Garmin has just released the new vívosmart 5, an updated version four years in the making. It was eight years ago that Garmin released the first vívosmart, followed with three more iterations over the next four years. Ending this vívosmart drought, the 5 is noticably different.
Garmin vívosmart, introduced in 2014, was the first activity tracker to keep users connected with smart phone notifications. That cornerstone feature is still there, plus a lot more.
Garmin vívosmart 5 specs
|Touchscreen Display Size||0.41″ x 0.73″ (10.5 mm x 18.5 mm)|
|OLED Display Resolution||88 x 154 pixels|
|Battery Life||up to 7 days (excluding pulse ox sleep tracking)|
|Memory/History||7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data|
|Health Monitoring||Constant heart rate|
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation
|Smart Features||Bluetooth and ANT+|
Sync with Garmin Connect Mobile
|Fitness Tracking||Step counter|
Gym activity profiles, inc. rep counting
Heart rate zones
Heart rate alerts
Right away, you notice the vívosmart 5 is bigger than its predecessors and has a new, screen-embedded button. Garmin also moved away from the unibody design, and users can switch out bands.
Garmin vívosmart 5 review roundup
After the rapid-fire releases of the first four vívosmart versions, does the 5 deliver as a worth-the-wait update?
If there’s one thing that Garmin seems to understand better than other wearables companies, it’s that athletes like buttons… The button works and is slightly raised from the display, making it easy to find by feel. Likewise, I’ve found the touchscreen to be much more sensitive and easy to use. I still have to put the Vivosmart 5 through its paces, but so far, this is a marked improvement to the Vivosmart line’s biggest issue.
One downside to the Vivosmart 5’s fitness options is that some of the customization needs to be done from the Garmin Connect app, rather than from the tracker itself. Even as someone who’s tested many Garmins, I often get confused about where to find particular options when I’m using the Vivosmart 5.
… this is a tricky device that maybe shouldn’t have happened. While there are certainly numerous improvements that easily make it better on the whole than the Vivosmart 4, one would also hope that was the case four years later … The pricing on this simply doesn’t match the market realities.
The Garmin Vivosmart 5 takes the Vivosmart 4 and adds a bunch of new features. There is one exception though, for some reason, Garmin has removed the barometric altimeter, which means there is now no stair tracking… Overall, there are not a lot of changes, nothing to justify an upgrade, in my opinion.