Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Gear Reviews - RRP $229.00 www.garmin.com.au TESTED BY LAU­REN SMITH

I’M DEAD­SET FOND of ac­tiv­ity track­ers – they’re great for mo­ti­vat­ing you to move (es­pe­cially if you’re com­pet­ing against friends and fam­ily), for keep­ing a log of your phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties (so you can see when you’ve had slow weeks) and for track­ing your health (par­tic­u­larly the de­vices that are able to record heart rates). How­ever, as a life­long fid­geter, I’ve been look­ing out for some­thing that had all the fea­tures, but was small and light enough that I wouldn’t be tak­ing it on and off, play­ing with but­tons or muck­ing about with it too much. The Garmin vivos­mart HR kind of hits the spot. It might not be the sleek­est band on the mar­ket, but it’s only 30g, and it’s got a low pro­file on your wrist, and has a more se­cure clasp than some other larger coun­ter­parts, so it doesn’t snag on your sleeves or get in the way.

The wide range of fea­tures, while not rev­o­lu­tion­ary, is very use­ful. It mon­i­tors daily steps (against a tailored goal based on pre­vi­ous per­for­mance), stairs climbed, sleep length and qual­ity, as well as heart rate. It can also be set to record and track spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties, such as run­ning home. You can con­nect it to your smart­phone via Blue­tooth, which means you have an easy record of your his­tory. The re­lated app, Garmin Con­nect, lets you keep a thor­ough fit­ness di­ary, and links in with other apps if you want to track other data, such as diet.

The Blue­tooth con­nec­tion also feeds through your no­ti­fi­ca­tions, the weather fore­cast and al­lows you to con­trol your mu­sic or ac­cept calls, so you can carry your phone in a back­pack rather than in a pocket, and still lis­ten to mu­sic by feed­ing head­phones through the top of your pack.

The trade-off in ac­cu­racy be­tween us­ing a strapped heart-rate mon­i­tor and this wrist-mounted one is worth it, for me per­son­ally, in com­fort. It’s an easy de­vice to get ac­cus­tomed to – the touch screen (10 x 25.5mm) is re­spon­sive, cus­tomis­able and back­lit so you can check your data in a flash. It also shows more data than some of its larger coun­ter­parts. I par­tic­u­larly like the move bar fea­ture – if you’re in­ac­tive for an hour, it chirps and re­minds you to get up – which is great for keep­ing you mov­ing on work days as well as week­ends.



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