The Garmin Vívomove Isn’t a Smartwatch. It’s a Smarter Watch
Fitting an activity tracker and a watch on your wrist can be an awkward exercise; you’ve only got so much wrist to go around. Smartwatches come with headaches of their own. Stashing sensors inside a watch that looks otherwise normal? Now we’re talking. Specifically, in this case, we’re talking about the Garmin Vívomove.
The Vívomove may not be the first activity tracker to masquerade as an everyday analog watch, nor is it the first to include an accent mark in its name—the Withings Activité beat it to both punches. But that’s OK! Fashionable watches that count steps are a logical form factor towards which activity trackers could evolve, but for that to work we need them in as many shapes, sizes, and faces as possible. A smarter watch should be attainable without sacrificing personal style. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Vívomove allows for some of that personalization all on its own. There are five available case finishes—black, white, stainless steel, gold-tone, and of course rose gold, rose gold all of the things—along with a variety of straps. Depending on your preference, you’ll pay anywhere from $150 to $300, plus $30 to $60 for extra bands.
That adds up to a decent chunk of change, but even at the high end it’s not that much more than you’d pay for a comparable watch that only counted its own tick-tocks instead of yours as well. At the low end, it’ll cost you significantly less than a Fitbit Surge, and about the same as Garmin’s own chunky-wristband Vívosmart HR.
And here’s the other thing: Garmin makes really good activity trackers. The Vívosmart and Vívofit have long been among our favorites. Its previous stab at a watch-like design, the Vívoactive, suffered from trying to look like an Apple Watch while still acting like a Fitbit. But transfer some of those same smarts over to a stylish analog package, and you’ve got yourself something special. Or at least, something that won’t attract the wrong kind of attention.
A Different Spin
The Vívomove isn’t the most feature-packed activity tracker; there’s no heart-rate monitor here. It basically keeps tabs on your steps and how you slept, and bugs you when you’ve been inactive too long. Even that, though, it does in a refreshing way. A bar on the left side of the watchface unobtrusively fills up as you approach your goal, while another on the right lets you know when you’ve been inactive too long. It’s the proverbial angel and devil on your shoulder, except on your wrist, and fighting over your fitness levels. It’s also water-resistant enough to withstand the shower or a swim (although watch it with that leather band, chief), and syncs with Garmin software for keeping more granular tabs on your moves.
The best part about the Vívomove move, though, is that even if it’s not to your taste, it’s probably to someone’s. Watches don’t need to be fully “smart” to be useful, or try to fit some digitally driven aesthetic. They can be the watches we already wear and love—just a little more observant.
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