I am a fitness enthusiast and well aware that I take my workouts, and the tracking of them more seriously than most people. However, with that being said, I did extensive research about which activity tracker would be most appropriate for me and my needs. I spent hours reading up on blogs and reviews in an attempt to find the best fit. I wanted an activity tracker with a heart rate monitor built in and this one seemed to be the best reviewed and most acclaimed.
Now, it's also noteworthy to say that I am used to the precision of a Polar with a heart rate chest strap but unfortunately as of yet, nothing quite tops the good old-fashioned sweaty chest strap. Especially, if you want accuracy and precision, you're going to have to utilize a chest strap, and this Garmin Vivosmart HR+ utilizes your wrist to analyze your heart rate. This tracker does not have the capabilities to add in a chest strap as needed, which could have easily quelled all of my gripes, and improved precision. However, it's grossly inaccurate.
I compared the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ to my Polar and it was way off, I mean way, way, way off. It took a long time for my heart rate to go up when running and just was not anywhere even near accurate. Since I take my workouts and their tracking so seriously, I found these inaccuracies more frustrating than helpful. I enjoy competing with myself and breaking my own records, so an infusion of erroneous data was more upsetting to me than anything else. I tried to trouble shoot this and take the steps to make it more acclimated to my body, but it still was way off.
On a positive note, Garmin has a pretty amazing app for people, but if it is filled with inaccuracy, the data doesn't help much. I know most Garmin's are far pricier than this particulate model, but getting down the accuracy is key. I ended up returning this item because after about a month, the strap for the tracker, entirely broke off, and the straps are not replaceable, they may want to think about that with the design in the future.
I was so frustrated with the tracker at that point, that I just swapped it in for a good old Polar heart rate monitor with a chest strap. I will say that it was neat to get notifications from my phone on to this tracker, and it was a great size and fit. I am a female with a small frame and small wrists, and It was still small enough to blend with my wardrobe while still having a readable screen.
I am not convinced the step tracking technology was very accurate either, but the sleep data was pretty neat to see. Overall, if the heart rate monitor actually worked, it would have been well worth my while, but after trying this and other wrist heart rate monitors, I am now convinced the technology is just not yet there. Again, I am someone who wants and needs to know my target heart rates and zones that I am in, and very neurotic about it, but gross inaccuracies did nothing but infuriate me for a $200 tracker!!!
Garmin, quick fixes would be improved precision of heart rate monitor by adding chest-strap capabilities, and making bands that can be swapped out, because when the band breaks, the whole product has to go back.