New Vivosmart 5 puts Garmin back in the fitness tracker game

It's the first update to Vivosmart for four years
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Garmin is back in the fitness tracker game, with the launch of the Garmin Vivosmart 5.

The tracker is a follow up to the Vivosmart 4, which was launched way back in 2018. At the time it was Garmin’s flagship tracker, and enjoyed features such as Body Battery and Pulse Ox before they made it onto the wider Garmin sports watch range.

A long wait for a follow up had us wondering if Garmin had abandoned the form factor in favour of smartwatches – but at long last we have a follow up.

In terms of features there's not much new here, and it’s a greatest hits of Garmin’s wellness and sports tracking features, although there's no GPS built-in.

That means the $149/£129 Vivosmart 5 is a little underpowered compared to the likes of the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 55 (which benefit from full GPS), but goes head-to-head with the new Vivomove Sport for less money.

And it also has to slug it out with the Fitbit Charge 5 at $179.

New Vivosmart 5 puts Garmin back in the fitness tracker game

Visually, things haven’t changed a great deal since the Vivosmart 4. The screen is 66% bigger, according to Garmin, and the band looks a little wider. The Vivosmart 4 was designed to be super-slim, but in the intervening four years the trend has moved towards larger, more usable devices such as the Fitbit Charge 5 and Huawei Band 6.

However, there’s still a soft, textured silicone band with a pop-out screen module inside, so you can swap straps if you choose.

In terms of tracking you get the standard array of metrics across all Garmin devices. That means steps, the same sleep tracking as you’ll get on the likes of Venu and Fenix, Body Battery tracking of energy, stress tracking, 24/7 heart rate and pulse ox. There’s also Garmin’s cycle and female health tracking too.

The new Fitness Age feature also makes an appearance, that tracks your vitals and offers an guidance on your fitness level.

New Vivosmart 5 puts Garmin back in the fitness tracker game

And there’s also a morning report, with a snapshot of key activity data, calendar appointments, and even birthday messages when you wake up.

It’s essentially the staple of Garmin’s features that are now common across every device in its range, but in a different form factor.

Interestingly, there’s no GPS on board here – so it’s not following the lead of the Fitbit Charge 5, which has catered to runners and cyclists. However, you can piggy-back from your smartphone’s GPS – although the experience clearly won't be as slick as a standard GPS watch.

It’s compatible with iOS and Android, as you’d expect from Garmin, and you’ll get notifications and alerts displayed on the larger screen.

The Vivosmart 5 is on sale now for $149/£129.


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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