Garmin has simply launched its newest health tracker, the Vívosmart 5, a wearable made to cowl the fundamentals of sleep and exercise monitoring and ship cellphone notifications. It replaces the now 4-year-old vívosmart 4. However in 4 years’ time, the brand new tracker hasn’t advanced a lot from the final model, whereas competitors like Fitbit’s Cost 5 has made important leaps.
When Garmin launched the Vívosmart 4 in 2018, it had benefits like a then-rare blood oxygen sensor and Garmin’s typical suite of in-depth well being metrics that surpassed most opponents. Now, Fitbit’s equally priced Cost 5 health tracker has blood oxygen sensors, too, in addition to electrodermal sensors (for stress measuring), GPS, and the power to take ECG readings—all issues the brand new Vívosmart 5 lacks.
I spent a weekend sleeping, understanding, and monitoring my physique’s vitals with the Vívosmart 5 earlier than its official launch to get a fast take a look at the gadget and get an thought of whether or not Garmin’s in-depth knowledge and proprietary metrics might nonetheless make this a worthwhile purchase. As it’s a pre-release mannequin, there have been some recognized bugs however nothing that might stop us from getting a transparent image of its capabilities.
Slight bodily modifications
The Vívosmart 5 has the identical primary look because the 4. It’s a slim silicone health band with a small black-and-white OLED display. The band buckles collectively like a standard watch strap, simply as its predecessor did, besides now the bands are interchangeable by merely popping the tracker out. It appears seamless, and you could take it off your wrist to get the tracker out.
The display has grown by 66 %, however that hasn’t made it any bulkier. Even with a wider display, it’s nonetheless a slim gadget. Garmin additionally built-in a bodily house/again button under the display, the place a haptic one used to take a seat. The plastic button takes deliberate strain to depress, so I by no means had errant button pushes in my time with the gadget.
Animations on the display are easy, and the contact response is nice. It’s a small display, although, measuring about an inch lengthy and a half-inch huge. So, whereas menu widgets and textual content match positive, longer notifications, like emails or texts, require some scrolling. The display can match at most eight brief phrases at a time.
The Vívosmart 5 can monitor coronary heart charge, blood oxygen ranges, stress, and respiration charges all through the day and night time. There are 14 modes for exercise monitoring, together with HIIT, yoga, energy coaching, and breathwork, amongst others. Garmin additionally permits menstruation cycle monitoring throughout the companion app.
Each exercise and sleep monitoring knowledge trended near readings picked up on my Apple Watch Sequence 7 and Google Nest hub’s sleep detection. The Vívosmart’s coronary heart charge knowledge and associated calorie burns have been on monitor with the Apple Watch’s exercise readings, however the deeper analytics for which one may usually select a Garmin gadget aren’t there.
Because it’s a extra primary tracker, energy, coronary heart charge, and coronary heart charge zones are the one knowledge you’ll collect from actions. There’s no built-in GPS, so that you’ll have to hold your cellphone with you in case you’d like location knowledge logged on a run or cycle. And also you received’t discover analyses of your anaerobic and cardio positive factors as you’ll with extra sturdy Garmin wearables, just like the Forerunner lineup, as an example.
The Vívosmart does have Garmin’s Physique Battery metric, which helps you gauge your each day restoration and exertion, nevertheless it’s not as sturdy or prescriptive as Fitbit’s Each day Readiness characteristic. Versus merely portraying a zero to one hundred pc rating like Garmin, Fitbit additionally recommends particular exercises in your days, relying on if it thinks you should deal with intense, average, or recovery-centered exercise.
Fitbit costs $10 a month for this, together with different knowledge and content material, inside its Fitbit Premium subscription plan, although—a subscription mannequin Garmin has mentioned it received’t replicate, as an growing variety of wearable producers have additionally mentioned.