Friday, November 6, 2015

Garmin Vivofit 2M Steps and Battery Change

Garmin Vivofit Review at 2,000,000+ Steps


I froze in horror when the Garmin Connect site said it was time to change the battery in my 18 month-old Garmin Vivofit. But, they provided a link to a simple, step-by-step video and the process only took a few minutes to complete. Now that it's fully recharged, here are my observations at the 2,000,000+ step milestone. 


Previous Posts: 

Garmin Vivofit 1000000 Steps
Garmin Vivofit 500000 Steps
Garmin Vivofit 400000 Steps
Garmin Vivofit First 300000 Steps

Garmin Vivofit on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

Good

In 18 months I have only removed the Vivofit in order to dress a turkey. Just couldn't see getting all of that "ick" on the band. Otherwise, it has been on my wrist nearly 24x7. That's why I was so hesitant to change the battery. Waterproof? Yep. Water park, swimming pool, dishes, yard work, showers, baths, hot tubs, wading across the river, it just works.

The RED "Move Bar" is motivating without being annoying. 

The Sleep functionality was the biggest surprise. Watching sleep cycles over days and weeks gave me insight into long work weeks, crash and burn weekends (12 hours in bed?!?) and the train schedule - tossing and turning at the exact some time every night when the train passes by.  


Bad

I went on a long summer vacation and did not sync prior to leaving. The Garmin Vivofit keeps about two weeks of data. When I got home... I had lost a couple weeks of data. You have to get in the habit of syncing every week, and need to make sure to sync prior to any long vacation. The ANT stick required for sync should probably be replaced by a simple Bluetooth connection. 

The Vivofit also does not like shopping carts. When pushing a cart around a grocery store the lack of arm swing (motion) does not trigger step counts. I've been pushing carts with my right hand, just to allow the Vivofit to swing properly. 


Ugly

The only "ugly" is that my model didn't have any heart rate monitoring features. Prices have fallen (a lot) and the basic pedometer functionality is just fine. But my MD was only a little supporting of my 1000 mile accomplishment. She said walking is just not enough. When I'm ready to upgrade I'll include heart-rate monitoring so I can demonstrate that yard work is aerobic exercise.      


The Bottom Line

If you need to get up off the couch and get started, the Garmin Vivofit at $50 is a good deal. It works as advertised, and provides enough subtle motivation to keep moving.  For the more active, the Vivofit doesn't do the all the things that a $250+ device can do... so look a bit higher in the feature and cost curve. 

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