Fitness tracking and sportswatches have long been known to be thick, boldly coloured, rugged and rubber. They aren’t concerned with looking good, they’re supposed to be a companion for your adventures and training. Fitness is the number one priority.
Some people like sending the message to others that they are serious about sport. It’s like having a bumper sticker on your face. Well, your wrist. This approach isn’t for everyone, though. Some people prefer a more subtle approach and luckily the Garmin Vivomove Style is perfect for those types. It has all the wonder of a fitness tracker with the cleverness of a smartwatch.
Fitness watches tend to have a distinct look: Chunky, brightly colored, rubberized. You’re sending a message to the world that you make fitness a priority — or, at least, that you buy the stuff that makes fitness look like a priority.
The first thing you’ll notice is just how light the watch is. 35 grams when sporting a nylon band. It’s 42mm by 42mm and only 11.9mm thick. It looks like it would be heavier than what it is and what’s inside.
The case is aluminium and this helps the sleekness of it. There are a few variants of materials and bands depending on your colour preference. Although if you want something fancy, check out the Vivomove Luxe for higher-quality materials like rose gold, titanium and real gold.
The look is subtle. On the face you’ll notice a simplicity. You get a traditional analog face and very little gives away the fact that there are smart features baked in.
Truth be told, there’s a touchscreen. At the top and bottom of the face there are AMOLED displays for your selected data. They’re so subtle that you have to look hard to even distinguish them from the traditional face.
By moving your wrist to your face you’ll wake the screen to see the data fields. You’ve got the option to totally turn this off, keep it on during activity or simply, always-on.
With the displays on you’re able to swipe and see all the features on offer from the Style. This is where you remember you’re dealing with Garmin and they’re exceptional at what they do. The Style offers the typical Garmin tracking suite. Usual data like calories burned, the number of floors you’ve climbed, steps taken and your heart rate. Smart features such as notification delivery can be connected for Android and iPhone users.
Anyone who’s had a Garmin before might be pleased to see you still get Auto Goal; a feature that learns about your activity and sets a goal to challenge you.
You can monitor your sleep, body battery, stress level, water consumption and VO2 Max. Metrics that you don’t get as standard anywhere else and make being part of the Garmin ecosystem worthwhile.
The Style has a party trick, too! The watch hands move in a way that indicates your status within given heart rate zones or battery level. This isn’t something you will rely on, but it’s certainly a cool touch. It’s an interaction between the AMOLED and traditional elements on the face.
The AMOLED feature can be stunning on other Garmin models. On the Style, well that might be a subjective matter. The displays also do impact the battery a fair amount. Saying that, you get 4 days between charges and that’s assuming you work out every day and use fitness tracking and smart features.
The Style has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometric altimeter and Pulse Ox sensor. A shame is the lack of built-in GPS, but you can resolve this easily by letting it use your smartphone GPS location. You simply need to keep your phone close and keep the Garmin Connect app open. This gives you access to distance, speed and route tracking data.
If you’re into running, walking, swimming or biking, just make sure you have a means of keeping your phone close to your body.
Certainly, it’s worth it if you do. The Style does a wonderful job of tracking. It’ll even give your cadence an accurate estimate. If you’re a weight lifter it’ll monitor reps and swimmers can enjoy not having to mentally keep repeating how many laps they’ve done. Just a few examples, but essentially the sport modes are there. If you’re not too worried about granular information, you can rely on fairly accurate heart rate zones.
The Vivomove Style is a really subtle device that looks great. It’s so sleek it doesn’t even have any buttons getting in the way. The Garmin Connect app is really comprehensive so it’s wholly advised to keep your smartphone closeby so you get the most out of more in-depth metrics offered there.
Will it last?
Garmin watches are known for their ruggedness. There’s no reason the Vivomove Style would be any different so expect to have this for a goof 3-4 years.
Is there an alternative?
Check out the Fossil Hybrid. This is the closest comparable device. It has a similar ability to the Style, but not as many features. No touchscreen or bespoke AMOLED data fields.