One of the iOS accessory categories that’s getting overwhelmingly crowded are fitness trackers. Even though this has always been a very interesting area for designers and developers, during the last year we’ve seen dozens of newly released wristbands, where some of them are created by well-known brands like Nike and Fitbit, while there are also some interesting startups which joined the race.
Today we’ll be taking a look at Garmin’s Vivofit. You’ve probably already heard about Garmin, so it’s not that surprising to see this company offering their own version of an activity tracking wristband. Vivofit could be purchased for $130, which means that this device shouldn’t be considered as an entry level one.
Speaking of Vivofit’s design, it’s pretty much standard and straightforward. You’ll get to use brightly colored silicone bands into which you can place the actual tracker. What I didn’t really liked is the clasp which needed extra pressure in order to achieve firm and strong latch. It can be somewhat tricky to place the band using only one hand, and there are so many better options when it comes to this side of design. Still, this is not a deal breaker, but instead a minor inconvenience. When it comes to tracker, it features monochromatic screen and one button. The good news is that you can place two small cell batteries inside which can last up to one whole year. This is not something you can see often with activity trackers, so I need to praise Garmin about this part of functionality.
When it comes to everyday use, Vivofit will be able to provide you with step count, distance, burned calories, the time and date, and heart rate as well. You’ll be able to easily preview all of this information using the official app named Garmin Connect. However, you can also preview it by clicking on the button where you flick across different categories right on the screen. One interesting feature is something that Garmin named the Move Bar. This is a red bar which gradually grows in the top part of the screen, indicating how much time you’ve spent inactive. The only way to reset it is to move around for a while, so it can be very motivational to have a reminder like this one.
Just like with any other fitness trackers, you can use the official iOS app to review your results over time. Garmin Connect is nicely designed and very intuitive, and it allows you to check your daily results. In contrast to many colorful apps, Connect is very minimalistic. What’s also important to say is that it seems that Nike’s (to name of example) fitness app provides more in-depth logs and information, including very detailed sleep tracker, food tracking, and hydration stats. This is not something you can expect from Garmin’s Connect app to show you. This means that in terms of provided features compared to the price, this device is somewhat overpriced.
In general, I was satisfied with Gamin’s Vivofit. It provided very accurate stats and was helpful enough to be used on a daily basis. The only thing I would like to see improved is the official app, which falls short in comparison to similar solutions.