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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