Garmin is a leading provider of navigation software and devices for automotive, aviation and marine use, and now utilizes the same technology for Garmin Connect, its signature fitness tracking program. Garmin has been in business since 1990.
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The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Bottom Line

Though we’d like to see more device options for Garmin Connect, the software is user-friendly and has plenty to offer. In addition, users are bound to see the benefit of using a fitness tracker company that also has a major stake in the navigation industry – Garmin’s GPS mapping and tracking features are top-notch.

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4 Garmin Connect Reviews

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  1. User Score


    April 3rd, 2016

    Bought Vivofit mainly as a step counter and alarm, also to notify me at work when I received a message from either daughter – one with young kids, the other works abroad. Bracelet works fine, but syncing can be a problem, and reporting any problem is longwinded. Numerous ‘upgrades’/downloads do not install confidence. Would I purchase again?….probably not, unless a LOT cheaper. But to be honest that would probably apply to any similar fitness device.

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  2. User Score


    March 24th, 2016

    Buyer beware! Garmin has been astonishingly unresponsive to consumer feedback. After having submitted the same constructive feedback for months to the innovation team (does this department really exist?) let’s try this forum! so here it goes…

    Two very quick and easy ways to improve this app are:

    1. Allow daily competitions in the leaderboard between friends.

    2. Allow users to preview which badges they can earn ahead of time. Even if the graphics are dark then we can still see what we are working towards. It’s hard to get motivated for something that has already happened in the past. It would be great if you could see how many badges you’ve earned and how many badges you can earn total. Fitness trackers are in the business of extrinsive motivation. Please either get in the game, or get out. It’s very frusterating to have purchased a half way there product, especially since this company refuses to help itself by responding to constructive, common sense feedback.

    This started out as a small issue, but the lack of response and the reluctance to address these shortcomings make me really regret buying a garmin product for me and my girlfriend. That being said, there is a lot that Garmin is doing right. I recognize that Garmin Connect has potential. Raw information can be dry and boring though, so I’m giving you some constructive tips on how you can make your platform more fun and engaging on a silver platter. If you’re frusterated by these sorts of comments, imagine how the people who spend money on your products and are continually unsatisfied with their purchases feel.
    Mark Raby

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  3. User Score


    September 23rd, 2015 Chicago, IL

    I purchased my VIVOfit in May, and it has not worked right ever since. I have called the support line for assistance 3 times with the same problem since June. The device doesn’t sync, the time is always incorrect and I have been unable to use it for the purpose I purchased it for. This last call made on 9/23/15 was my last! they said they would send me out a refurbished on since it is passed the 60 day purchase warranty. Really?? I have been calling with the same problem since June. I would not recommend purchasing a Vivo product, I am going to bear the loss of the cost and purchase a Fitbit. It is really a shame that this company does not stand behind their product, and is sending out a refurbished one that will likely break within another short time.

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  4. User Score


    July 25th, 2015 Marion, IN

    Lost on golf course. I found it the next day and it was run over by a lawn mower. Bracelet was torn up but I got a new one and it works just fine.

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