Garmin Connect isn’t the prettiest software we reviewed, but it’s easy to read and includes plenty of useful features: a customizable dashboard, a training calendar, sleep tracking, new route suggestions and performance comparisons to other users who have run the same route. The software takes advantage of Garmin’s background in navigation by highlighting its mapping and routing capabilities throughout each various features, which makes this software ideal for runners or cyclists. It also integrates with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and lets you compete with and encourage friends who use Garmin Connect.
The vívofit is Garmin’s all-purpose fitness tracking device. It records steps, distance, elevation, duration and calories burned, and will save 2-3 weeks of history if you forget to sync. In addition, it will remind you to get moving if you’ve been sitting still for too long. The vívofit is water resistant up to 50 meters, features a sleek design and can be upgraded to include a corresponding heart rate monitor. The base version of the vívofit is $129.99; the bundle that includes the heart rate monitor is $169.99.
Garmin’s other devices (the ForeRunner 620 for avid runners, the Approach S6 for golfers and the Edge 510 or Edge Touring Plus for cyclists) will cost you a whopping $299.99-399.99. They offer all the bells and whistles you could want, yes – but unless you’re training for the next Olympics, this level of technology is unnecessary; you can still meet and exceed your fitness goals with any of the other less-expensive devices out there.
Given the inflated prices and sport-specific features of most of Garmin’s devices, the vívofit is the only Garmin fitness tracker that’s useful for the average Joe. While the vívofit rates high in terms of tracking features and wearability, the separate heart rate monitor is a downside – it could easily be left at home or misplaced.
Garmin Connect doesn’t offer the option to track your sleep, so you may want to opt for another company if this is important to you.
Garmin is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has had 103 complaints filed in the past three years, 33 of which have been closed. However, this is still considered a low volume of complaints – for a company of Garmin’s size – and since Garmin produces several other products, it’s likely that only a small portion of these complaints would pertain to Garmin Connect.
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