Not a bunch of happy campers.
Appears that the latest version of the APP, on both Android and Apple, had major issues.
The new ‘Versa 2‘ also appears to have had issues.
Folks are not amused.
With luck I might get a ‘Versa 2’ to evaluate at the end of this week. I will be able to get a better feel then.
Garmin’s ‘Vivomove Luxe/3’ & Vivosmart 4 Now Get ‘Connected GPS’ — Provided You Have Your Smartphone Handy.
Click Images to Enlarge.
All images from garmin.com
What I find here is that these watches did NOT have ‘Connected GPS’ from the get-go.
I have only ever bought Garmin, Fitbit or Amazfit watches with GPS so I have never required ‘Connected GPShttps://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/fitness/connected-gps-now-on-vivosmart-4/‘.
I know that it has been available with Fitbit for a number of years. I have heard people talk about it. Thus, I had just assumed (incorrectly, of course) that Garmin must also have this capability by default.
The ‘Vivosmart’ is a $130 band. I can just about fathom why it doesn’t have GPS. For $40 more, you can get a ‘Vivosport‘, with GPS and a color display. That is what I got my wife.
The hybride ‘Vivomove’ with fixed hands and hidden color touchscreen is a $350 to $550 watch. You would think Garmin would offer GPS — maybe even as a $50 option. Guess not.
I love GPS on my watch. I use GPS, near daily, if I am doing a serious walk/run or hike. I do it to get (hopefully) a better distance measurement, i.e., GPS rather than accelerometer and gyroscope. Yes, GPS still leaves much to be desired, especially if you double back on yourself or walk in circles. But, I convince myself that the milage it shows is within +/- 5%. Yes, I have tested distnace with multiple watches (given that I have had at least 12 over the last 2-years) and vehicles.
Using the phone GPS is not the same. Yikes. I feel bad.
Very frustrating. And I am a Garmin shareholder to boot. Yikes.
Click Images to Display.
All images from garmin.com
I had given you a head-up on the Venu a few weeks ago, but I had no idea what the specs were going to be. Now, we know.
It, other than in terms of physical size/weight, DISPLAY TYPE and battery life, is IDENTICAL to the also new Vivocative 4 — albeit the Venu $50 more expensive. See 2nd image above, from Garmin, when you do their COMPARE and ask just for the ‘differences’.
The BIG breakthrough is the AMOLED touchscreen display with a 390×390 resolution, a full 50% higher resolution than on other recent Garmins, including the new Fenix 6. That is BIG. Wow. A 50% increase in screen resolution. The watch face is Garmin’s ‘old’ 1.2″ standard (as in say Fenix 5 Plus) rather than the new 1.3″ as in Fenix 6 & VA4. Also 20mm strap, as in Fenix ‘S’ models rather than the 22mm strap.
I gather, however, that this takes a heavy toll on battery life and it is difficult to keep it in ‘Always On’ mode. Garmin’s stated battery life (above) would indicate (to I) about a 24-hour battery life with 3-4 hours of music and 1.5 hours of GPS. I could just about get by with that, but it would be frustrating.
Garmin has added a LOT of high-end functionality into the Venu & Vivoactive 4: viz., Pulse Ox, Body Battery, respiration tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, music, Garmin Pay, fall detection etc. So, that is a LOT of smartwatch for the $399 price. Much better than anything that Fitbit offers — from what I can see. I am glad. I am a longtime Garmin shareholder. SMILE.
While the Vivoactive 4 is available now, the Venu is slated for Garmin’s infamous 5-8 weeks. That is not good. I will keep an eye on that for you.
I have had 12 Fitness Trackers In The Last 2-Years.
I fully appreciate the dynamics and physics. I am NOT new to this and as you can see above I have been LUCKY enough to have(/evaluate) 12 decent (one could even say ‘high-end’) activity trackers over the last year, spanning Garmin, Fitbit, Polar and Amazfit. And I will say upfront: ‘in my opinion Garmin, especially with the likes of the Fenix 5 (Plus) is better at counting steps than a Fitbit’. But, that is kind of old news.
My wife wears a Garmin Vivosport. She has the same questions. How much of the step count is phantom?
It is inevitable. The accelerometer has to measure arm movements. It has no idea I am in the shower and standing still. It thinks I am walking. And then there was the 6-weeks when I was on crutches! Never counted my labored steps, and I was walking more than most — on the crutches — because my left hand wasn’t moving enough! Again, I understand. Just frustrating.
Why it always happens in the shower these days has to do with my latest ‘schedule’ of the last two-months. As I continue to recover from my knee surgery I have upped the mileage on my morning walk/run from ~3.5 miles to 4+ miles — always with GPS on. Given that a GPS mile equates to about 2,400 steps I am at about 9,700 — 9,800 steps when I get home. Then I get in the shower. Then I hit my GOAL. Bingo.
I did some EXTENSIVE step count record keeping with the Fitbit Inspire HR. With brushing teeth and showering I was clocking up around 400 steps in the bathroom. So, Garmin isn’t doing too bad.
Yes, I walk more than 10,000 steps MOST days. In the days I do, I am in excess of 14,000. So, the 10,000 is not my max. I also realize and tell people that what counts is the trend. Doing the same number of (or more) steps each day.
But, wanted to share this because it has got so rote — having the Garmin do its ‘GOAL’ celebration while I shower.
Oh, I average 41 floors count a day. I go past the 10 floor goal every day (as long as I am not on crutches). I usually hit that goal in the first 30-minutes of my walk/run because I live on the side of a ‘mountain’ and can’t go in any direction without doing some major elevation changes.
Garmin’s Fitness sector is doing well (thanks to all the new models of late), while Fitbit’s smartwatch sales are down 27%.
Good for Garmin. They just need to stay focused and RAMP UP their customer support.
As a BIG Garmin customer, shareholder and booster I am happy. SMILE.