Review: Garmin Vivosmart 5 | road.cc | Panda Anku

Garmin’s Vivosmart 5 isn’t specific to cycling, but if you’re looking for an all-round fitness tracker that records rides and your overall daily well-being, in a smart but discreet package that looks just as at home with Lycra or your Civvies, then there’s one good choice. However, its monochrome screen and lack of GPS are a compromise at this price point.

For its small size, the vivosmart 5 is quite a powerful piece of wearable technology. It’s small and rather unassuming-looking, just like a stylish watch, while eagerly logging your daily data like heart rate, steps and sleep patterns, and turning that into estimates of calories burned etc.

Heart rate is monitored via the wrist and while this isn’t as accurate as a chest strap, I found it to be fairly accurate at various exercise levels – definitely far more accurate than some of the £20 ebay/Amazon jobs I’ve bought to compare.


In fact, the Vivosmart can monitor quite a bit, either through data you input or through sensors and algorithms like body battery, pulse oxygen rate, sleep score, stress, hydration, breathing, women’s health and fitness age.

I have to confess, I have a Garmin 530, a Forerunner 735XT, and a Fenix ​​6 Pro, and I hardly ever use any of that stuff, with just a cursory glance when it’s uploaded to the Garmin Connect app. But if you really focus on things through training or illness, it can really be beneficial.

On the bike

So, the reason you’re here: Does it work for cycling?

Well, yes, depending on how much data you want.

Most of my rides are on the same roads or gravel loops week in and week out so I really don’t need a lot of data while on the bike and the Vivosmart works for me.

> Buying Guide: 10 Best Cheap GPS Bike Computers

Selecting ‘Bike’ in the activity menu will show distance, speed and ride time on the small screen when you’re on the go, and when you’ve finished your ride the 5 will upload everything to the Connect app, which is actually very good .

While the watch shows you a summary of distance, ride time, average speed, average heart rate and calories, you get a lot more out of the app from a cycling perspective: You get a lot of data from your ride including a route map and various graphics on heart rate, speed, incline etc.

Phew, no GPS?

One downside to the Vivosmart is that it doesn’t come with its own GPS receiver, so it relies on a Bluetooth connection to your phone for recording.

Fitbit’s Charge 5, at the same price as the Garmin, comes with its own GPS, which I prefer as it saves battery life on both devices; It also has a color screen.

> Read more Road.cc smartwatch reviews here

Speaking of competition, Polar’s Unite is 49p less than the Garmin, and it doesn’t have its own GPS receiver either, but it does come with a full-size color screen, putting the Vivosmart’s monochrome offering to shame.

Easy to use

The Vivoactive is easy to use, containing just a single button and a touchscreen that you swipe most of the time. Once you learn the format, it’s easy to navigate.

If you don’t record things through your phone, the Vivosmart has its own accelerometer that will automatically record certain activities, but it very likely does.

Battery life is decent for such a small device. Garmin takes up to seven days. I spend a large part of my day sitting at a desk and writing, and considering that, I’d say it’s doable. During testing, I gave the Vivosmart to my teenage daughter, who walks about three-quarters of a mile to school and is on her feet a lot between classes, as well as going to extracurricular activities like Army Cadets and Girl Guides. With all of that, she would get four to five days to 24 hours and also monitor sleep.


2022 Garmin vívosmart 5 - boxed.jpg

Occasionally the screen got a little choppy after a few days, for example blocks replaced digits on the clock. It’s not a huge issue as a reset would quickly resolve this, but should that happen on a £130 watch?

Charging from an outlet takes a few hours.

Like any other smartwatch connected to your phone, you get access to notifications like texts, emails and various other apps, as well as the option for quick pre-set replies.

It also includes security features such as B. detecting incidents such as accidents or falls and SMS to your saved contacts with location details. I’ve used this on various Garmin devices and it’s very handy.

Conclusion

Overall, while the Vivosmart isn’t specific to cycling, if you’re not concerned with massive amounts of data when you’re riding it’s a simple and inexpensive device, especially if you don’t want a watch that screams ‘athlete’. .

It’s comfortable to wear and easy to navigate, but other devices like the Fitbit offer more for the money.

Verdict

A handy smart tracker that benefits from a good app but doesn’t have its own GPS receiver

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Make and model: Garmin Vivosmart 5

Tested size: small-medium

Tell us what the product is for and who it is aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about this? How does that compare to your own feelings?

Garmin says, “When you need a comfortable device that accompanies you every step of the way, vívosmart® 5 becomes your easy-to-use fitness tracker1 to monitor your health and stay active from sunrise to sunset.”

Not cycling specific, but with all the data you need after your ride and the basics while you ride.

Tell us more about the technical aspects of the product?

Garmin Listings:

General:

LENS MATERIAL Acrylic

BODY MATERIAL Polycarbonate

BAND MATERIAL Silicone

PHYSICAL SIZE Small/Medium: 19.5 x 10.7 x 217 mm

Suitable for wrists with a circumference of 122-188 mm

Large: 19.5 x 10.7 x 255mm

Suitable for wrists with a circumference of 148-228 mm

TOUCH-SENSITIVE SCREEN

DISPLAY SIZE 0.41″ x 0.73″ (10.5mm x 18.5mm)

DISPLAY RESOLUTION 88 x 154 pixels

DISPLAY TYPE OLED

WEIGHT Small/Medium: 24.5 g

Large: 26.5g

BATTERY LIFE Up to 7 days in smartwatch mode

WATER RATING Swimming

STORAGE/HISTORY 7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data

clock functions

TIME DATE

AUTOMATIC DST

ALARM CLOCK

TIMER

STOPWATCH

health monitoring

WRIST-BASED HEART RATE (CONSTANT, EVERY SECOND)

DAILY RESTING HEART RATE

ABNORMAL HEART RATE ALERTS Yes (high and low)

RESPIRATORY RATE (24X7)

PULSE OX BLOOD OXYGEN SATURATION Yes (sampling, during a sleep phase and throughout the day)

FITNESS AGE

BODY BATTERY™ ENERGY MONITOR

ALL DAY STRESS TRACKING

RELAX MEMORIES

RELAX BREATH TIMER

SLEEP Yes (Advanced)

SLEEP Score AND INSIGHTS

HYDRATION

WOMEN’S HEALTH

sensors

GARMIN ELEVATE™ HEART RATE MONITOR ON THE WRIST

ACCELOMETER

AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR

PULSE OX BLOOD OXYGEN SATURATION MONITOR

Daily smart features

CONNECTIVITY Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+®

INTELLIGENT NOTIFICATION

TEXT ANSWER/CALL REJECT WITH TEXT (ANDROID™ ONLY)

CONNECTED GPS

CALENDAR

WEATHER

SYNCHRONIZE REAL-TIME SETTINGS WITH GARMIN CONNECT™ MOBILE

CONTROLS SMARTPHONE MUSIC

FIND MY PHONE

FIND MY WATCH

SMARTPHONE COMPATIBILITY iPhone®, Android™

COMPATIBLE WITH GARMIN CONNECT™ MOBILE

Security and tracking features

LIVE TRACK

INCIDENT DETECTION DURING SELECTED ACTIVITIES

HELP

activity tracking features

PEDOMETER

MOVE BAR (DISPLAY ON DEVICE AFTER A PERIOD OF INACTIVITY; WALK FOR A FEW MINUTES TO RESET IT)

AUTOMATIC GOAL (LEARNS YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL AND ASSIGNS A DAILY STEP GOAL)

CALORIES BURNED

COVERED TRACK

INTENSITY MINUTES

TRUEUP™

MOVE IQ™

Fitness equipment/gym

AUTOMATIC REPEAT COUNT

AVAILABLE FITNESS ACTIVITY PROFILES Strength, HIIT, cardio, elliptical, stair climbing, indoor rowing, treadmill, Pilates, and yoga

Training, planning and analysis functions

HR ZONES

HR ALERTS

HR CALORIES

% HR MAX

HR BROADCAST (TRANSFERS HR DATA TO PAIRED DEVICES VIA ANT+™)

GPS SPEED AND DISTANCE Yes (Connected GPS only)

ADJUSTABLE SCREENS

CUSTOMIZABLE ACTIVITY PROFILES

INTERVAL TRAINING

AUTOLAP®

VO2MAX (RUN)

CUSTOMIZABLE ALERTS

running functions

AVAILABLE RUNNING PROFILES Running

CADENCE (PROVIDES REAL-TIME STEPS PER MINUTE)

bike features

AVAILABLE BIKE PROFILES Cycling

swimming functions

AVAILABLE SWIM PROFILES

Rate the product by build quality:

8/10

Rate the product by performance:

7/10

Rate the product for durability:

8/10

Rate the product by weight (if applicable)

8/10

Rate the product based on comfort (if applicable)

8/10

Rate the product by value:

4/10

Let us know how the product performed overall when used for its intended purpose

It is easy to use and displays the basic data required.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good Bluetooth connectivity and screen is easy to read given its size.

Let us know what you particularly disliked about the product

Occasional screen glitches.

How does the price compare to similar products on the market including those recently tested on road.cc?

It’s practically the same price as the Polar Unite, which gets a large color screen, and while the Fitbit Charge 5 is also the same price, it comes with a color screen and its own GPS receiver.

Did you enjoy using the product? Overall yes.

Would you buy the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but with the mention of competition with better specs.

Use this field to explain your total score

Cost aside, it’s a capable watch and gives you plenty of data from your ride (or at least the app does). However, the competition offers GPS and a color screen for the same money, and then you have the faulty screen every now and then.

Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg

I mostly drive: This month’s test bike My best bike is: B’Twin Ultra CF with the latest bling test components

I ride since: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would classify myself as: expert

I do the following types of riding regularly: Time trials, commuting, club rides, sporty, fixed/single speed,

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