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Garmin Vivosmart HR+ review: Raising the bar again

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £170
inc VAT (as of 7th of June)

If you're serious about fitness the Vivosmart HR+ is our Best Buy


Pedometer: Yes, Heart-rate monitor: Yes, Display: Yes (touchscreen), Battery life: 5 days without GPS usage 


Dumping the data

Just like all Garmin devices, the Vivosmart HR+ will sync with the Garmin Connect smartphone app and web portal. Garmin has been working hard to improve its app over the past year, and it’s a pretty decent example now.

For pure fitness tracker users, though, Garmin Connect isn’t quite as friendly and easy to use as offerings from Jawbone or Fitbit, but since the Vivosmart HR+ is much more than a fitness tracker, it pairs quite beautifully with Garmin Connect.

The main summary screen highlights the number of steps you’ve taken and how long you slept the night before. You’ll also find estimates of how far you’ve travelled, the calories you’ve burned, the calories you’ve consumed and how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed – pretty much all the data you’d want from a fitness tracker.

But given the GPS credentials of the Vivosmart HR+ you’re going to be just as interested in your activity diary, which will allow you to analyse data from each run or bike ride, examining your speed, pace and heart rate throughout all your activities.

You can pair Garmin Connect with MyFitnessPal, which will then import your food diary and export your activity – this gives you a dynamic reading of calories consumed vs. calories burned, which is extremely useful if you’re trying to drop a few kilos.

You can also pair Garmin Connect with Strava, which will allow you to export all those runs and bike rides and share them with your buddies. The great thing about exporting your activities to Strava is that you can share with other friends who aren’t Garmin users.


Despite setting the bar so high in the fitness tracker sector, Garmin has managed to raise it even higher. The Vivosmart HR+ does everything that the standard Vivosmart HR does with the added bonus of built-in GPS functionality.

There’s no doubt that this is the best fitness tracker you can buy, but the question you need to ask yourself is whether you need it. For many, even the standard Vivosmart HR is overkill, so the Vivosmart HR+ will definitely be more than they need.

And then there’s the price – with an RRP of £170 this is one of the most expensive fitness trackers available, but it’s also the most fully featured. In fact, the Vivosmart HR+ completely negates the need for a GPS running watch, essentially doing the job of two fitness tech devices.

Put simply, this isn’t a device for beginners or casual users. If you’re just looking for something to log your steps and pair with your food diary app there are far cheaper options out there – we like the Fitbit Alta. But if you’re serious about your fitness and want to measure all your daily activity accurately and run regularly, you’d be hard pushed to find a better option than the Garmin Vivosmart HR+. Buy Now from Amazon.

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Wearing modesWrist
Heart-rate monitorYes
DisplayYes (touchscreen)
Smartphone connection
OS supportiOS 8.0 or later, Android 4.0 or later, Windows 10
WirelessBluetooth, ANT+
Battery sizeN/A
Battery life5 days without GPS usage
Buying information
Price including VAT£170
WarrantyOne year RTB

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