Vivoactive vs Vivoactive HR: First 3 days

So as of last Friday I’m the happy owner of a Garmin Vivoactive HR (will refer to it as VAHR, shown on the left on the photo above). Already owning the original Vivoactive (VA, shown on the right of the photo) model, here are some impressions between the two. This isn’t meant to be a full review, DC Rainmaker has already done a great review of the Vivoactive HR. Without further delay…

A) First of all, a test run with the VAHR on the left hand and the VA on the right hand. There are small differences in time/distance probably having to do with the autopause feature, which apparently is setup slightly different in the two models (I had the “when stopped” setting on both watches). You can click on the “view details” links to see the activities in full.

B) Sleep: VAHR does not have any way to start/stop the sleep mode (as opposed to the original VA). Garmin seems quite confident it can auto track sleep, but I’m not convinced yet. The original VA also had an automated mode but I ended up tracking it manually because it often made mistakes. Here’s a comparison of a single night (pink is VA, blue is VAHR, both worn on the left arm)

C) Steps: I have just two full days of data, VAHR marked 13,346 and 20,743 steps on days 1 and 2. VA counted 13,305 and 20,278. Quite close.

D) Calories: For the same two days, VAHR counted 2,473 and 3,389 calories respectively. VA counted 2,433 and and 3,175 calories for the same day. It is interesting to note that my BMR has been reset to 1,728 calories per day (from 2,072) without me changing any weight/height/activity setting. Count me as confused.
hr-zonesOther quick things I’ve noticed:
– Garmin Connect will now show you the (critical for a lot of people) “time in zone” metric, with number of minutes spent during a workout in each heart rate zone
– VAHR includes an altimeter, so you have a new metric: floors climbed. You also have a daily goal (can be customised) of 10 floors per day.
– Another new metric is “Intensity minutes” with a goal of 150 minutes per week of “Moderate Intensity” (Garmin’s explanation: “You can have a conversation, but not sing.”) or 75 minutes of “Vigorous Intensity” (“You can only speak a few words between breaths. Only recorded when heart rate data is available.”). So far I’ve only had any minutes counted during a workout, not with simply walking.
– You can now clear a notification directly from the watch (it is also removed from the phone)
– It comes in with stopwatch and a timer applications, no need to hunt down for such an app in Garmin’s Connect IQ appstore.
– Also included a “Navigation” app where you can save a location and then have the watch guide you back (a compass kind of feature, I have yet to try it)

Update: A collection of photos from the screen

File 10-05-2016, 01 29 05

Top, left to right: weather, notification summary, notification in full view, last 4-hours heart rate. Bottom: last run summary, steps summary, steps per day, floors per day

That’s all for now, I’ll take a few more days to gather more data. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. :)

Also published on Medium.

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