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Garmin Vivosmart - Black Bundle (Large) (Includes Heart Rate Monitor) by Review Summary ,  Sep 25, 2015

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Garmin Vivosmart - Black Bundle (Large) (Includes Heart Rate Monitor)
Report Date: 09/25/2015
Based on 190 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 3.6
Returned or considering to return: 13.2%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Strap4.5   exceptional
Fitness4.3   average
Tracking4.3   above average
Monitoring3.9   below average
Sleep3.8   average
Charging2.9   below average
Connection2.8   below average
Sync2.8   below average
Software2.7   below average
Bluetooth1.9   mediocre


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Bluetooth

Bluetooth:
"Nope, sorry, my phone somehow is not compatible with the Garmin.3) I tried to set it up with my iPhone over Bluetooth."
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"Seriously, search Garmin's official vivosmart forums and you'll find thread upon thread regarding weird bluetooth issues."
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"The bad: Mediocre software and terrible bluetooth issues on Android."
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"I take two stars away because its has serious bluetooth connectivity problems even with compatible phones."
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"If you want a smart watch (which you DO or you'd be choosing a different, cheaper fitness tracker), its not so great due to the spotty bluetooth connection."
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"Take a bath and place my wrist 2 inches under water for more than a minute...re-pair (the bluetooth signal doesn't go through water well)."
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"Bluetooth is not new and it shouldn't be this hard to pair devices."
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"I love the notifications I get via bluetooth from my phone just as much as the steps, sleep and heart rate monitor."
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"I had a little trouble in the be gaming with the Bluetooth, but I called Garman they walked me through it and I have not had a problem with that sense."
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"I've also addressed one firmware update on the Vivosmart (v3.10) and app update (v2.12) with no problems syncing data over bluetooth before nor after updates."
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"It is normally not a problem but there are times when it would be nice for Bluetooth Low Energy support."
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Charging

Charging:
"Having used a Fitbitt Charge HR (my HR succumb to water immersion my fault ) my main attraction to Vivosmarts was that it was waterproof."
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"So even on a 2 day trip you have to bring the charging cable, not sure if this is because we are pretty active or what."
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"The Charge HR wrist-based heart rate was erratic, at best, and, many times didn't work at all."
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"This replaces a Fitbit Charge HR that failed after 3 days (Fitbit service's response to my e-mail was we'll get back to you in 2 or more days!"
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"The charging device is big and weird."
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"I hear good things about Garmin's Fenix 3 and the Fitbit Charge HR, I will be making the switch to one of those soon (Fenix 3 is pricey, but it's got GPS and a built-in heart rate monitor so I'm still torn on which to get).Anyway, hope this helps a few people out there make a better decision than I did."
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"I wear it with all my clothing (formal and casual and sports)I love so much the fact that I don't need to charge it everyday."
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"It was always between the FitBit Charge HR and the Garmin Vivosmart and I am very happy that I decided to go with the Vivosmart."
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")It would be nice if it would just commnicate with my PC without having to attach it to the usb charge cable, but that is really the only con."
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"The Charge HR wrist-based heart rate was erratic, at best, and, many times didn't work at all."
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Connection

Connection:
"Problems connecting to the app."
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"Pros: good battery life - about 5 days with blutooth and vibro on; i like messages notifications on the band, fully water proof, looks there is no screen display till its onCons: fonts are too small - difficult to read; garmin connect app is not user friendly, impossible to read screen under sun light (even under low sun bright) and finally the main issue for me: the way we wear it."
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"I take two stars away because its has serious bluetooth connectivity problems even with compatible phones."
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"I'm not sure if its the Garmin Connect app that's doing this or what, but it is a widespread problem that needs to be fixed."
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"If you want a smart watch (which you DO or you'd be choosing a different, cheaper fitness tracker), its not so great due to the spotty bluetooth connection."
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"The constant notifications whenever the connection was lost were annoying, but I just turn of the Bluetooth during the day and turn it on to sync a couple times a day."
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"My guess is this is software issue - it would be nice if device would approximate your HR rate while HR monitor connection is lost.2) It is a pain to setup and pair it with a computer."
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"The Band has work perfectly out the box paired with my iPhone 5S and the Garmin Connect app from day one."
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"Many of the fitness apps will read the data from the Vivosmart device so it isn't a huge deal except if you want to connect to a treadmill or bike that talks to a polar or other compatible HR monitor because this won't."
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"It keeps track well and has no trouble connecting."
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"But, the good thing is the Connect App provides configuration for The steps covered during running or Walking to re-tune these as per the individuals steps.4."
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Fitness

Fitness:
"Great compromise between a fitness band and a smart watch."
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"If you want this for calorie counting and phone notifications only this is a very good device for you, if you are into fitness and you want to keep with your HR this will get you in the frustrating zone."
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"* Calorie intake syncs with My Fitness Pal, works well* Notifications work very well, can even scroll through lines of text which is more than I expected* Heart rate monitor (optional) works wellCons* Disappointed that step count cannot be synced with My Fitness Pal at this time."
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"If you want a smart watch (which you DO or you'd be choosing a different, cheaper fitness tracker), its not so great due to the spotty bluetooth connection."
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"The fitness band has some nice features, but is really let down by the heart rate monitor."
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"Great compromise between a fitness band and a smart watch."
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"Blends smart watch and fitness band nicely."
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"Pros:Nice design, not too bulky on my small wristHeart rate monitor is much more accurate than with other fitness trackersBeing able to check my texts incoming calls is niceI like how it records my workoutsWorks great with MyFitnessPal appCons:My screen is permanently stained from bug spray!"
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"If you want this for calorie counting and phone notifications only this is a very good device for you, if you are into fitness and you want to keep with your HR this will get you in the frustrating zone."
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Monitoring

Monitoring:
"The heart rate monitor failed after only one work out."
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"I like this product but the battery and syncing with the heart monitor is a problem for me."
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"The heart rate monitor is a bit uncomfortable when you wear it when you want to monitor your heart rate during activities."
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"Not so good:The HR monitor works spottyNot constant syncing with my fitness palFrom what I read of other devices all these things have some improving to do."
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"Here is list of issues I had with this device:1) Major one: HR monitor stops working in the middle of the workout -it is so frustrating!"
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"Good deal with the heart monitor."
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"Good option amongst the many for monitoring one's personal health."
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"Definitely recommend the heart rate monitor bundle for any individuals who are serious about their workouts."
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"Pros:Nice design, not too bulky on my small wristHeart rate monitor is much more accurate than with other fitness trackersBeing able to check my texts incoming calls is niceI like how it records my workoutsWorks great with MyFitnessPal appCons:My screen is permanently stained from bug spray!"
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"Also really wish an accurate heart rate monitor was built in and not a separate device."
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Sleep

Sleep:
"After you purchase this item, you will find on the Garmin web page the following: ...The data and information provided by these devices is intended to be a close estimation of your activity but may not be completely accurate, including step, sleep, distance and calorie data."
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"The sleep analysis is pretty basic, not as good as the Fitbit app, but that is fine with me."
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"Although I get some problems tracking my sleep."
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"The downsides: I wish there was more information around quality of sleep - as well as having more information populate into IOS 8's Health App."
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"It has everything I want on it and I love being to see my heart rate, and track sleep."
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"I'm a petite woman and I love the fact that I can sleep with it, shower, do all my activities."
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"The app leaves a lot to be desired, but if you are like me and care only about steps and sleep tracking then it works well."
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"It doesn't automatically sense sleep mode which I heard that the Fitbit does, but you will have to put it into the sleep mode and that stops all notifications which is nice and only starts back again after you wake up and awaken your device as well."
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"Extremely easy to tell it that I am going to sleep, and it records a visual graph of activity vs. inactivity."
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Software

Software:
"three stars given the broken software; else it'd probably garner five stars."
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"The software is a clunky, not user friendly piece of crap."
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"The bad: Mediocre software and terrible bluetooth issues on Android."
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"The Vivosmart is an impressive piece of hardware but is unable to deliver on its promise due to failings in software design and performance."
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"BTW, that includes going through three UP bands for various manufacturing problems, and then watching UP completely blow a decent product with a terrible software upgrade."
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"I am an IT guy, but it took me good hour to get it working with my PC3) Android software: Even if you have a modern phone with Bluetooth 4.x and Android OS 4.4+ - there is very SLIM chance you will get Android software working with this device - pairing is a nightmare.4) If you don't get Android software working - the only option for you is to manually sync it with the computer every day through the connection cable."
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"My guess is this is software issue - it would be nice if device would approximate your HR rate while HR monitor connection is lost.2) It is a pain to setup and pair it with a computer."
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"The software is adequate and I have no problems with it."
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"I have an automatic watch and do not want to switch to Apple Watch this gives me what i need but:Improvements NEEDED:- multiple alarms- notifications to turn off while in sleep mode (or at least have the option in settings)If the next firmware software upgrade provides this it will be a 5 STAR reviewNice to have:- being able to customize notifications on iOS (as of now it is the same as you get on the phone)"
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"The charge works great but the software does not want to connect to the Garmin Express....keeps telling me Device is not found."
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Strap

Strap:
"Beware, the heart rate strap is ANT+."
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"Garmin please improve your strap and you will get 5 stars"
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"I had a Polar FT7 in the past with no problems at all with their strap."
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"No chest strap and pretty accurate heart rate."
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"I records steps taken very accurately and the chest strap heart rate monitor provides accurate readings during workouts."
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"The pedometer is accurate as it the HR monitor with the included chest strap."
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Sync

Sync:
"I like this product but the battery and syncing with the heart monitor is a problem for me."
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"Not so good:The HR monitor works spottyNot constant syncing with my fitness palFrom what I read of other devices all these things have some improving to do."
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"Doesn't sync that well."
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"There are syncing glitches now & then but overall this is better than all of the competition."
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"* Calorie intake syncs with My Fitness Pal, works well* Notifications work very well, can even scroll through lines of text which is more than I expected* Heart rate monitor (optional) works wellCons* Disappointed that step count cannot be synced with My Fitness Pal at this time."
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"I am frustrated with the sync function."
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"Other then those things I love the way it syncs with my phone and i can see messages on the bracelet."
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"Functions great, syncs easily to my phone and I hardly notice it's on... Until the plastic covering the label wore off and in the process caused a rash."
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"on a bright side:1) Love the battery life - it lasts for weeks2) Bracelet is very comfortable and durable3) Nice Garmin web portal and transparent syncing to MyFitnessPalI just returned this device to the store and got a brand new Fitbit Charge HR (which is $100 cheaper) - so far I like it."
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"Tracking your heart rate during workouts is messy and doesn't seem to sync well."
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"I've also addressed one firmware update on the Vivosmart (v3.10) and app update (v2.12) with no problems syncing data over bluetooth before nor after updates."
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Tracking

Tracking:
"Although I get some problems tracking my sleep."
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"I have heard that all activity trackers that are on the market as of today will do the same and therefore I have decided that an activity tracker will never be a product accurate enough for me since I drive for a living."
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"If you want a smart watch (which you DO or you'd be choosing a different, cheaper fitness tracker), its not so great due to the spotty bluetooth connection."
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"I found the bundle with heart rate band not very user friendly as compared to the ease using Shine tracker, I returned this produce however, but for some you may have better luck with GARMIN than I did."
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"I was so anxious to get this new tracker, only to be sadly disappointed."
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"I also thought that the find my phone option was great and wish all activity trackers had this feature."
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"Love the activity tracking of this device, especially the workout tracker."
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"If they fix the quality issues it would be a great smart fitness tracker."
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"I did a ton of research after I ran into a few issues and found out the Bodymedia FIT LINK are still the most accurate fitness trackers (and what all these new ones are attempting to copy... poorly I might add)."
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"All in all, I think it is pretty good for an activity tracker, especially with the HRM included, but it has some rough edges that could stand some polishing."
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