Garmin vivomove HR Sport Watch Review

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Quick Overview



  • Versatile
  • Industry-standard 20mm bands compatible
  • Lightweight build
  • Customizable data pages


  • Not inexpensive
  • Tracking accuracy is not stellar
  • Display quality affected by intense sunlight

When it comes to smartwatches, Garmin has managed to be one of the most recognizable brands.

In addition to watches, the company is also known for its GPS units.

Garmin is almost synonymous with fitness trackers, thanks to the success of its vivosmart, vivosport, and vivoactive series.

Released in 2016, vivomove has also been a staple for fitness enthusiasts for its classic style and long battery life.

Fast-forward to today, subsequent models associated with the vivomove are available.

Hence, this Garmin vivomove HR Sport Watch review to help you decide if it’s perfect for you.

Garmin vivomove HR Sport Watch Review

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Introduced in 2017, the Garmin vivomove HR is marketed as a hybrid watch that features fitness-tracking elements with traditional wristwatch aesthetics.

It is one of the first follow-ups to the original vivomove released a year earlier.

Since its initial release, Garmin designed seven different color options for the HR Sport to appeal to as many potential purchasers as possible.

Despite the years past since vivomove HR was made available, it continues to be one of the most featured offerings by the brand.

It is currently available in two versions, the HR Sport and the HR Premium.

Who Is This HR Sport Watch For?

vivomove watches generally feature a conventional wristwatch design, and this model is no exception.

The reason for this choice is to appeal to those who prefer the classic aesthetic elements that most smartwatches lack.

As such, the vivomove HR Sport is primarily aimed at wearers who want to maintain an old-fashioned styled watch with some essential fitness tracking functions.

What’s Included?

For the HR Sport and many HR Premium versions, you will get the actual fitness watch, charging cable, and documentation.

If you opt for the colorways gold with light brown leather band or silver with dark brown leather band, you’ll also receive an extra silicone band.

This unboxing video shows visual details on what to expect once you purchase it, with instructions on setting up the vivomove HR.

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Overview of Features

In today’s fast-paced tech innovations, it’s impressive that a gadget could sustain market availability for years after its release.

That’s exactly what the Garmin vivomove HR achieved, as it has stayed available despite the multitude of new releases that feature superior qualities.

Let’s explore the most notable aspects of this smartwatch and find out what makes it a viable addition to your ensemble of accessories.

  • Fitness and Health Tracking

As a hybrid smartwatch, the vivomove HR has bodily function tracking capabilities to help you achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Heart rate monitoring is arguably the most common feature in smartwatches, and it’s no surprise that this Garmin watch has it.

You’re able to have a VO2 max estimate once you activate this function.

In case you’re not aware, VO2 max is the aerobic performance capacity and cardiorespiratory fitness’ defining measure.

Gym activity profiles like strength training and cardio are included, with automatic rep counting.

All-day stress tracking is available to assist you in identifying if you have a calm, balanced, or stressful day.

Once the watch notifies you of an elevated stress level, you have to take a break from the activity that’s causing it.

If you don’t have the means to tap out for a bit, the relaxation timer is installed to help you lower the stress via a deep breathing exercise.

Advanced sleep monitoring assists in calculating your sleeping hours and the time spent on each sleep stage.

The vivomove HR uses the data derived from your heart rate and other results to estimate how much time is spent on light, deep, and REM sleep stages.

  • Move IQ

The Garmin vivomove HR has a Move IQ feature, which eliminates manual action for starting a cardio activity like walking or running.

This capability is hugely convenient for those who are always on the go and preoccupied with other tasks.

It’s easy to forget to start your activity timer when you’re rushing to work or catching up with friends who are doing the same exercise.

As such, the Move IQ lets you have the peace of mind that all your walking and running every day are adequately recorded for later review.

  • Smartwatch Functions

Like a typical smartwatch, the vivomove HR Sport lets you see notifications like calls, text messages, and reminders on your smartphone.

You can use the vibrate functionality for such notifications.

You’re able to alter the music playing on your phone via the watch with its responsive and intuitive controls.

  • Design

As mentioned earlier, the Garmin vivomove HR Sport has a classic look reminiscent of a traditional analog watch.

At first glance, most can mistake it for a typical timepiece due to the clock face and the leather strap.

If the default screen isn’t working for you, customizing the display into a different style is possible.

As such, matching this hybrid smartwatch with your outfit is not going to be too much challenging.

  • Water-Resistant

The Garmin vivomove HR Sport has a 5 ATM water rating, so it can withstand pressures up to a depth of about 50 meters.

Considering this level of resistance, you can wear the watch while showering and swimming.

While other smartwatches are designed with a higher water rating, it’s still convenient, especially if you accidentally dropped it in a shallow body of water.

  • Battery Life

If you’re always outdoors most of the week and have little time to spend at home, the vivomove HR is a great companion.

It exhibits a battery life that can last up to five days in a single, full charge during smartwatch mode.

When on watch mode only, two weeks is its limit.

Not exactly a ground-breaking battery life capacity by any stretch, as it’s in line with other notable smartwatches of today.

Still, having a potential two-week, watch-only mode could be handy when you’re traveling and not worried about your fitness tracking.

  • Garmin Connect

Syncing your activities to Garmin Connect has a purpose other than collecting and saving your data.

This online feature is a dynamic community where vivomove HR Sport and other Garmin wearers can connect. 

Sharing progress, participating in challenges, support each other’s accomplishments, and even broadcast victories via social media.

The best part is Garmin Connect is a free service accessible through the web or on smartphones via the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

How To Get the Most Out of It

Since it’s compatible with industry-standard 20mm quick-release straps, be playful with your looks by changing the stock band.

While it has multiple fitness functions, it would be advisable to utilize the vivomove HR Sport more as a timepiece.

You can get other fitness trackers in the same price range with better tracking capabilities and dynamic features than what this model currently offers.

Still, this Garmin hybrid smartwatch provides you convenience in style with qualities such as control for the music player and a second screen for your notifications.


Considering the Garmin watch’s overall features and its benefits and limitations, several watches have similar qualities to the vivomove HR Sport.

After careful comparison of various models, we picked the Withings ScanWatch as the best alternative.

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Withings ScanWatch

Similar to the vivomove HR watches, this smartwatch exhibits a classic, premium design.

Besides that, however, the Withings ScanWatch has some notable advantages that give it an edge over this Garmin product.

  • Design

Aesthetic-wise, the Scanwatch looks more traditional.

The most noticeable difference is mainly because it features a crown, which our featured watch lacks.

Currently, its color options are essentially different variations of black and white.

For the fashion aspect, this Withings watch could be more versatile because of such colors used.

  • Functionality

This watch also offers a diverse set of fitness tracking functions.

ScanWatch can take a medical-grade ECG and identify indications of atrial fibrillation, a kind of arrhythmia.

The ECG readings recorded may be readily shared with your medical professional via the Health Mate app.

This smartwatch has a medical-grade SpO2 sensor with proprietary multi-wavelength technology.

With this sensor, you’re able to record blood oxygen levels from your wrist in about 30 seconds.

Compared to the limited gym modes on vivomove HR Sport, this model offers 30 sports modes.

Regardless of which version you prefer, the watch displays the length of your workout and continually tracks your heart rate and activity.

  • Battery Life

The Withings ScanWatch also has superior battery life.

The vivomove HR and most smartwatches cannot compete when it comes to battery life as this timepiece can last up to 30 days.

Matching even half of that is challenging by itself, which speaks to the quality of the Withings ScanWatch.

To give it a bit of context, the Apple Watch Series 5 could last up to 18 hours, and the Fitbit Flex 2 can last up to five days.

With this capacity, you may even forget at times that this is not a conventional analog watch.

  • Notifications

Smart notifications are more customizable for the ScanWatch.

While the Garmin vivomove HR Sport may have some limitations on the apps, it can display on its OLED, this watch doesn’t.

ScanWatch will vibrate and provide a preview of your alerts and reminders for any app installed on your device.

Besides the touchscreen display, you can also use the digital crown to browse through the notification preview.

  • Brightness

If you’re looking for a brighter screen, this smartwatch from Withings could be the best choice.

The watch features a resolution that exceeds 9000 pixels with 260 nits.

Compared to the vivomove HR Sport’s 64 x 128 pixels, the disparity is significantly evident.

  • Glass

The ScanWatch arguably features a higher quality glass.

Garmin describes the lens for the vivomove HR Sport as a chemically strengthened glass.

It might sound vague and general for some, which is the opposite of the Withings Scanwatch.

Premium sapphire glass is utilized for its outstanding qualities, such as durability and scratch-resistance properties.

Given these superior features, it’s worth mentioning that the vivomove HR Sport is cheaper than the Scanwatch.

Is This Watch a Worthy Purchase?

The hybrid label that Garmin vivomove HR Sport has is its shortest, most accurate description.

Traditional aesthetic mixed with tech features, it’s certain to deliver both aspects. 

However, design is probably its more appealing asset as the tech bells and whistles could be a lot better.

As our verdict based on this Garmin vivomove HR Sport Watch review, if you’re on the fence about making the jump from analog to the smartwatch, the Garmin vivomove HR Sport is a good choice.

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