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The Garmin Connect IQ app store lets you customize the watch even more by adding screens and features you care about.I added one that shows my daily step counts over the course of a week, and whether I hit my goal each day.I saw a message that said, "Successfully sent to your device.If you don't see it on your device right away, sync your device," just above a pop-up reading, "Sync failed." Vibration is one feature of smartwatches that I really love.In typical use, the battery can last up to three weeks. Even the Fitbit line of products, which have excellent battery life on average, typically last no more than 10 days.If you're training for an ultramarathon, know that in GPS mode, the Vivoactive will only last 10 hours.Instead of a spring hinge, the Vivoactive's straps are secured in place with tiny screws, and you get a tiny screwdriver with your purchase, too.The buckle is a classic watch closure, and at the tail end of the silicone straps is a ridge that prevents it from flapping around. Swiping left and right on the touch screen and tapping it lets you navigate the menus, but you'll also use one physical button on the right side of the Vivoactive to access functionality.
Want to reverse the display so it's black on white? Setting the alarm, which vibrates and rings, was easy enough for me to figure out through intuition, as was enabling activity-tracking when I was ready to record a run or walk.
Between all those functions, plus checking the weather on the watch frequently and asking it to locate my phone, I was downright amazed, come Monday morning, when the Garmin Vivoactive still had 40 percent of its battery power remaining. I could nitpick that it doesn't have an optical heart rate monitor (HRM), like the Fitbit Surge and the Basis Peak, our Editors' Choices.
But at least you can pair it with a compatible chest strap HRM if you really want heart rate.
It makes sense to use tactile feedback with a device that's on your skin.
When a notification comes to your Vivoactive from a Bluetooth-connected Android or i OS device, the watch vibrates and displays the alert.