Differences between Garmin Vivoactive and Vivoactive HR

From the original Garmin Vivoactive to the new Vivoactive HR, there has been quite a bit of change. So how do they compare side by side?

If you know anything about wearables then you’ve already spotted the HR which stands for Heart Rate. This is the main feature that has been added onto the Vivoactive HR. With 24/7 continuous monitoring of your heart rate, the Vivoactive HR can now give you a lot clearer picture for your body’s condition when exercising and throughout the day in general. Before, with the Vivoactive, you could add heart rate monitoring with a strap you put around your chest. However, it is better to have it on the actual watch for convenience sake.

Changes in design and battery life

The next difference will be in the design. The Vivoactive had a square touchscreen. With the HR we now see a taller screen, which then connects to the strap more seamlessly compared to the Vivoactive. There is also only black color available for the new HR, while the Vivoactive has a lot more options with black, white and slate (limited edition). The HR only adds 10 grams to the weight of the unit, which is now 47.6 grams.

Battery life has suffered with the HR - you only get eight days of battery life compared to the three weeks of the HR-less version. Yet somehow, in GPS mode the HR manages to gain an extra 3 hours for 13 continuous hours before having to charge again.

More sports and functionality

The Garmin HR has also added a few more sports to its functionality, so along with Swimming, Running, Cycling and Golfing you can now track Skiing, Snowboarding, Paddle Boarding and Rowing. All those activities are supported by the new HR.

An electronic compass has been put inside the Vivoactive HR. So now the Running and Golfing apps offer a little bit more functionality. If running, you can set waypoints and locations and the compass will help you get there. Or with the Golf, a feature called PinPointer uses the compass to face you in the right direction for the green.

What about the price?

You might be thinking this must come at a steep price, with all this new functionality for the Garming Vivoactive HR? Not so much! As of right now the Vivoactive is at $220 with the Vivoactive HR at $250. In my opinion, the extra $30 is well worth the money, as you get everything the old Vivoactive had but with a better design and more features.


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