bit of a premium for a hybrid that comes without a microphone built-in, an integrated assistant like Alexa or a  camera control feature, however if you don’t mind paying that premium the Vivomove Sport is still the most affordable that Garmin has to offer. With some of the best features of a fitness-centred smartwatch and the style quotient of a good-looking wristwatch, the Garmin Vivomove Sport comes close to offering the best of both worlds.

Published on June 07, 2022
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