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Review Garmin vivosmart HR: Monitor your heart

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The Garmin vivosmart HR is a waterproof fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor and it offers clean display and decent battery life

By Mohd Ujaley

Although the health-related wearable market in India is at nascent stage, with merely 30,000-40,000 units of wearable products, including smart-watches and fitness bands, getting sold every month, according to Convergence Catalyst, a Bengaluru-based research consulting firm. But gradually the segment is seeing an upward movement specially in metro cities. That is why in recent past we have seen some upbeat offerings like the Moto 360 smartwatch, the Samsung Gear, the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s wearables and  low-end devices from Misfit, Xiaomi and GOQii, in this segment. And, the new one to enter into the fray is US-based GPS technology provider Garmin that has launched  a new activity tracker called vivosmart HR in an exclusive partnership with Amazon India.

Priced at Rs 14,999, the fitness band features sunlight display screen with touch support and offers continuous heart rate monitoring, counts floors climbed, calories burned and measures activity intensity. When you pair it with your compatible smartphone, you can receive text, calls, email, calendar and social media alerts, control music, and more. We explore this product for over two weeks and here are fine details for you.

Basically, the Vivosmart HR is an updated version of Vivosmart which was launched last year. Company has added couple of new things in this new version. A built-in continuous heart rate sensor has been added, design has improved with a slimmer, more comfortable profile and a crisp display, and it comes with  more secure watch-like buckle. The review unit that we received is in black colour and regular size. It is comfortable and fit perfectly around wrist. Otherwise, the band comes in two sizes – regular and extra regular. The regular band fits wrists up to 7.4 inches, while the extra large band fits wrists up to 8.8 inches. The bands is available in black, blue, purple colours.

The 1-inch, 160-by-64-pixel touch screen display in the middle of the silicone strap is able to provide crisp and large text on the screen which can easily be read in most of the situation, including in direct sun-light. To access features – active minutes, calories burned, distance traveled, heart rate, music controls, notifications, steps, stairs climbed, and weather – you only need to swipe up or down. More settings like bluetooth, sync with smartphone, alarm,  language change options, can be accessed by pressing the button on the right.

The device uses Bluetooth for connectivity and is compatible with Android 4.3 or higher, or iOS 9. For pairing it with smartphone, a user needs to download the Garmin mobile connect app. Once, you synched the device with your smartphone, you will get decent array of statistics to choose from. Users can see activity goal progress, distance traveled, floors climbed, and how they slept. The stats can also be broken up by activity, whether that is cycling, running, steps, or swimming.

The back of the band is home to a trifecta of green lights, that company official informed is a Garmin’s proprietary optical heart rate sensor. During the review period, the continuous heart rate monitor in different conditions have been accurate. However, for general things like running, when you compare it with some of the other fitness device, you may come across slightly exaggerated data. Adjacent to the censor, two tiny ports are given for the charger. The company claims to offer 7 days battery life, however during the review period, we had to recharged it after 5 days.

The band is waterproof with a rating of 5ATM, it means that it is safe for swimming upto 164 feet of water. Hence, the device could be a good choice for people who are looking for waterproof fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor.

Overall, the Vivosmart HR is an interesting smart-band that track activities with accepted accuracy, offers clean display  notifications, decent battery life and overall it is a good waterproof fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor.

Estimated street price: Rs 14,999

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