Garmin Vivofit 2 Review

A fitness tracker with the standards features plus an amazing battery.

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Product Description:

Get up and get moving with Garmin Vívofit 2. Garmin has the only activity or fitness trackers that come with a 1+ year battery life and backlit display. The vivofit 2 even reminds you to stay active throughout your day with its move bar with audible alert that lets you know when you’ve been idle for an hour or longer.

Feature Table:

Time
Steps, Distance, Calories, Personalized Daily Goals
Move Bar Audible alerts, vibrating alerts on phone
Sleep Monitoring
Heart Rate Compatible
Garmin Connect
Wireless Syncing
Auto Syncing
Activity Timer
Backlit display
Battery Life 1+ Year

Common Questions:

What comes in the box with the Garmin Vivofit 2?

The Garmin Vivofit 2 comes with the fitness tracker itself with both a large and small band. You’ll also get a USB ANT stick and documentation. There are multiple packages or editions of this product which are of various prices, and some do come with additional stuff like the heart rate monitor.

What colors does the Garmin Vivofit 2 come in?

Black, White, Navy, Pink, and Red are the standard colors. You can get replacement bands for additional colors including cloud, mint, lilac, burgundy, canary yellow, slate, green, and various Jonathan Adler designs. Check Amazon for availability.

When it says the Garmin Vivofit 2 battery life is 1+ year, what does that mean?

It actually does mean that the Garmin Vivofit 2 needs to only be charged once per year.  Amazing, right? Garmin made a lot of design choices to make this thing use as little power as possible.  Some people say the LCD screen looks like “frosted plastic.”

Does the Garmin connect to some kind of program or app?

Yes, Garmin’s program is called “Garmin Connect” and can be run on the computer or mobile devices as an app. Garmin Connect is free to join and use, although you will need a Garmin device.

What is the difference between the Garmin Vivofit and the Garmin Vivofit 2?

The Vivofit 2 is the newer edition. It has a backlight display so you can read your device in the dark. The Vivofit 2 has autosyncing, meaning that it will sync with your device (computer or mobile) as soon as it is within range (20 feet).  This can save you the time of syncing it manually. The Vivofit 2 also has an activity timer. The way this works is you enter “activity mode” and your time from that point on is counted as exercising time. You then get more detailed stats in the Garmin Connect program. All this added functionality comes for a slightly higher price.

How long does the Garmin Vivofit 2 backlight stay on?

It stays on for about 4 seconds. You then have to hit the button again. This is really only noticeable in the dark.

Does the Garmin Vivofit 2 have an activity reminder?

Yes, the Vivofit 2 has the movebar that the first Vivofit also had. The bar builds up each 15 minutes and then has a gentle alert after one hour. You reset the move bar by moving. You also can set up your compatible phone device to vibrate rather than having the beep, which is good for being more discrete.

How do the personalized goals for the Garmin Vivofit 2 work?

The Vivofit 2 tracks your daily fitness and automatically sets goals. It then slightly adjusts them so that you are working towards a healthier lifestyle. You can view your progress and see the badges you’ve earned at Garmin Connect, the Garmin online community.

What is the difference between the Garmin Vivofit 2 and the Garmin Vivosmart?

The Vivosmart has added features like a touchscreen, smart notifications, vibration alerts, find my phone functionality, and more. It is a skinnier band as well. The battery in the Vivosmart only lasts 7 days, whereas the Vivofit 2 lasts for a year. The Vivosmart is also quite a bit more expensive then the Vivofit 2. Find out more in our Garmin Vivo Comparison.

What Others Are Saying:

Dan Graziano, CNET:  “The always-on display and long battery life make the Garmin Vivofit 2 an appealing alternative to the Jawbone Up2 and Fitbit Charge.”

Paul Lamkin, Wareable:  “The Garmin Vivofit 2 essentially addresses a couple of the minor quibbles of the original – most notably the lack of a backlight and the unreliable strap – but fails to sort out our main problem its predecessor: buggy syncing. Sure, the auto-sync option makes it a touch simpler, when it works, but the amount of times you have to connect and reconnect, and the amount of times the app simply says “disconnecting” is frustrating at best, unusable at worst. Syncing-worries aside though and the Vivofit 2 is a competent, reliable-when-it-comes-to-tracking, fitness tracker, with a great battery life, decent design and affordable price-tag that, while maybe not different enough to warrant an upgrade from the original, certainly is a device first time wearable buyers might want to consider.”

Valentina Palladino, Tom’s Guide:  “The Garmin Vivofit 2 is an excellent fitness tracker for monitoring steps, distance and sleep, and chic wristband options let you wear it as a watch.”

Review:

The Garmin Vivofit 2 is the new version of the old Garmin Vivofit. New additions include a backlight to the display so that you can see it in dark or shaded areas. They also added auto-syncing, your device will now sync with your computer or mobile device as soon as it is within the 20 foot range. The Vivofit 2 also has an activity timer. The way this works is you enter “activity mode” and your time from that point on is counted as exercising time. You then get more detailed stats in the Garmin Connect program. All this added functionality comes for a slightly higher price.

The negatives are the same as they were for the Vivofit. There are no 3rd party apps, the Garmin app isn’t that good, and the heart rate monitor is an extra addon instead of being built in. This still is a great device that is cheaper than a lot of their competitors yet still full of features, functional, and best of all it is only slighlty more expensive than the Vivofit. If you are considering the Vivofit, just get the Vivofit 2 instead. This is a really good fitness tracker and you can keep it on for an entire year. It is even waterproof to 50 meters so you can wear it in the shower or even the pool.

Garmin Vivofit 2

Garmin Vivofit 2
8.5

Good

9/10

    Pros

    • Amazing battery life of 1+ year
    • Backlit display is a big upgrade

    Cons

    • No 3rd party apps
    • Heart rate monitor not built in