Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fitness Week #4: Garmin Vivo Fit 2 Review

A few months ago I started tracking my fitness using Google Fit on my phone.  It wasn't ideal, but it was good for a while. Soon I bought a Garmin Vivo Fit 2, after reviewing several products and determining what I wanted.  After about three months, I'm generally happy with the product.  Here's my review.

I'm not the average user.  What I want in a fitness tracker is this: accurate, complete data.  In long form:
My fitness tracker would capture every step and moment of sleep, and have a "dump" button that dumps everything it tracks into a tabular form, where my ETL's can pick it up and write what I need into a database.  
I haven't found a fitness tracker that will do exactly that, but I found one that I thought was pretty good, here's a picture and some pros and cons:


  • Always on.  Only requires charging once a year, and goes on my wrist, so I literally never have to take it off.  My wife uses a different tracker, one that you wear on clothing, and requires weekly charging, so if she was modeling her data, she may be annoyed by this built in error.
  • Tracks sleep.  Not all fitness trackers track sleep, but this one does; fairly accurately from what I can tell.  I like it because it allows me to work on variance reduction in my sleeping patterns.  I've also found that hours of sleep is predictive in a few of my models.
  • Easy to sync.  All I have to do is push a button for a few seconds, and it auto syncs to my phone.  Easy.
  • Data is accurate.  I've done a couple of tests, one wearing a manual pedometer, the other just knowing my stride length and how far I've run.  Generally, the Garmin Vivo Fit 2 is within 3% variance of actual steps taken.


  • Data created imperfect.  To create my database of activity for analysis, I have to create spreadsheets and import them, but the Garmin tool doesn't create great data (sometimes using days of week rather than actual dates, and not giving me a "dump all" option, instead having to take one or four week blocks.
  • Doesn't count elevation.  My wife's tracker counts elevation in terms of flights of stairs.  Because my runs often include a big "hill" component, this would be nice for me.


I really like this device, and I'll continue using it.  I think in the future these devices may better integrate with my homebrew data systems, but for now, it is at least a working, accurate system.


  1. I am trying to find the fitness tracker that capture my sleep and gave me the accurate data. After reading the blog and seeing the Garmin Vivo Fit 2 review. I make my decision which one is the best for me. Thanks a lot for sharing this blog.

    1. Ken, great to hear that this review helped. I'm certainly still enjoying my VivoFit.

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  3. When I was looking for a tracker,
    I was already disappointed in such devices. Yes, for a while it's even fun to know the stages of my sleep, the number of steps passed in a day. Now it's nothing
    more than an ordinary watch on my arm. Much more useful gps tracker application, with its help it is convenient to track employees, where they have been during the workday. So this is a much useful property,
    I appreciated the use of such an application for myself, and I`m gonna use its full version.

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  5. Would you recommend buying Garmin Vivo Fit 2? Your review looks good but i am still confused should i buy or no.
    Activity Tracker Zone