Garmin vívosmart 5 review: Can this fitness tracker beat the competition?

Garmin vívosmart 5 review: Can this fitness tracker beat the competition?

An built-in coronary heart charge monitor with out an built-in GPS module and having 24-hour blood oxygen measuring functionality – the vívosmart 5 appears like an alternative choice to the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 or the Huawei Band 7 at first look. However, Garmin’s smartband is significantly costlier than the alternate options from China with an MSRP of $155. We discover out whether or not the costlier price ticket makes it value selecting up on this sensible evaluate!



  • Great app with numerous info
  • Reliable pulse and SpO2 monitoring
  • High high quality processing
  • No subscription mandatory


  • No built-in GPS
  • Monochrome OLED show
  • Battery life with 24h SpO2 monitoring is sort of quick
  • Not suitable with Garmin equipment

The Garmin vivosmart 5 in a nutshell

Garmin desires to supply the higher model of a fitness tracker with the vívosmart 5. However, the newest mannequin is simply partially profitable in its try. Xiaomi and Huawei have each launched new fashions of their value-for-money health trackers that sport thrilling updates in 2022. And Garmin’s considerably costlier variant doesn’t provide any actual benefits by way of performance or high quality.

Garmin vivósmart 5 komplett
The vívosmart 5 is waterproof to a level the place it may be worn whereas swimming. / © NextPit

So Garmin nonetheless depends on a monochrome OLED display the place you’ll be able to depend the variety of pixels. GPS is simply out there by way of a related smartphone and the connection to Garmin’s ingenious ecosystem of extra sensors can be lacking on this mannequin. If you wish to hold observe your blood oxygen degree all through the day, additionally, you will must stay with a battery lifetime of simply two to a few days.

Garmin’s largest benefit would nonetheless the intensive Garmin Connect app. Here, your health information is totally processed and you’ll configure just about the entire health tracker’s settings from the smartphone. Compared to the equally costly Fitbit trackers, you can too use all features with out having to fork out cash for a subscription.

Design & Display

Garmin has been capable of enlarge the show of the vívosmart 5 by 66 p.c in comparison with its predecessor. The producer nonetheless depends on a monochrome OLED panel with a decision of 88 x 154 pixels. The wristband is fabricated from silicone and is mounted to the wrist by way of a standard watch clasp, the place it may be swapped for a special look.

What I like:

  • Larger show is less complicated to learn.
  • Secure clasp.
  • Lightweight & appropriate for swimming.

What I dislike:

  • Low decision monochrome show.
  • Sensor lights seen in the dead of night.

Garmin’s vívosmart is like two peas in a pod aside from the 66 p.c bigger show. It was straightforward to learn in all conditions all through the evaluate, however its monochrome OLED show all the time appears a bit boring. Unlike many cheap fashions, an ambient gentle sensor is on board, and working it by way of a bodily button that’s positioned straight beneath the show can be a good suggestion. The remainder of the navigation is carried out by way of the contact show.

Garmin vivósmart 5 Display
The show has been enlarged by 66 p.c. / © NextPit

Thanks to a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, you can too put on the vívosmart 5 whereas swimming. The tracker includes a silicone wristband thatmakes it very straightforward to wash. I used to be completely satisfied about this within the evaluate, as a result of the Garmin tracker additionally doesn’t thoughts getting used as a sleep tracker. In phrases of measurement, it’s inconspicuous sufficient for this job with dimensions of 19.5 x 10.7 x 217 mm (S / M) and 19.5 x 10.7 x 255 mm (L) and a weight of 24.5 and 26.5 grams, respectively.

However, the robust “gentle leakage” of the sensors bothered me at night time. The steady blinking of the sensors was clearly perceptible in the dead of night bed room and will have been prevented with a barely higher designed wristband. Overall, Garmin stays true to its line of high-quality health units.

App & Smart Functions: Garmin’s secret weapon

The vívosmart 5 connects to your smartphone by way of the Garmin Connect app. However, you’ll have to accept the naked minimal in relation to good features.

What I like:

  • Very good companion app.
  • Reliable smartphone connection.

What I dislike:

  • No connection choice to Garmin equipment.
  • No response choices for notifications.

If you learn our critiques of Garmin units regularly, you’ll know that we’re enthusiastic in regards to the Garmin Connect app. This utility has a logical and smart construction and presents related information in tables, graphs, and overviews like a real mannequin pupil. For every sporting exercise, you’ll be able to see precisely how typically and the extent of depth you will have indulged in over the course of days and weeks.

Garmin vivósmart 5 Sensoren
The sensors work reliably. / © NextPit

Using Garmin Insights, you’ll be able to even examine these outcomes with different customers in your age class. Or you could be motivated by the rewards, badges, and congratulatory messages that the app frequently sends to your smartband by way of notifications. If you typically lack the required motivation, even in relation to one thing as primary as consuming water, that is very useful in getting extra train into your day by day routine.

Another sensible function is which you can additionally regulate the health tracker’s settings within the smartphone app. This is certainly not the primary on this planet to supply such a operate, however it’s particularly invaluable right here because of the boring OLED show.

Ein Screenshot der Garmin-Connect-App.
Your monitoring information throughout coaching is properly offered within the app. / © NextPit

Compared to different fashions, the Garmin vívosmart 5 lets customers down by the truth that you can’t even react to an important notifications by way of an emoji or quick message. If you obtain a WhatsApp message, you’ll be able to learn it, however it’s a must to dig the smartphone out out of your sweatpants pocket to react or reply. This is aside from receiving a textual content message from Android itself, in accordance with Garmin’s homepage.

Another disappointing facet: The vívosmart 5 is incompatible with Garmin’s wide selection of equipment, which allow a extra correct coronary heart charge measurement by way of chest strap or the exact measurement of cadence by way of foot sensors. You must use a Garmin smartwatch for this.

Tracking & Features

Garmin’s vívosmart 5 is provided with an accelerometer, a pulse oximeter, and a coronary heart charge monitor. This permits Garmin to observe respiratory charge, pulse, sleep phases, stress degree and different metrics. There isn’t any built-in GPS module, so you’ll have to take your smartphone with you when jogging or biking.

What I like:

  • Reliable and seamless monitoring.
  • All options don’t require a subscription.
  • Auto-lap and auto-training.

What I dislike:

  • No built-in GPS module.
  • Only seven sports activities are selectable.
  • No Garmin Pay supported.

Garmin’s health tracker affords you the fundamental features {that a} health tracker should be capable of deal with in 2022. With the vívosmart 5, you’ll be able to monitor your pulse, blood oxygen ranges, respiration charge, high quality of sleep, and exercise efficiency all through the day. However, with seven totally different sports activities, Garmin’s providing may be very restricted in comparison with different trackers.

Ein Screenshot der Garmin-Connect-App.
The Connect app exhibits you detailed details about your resting phases. / © NextPit

However, using information is flexible due to the mixture of movement sensor, coronary heart charge measurement, and pulse oximeter. As an everyday runner, I might simply observe how my tempo is affected by the center charge zones. Garmin additionally consists of its personal attribute values corresponding to health age or physique battery, which ought to offer you just a little details about your day by day health earlier than the exercise.

Garmin vivósmart 5 Armband
The wristband is high-quality and fabricated from silicone. / © NextPit

This method, you will get a good suggestion of whether or not you would possibly wish to squeeze in a yoga session or a respiratory train as a substitute of a exercise. Or you’ll be able to merely go straight to mattress after which get hold of details about your sleep phases and oxygen breathed in in the course of the night time. This ought to be capable of detect life-threatening sleep apnea in snorers at an early stage.

Even although Garmin presents this information very nicely and clearly, I don’t see any actual added worth within the vívosmart 5 in view of the worth tag. On the opposite: I discover it regrettable that there isn’t any built-in GPS module at this worth level. You must take the smartphone with you once you train and often wait a minute for it to connect with the Garmin Connect app earlier than the exercise.

Garmin vivósmart 5 von der Seite
The tracker is skinny sufficient to not intrude with sleeping. / © NextPit

Speaking of the Garmin Connect app, you’ll be able to set emergency contacts right here, whom you’ll be able to contact by holding down the principle button for longer than standard. An emergency name can be despatched if the vivósmart 5 detects an accident throughout sports activities. Another downside that Garmin might enhance within the subsequent model: with out NFC connectivity, the vivósmart 5 is incompatible with Garmin Pay.

Battery & Charging

Garmin marketed the battery lifetime of the vívosmart 5 to go for as much as seven days earlier than requiring a recharge. You must depend on Garmin’s proprietary port for charging, however luckily, you’ll be able to proceed to make use of the charger of its predecessor.

What I like:

  • Sufficient battery life for seamless monitoring.
  • Charging cable is backward suitable.

What I dislike:

  • Unable to final for seven days straight with full performance enabled.
  • No wi-fi charging help.

For my evaluate, I activated the entire vivósmart 5’s features, i.e. 24-hour monitoring for pulse and SpO2, sleep monitoring, the drink reminder, notifications for the smartphone, and extra. In addition, I went for a ten-kilometer run about as soon as each three days. The health tracker’s battery lasted about three days throughout this admittedly intensive utilization sample.

Garmin vivósmart 5 Sensoren
The sensors work reliably. / © NextPit

This is adequate for a whole recording of significant information. However, it did occur that I observed that the tracker was working low on battery earlier than a deliberate run. Here, different fashions provide a lengthier battery life. With the vívosmart 5, this might solely be realized by limiting the features.

Charging is a nice expertise, nonetheless, due to the included charging cable. I used to be stunned that Garmin doesn’t but depend on a magnetic system of which Stefan jogged my memory that Garmin has retained its charging port for a number of generations already. Thus, the vívosmart 5 is backwards suitable with chargers from older fashions. However, you’ll nonetheless must make do with out wi-fi charging in 2022.


When it comes to smartwatches, Garmin is the producer we are able to advocate probably the most for athletes and outside lovers. However, the US firm has nowhere to cover in relation to health trackers from China. Although the vívosmart 5 is considerably costlier than fashions such because the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 or the Huawei Band 7, it doesn’t provide extra options for monitoring and on a regular basis life.

On the opposite, Garmin nonetheless depends on a monochrome OLED show, does with out built-in GPS, and excludes its tracker from its wonderful ecosystem of extra sensors and equipment. In return, Garmin shines as standard with notably dependable monitoring, a beautiful dealing with of information, and a strong battery life for seamless monitoring.

For really impartial and dependable monitoring, nonetheless, we nonetheless advocate athletes attain for a costlier Garmin mannequin. In our list of the best Garmin smartwatches, you may discover fashions just like the Garmin Forerunner 245, which affords built-in GPS and is priced comparably to the vívosmart 5 after some worth drops. If you’re in search of a wearable that merely motivates you to be extra energetic, you’ll be nicely served with a less expensive mannequin from our list of best fitness trackers.

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