Garmin vívofit 2 Activity Tracker, White
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- Move bar w/audible alert- Reminds you to stay active throughout the day by displaying a red move bar and sounding an alert after one hour of inactivity. Additional segments lightup for every 15 minutes of inactivity. Walk for a couple of minutes to reset.
- BACKLIT DISPLAY - The display is always on so you won’t miss a beat. Turn on the backlight to see your stats, even in the dark.
- ACTIVITY TIMER - Record activities with or without a heart rate monitor.
- 1 + year battery life - vίvofit 2 stays on for more than a year without having to change the battery, so you don’t have to worry about recharging.
- Auto Sync - vίvofit 2 automatically syncs with paired mobile devices3 at strategic times throughout the day, such as when a goal is met or when several steps have been taken since the last sync.
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Activity Tracker with Move Bar and Alerts
- Features 1+ year battery life
- Reminds you to stay active with move bar and audible alert
- Learns your activity level and proposes a personalized daily goal
- Shows steps, calories, distance and time of day on backlit display; monitors sleep
- Automatically syncs to Garmin Connect to save, plan and share progress
Get up and get moving with vívofit 2. It’s the only activity tracker with a 1+ year battery life and backlit display. It even reminds you to stay active throughout your day with its move bar with audible alert that lets you know when you’ve been idle for an hour or longer.
Tells Time and “Time to Move”
Research shows prolonged periods of inactivity such as sitting at a desk decreases your body’s production of fat-burning enzymes. You can reverse that effect by taking frequent, short walk breaks throughout your day. And while you might lose track of time and forget to move, vívofit 2 knows. A red move bar appears on the display and a gentle alert sounds after one hour of inactivity. The move bar builds every 15 minutes until you reset it by walking for a couple of minutes. Don’t want to be bothered with a beep every hour? Set up your compatible mobile device to vibrate as your cue to move.
vívofit 2 follows your progress 24/7 and shows your steps, calories, distance and time of day on its easy-to-read, backlit display. Set the sleep mode when you go to bed and it will monitor your rest. At Garmin Connect, you can see your total sleep hours as well as periods of movement and restful sleep. vívofit 2 is water-resistant¹, so you can shower or get caught in the rain, worry-free. And thanks to its 1+ year battery life, you can keep this activity tracker on your wrist around the clock, helping you turn good intentions into lifelong habits. The band is soft and flexible and features a quarter-turn buckle that secures it to your wrist. Optional accessory bands in various color schemes let you coordinate your vívofit to your wardrobe.
Personalized Daily Goals
vívofit 2 learns your current activity level, then assigns an attainable daily goal. As you meet your milestones, vívofit 2 will adjust your goal for the next day, gradually nudging you toward a healthier lifestyle. At Garmin Connect, our free online fitness community, you can earn virtual badges and view your progress.
When you’re ready to take the next steps toward better health, vívofit 2 has additional features to keep you motivated. Use the activity timer to record a timed activity, such as a walk or run, which can be saved and sent to Garmin Connect. You can also pair vívofit 2 with a heart rate monitor² during fitness activities, such as a run or a cardio class at the gym, to record your heart rate and zone data and get more accurate calorie burn information. For detailed calorie tracking, you can create an account at MyFitnessPal and link it to your Garmin Connect account. This allows you to compare calories consumed to your total calories burned, which vívofit 2 records throughout the day.
Throughout your day, vívofit 2 automatically syncs to Garmin Connect, where you can see a complete picture of your progress, join online challenges and earn virtual badges for extra motivation. It's so simple to get started. After you are set up, access our free online community from your computer or on your compatible mobile device³ with the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
In the Box
- vívofit 2 with large and small band
- USB ANT Stick
1Water rating: 5 ATM (50 meters)
2Included with some models, sold separately on others.
3See Garmin.com/BLE for a list of compatible phones.
Top customer reviews
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If audible alerts don’t matter much to you, this device is fantastic. But I upgraded from the original Vivofit because of the new audible alerts, and I’m very disappointed. I was really happy with the original Vivofit except for 2 things – I couldn't see it in the dark and there were no alerts when the inactivity bar gets full. When I learned that both of those issues were fixed with the Vivofit 2, I couldn't wait to upgrade!! I purchased it March 14, from a local sporting goods store because Amazon still said it wouldn’t be released until March 31.
For a quick review of the pros and cons (more detail below):
Waterproof (to 50 meters)
Shows time and date
Audible alert (when you’ve been inactive for an hour)
Backlit screen so you can see it in the dark
Default/home screen option
Automatic or customized step goal (optional)
Pairs with a HRM (sold separately)
No reminder alerts to bug you when you remain inactive**
No vibrating alert**
No customization with alert reminders
No manual alarms that you can set
** Indicates why stars were lost – if they fix, I’ll update my review (I explain below under "Alerts")
I chose the Vivofit fitness tracker over the other options out there because it doesn't need to be recharged and its waterproof (to 50 meters) - two very important things for me. I wear my Vivofit in the shower, washing dishes, swimming, etc. -- basically, I never have to take it off except to give it a little cleaning once in a while. It took me about 2 days to get used to having it on my wrist – at first it seemed annoying, but now I rarely notice it there. My skin is sensitive to certain metals or other items that are worn long-term. As long as I clean it once in a while (once a month or so), I don’t have any issues. I don’t ride bike much, so having it only on my wrist is never an issue for me.
AUDIBLE ALERTS (new to the Vivofit 2):
Audible alerts were lacking from the original Vivofit, and I was so excited for this option. The new audible alert is almost great, but it has a huge problem – let me explain.
Here’s how the new audible alert works on my device: as the inactivity bar first starts to grow (after 15 minutes of inactivity), it gives you a single chirp. When the bar gets full (after 1 hour of inactivity), it gives you another chirp. Once I clear the inactivity bar (by walking about 300 steps), the cycle starts over again.
Well, where's the reminder??? This is where 2 stars were lost – MAJOR issue here, in my opinion. I’ve now been inactive for over 2 hours, but I’m not getting any audible reminders to get up and move!! What a HUGE oversight!!! This is a really big deal for me and was THE KEY reason I spent the money to upgrade to the Vivofit 2 – I REALLY needed this device bugging me to stop working and move (hopefully, they’ll fix this with a software update). If they fix this, they should also allow you to customize how often you get a reminder.
Now for the good: It’s a very subtle little chirp that shouldn’t annoy anyone else (you can turn it off if you don’t want to hear it). However, it might even be a little too quiet, in my opinion – many times, I don’t even hear it (which is why it should have a silent/vibrating alert). I sit at a desk for the most part of 9 hours a day, and this feature is really key for me. As I’m engrossed in my work, the alert should remind me to get up and move (which is why I upgraded).
I was very disappointed to find out that it doesn’t have a vibrating alert. What if it’s noisy around you and you can’t hear the audible alert (which happens A LOT). What if you just don’t want an audible alert that others could hear if close to you….
I was also hoping that along with the new audible alert option, you could set up your own manual alarms (like you can with the Fitbit Charge HR), but you can’t.
I’m hoping they can/will add these other features with a software update.
**Update on 4/8/15: I’ve learned that some devices chirp at 1 hour and 2 hours, but mine chirps at 15 minutes and 1 hour as I described above.
BACKLIGHT (new to the Vivofit 2):
The new backlight is wonderful!!! To turn on the backlight, you just push the button slightly longer than a regular click. The digits light up so you can see it perfectly in the dark (it’s not too bright)!! It turns off after no activity for about 1 second. With the original Vivofit, I gave up on using the sleep function because I couldn’t see it in the dark to turn it on. I had to use my cell phone or lamp to see the screen – well, that was a major pain. So instead, I just manually entered my sleep time in Garmin Connect (when I did that, it still showed my activity level, but the sleep time was a total guess). Now, I can easily switch to sleep mode and wake mode using the device – way better!!! Plus, I can see the screen in any low-light environment – say I’m in a dark place and want to see the time. This is fantastic, but I wouldn’t have upgraded from the Vivofit 1 for this reason alone.
SCREENS (on the device):
I LOVE that the device shows the time!!! I can see the time of day anytime I want without having to pull out my cell phone. What’s great is that you can set a “default” screen for your device! I set mine up so the time is showing by default instead of steps. If I want to see my steps, I just press the button. After a short time, the screen changes back to the default! So great!
On the device, you can scroll through the following screens: Time, Date, Steps, Step Goal, Calories, Distance, and Heart Rate. You can select which of these screens you want to see on your device by going to Garmin Connect > Device Settings. Distance is determined based on step length and number of steps taken – there is no GPS on this device. You can customize your step length for running and walking so the distance is more accurate – do this on Garmin Connect > User Settings. The Heart Rate screen is used when you pair your device with a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM). I don’t know how accurate the calories are since I feel that they are really only an estimate on any device (including when I use my paired HRM), so I just use that as a rough estimate.
The Vivofit 2 now has an activity timer on the device. You just press and hold the button for a second, and the timer starts. When you’re done, you press the button again and the timer stops. I just noticed this feature last night as I was switching into “sleep” mode so I don’t know how it works yet, but I’m kind of excited about the potential. With the original Vivofit, activities showed up automatically only when I used my paired HRM. Without the HRM, I had to go into Garmin Connect and manually add an activity if I wanted it to show up. That was kind of a pain, so I didn’t do it often.
A little side note (in case the manufacturer is reading): the “t” on “Start” and “Stop” is really hard to distinguish because they put a little tail at the bottom of the “t.” It took me an embarrassing amount of time flipping back and forth on the screens before I figure out what it said.
**Update 6/15/15: I’ve been using the activity timer more lately, and it’s pretty nice. It tracks time, distance (based on step – not GPS), heart rate (when using a paired HRM) and calories burned (which I’m sure isn’t perfect). The device sends the activity info to Garmin Connect when it syncs – which then pushes the activity out to My Fitness Pal (more on MFP below). Sometimes it says the activity is “running,” but I can easily edit the title of the activity in Garmin Connect as needed. In the device settings area, I can choose the default activity screen and also which screens are available on the device during that activity, for example, I can hide the date screen during an activity but show it when not in an activity – very nice!
**Update 6/15/16: Today, I used my HRM for the first time with my Vivofit 2 (I had misplaced it and just found it!) I read some reviews from people who said they had trouble with their HRM. Mine (the Garmin Premium Soft Strap Heart Rate Monitor) synced with no problem – just like it did with my original Vivofit. I added a picture of what today’s activity looked like on Garmin Connect using both the activity timer and my HRM. Note that this was an elliptical workout using the “interval” setting, thus the change in my HR during the workout. It shows my pace as ‘0’ when I was holding onto the stationary handles which makes since it wasn’t recording any steps. The HRM on the machine (when I held it) showed my heart rate to be about 1-2 beats different than the device showed, but went up and down at the same time, so I think it’s pretty accurate. Hopefully this info is helpful.
This is really just tracking how much you move during your sleep time. You can manually set the device to sleep mode when you go to bed and then turn off sleep mode when you wake up. After syncing, you can see your level of movement on Garmin Connect. In User Settings, you can set up your “Normal Sleep Time.” If you forget to turn on sleep mode, just go into Garmin Connect, confirm your sleep time for the night and it will show your movement levels anyway (so don’t worry much if you forget to turn it on).
**Update on 4/8/15: This is really cool, so I wanted to give an update. My device has been tracking my sleep time automatically (I think this came from a firmware update and will work on the original Vivofit also). I always forget to turn on sleep mode, and I had to go into Garmin Connect and manually enter my sleep time before it would show my activity level during sleep. With the Vivofit 2, my actual sleep time shows automatically – even if it’s not the same as my “Normal Sleep Hours.” For example, my “Normal Sleep Hours” are set to 8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. Last night, I didn’t turn on sleep mode or confirm my sleep time in Garmin Connect, yet it shows that I slept from 9:34 p.m. – 5:37 a.m.!! This is really awesome for someone like me who always forgets to switch to sleep mode. It seems to be fairly accurate from my point of view!
By default, the device gives you an auto goal for steps that automatically adjusts depending on whether you miss or meet the goal. If you don’t meet the auto goal for a couple days, it adjusts down a bit. If you exceed the goal for a couple days, it adjusts up a bit. The great thing is that you can turn off the auto goal and set your own goal if you want. You do this on Garmin Connect > Device Settings.
The strap now has a locking mechanism (new to the Vivofit 2). This is great, although I found it a little harder to put it on. After getting used to it being on my wrist, I find it comfortable and hardly noticeable. It doesn’t give me any issues with my sensitive skin – as long as I clean it once in a while (every 3-4 weeks or so).
It’s very easy to swap wristbands (the basic ones, anyway – I haven’t tried any of the new fancier ones).
**Update on 6/15/15: I still find that the band is hard to get on, but this isn’t a big deal since I never have to take it off. I do want to note that sometimes, I’ll find the locking mechanism has rotated to the unlocked position. I also once banged my wrist hard against something and the band fell off – I think this happened because the locking mechanism rotated on me. So I just check it when I think about it to make sure it’s still in the locked position.
Garmin Connect is fairly easy to use. I use it on both my computer and my Galaxy S3 phone. It’s not perfect, but what is. There are lot of options for customizing the dashboard as you want it (both on my computer and on my phone). You can even add new tabs/pages so you can see what you want/how you want it. It didn’t take me too long to get used it. I tried a Fitbit Charge HR for a few days and preferred Garmin Connect to the Fitbit dashboard.
The device now auto syncs with Garmin Connect. I haven’t figured out how often it auto-syncs or what triggers it to auto-sync – the online user manual just says “periodically.” But I can tell you that my device DOES auto-sync. It’s not very often, but it’s at least once a day. Sometimes I go days between manually syncing, and I can see my info is there. This auto-sync feature isn’t a big deal to me because if I want to see where I’m at, it’s easy and quick to manually sync. However, knowing that the device doesn’t store data indefinitely, it’s nice to know I won’t lose my data if I don’t manually sync for many days.
I haven’t had any serious issues with syncing to my computer or my Android phone recently (back in December 2014/January 2015, there were some major issues with the app, but I think that’s all been resolved). Every great once in a while, it won’t sync for some reason, but if I wait a couple of hours, it works the next time.
**Update on 6/15/15: Occasionally, I have syncing issues. I push the button and it doesn’t sync, it just chirps and stops the sync mode. When this is happening, I can’t sync to my computer or my phone. This is very annoying and frustrating…but if I’m patient and try again in a few hours it usually works. I do wish syncing was more dependable because they would probably get better reviews – which would be nice, because this really is a great device.
MY FITNESS PAL CONNECTION (for those who use MFP):
I use My Fitness Pal (MFP) for calorie tracking. Garmin Connect and MFP sync with each other and share data back and forth. So when I’m active, Garmin Connect sends that activity (and calories burned) to MFP. When I track my meals in MFP, it sends the info back to Garmin Connect so I can see the calorie data in the dashboard.
On MFP, there’s an option to “Enable Negative Adjustments.” When I’m particularly inactive (very low on steps), Garmin Connect sends a negative activity adjustment to my MFP “Exercise” page. In case you can’t figure out where to find this option (it’s not terrible intuitive), go to MFP > My Home > Settings (sub-menu bar) > Diary Settings. Then scroll down to the Calorie Adjustments section and select or deselect the checkbox.
Back in December/January, there were some major syncing issues happening, but that all seems to be resolved now. I haven’t had any major issues since that got that fixed. I think it’s pretty neat how they work together.
Overall, this is a really great device. I’ve considered returning it several times because of the disappointing audible alerts (and lack of a silent alert), but in the end, I kept it because it’s the only device I know if that’s waterproof and doesn’t have to be charged. If they would just fix the alerts, I’d happily give it a full 5-star rating!!
After having gone back and forth between Fitbit and Garmin, I am going with the Vivofit 2 (for now). Here are some reasons I switched from the most recent devices, which might help you decide between these.
*** Garmin Vivosmart *** I liked the Vivosmart but realized that I didn't really like the alerts from my phone because I already have a smartwatch (Asus Zen). If you are often in a noisy environment or can't easily access your phone but want to see alerts (and don't have some other device that gives you alerts), then the alerts on a Vivosmart could be helpful. However, it was somewhat difficut to see full messages on the screen and really best serves to let you know that a message or call has happened - it's not great for a substantive alert. Additionally, the screen is just slightly hazy. It bothered me initially although I did get over it - but it definitely has a somewhat 'frosted plastic' appearance to it. This is something other reviewers of the Vivosmart have noted. The Vivosmart is more narrow and less thick then the Vivofit 2. I suspect this is partly because of the battery size in the Vivofit 2. I found the swiping or selection responsiveness to sometimes be a little inconsistent but nothing big on that front. There is a "Find Your Phone" feature on the Vivosmart that I did find useful. The Vivofit 2 does have auto-sleep tracking. The Vivosmart did not. (A software update may have changed this.) This meant that I either put the Vivosmart in sleep mode via my phone before I fell asleep or I put the time in on the app after I woke. The Vivofit 2 doesn't require this manual effort - it does it automatically. Both devices are safe to shower and swim in.
[Battery Life in Vivosmart and Vivofit 2] I had the original Vivofit and did a lot of international travel at the time. I really liked that I didn't have to think twice about bringing a charger for it with me and I very quickly grew accustomed to not having to think about charging it. I charge a lot of devices regularly and all of them use micro-USB - not the Vivosmart. That was more annoying than I thought. To be fair, none of the most popular tracking devices use a micro-USB so the options are either a specific charger or a long lasting battery.
So for me, Vivofit2 > Vivosmart because:
1) I don't need alerts (on both wrists)
2) I don't have to charge it or even really think about charging it
3) Readability of the screen
4) Vivofit 2 has auto-sleep tracking (this may have been added via a software update to the Vivosmart - I do not know.)
If Alerts are very important to you and you don't mind charging the device regularly, the Vivosmart might be great.
*** Fitbit Charge HR *** I had this for about six weeks. The first thing I disliked rather quickly was that it instantly looked dirty or dusty. I don't know if a textured surface was the way to go. (I had a black one - maybe another color wouldn't have appeared so dirty so quickly.) Having said that, I think some people will like the design more than the Vivofit2. (Though, the Vivofit2 will now have some different bracelets to place it in - an option not available to the Fitbit Charge HR.) I was not a fan of the watch styled clasp on the Fitbit Charge HR. This is really rather minor but it made me feel like I was wearing two watches - one on each wrist. I felt over-accessorized. Fitbit Charge HR measures flights of stairs climbed - the Vivofit 2 does not. Like the Vivofit 2, the Fitbit Charge HR does auto-sleep tracking. I'll boil it down to the deal breaker for me - it's only "splash proof". It's recommended that you not shower with it and you can't swim with it. (I did see a video on youtube where DC Rainmaker said a month of showers hadn't broken the thing but it's not rated for that kind of water exposure.) That may not be a big deal for many people but more than once, I got into the shower, got it wet and then took it off and dried it immediately. I would also take it off to do dishes or bathe the dog and then forget about it. The battery life was shorter than I expected, as well. I was charging it twice a week. Alerts for calls usually didn't hit the Fitbit Charge HR until I'd already answered a call so, again, not particularly useful for me but YMMV. I realized I don't really track my HR very much. I sometimes do while I exercise but realized I don't really care about my HR at every moment. If there was a way to turn it off to save battery life and only have it kick in during a tracked activity, that would be really helpful and I might find more use for it. The Fitbit Charge has an optical HRM. These are not as accurate as a chest-strap based HRM (which the Garmin devices connect to/with) but are more convenient. Last, I found that the little nagging red bar on the Garmin devices (Vivofit, Vivofit 2, Vivosmart) really does make me get up and move. There wasn't any kind of "Hey, get up" alert on the Fitbit Charge HR.
Fitbit gives you a 10,000 step daily goal which you can manually change. Garmin devices start you at 7,500 and adjust automatically based upon your activity to encourage you to increase your steps each day. I found that I disliked the straight 10k step goal in Fitbit and liked the more substantive step-goal setting that Garmin offered. Here's where I think that makes a big difference. If you are like a lot of people who aren't very active and you start off at 5,000 steps and you do 5,000 steps - that a successful day for you. The next day, Garmin will ask you to do 5,200 (for example). And if you do it, you've had another successful day of reaching your goal. Then the next day, you do 5,450, etc. And each day, you would be encouraged to push a bit more. I find that effective for a lot of people. However, all of those days are 'fails' in Fitbit. I think that could be really discouraging to someone trying to improve their activity levels. Again, you can adjust the step goal in Fitbit but I really love that Garmin does it for me and I find it personalizes the effort for me. Again, YMMV.
Vivofit2 > Fitbit Charge HR because
1) the Vivofit 2 is waterproof to 5 ATM
2) battery life is amazing
3) the inactivity alert does work for me and
4) it connects to a HRM when I want it to (which is not FULL time)
5) some style alternatives
6) adjusting daily step goals
*** Fitbit Platform/Dashboard v Garmin Platform/Dashboard *** Here's what will be a big factor for many people that is not going to be obvious from a hardware review. 1) The dashboards for Fitbit and Garmin are different. Most people prefer Fitbit - it integrates with more applications than Garmin and it is a pretty flawless experience. Having said that - I got used to the Garmin dashboard quickly and find it easy to navigate, too. 2) If you want motivation from friends, most people have Fitbit over Garmin. This was ultimately why I tried going back to Fitbit. I wanted the motivation I got from competing with friends. I found, though, that I just didn't like their wrist-based wearables. So I ended up getting the Fitbit Zip because I could just clip it on to the center of my bra and forget about it. It does little more than track steps for me and that's the basis of all of my competitions with friends in Fitbit so... that's how I keep the wrist-based wearable I like but can pretty easily still compete with friends on Fitbit (if you find yourself also debating these things). If you happen to use both, like me, when you do "activities" in Garmin, those *can* sync over to Fitbit so your jogs, workouts, swims - all of that - can be synced with Fitbit and show up there. (Fitdatasync.com)
I realize this isn't an in-depth review of all of the features of the Vivofit2. It's really intended to point out some differences between the Vivosmart and the Fitbit Charge HR.
In the end, these are the things that made me choose Vivofit2:
1) Battery Life
2) Water proof
3) The red bar (and audible noise) really does get me up to do a quick one or two hundred steps until it disappears
4) Adjusting daily step-goals
Edited to add: I would give it 4.5 stars in reality because it is slightly larger than other trackables in its class.
*** Potential Sync Issue in Garmin Connect *** I have a Note 4 and when I first tried to pair the Vivofit 2 through Garmin Connect (the mobile app), it would initially pair, show as connected - and then immediately disconnect. This is NORMAL. The Vivofit 2 should not always show up as "connected" when you look at your devices in Garmin Connect. When it auto-syncs or when you manually sync, it will connect. Having said that, I was having trouble with it syncing. I'd try to manually sync and it wouldn't sync. I called Garmin and was told that I may have too many devices paired via bluetooth, even if only one device was actively connected. I was skeptical but I deleted about 5 of the paired devices I used the least (I started with about 10-12 and got down to 5-7 that I use the most) and sure enough, that fixed it. It now syncs flawlessly.