Today, Garmin joins the ranks of companies such as Withings, Runtastic, Fossil who have released their own line of analogue activity tracking time pieces. The newly announced Vivomove series of watches are distinctively different from Garmin’s usual buffet of GPS or heart rate enabled tracking devices.
The move to produce no frills analogue activity tracking watches is perhaps Garmin’s strategy to reach those who are keen to commence activity tracking but aren’t too excited about sporty looking devices.
After all, while the Forerunner 235 looks great on the road and trail, it hardly suffices for a formal setting. The Fenix 3 HR on the other hand looks great for both workouts and boardroom but the huge bezel eliminates the interest of people with small wrists.
List of features:
- All day activity tracker. Tracks steps, sleep and distance
- Move bar and step progress bar
- Auto goal (Device learns your activity levels and auto assigns a step goal)
- Water resistant to 5 ATM
- 1 year battery life on coin cell battery
- Wireless sync with Garmin Connect mobile app
The Vivomove watches performs up to a year while running on a single user replaceable coin cell battery; taking away the hassle charging altogether.
A single red move bar and a step progress bar features prominently across the face of the Vivomove, the only indications that the device is an activity tracker.
The red bar fills up every 15 minutes until the user gets up and starts moving for a few minutes. The step counter only indicates 0, 50 or 100 % based on the step goal for the day.Watch bands are changeable and you can choose from Garmin’s custom bands or any 20mm wide watch straps you can get your hands on. The watches are rated up to 5 ATM and aside from the in built accelerometer and wireless syncing, are pretty much rudimentary compared to what Garmin’s flagship activity trackers are capable of doing.
If Garmin is keen to increase its market share or convert new users to its ecosystem, its mobile app platform has to shape up quickly. If you’ve used Garmin’s mobile platform, you’ll know that you can only “nominate” a single device as the main activity tracker even if you own multiple Garmin devices. So every time you switch devices, you’ll have to go through the hassle of nominating a new device as the activity tracker.
This is unlike Fitbit which allows the user to own multiple devices, wear any device on any day and still get the activity tracking synced right.
There are a total of 6 different designs of Vivomove activity tracking watches even though they are identical in functions. Prices range from $149.99 for a Black Sports Band version to $299.99 for a gold tone steel version with leather bands. Given the simplicity of the devices, I doubt we’d have to wait long for it’s availability.