Garmin Viosmart HR - review

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Bill Crothers
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Garmin Viosmart HR - review

Postby Dstew » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:41 pm

I have to admit I am a Garmin sort of guy. Right now I have the Garmin Fenix and a Garmin golf watch. My previous Garmin watches have always done what I wanted to to do.

I decided that having a heart rate monitor without a chest strap is the way to go. I had previously given some thought to the 225 etc but could not justify the price. Especially when I found the Fenix on sale and with my plans to do more biking and hiking. But the Viosmart at $200 seemed like it would be well worth the peace of mind it could bring me as it would "monitor" my health and sleep.

The fit and comfort are fine. The Heart Rate portion does dig into the skin somewhat but easily enough to get use to. I am not sure how accurate it is, especially when weight lifting. I read a review that had the same problem but no big deal. It does steps but did not record anything I did on a bike, stepper or even an elliptical. Even jogging seemed off. So I had a hard 60 minute spinner bike work out and it said I was 3,000 steps short of my daily goal. Home office in a 2 story home with a basement means the daily stair goal is easily made. There is a category for moderate or intense work - 150 or 75 minutes a week. I turned that off as even with several intense workouts, one where the heart rate monitor said my rate was at 110%, it gave me zero minutes. The other problem is that it gives you an average. If you switch it to HR mode when working out, you may get a brief glimpse of where you are but even that is not accurate. Have a Sunnto with actual strap and the Garmin was way off during the workout. I also have a blood pressure monitor with pulse and those two seem to be around the same mark. The sleep monitoring seems correct based upon when I have had to get up to go the bathroom, etc.

In my opinion it is a nice toy that is really meant for someone who is quite sedentary and to get them to move and do some stairs. One flaw is I have a sit stand desk and I will get a buzz telling me to move even though I have been standing for an hour or more. I am not really sure how useful it is in that will one or can one actually act upon the data? My thought is that I may try to go to bed at different times and see if that has any affect on my sleep. Although it is really meant for one person, I was worried about my wife's resting heart rate and so I had her wear the device for an hour or so.

As noted, I have a specific heart rate monitor for my gym workouts. From the reviews I read, straps do seem to be much more accurate then any wrist model. And for the outdoor workouts, ordered the Garmin heart rate strap for the Fenix.

I do not regret buying this device as I tend to be overly anxious and can actually panic at times. Is my heart racing or do I think it is racing. So it is nice to quickly and easily sync up with my i phone and I can relax that my heart rate rose to 90 beat per minute when I was in a panic it was 185. And I see how the sleep monitor may be benefit. What to do in order to get the best sleep. But again, a nice toy and a pure luxury but not a necessity or a must have.

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