Garmin vívoactive Smart Watch – Review

Over the holidays I received an exciting gift from my wonderful wife: the Garmin vívoactive smart watch! I’ve been meaning to get back into reviews lately and this item is a great one to start back up with!


The smart watch comes packed in a small black box, what we have come to expect from our smaller electronics (smartphones, smart watches, watches, etc.) today. Inside was the instruction manual, the watch itself and the proprietary charging cable/mount for the watch. Not overly exciting, but very clean, simple and elegant.

First Use

Figuring out how to fire up the watch (power button on the left side) and getting started was pretty straight forward. Just by swiping back and forth and pressing the different buttons, I was able to understand the general idea of the watch layout. You have the main screen (called the ‘face’) and then you can swipe to additional widgets and settings. Garmin Connect Mobile is tha pp you will need on your smartphone and pairing to that was as simple as any other device these days. To access the core feature of the watch (tracking your activities) you just press the button on the right side and then select the activity. More in-depth features (setting to sleep mode, customizing aspects, etc.) wasn’t super intuitive, but a quick glance at the instructions and I was off and running.


Nearly everything is customizable on this watch, which makes it super easy to make it work the best for your needs. You can change out the ‘face’, you can adjust which widgets you have setup as well as the order they are in for swiping and you can adjust the activities page to include the activities you want, in the order you want them in. Most (if not all) of this is done from within the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

Daily Use

I’ve had this smart watch for a few months now. At first I didn’t think I would wear it everyday (I’m a watch person in general), but it has really grown on me and it is easy to just consistently keep it on (it’s waterproof after all) and not swap out watched all the time. I still find myself wearing different watches some days, but for the most part I am happy to rock this on my wrist and be able to track my steps, etc. I believe Garmin states that the battery on this watch should last 3 weeks with minimal use and maybe only a few hours to a day if you are constantly utilizing the GPS. In my use, I find that it is good to charge the watch about once every week or two. If I go two solid weeks I end up down to about 10% or less when I throw it on the charger.

The steps tracker has been great for me and it alerts you if you haven’t moved around in an hour (this is customizable) and it also alerts you at increments of 10,000 steps.


My favorite feature about this watch I haven’t even had a chance to use yet due to the weather! Garmin offers something like 40,000 different golf courses (everyone I golf at here in Denver is available so far) that you can sync to the watch to provide you details about the different holes, distance to pin and so forth. Like I said, I haven’t used this yet, but this is why I’m excited about this watch and what it’s main use will be for me.

Final Thoughts

I’ve used a few wearables now and so far I really like the Garmin vívoactive. It provides a good interface and quality features to track your steps, sleep and activities. It doesn’t include a heart-rate tracker built into the device, but you can pair it with one if you desire. Personally, I don’t think that wrist-style wearables provide much useful/accurate heart-rate or sleep data yet anyway so I’m not concerned about that!

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