Garmin Vivoactive 5 Review: A Comprehensive Guide to Fitness


With the introduction of the Garmin Vivoactive 5, the company is continuing to push the boundaries in the ever-evolving world of smartwatches. This Garmin Vivoactive 5 Review will examine the unique features that set the Vivoactive 5 apart in the highly competitive smartwatch market, catering to both regular users and fitness enthusiasts.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Overview

We recognize that it could be challenging to sort through Garmin’s extensive selection of sports watches, but if money is tight, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 might be the model to check out.

Let’s start with the essential details first: the Vivoactive 5 costs $300 and has an amazing OLED screen with a four-day battery life (with an Always-on screen). It meets the criteria for being classified as a lifestyle watch because it lacks the more sophisticated workout models and the five-button layout of specialized sports watches like the Forerunner series.

The $450 Garmin Venu 3 is essentially a smaller version of the Vivoactive 5. It is still missing a barometric altimeter and the new Elevate sensor found in the Venu 3. The $250 Garmin Forerunner 165 is a great option for those looking for a true Garmin sports watch with five physical navigation buttons. Alternatively, the Garmin Forerunner 265 series offers two sizes and more advanced features, including support for triathlons.

What’s new about the Garmin Vivoactive 5

  • One size
  • Charges with a wire
  • Two physical buttons
  • Gorgeous OLED screen
  • 4-day battery life (with Always-On)
  • Older Elevate Gen 4 sensor (does NOT support ECG)
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A Strong Contender in Garmin’s Lineup

The Garmin Vivoactive 5 is a great fitness-focused wristwatch with useful lifestyle features, actionable health insights, and accurate heart rate monitoring. The Vivoactive 5 boasts a significantly longer battery life than the Samsung and Apple smartwatches, but the former offers more third-party apps and connectivity features. The brighter display more than makes up for those who miss the gleaming stainless steel bezel of the previous model. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is still our Editors’ Choice winner because it costs less and has all the same sensors and battery, but the Vivoactive 5 is a strong substitute with a more conventional round design and a few extra features like wheelchair mode, onboard music storage, and nap tracking.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Design and Screen

The Vivoactive 5’s plastic case and silicone strap add nothing special to its build quality. It doesn’t feel damaged after a few drops, but it isn’t as durable as the aluminum frame on the Apple Watch or Pixel Watch. I wish the watch felt more premium given its price, but I appreciate the color options, including the orchid lilac shade I’ve been testing. Fortunately, the 1.2-inch round AMOLED screen compensates for the basic design. It’s extremely visible outside and has two font sizes for easy reading.

The visual interface is also much more appealing than previous versions, such as the Vivoactive 4. Finding menus and settings is simple, as is beginning a workout with the press of a button. If you’ve previously used a smartwatch or tracker such as the Apple Watch or Fitbit, the Garmin Connect app may feel unfamiliar. Fortunately, Garmin will update the app later this year with a more streamlined design to make stats easier to find.

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Unlike the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch, which come in two sizes, the Vivosmart 5 has only one option. My wrist is 152 millimeters, and the Garmin’s 42mm case fits perfectly. It’s light enough that I often forget I’m wearing it until a notification appears and vibrates on my wrist. I’m more likely to wear it to track my sleep than heavier smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 Battery Life

Before the watch needed to be charged, I used it for four whole days. I used the GPS to track sleep, work out for a few thirty-minute sessions, and keep the always-on display turned on. Under identical circumstances, the runtime of the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 9, Galaxy Watch 6, and Pixel Watch 2 is barely half that of the former. In addition, Garmin states that if you use the Vivoactive 5 in smartwatch mode, you can get 11 days of use out of it. This entails turning off the always-on and minimizing the use of GPS and workout tracking.

Price and Availability

Right now, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 costs $300. It is available directly from Garmin or through any of the many stores that sell fitness trackers and smartwatches. The metallic navy that was tested here, slate aluminum (black), metallic orchid (light purple), and cream gold (white with a light gold bezel) are the four colors available.

As usual with Garmin, it’s important to note that none of the features or statistics are restricted by a paywall requiring a subscription, unlike many of Fitbit’s trackers, the Google Pixel Watch 2, and gadgets such as the Oura Ring. When comparing prices, it’s important to keep in mind that the Vivoactive 5 is more costly than some rival fitness trackers that have comparable features but require a subscription to fully utilize.

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Garmin Vivoactive 5 Review, The OLED screen, long battery life, and fitness focus of the Garmin Vivoactive 5 make it an impressive device. It provides a good performance and an easy-to-use interface despite its cheap construction. Its value stands out in comparison to more expensive models because there are no subscription costs for all features. A great option for fitness enthusiasts looking for affordability and versatility.

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