Our Garmin vívoactive Review will be available after we get some feedback from users and take it for a spin ourselves, but in the meantime… Wow! This watch is so much more than a GPS golf watch and yet the price is so much lower than the latest Garmin golf watches. From a golf watch perspective, there is a small trade-off, but we think many golfers as well as non-golfers, will have reason to put the Garmin vívoactive on their shortlist. It will be available in early 2015.
For Golfers: You get distance to the front, middle and back of every green, plus distances to layups and doglegs. It also has a shot measuring feature and a stroke-play scorecard for one player. That’s pretty much the same information that you would get with the Garmin Approach S2 golf watch, which has been around for a few years and is less expensive. If you just want a watch for golf, the vívoactive probably isn’t for you, but if you are also thinking about a smartwatch, a running watch, a swim watch, a bike watch OR a fitness tracker, then the Garmin vívoactive will probably be among the coolest and most economical choices out there. The Apple Watch will probably have all these features and more, but at a significantly higher price and with much less experience in the sports watch market.
Beyond Golf: The vívoactive is thin and lightweight with a very readable screen. Apps for golf, running, swimming, biking and walking are built right into the watch. Garmin has been a leader in all of these sports watch markets for years, so we’re expecting they will be able to deliver in each category. The vívoactive has an accelerometer, so it also serves as a fitness tracker to track your steps and daily activity. It will even remind you if you haven’t been moving for awhile. Like the latest Garmin golf watches, the vívoactive will have access to notifications from your smartphone. And like any good smartwatch, you’ll also be able to customize the look of your watch face!
Garmin is also allowing third-party developers to create apps for the vívoactive. That means many other apps will be available and already you can find a weather app, stock market app and more. We think it’s possible that a third-party golf app might even be able to make it a better golf watch in the future. In fact, the trade-off we mention above is that the vivoactive doesn’t have the green view or hole graphics offered in the newest Garmin golf watches. We’re hoping the vivoactive might someday have that option available as well. One concern we have is how the golf courses are downloaded. We’ve asked Garmin about this and hope to hear back soon, but it appears that connecting to Garmin Connect is required and we need to know more about how that works. We’ll get back to you very soon.
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|Course Download Fees||No|
|Pre-loaded with Courses||N/A|
|Battery Life||10 hrs / 3 wks|
|Measure Shot Distance||Yes|
|Screen Size||1.13 x .8|
|Resolution||205 x 148|
|Display Type||color touchscreen|
|Manual Pin Positioning||No|
|Computer Analysis Tools||Yes|
|Aerial Hole View||No|
|Green Rotates to your shot angle||N/A|
|Add Courses Manually||N/A|
|USGA Compliant (local rule)||No|
|Notes||Where to start… Smartwatch, fitness tracker, all sports watch.|
|We work very hard to obtain the correct information about product features, but cannot make any guarantees about the accuracy. Please double check with the merchant or manufacturer before making a purchase.|