12 Days of Garmin vs Fitbit

garmin vivofit vs fitbit force
As previously written, I’ve been testing a Garmin Vivofit as a replacement for my Fitbit Force (and before moving on to a Garmin Vivoactive that is yet to be released in Europe). Here are some more thoughts.

Pro Fitbit:

  1. Vibrating alarm: waking up with a vibration in your wrist is extremely better for me than any sound alarm I’ve ever had in my life. Vivify lacks that, although lately i’ve been waking up on my own anyway so in general it’s not a big miss.
  2. Phone call notifications: Force will vibrate and show you who’s calling you (name and number). It’s handy if you phone is in a bag or not reachable and will impress people at meetings (for 2015 at least :))
  3. Light-up screen: Garmin’s screen is not lit and unreadable at dark. Forget about checking the time during the night or in a cinema.
  4. Automatic tracking of sleep: You don’t need to do anything, it understands when you lie in bed and when you’re up. It will also track naps on it’s own. On Garmin you need set it up in sleep mode (which can be tricky a dark room in combination with unreadable-at-dark screen), although you can also enter data manually in the morning.
  5. Slightly better syncing: with Fitbit you just open the app, and providing you already have blue tooth open you don’t need to do anything else. Vivofit needs it’s button to be pressed for 2″ in order to start the synchronisation process. Then you need to open the app. Or not :) If the app is still open in the background, it will sync, most of the time. Yes, it’s not very trustworthy.
  6. Food tracking included: Fitbit’s app includes a food tracking feature with it’s own database. It’s not as extensive as MyFitnessPal’s database, but it does the job. Garmin can get your MyFitnessPal data but the process is broken on mobile, you can only sync on the web interface. Still, MFP will receive step/run data from Garmin (with a few minutes of delay), so it’s not a big bother and I end up with MFP as my main app for calories tracking and checking my remaining calories allowance for the day

Pro Garmin:

  1. No charging, ever: The battery lasts one year, then you just change it and you’re good for another year.
  2. Always-on screen: look at your wrist, your step count (or even better, your remaining step count until your goal) is right there. No button pushing required.
  3. Better burned calories tracking: I’ll have the full data in another post, but it seems that Garmin’s numbers are more close to reality than Fitbit.

Well, seems like more notes are piling up on Fitbit’s side, but this is not done yet. I still have some loose ends in terms of the actual tracked data and the various sync issues with other services I use. More to come… :)

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