This article is now so old that there are loads of other Vivofit devices you might like to know about. Why not have a read of my Vivofit 4 vs Vivofit 3 comparison, or learn about the Vivofit Jr range which are ideal for kids.
The same size, an identical weight, it tracks the same fitness metrics such as step count, BPM with an optional chest strap and almost mirrors the original in design. So with the announcement of a Garmin Vivofit 2, what has actually changed to warrant an upgrade to the activity tracker?
Indeed all of the original features of the first edition Garmin Vivofit can be found in this article. All features new, shiny and exclusive to the Vivofit 2 are reviewed below.
If you used last year’s edition of the Vivofit, you could feel a little left in the dark when it came to night time. The display was harder to read in dim lit conditions, so how on earth could you glance at your step count whilst you were having it large at a warehouse rave?
A welcome upgrade for the Garmin Vivofit 2, buyers are treated to a backlit display, which ensures you can keep tabs on all your fitness stats, no matter, what time of day.
According to Garmin specs, this hasn’t impacted the impressive 1 year battery life which is available on a coin watch battery.
Time spent trying to upload your data to Garmin Connect, is time you could be spending exercising. With the Vivofit 2, you can cut to the chase. As soon as you’re in range of your computer you can upload your activity data straight to your Garmin profile.
You’re not restricted to using a desktop PC or Mac either as with Bluetooth compatibility, you can use most iPhone or Android smartphones with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to upload your data without wires. Magic!
I loved the idea of the Garmin inactivity alert which was available in the first edition vivofit. Popping up after an hour of inactivity, this ‘red bar of shame’ would remind you to get your lazy derrière off the couch and walk around for a couple of minutes.
Now to add further humiliation to ones inactivity, the Vivofit 2 will beep at you. Yes this little bit of audio could push you over the edge whilst you binge on a Game of Thrones marathon; forcing you to pause the show, and move those legs.; no excuses if winter is coming.
To make it even easier to differentiate your fitness bouts from your casual A to B walks, the Vivofit 2 lets you turn on an activity mode. It’ll give you a stop clock which you can use to see how long you’ve been exercising for. That’s pretty useful for a spot of cardio if you plan to exercise for a set duration.
What’s more, once you upload your activity to Garmin Connect, your exercise session will be acknowledged as an actual activity.
Extra secure clasp
Wearers of the original Vivofit complained that the clasp to keep the strap tied to your wrist was too unstable. Garmin even handed out protectors to go around the strap to address this flaw.
Fortunately with the Vivofit 2, Garmin have designed a T-shape clasp which locks together with a 90 degree rotation. Less worrying about your Vivofit falling off your wrist, more focus into smashing out those press ups!
Greater range of colours
For an everyday tracker you want a design that’s fashionable to wear whether you’re in the gym or hanging out with your mates. Like with the original release, the Vivofit 2 activity tracker pops out of its strap and can be easily slotted into a range of coloured straps.
As an initial pack, Garmin have unveiled 5 trio packs of themed colour designs which can be bought from their site.
- Neutral bundle – Black, Slate, White
- Downtown bundle – Burgundy, Slate, Navy
- Active bundle – Red, Blue, Green
- Serenity bundle – Mint, Lilac, Cloud
- Energy – Canary, Pink, Violet
For a little more bling there’s a “style collection” made from leather and stainless steel.
Unfortunately, if you already own a Vivofit 1, you can’t just buy one of these new straps and slot it in; it just won’t fit. Damn marketers forcing you to upgrade in order to look good.
Vivofit 2 release date & price
Currently on Garmin both Vivofit range for the same price tag of £99 in the UK. I can imagine that once the Vivofit 2 launches in April we should see the original drop by at least 20%.
There’s also the option to purchase a Vivofit 2 with a chest strap for a little extra. Though I’m confident that any recent ANT+ Garmin Chest strap should be compatible; include ones from the Forerunner series.
Is the Vivofit 2 a better wearable for activity tracking?
Ultimately this is what it may boil down to. Here’s a quick summary of the above.
- Backlight makes it easier to see your fitness stats in dim conditions.
- The clasp is much more secure, so has less chance falling off during intense exercise.
- The beeper for inactivity alerts might encourage you to get moving.
- Activity timer makes it easier to segment your day on Garmin Connect.
- Fashionable straps for when you’re not exercising, could encourage you to wear it more frequently, collecting more fitness data throughout your daily routine.