The original Garmin Vivoactive is an excellent multi-sport GPS watch and one of our top Garmin picks. Perhaps the main criticism is that its simple, boxy design doesn’t match up with its fitness and outdoor features. That problem has been solved with the upcoming Vivoactive HR which introduces a sleek new design and also adds a wrist-based heart rate monitor.
The Vivoactive HR has a form factor that resembles a larger and wider fitness tracker. The display is now smoothly aligned with the bands, giving it a sportier and more active look than the original. The color LCD display is now longer than it is wide at 148 x 205 pixels (versus the Vivoactive’s 205 x 148 display). The Vivoactive HR is available in two sizes, regular which fits 5.39″ to 7.68″ wrists and extra-large which fits 6.38″ to 8.86″ wrists.
Like its predecessor, the Vivoactive HR has a touchscreen, is water-resistant to 50 meters, and has GPS and GLONASS support. It has comprehensive fitness tracking features with apps for running, walking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, paddling, and swimming. It can download course maps and measure shot distance and yardage for golfing. The integrated accelerometer measures distance for indoor workouts. The Vivoactive HR also provides all-day activity tracking and sleep monitoring. 24/7 monitoring is available with the built in heart rate monitor and eliminates the need for a separate chest strap monitor. The Vivoactive HR also links up to your smartphone via Bluetooth to provide call, messaging, and social media alerts and to control music playback.
Features that are exclusive to the Vivoactive HR over the original include a barometric altimeter and an electronic compass which are useful sensors for outdoor trekking.
Battery life is up to 8 days in smartwatch mode (with 24/7 heart rate monitoring on and GPS off), and up to 13 hours in GPS mode. Weight is 47.6 grams for regular and 48.2 grams for extra-large, which isn’t much more than the original’s 38.0 grams.
The Vivoactive HR has a list price of $249.99.