Garmin Vivofit Vs Fitbit Flex?!

So after my last post on activity monitor I narrowed it down to 2 trackers for my test. This is the main reasons why I choose these to 2 trackers

VivoFit vs Flex

Fitbit: Flex

  • Friends recommendations ( Suzie Walker being one of them, and few of my Barclaycard Colleagues have them too)
  • Great twitter feed back
  • Great Fitbit twitter information directly from twitter @Fitbituk
  • 10m water-resistant
  • App reviews and syncs with myfitnesspal

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Garmin: Vivofit

  • Great online reviews ( DCrainmaker Reveiw & Imore just to name a few)
  • Great YouTube reviews
  • Good Twitter feedback
  • Battery life
  • 50m water-resistant
  • Heart rate monitor link up
  • visible display

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Now let’s get into the technical stuff:

The packaging, comfort and other stuff:

The Fitbit flex comes with 2 bands a small and large but only 1 fastening clip. It’s very light and you generally can’t even it feel it on your wrist, however it has fallen off a few times without me even knowing. Luckily I did notice after the fact as was able to go back to trace to my steps and found it – as a bit of a obsessive person! The Garmin has not fallen off bit is slightly a bulky wrist band but is multifunctional as does tell you the time, date, steps taken, steps to goal, calories burned and heart rate ( if you link up to the heart rate band) so it doesn’t look so bad.

The fitbit has a special trick which were rather cool like an alarm feature, so that it buzzes when you set an alarm.

Inside the Fitbit box – comes the fitbit flex tracker, 2 bands in small and large, fastener, USB computer sync and charge cable. Retail price is £79.99

Inside the Garmin Vivofit – comes the vivofit tracker, 2 bands in small and large with fasteners, USB ATN computer sync and a heart rate monitor ( if you buy the heart-rate bundle). Retail price is £99.99 (£139.99 with the heart rate monitor bundle)

VivoFit vs Flex

Battery Life:

The vivofit wins hands down – as the battery is supposed to last 1 year and takes normal watch batteries available in most shopping malls. The Fitbit said to have a 5 day charge life, however after wearing it a week I had to charge it at least 2x  it only took approximately an hour for a full charge which was a good point. The charge cable is a proprietary fit for the Fitbit Flex so you can use the provided cable. It only comes with the USB cable with no plug adaptor so will need to use your own plug.

App:

Now in terms of app and reporting – the Fitbit Flex wins hands down. I think this is my biggest grip on the Garmin Connect. It’s not user-friendly, doesn’t give you any specific detail and has none of the gimmicks the fitbit app has.

I have an Iphone 4s and both Fitbit and Garmin Connect have available IOS apps. The fitbit does a live sync so as soon as you open the app on your phone the fitbit sync live – the Garmin syncs on command, push a button and syncs to the app and takes about the same length of time to sync as the fitbit. However you need to have internet connect for both of the syncs. No internet or 3G no sync.

Here is what the Fitbit App looks like

As you can see, its more colourful and prettier app. It links and syncs to 3rd party apps like runkeeper, myfitnesspal and other apps. It gives you a lot of detail on-screen with hour by hour detail on steps, calories burned and sleep efficiency.

Versus the Garmin Connect

More simplistic look, with no 3rd party app syncs at all not even myfitnesspal. Gives you minimum reports on the app, however you can see a little more detail online.

Accuracy:

The Fitbit Flex only tracks movement based on the algorithms within the unit like most wrist based activity trackers and takes account on dominant hand vs non-dominant hand. There is no heart rate monitoring functionality. It seemed to be slightly more generous in tracking activity than the Garmin Vivofit – or is it more accurate?! Most of the reviews say a similar verdicts on accuracy.

The Garmin Vivofit tracked slightly better, and did not add steps while driving. The heart monitor functionality is brilliant – I had done a circuit and the Fitbit Flex only said a burned a few calories and wasn’t running…but the using the heart monitor my heart rate was way high (sweating buckets) and showed intense activity on the vivofit as it was intense! As a test – the next day I did a similar work out without the heart rate monitor – and both showed a similar activity.

The keeper:

Garmin Vivofit

Yes the Garmin Vivofit was my keeper! Here is why:

  • Great Awesome battery life
  • Visual display showing steps ( to goal and taken), calories burned, time, date and heart rate – no need on syncing
  • The syncing on the fitbit was draining my battery life on the iphone.
  • Better accuracy with the heart rate strap on exercise.
  • 50m water-resistant – no need to take it off! 🙂
  • Seems more accurate
  • Hasn’t fallen off my wrist.
  • Sleep efficiency isn’t brilliant – but not sure if I’m fussed.
  • Multifunctional display

I would definitely recommend the Vivofit – but would say that you should purchase with a heart rate monitor for the best results.

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  1. Suzie
    | Reply

    I don’t usually comment but thought I would in this case and put forward more arguments FOR the Fitbit Flex! 🙂 (Oh, and I’ve not been a Walker in years!)

    1 – I have no idea how your Flex fell off. I’ve worn mine for months and never had it fall off – is it on too loose? I have been known to try to remove it in my sleep and woken up to find myself doing so, but it’s NEVER come off on it’s own.

    2 – your iPhone battery draining probably has little to do with the Flex and more to do with the Bluetooth being on. I don’t have my Bluetooth on all the time to save my battery and don’t regularly sync my Flex. I might do it at the end of the day, when in bed wanting to see how well I’ve done but I certainly don’t keep it syncing throughout the day. Mainly because I have other things to do and it is so light weight, I CAN get on with my day without it interfering. I can check my steps progress by tapping the Flex and seeing how many lights are lit, BUT 1 of my favourite features is that it vibrates when you have reached your daily goal. At that point, I know I can relax.

    3 – You don’t have to have internet/3G connectivity for the Flex to sync. To sync to mobile/app, you just need Bluetooth. To sync to PC, you need your PC to be connected to the internet and the mini USB dongle inserted in the PC.

    4 – I get weekly emails from Fitbit breaking down my best and worst days and encouraging me to beat my steps/activity/etc the following week. In addition, you get badges to mark your progress and can share (compete) with your friends.

    5 – you can change the colour of the band. I have the pink one for Breast Cancer Care, but am looking at getting 3 more colours so I can wear it with different outfits.

    6 – battery life for me lasts a lot longer – I only recharge it once a week, maybe five times a month. I would rather have a rechargeable device than one with a battery these days. The charger is so small it slips into my handbag when I go away, and I have so many USB chargers, I always have 1 to hand to charge (shall I charge my iPhone or Flex tonight?)

    7 – among its wonderful features is the alarm – you set a time for it on your app/pc and, at that time, it will gently start vibrating, bringing you slowly from sleep to awakeness. This means, no sudden loud alarms, no waking up others in the room, no worries if there is a power-cut (we seem to have them once a month where we live).

    http://www.fitbit.com/

    I think everything you didn’t like about your Flex might be down to your particular device rather than the Flex as a whole – I’ve never had ANY of the issues you seem to have had. The Garmin is too big for what I want, I’m not bothered about the heart rate monitoring (I don’t need a machine to tell me my heart is beating fast) and the price for the Flex is unbeatable. There were 2 contenders for me: the Nike Fuel Band and FitBit Flex. I chose low cost and features and have no complaints.

    There is my tuppence worth 🙂
    xxx

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