Review of sports watch Garmin Vivoactive HR Optic

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Review of sports watch Garmin Vivoactive HR Optic

For testing purposes, we’ve bought a new product from Garmin; a watch Vivoactive White HR Optic.

It’s a smart watch packed with optical heart rate sensor Scosche Rhytm+.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Small size, big features

The first surprise after unpacking the box, was the small size of the watch. Light and slim, you can barely feel them on your hand. Everything was perfectly packed, including the Czech manual.

We’re not fans of manuals, therefore we’ve started setting up the watch on our own to find out how intuitive it is.

The first boot up and language settings was without any difficulties. The display is a touchscreen, so you can control it like any smartphone. Of course, we’ve read some information about the watch and its features beforehand. Therefore, we’ve already downloaded the Garmin Connect app in order to pair the device and log in.

Settings and features

We went through the menu to see what features the watch offer. For every sports activity, there’s a standalone profile, plus you record your training indoors as well, for example on a treadmill or a trainer. Inside the watch, there’s a chip for pace and distance measurement. Therefore, you won’t have to connect any other devices, even on a treadmill.

We’ve set up the color of back-lightGarmin Vivoactive HR, the time of back-light, the hour format, and some personal information; sex, height, weight, age (all of this can be set up inside the Connect app).

Thanks to Vivoactive, you can even control your music player in the phone and display the weather broadcast.

Garmin Vivoactive

The watch automatically measure the number of steps (you can also set up personal goals) and if you sit for a longer period of time, you’ll get a notification that you should go out for a walk. Plus, there’s also a sleep monitor, so you can wear it at night as well.

Garmin Vivoactive

Vivoactive watch – GPS smart-watch

We’ve been amazed by the compatibility with the phone. All of the notifications show up on the display; calls, text messages, calendar reminders… If someone calls you in the middle of another call, the display shows the person’s name right away.

Sports activities

Another testing was during running. First, we’ve paired the device for heart rate measurement Scosche Rhytm+, or the watch automatically found it. If was a matter of seconds.

We recommend downloading an app called Heart Rate Chart that helps you calculate resting heart rate without turning on the training mode. According to the manual, you should place the heart rate sensor on your forearm. However, we’ve tried it on wrist as well, and the results were the same. It just depends on your choice.

blog scosche

Before running, we’ve set the circuit length. After finishing it, the watch showed us the time of the circuit and while running, we’ve been able to see heart rate, distance, elapsed length, pace, burned calories, heart rate zone, and average heart rate. On the display, you can see three data areas that you can change based on your preferences. The controlling is cool even when it’s raining.

When you start the training mode, the GPS turns on immediately and you can start running.

The Garmin Connect app

Right after you finish training, the Garmin Connect app shows you the results, the route, the pace graph, the altitude, the heart rate and so on. All of the data is sent to the app when you stop your sports activity in the watch.

connect 2

In the app, you can set certain goals, your profile, training plans, routes and other things.

Other great apps can be found on Connect IQ where you can adjust the appearance of the watch, the font, the display, or you can download apps like stopwatch, triathlon, sailing mode, etc.

connect 1


In our opinion, Garmin Vivoactive is a great choice for athletes and everyone who wants to track their daily and sports activity and at the same time have an overview about calls and text messages from their phones.

Polar FlowIt’s more fitting for smaller athletes; for more shapely athletes, the watch can feel too small.

Also, we’ve been surprised by the battery life. If you don’t have the GPS on for the whole day, you have to charge them after two weeks. It’s being charged with a USB cable packed with the device, and the charging process takes about an hour.

4 thoughts on “Review of sports watch Garmin Vivoactive HR Optic

  1. Klára Sklenaříková

    Dobrý den, chtěla bych se zeptat, od kdy budou v prodeji? Na ještě nejsou…máte je ze zahraničí? Jedná se mi oo model vivoactive optic.
    Děkuji a přeji hezký den

    Sklenaříková Klára

    1. Zuzka Post author

      Dobrý den,
      máme oficiální českou distribuci a zatím nejsou v prodeji, jsou na cestě. Očekáváme je v průběhu května.


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