The Garmin vivomove is a good looking activity tracker that resembles an analog watch. I am always curious to try these kinds of trackers because I feel they fit better with day to day work activities. This is the main reason I wear a Withings Activite, and that's why I wanted to have a look at the new Garmin tracker.
As it happens it is indeed a good looking activity tracker. It is closer to a sport watch but the ability to swap wriststraps makes it easy to adapt to different social situations. Even though the one unit I received came with the black sport band you can find leather versions in both dark and light brown as well as black and white versions.
The main things being measured here are steps, activity and sleep. Even though this is an analog watch, you have a LCD bar on each side showing progress towards your daily steps goal and activity level. The activity level display increments every 15 minutes you are resting so that you know how long since the last time you walked or exercised.
The steps goal can be manually set or the watch will determine your best levels based on your ongoing activity.
The watch can track sleep but doesn't have an alarm, something I miss very much - both my Fitbit and Withings devices have this feature.
Synchronisation is a big problem here. The device is accurate and good looking but the mobile app is a letdown. Pushing the crown for three seconds put the watch discovery mode but the app continuously complain it can't complete the setup. It seems to find the watch and a progress bar moves but fails at about 75%. I tried this with three different smartphones and all of them eventually will pair, but it will take at least four or five attempts.
Sync itself is another thing. In theory you just have to push the crown for a second for it to start synchronising but it works one ouf two attempts for me. And then there constant "Vivomove has disconnected" messages - even when sync is not active every few minutes the app will fire a notification - with sound which cannot be disabled - saying that the watch has disconnected. Also the sync log shows errors when trying to upload the tracking data.
Where it excels though is battery life. Whereas your Fitbit might get five days battery and the Withings up to six months (if no alarm is used), the Garmin vivomove promises up to 12 months. A full year, and just using a standard CR20215 coin battery.
It's a nice watch, reliable and with great battery life but the lack of an alarm and unreliable sync let it down a bit.