236531 Garmin Vivomove Trend VSong 0005

Garmin Vivomove Development overview: trending smarter

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2023-02-18 16:00:00

I had excessive expectations once I first strapped on the Garmin Vivomove Development — and I’ve by no means felt that method a couple of Garmin hybrid smartwatch. Because the identify suggests, hybrids mash collectively the look of an analog watch (together with actual fingers!) with the smarts of a health tracker. The factor is, whereas Garmin’s earlier hybrids had been beautiful, they had been method too costly. However final yr’s wonderful Vivomove Sport bucked that pattern. The entry-level Sport was the primary time I really felt that Garmin bought the correct mix of type and performance. It was cute, fairly priced, and hit all the best notes for a fundamental health tracker. The Development (beginning at $269.99, $299 as examined) was both going to maintain that momentum going or slide again into previous habits.

After about two weeks with the Vivomove Development, I’m inclined to say the previous — with a couple of caveats.

Crucial replace with the Development is the very fact it helps wi-fi charging. That’s a primary for any Garmin, which is superb when you consider it. It’s 2023, and the overwhelming majority of smartwatches way back switched from clip-style pin chargers to teeny inductive pucks (that, infuriatingly, aren’t suitable throughout manufacturers). It’s one more signal that whereas Apple and Samsung are encroaching on Garmin’s turf, Garmin isn’t about to simply let it occur.

Wrist sweet for the life-style crowd

Garmin watches have a repute for being ugly, cumbersome, and thick. The Development isn’t any of these issues. Whereas the Vivomove Sport had a cuter Swatch-y design, I’d describe the Development as elegantly sporty. It’s the kind of gadget I’d count on to see at a high-end yoga studio, worn by an individual who exhibits up in an identical ‘match, manicured nails, and impossibly white sneakers.

That’s solely the primary picture that popped into my head — most likely as a result of that’s the model of me I wanted I used to be whereas testing the Development. (Alas, my ‘suits are extra sensible than cute, my nails are chipped, and it’s been years since my sneakers had been white.) Garmin says the Development is focused towards ladies, however its design isn’t so female that it’s solely for girls. I may simply see it on the wrist of a businessperson in a snazzy go well with saying smart-sounding issues about EBITDA margins, particularly since there’s an all-black model, and you may swap the straps out for any commonplace 20mm band. It’s bought a 40mm case, however there are many individuals who desire that to bigger ones. The Development received’t enchantment to anybody on the lookout for a rugged vibe, however it’s not meant to.

The gold variations of the Development price $299.99 — $30 greater than the bottom mannequin.

The Garmin Vivomove Trend’s sensor array

The Development has a steady coronary heart fee monitor, blood oxygen monitor, accelerometer, and barometric altimeter.

The Development is supposed to be the midrange choice within the Vivomove lineup. In contrast to the costlier Vivomove Type and Vivomove Luxe, it has a plastic case and a liquid crystal show, and the lens is made from chemically strengthened glass. However I by no means felt the Development was a downgrade. It helps that the Development has a chrome steel bezel — it’s a small change, however it elevates the general look.

Extra importantly, it’s light-weight at 43 grams with the strap, making it best for on a regular basis put on. It didn’t weigh my arm down whereas understanding, I by no means felt the urge to tear it off whereas sleeping, and it by no means caught on my sleeves. It has 5ATM of water resistance, which implies you may hop within the pool with it and be wonderful, although I wouldn’t as a result of touchscreens and water don’t combine. Nonetheless, you don’t need to take it off should you’ve bought a pile of dishes to scrub, get caught in a downpour, or must wrestle a prickly cat into the tub.

Sensible sufficient

A hybrid watch is rarely going to be the neatest wearable on the block. However should you’re not trying to management a sensible McMansion, the Development has an important mixture of fundamental and fashionable options.

Take the hidden show. It’s a staple on all of the Vivomove watches, however actually, it by no means will get previous. You both flick your wrist up, or faucet the show and increase. Your knowledge and watchfaces appear as if a ghostly futuristic hologram.

I like these hidden shows as a result of it’s a intelligent approach to carry analog fashion into the trendy period, all whereas being adaptable to totally different worth factors. Just like the entry-level Sport, the Development opts for monochrome LCD as a substitute of the colour OLED you’ll discover on the costlier Vivomove watches. However in contrast to the Sport, the Development’s hidden shows assist you to view knowledge on the complete display as a substitute of simply the underside half. That makes it a lot simpler to learn full notifications and navigate menus.

The are a couple of downsides. One is that there’s no bodily buttons — and no crown — and touchscreens could be finicky should you’re sweaty or sporting gloves. The hidden show may get washed out in vivid lighting, however you can tweak brightness ranges to assist mitigate that. I’d additionally find it irresistible if the show itself had been extra responsive, however having tried nearly each Vivomove gadget, the Development’s show is certainly an enchancment from earlier fashions.

Close up of Garmin Vivomove Trend display

The Vivomove Development can go as an analog watch with out the show on.

You’ll additionally get the fundamentals like push notifications, media controls, discover my cellphone, discover my watch, alarms, timers, and the analog fingers robotically transfer out of the best way whenever you’re viewing knowledge, calendar and climate widgets, or texts. Android customers may reply to texts and reject cellphone calls. The Development contains extra superior communication options, too, like contactless cost by way of Garmin Pay and security options similar to fall detection and stay monitoring. The security options aren’t as polished as what you’ll get from Apple or Samsung, however they’re there should you want them.

Since it is a way of life watch, you received’t have LTE connectivity, although you do get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT Plus. It additionally solely helps GPS by way of your cellphone, versus built-in GPS. So this isn’t going to be a standalone look ahead to lengthy solo runs or hikes, however it’s greater than enough for conserving you within the loop throughout work or on the health club.


The Development’s greatest flex is that it helps Qi wi-fi charging. As I discussed earlier, it’s the primary Garmin ever to take action. And I’m completely satisfied to report that it really works. My Qi chargers are nothing particular — they’re from some no-name model and value me $9. I plopped it down, the analog fingers moved out of the best way, and a lil charging icon popped up.

After all, wi-fi chargers could be fussy. You gotta make certain your gadget traces up with the coil, and a minimum of on my charger, there’s no magnet to lock the smartwatch in place. They’re additionally not as quick as wired chargers. However I loved plopping the Development down on my Qi desk charger whereas I labored, and it’s nice that you should utilize any current Qi chargers you’ve gotten, particularly because it reduces your reliance on proprietary chargers, which could be costly to switch, contribute to e-waste, and are a ache within the butt.

Close up of Garmin Vivomove Trend charging on a Qi charger.

The analog fingers will transfer out of the best way when it’s time to learn notifications. The Development’s show additionally shows info on the complete display.

The one catch is should you don’t have a Qi charger already, the Development doesn’t include one. (It does, nonetheless, include a proprietary Garmin charger.) That, and there are some bunk Qi chargers on the market. (Professional tip: don’t purchase one you discover within the checkout aisle at TJ Maxx.) However should you’re eager to attempt them out, it’s not a steep funding and a ton of gadgets lately help the Qi charging commonplace.

As for battery life, the Development has an estimated 5 days on a single cost. That’s about what I bought throughout testing with 24/7 put on, default brightness, extra notifications than I look after, and about 30-60 minutes of GPS exercise day by day. It not so long as you’ll get on another health bands, however battery life closely is dependent upon your particular person utilization. Not less than now, you would stick a Qi charger in each room, and also you’d be lined.

Informal health

This is probably not probably the most hardcore Garmin watch, however the Development doesn’t skimp on well being or health monitoring.

It’s bought a steady coronary heart fee monitor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, ambient gentle sensor, and blood oxygen monitoring. It tracks your steps, energy, and flooring climbed and has automated exercise monitoring, too. You’ll be capable to do coronary heart fee zone coaching, see your VO2 Max, and broadcast your coronary heart fee knowledge to ANT Plus health club gear and equipment. It’s bought Garmin’s proprietary metrics, like Physique Battery to visualise restoration and health age. You’ve mindfulness options and sleep monitoring. We may go on and on, however except for Garmin’s most intensive coaching options, you’ll be just about set.

The Garmin Vivomove Trend on top of a phone showing Garmin Connect app

The Development is healthier for informal monitoring.

The Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Solar (left) next to the Vivomove Trend

The Garmin Fenix 7S Sapphire Photo voltaic (left) is the higher choice for endurance sports activities.

That stated, I wouldn’t advocate this if wish to see a ton of information mid-exercise. It’s bought nothing to do with accuracy. The Development did properly in my coronary heart fee testing towards the Polar H10. Related GPS typically isn’t as correct as built-in GPS — which was mirrored in my testing — however it’s in the best ballpark. For instance, a 2.46-mile stroll recorded on my Apple Watch Extremely was logged as 2.57 miles on the Development.

Somewhat, I wouldn’t advocate making an attempt to examine your metrics mid-workout as a result of it took me out of the stream. Between the dimmer show and lack of bodily buttons, swiping by screens was extra distracting than it ought to’ve been.

This tracker is healthier suited to exercises the place you’ll be able to zone out or the place simply getting the credit score for doing one thing is sufficient. I beloved it for walks, mobility work, arm day, and yoga. It was okay for shorter runs, however I’d slightly attain for the Garmin Fenix 7S or the Apple Watch Extremely for half coaching. The identical applies to well being monitoring. Garmin’s sleep monitoring isn’t one of the best I’ve examined, however it will get you in the best ballpark. Coronary heart fee knowledge is nice, however generally your nightly SpO2 might be suspiciously low. You most likely received’t like that should you obsess over numbers, however accuracy is just one side of well being monitoring. The larger purpose is to see your progress over time, and the aptly named Development is greater than outfitted to do this.

On the up and up

I’ve seen a pattern with Garmin’s way of life smartwatches: they’re getting smarter. It’s not sufficient to make Apple or Samsung quiver of their boots — however Google may wish to take some notes, particularly now that Fitbit has seemingly misplaced its method with multiday server outages and legacy options disappearing left and proper.

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 was an important lil smartwatch with a handy guide a rough show that gave the Versa 4 and Sense 2 a run for its cash. The Venu 2 Plus additionally has a beeyootiful show, voice assistant compatibility by your cellphone, and lengthy battery life, and it simply bought FDA clearance for EKGs. Now, with the Development, Garmin is including wi-fi charging to the combo.

Garmin Vivomove Trend on a Qi charger, next to a purple keyboard and notebook with birds on it.

The Vivomove Development exhibits the corporate’s heading in the right direction with its way of life watches.

All of those merchandise — and some I haven’t talked about — are compelling alternate options to Fitbit. And given Fitbit’s murky characteristic, I’m inclined to advocate Garmin as the higher funding.

The one factor that offers me pause is the Development’s worth. At $270, it’s solely about $30 cheaper than the Vivomove Type. And should you get the gold variations of the Development, they’re the identical worth. The primary distinction between the 2 is the Development has Qi charging, whereas the Type has a hidden colour OLED show and higher supplies. It’ll boil right down to what reductions you’ll find, the colours you need, and whether or not you need the choice of wi-fi charging. That stated, I can’t assist however really feel this unnecessarily muddies the waters in an in any other case stable hybrid lineup.

I believe I converse for all smartwatch reviewers once I say Garmin may stand to pare down its product catalog a bit. However, there’s one thing to be stated about an organization that’s delivering this many wearables in such a broad vary of types, sizes, worth factors, and have units for informal and hardcore athletes alike. Now, if Garmin manages to determine LTE connectivity and streamline the Join app, I’d say Apple and Samsung are in for some wholesome competitors.

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