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By Robin-Leigh Chetty 18 December 2014

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Last year was a chock a block full of fitness-focused wearables, with Garmin's underrated vivofit (review) proving a surprisingly handy wearable. Part of its lure was the high accuracy of its movement capturing and easy-to-use functionality. As such, we had high hopes for the newly unveiled vivosmart fitness band, which ups the ante in every regard. During our time with it, the vivosmart did not disappoint and has set the early pace as far as 2015's fitness wearables go.

A little extra

What differentiates the vivosmart from the older vivofit, is its smartphone syncing functionality. Available to iOS and Android users at this stage, the vivosmart can be paired to one's smartphone in order to provide message and call notifications. Answering and replying however, still requires users to delve into their pockets, which means the vivosmart should not be confused for a smartwatch. It's not a one trick pony though, serving up one's step, calorie and distance covered information courtesy of the vivosmart's OLED display, which is both bright and easy to navigate, especially outdoors (a problem that the vivofit suffers from).

For those athletes among us wanting their heart rate data close at hand, Garmin has added heart rate strap to pair with the vivosmart. This feature also lets users know which heart rate zone they are training in, adding to the vivosmart fitness application. As with the vivofit, this new fitness band can be paired with Garmin's Connect app, offering easy to read infographics of daily progress and goals.

Plenty to offer

Priced at R3 350 (heart rate strap included), the vivosmart is certainly a little more expensive than other fitness band options, but its sleek design and easy to use functionality make it a particular standout. When you to the mix the aforementioned heart rate strap for the more hardcore fitness user, there is plenty to like about Garmin's latest offering.

PROS
Good comfortable fit; Responsive and easy to navigate interface; Accurate information recording
CONS
Setup takes a while; Far more expensive than the vivofit
USER COMMENTS

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