First impressions of the Garmin Vivoactive – a GPS watch for active people

Garmin Vivoactive was given a warm welcome by customers, and this was one of the reasons why we decided review it and introduce you to all of its capabilities. The smart watch is now in our hands so it’s time to share our first impressions.


We noticed that the display is always “on”. No touch or pressing a button, or even turning your wrist is required to check something. Another good feature is the great visibility, even outdoors. When you’re in a dark room you can use the “Power” button that turns on the background lighting.

The “go back” sensor button is a nice thing to have. We’re used to using it with smartphones and we instinctively look for it on smart watches. Another sensor button for an additional menu is available, but you won’t be using it that much.


The silicon strap is also comfortable. We were impressed by the 16 fastening holes, which leads us to believe that the watch can be attached to objects thinner than the human wrist. The device feels good on your hand. Thanks to its small weight, you’ll quickly forget it’s even there.


Besides the aforementioned sensor buttons, there are two more physical ones placed on both sides of the watch. The first is meant to turn the background lighting on and off, and to turn the watch itself on and off through a continuous press. The main function of the other button is to forward you to the main menu where you can find all the activity modes.


Garmin Vivoactive users can take advantage of the many available applications in the IQ store. For example, we downloaded a calendar, which was immediately added to the rest of the functionality of the watch.

We’re looking forward to testing the rest of Vivoactive’s capabilities. Stay tuned for more information on that in our upcoming review.

Specs sheet


CompatibilityAndroid 4.3 or newer, iPhone 4s or newer
  • Resolution: 205 x 148 pixels
  • Dimensions (WxH): 28.6 mm x 20.7 mm
Wireless connectionBluetooth 4.0
  • Water-resistant
  • Connect IQ store for apps
  • GPS
Strapsilicone strap
Batteryup to 3 weeks (10 hours in GPS mode)
Dimensions (W/H/L)43.8 x 38.5 x 8.0 mm
Weight38 grams

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