Garmin Vivosmart HR +

  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
£125 to £169
  • 90%

  • Garmin Vivosmart HR+
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 5th January 2017
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 90%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 80%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 99%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 90%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 75%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 85%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 90%

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is the latest addition to Garmin’s huge range of activity trackers and fitness watches. For those looking for something more performance orientated than offered by other popular activity trackers but not wanting the physical size of something like the Polar M600, Fitbit Surge or Garmin Vivoactive HR then the Vivosmart HR+ could be what you’re looking for. What gives this model its’ “+” is the fact that it has a BUILT-IN GPS, something not featured in the regular Vivosmart HR.  The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins.


Release Date (UK) > August 2016

Product it replaced > None – it’s Running in parallel with the Vivosmart HR (without built-in GPS)

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > £169

Who’s it For

The only difference between this model and the original Vivosmart HR is the inclusion of the discrete GPS sensor providing accurate speed and distance feedback. Along with the GPS it features built-in wrist based heart rate sensor, smartphone alerts and notifications, activity tracker with steps, distance, calories and floors climbed. The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is for the customer who wants a reasonably discrete activity tracker with heart rate monitoring, wrist based, and a built-in GPS for accurate performance tracking. I loved the Vivosmart HR, but I have a tiny issue with the Vivosmart HR+ regarding it’s primary customer base. The addition of the GPS gives it performance monitoring accuracy akin to the Garmin Forerunner range. My personal view is that someone looking for speed and distance performance monitoring would probably benefit from the larger watch display of the Forerunner 35.

Quick Links – lowest prices

PLEASE use the links below to check for the lowest online prices of this Garmin Vivosmart HR+ with GPS

Thank you for your valued support … Tristan

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Key Features

  • All Day Heart Rate – the Vivosmart HR+ monitors heart rate directly from the wrist, 24/7, to provide more accurate calories burned information
  • Activity Tracker – displays steps, calories, distance, heart rate, floors climbed, intensity minutes, time, date and monitors sleep
  • GPS – Built-in discrete GPS provides running metrics including distance, pace and personal records
  • Personalised Activity Goals – the Vivosmart HR+ cleverly learns your daily activity pattern and accordingly sets a personalised daily step goal (can be manually overwritten if required)
  • Smartphone Notifications – displays text, email, call and social media alerts on your vivosmart HR+
  • Garmin Connect – whether you have a
  • Barometric Altimeter (gives accurate Stairs climbed data)
  • You can control the music on your smartphone – volume and track selection.
  • The Vivosmart HR+ will remind you to stay active with move bar and vibration alert – don’t move for an hour and you’ll get a reminder to get up and MOVE

Next model UP

The model up from this one would be either the Vivoactive HR  (released Feb 2016) or, for the runner, the Garmin Forerunner 35 (released October 2016). The Vivoactive HR is a full colour Garmin smartwatch with access to Garmin’s Connect IQ widgets and apps. The Forerunner 35 is one of the best GPS running watches with built-in heart rate, GPS and activity tracker. Both are highly recommended for the right customer.

Garmin Forerunner 35  traditional watch style, better HR in my tests – aimed at runners

Garmin Vivoactive HR  Garmin brilliant all sport smartwatch with iConnect apps and more

Next model DOWN

The model below the Vivosmart HR+ is the Vivosmart HR, exactly the same without the GPS. If you want a similar looking activity tracker without HR, then consider the Garmin Vivofit 2 (2015) or Vivofit 3 (released March 2016)

Garmin Vivosmart HR  no GPS – otherwise identical

Garmin Vivofit 3  no HR no GPS no stairs climbed

Garmin Vivofit 2  as Vivofit 3 but older design

Competitors Alternatives?

The Vivosmart HR+ is a very competent activity tracker / fitness band with built in heart rate and GPS. My only issue is … who is it aimed at? In my view when a user starts requiring GPS accurate speed and distance data they are probably going to want to be able to see that information while training. If you are NOT worried about the GPS then the obvious alternative would be the Polar A360 and the Fitbit Charge 2. The Polar A360 has a colour display and comes in various coloured straps, however, it does NOT track floors climbed. The Fitbit Charge 2 does keep a log of floors climbed, has a bright OLED display similar to this one and it’s modular design means it can be housed in dozens of different stylish straps. If you do require GPS then the alternatives would be the Fitbit Surge and TomTom Spark 3

Polar M200  GPS & wrist based heart rate – aimed at runners

Polar A360  No GPS, colour display – stylish fitness tracker with sporty bias

Fitbit Charge 2  Wrist based heart rate but no GPS – aimed at general fitness

Fitbit Surge  GPS & wrist based heart rate- aimed at general fitness

TomTom Spark 3  GPS & wrist based heart rate, with music storage – aimed at multisport

In Conclusion

Reviewing this Garmin Vivosmart HR+ has reminded me just how good the Vivosmart HR is. If you want wrist based heart rate, built-in GPS for accurate speed and distance tracking but you don’t want a FULL SIZE wrist unit like the Vivoactive HR or Polar M200 the Vivosmart HR+ comes very highly recommended. After testing the Vivosamrt HR+ for several weeks I have awarded it a review rating of 4.5/5 stars. It’s not the most technical GPS sports watch on the market, but it is the most technical FITNESS BAND on the market.

A Brief History…

It all started in 1996. As a sports science student I wanted to promote the use of Heart Rate Monitors in exercise. The business went online in 1999. In 14 years we sold HRM's to over 300,000 customers.

After a short retail back we're now back with the new online store selling ONLY Polar. We still offer impartial advice & test other heart rate monitor brands. Our aim however, is to introduce you to Polar's products as an alternative to Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto or TomTom.

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