Review of the Garmin VIVOfit

VIVOfit Fitness Band Review

I love reviewing all mobile technology gadgets. I love tech. I adore making life more mobile and less “heavy.” I like enjoying life and schlepping around less “stuff.”

Now, I often find that my technology fixation means I carry around a lot more than I used to… but I keep trying to lighten my load as I travel through life… while enjoying my high-tech habits, of course.

For quite some time, I’ve reviewed and tried and researched a number of fitness bands and smartwatches. I’ve not yet found one that has all the features I want. I’ve found several that I like, but they are all lacking something I really want… so far.

Verizon was kind enough to send me a VIVOFit to review, but I’m afraid they aren’t going to like my opinion of it. I hated it. I truly hated it. So I’m starting with the Con’s list first:

  • The band looks and feels cheap, absorbs odors, and caused an itchy irritation on my wrist.
  • It didn’t feel comfortable, I was always aware it was there and it annoyed me a lot.
  • I had fits trying to get it to sync up properly (and it kept dropping my connection).
  • There was no backlighting to be able to read the display.
  • The “sleep” feature was not automatic, so you have to remember to TELL it you are going to sleep (that simply doesn’t happen, since I never know exactly when I’m about to fall asleep).

On the Pro side:

  • It has an activity monitor that indicates when you have been still for too long.
  • It’s not as expensive as most fitness wrist-worn gadgets
  • It shows the time (unlike some of the more streamlined fitness bands)
  • It’s waterproof (yes, you can swim and shower in it!)
  • The battery lasts FOREVER!

Not having to take the band off to recharge it is a big plus, and I’m sure the lack of a back-light and the fact that it doesn’t monitor constantly to determine if you are sleeping helps with the longevity.

I never could determine if the measurement of steps was accurate, since it would fail to log them and then log some of my steps all at once, but then only later log the rest. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to when or how steps were logged.

When I stood very still for a long time to let it catch up, then took my steps and counted them off to myself, and then stood still for a long time to allow it to catch up, it appeared to be fairly accurate — most of the time — but it unnerved me.

I’m impatient, I want immediate feedback and this didn’t offer that.

So if you want a no-frills, less expensive fitness band that counts steps, urges you to get off your butt and move — and doesn’t have to be hooked up to charge all the time — this might be what you want. For me, it’s a no-go.