Step-trackers are nothing new, but it's taken some time for them to succeed on the style front. Garmin isn't exactly known for its elegance - more for sporty, practical designs with great features - but the Vivomove is here to change that perception. And boy does it do a good job of that.
Shown off on the show floor at CES Asia, in Shanghai, we got to handle and wear the black and white versions of the Vivomove, testing out both the sporty and leather straps. And we think Garmin has the metal-bodied look of this step-tracker locked down.
But if you're thinking the Vivomove looks more than a bit Withings Activite Steel then you wouldn't be wrong. Both products are priced starting at £140, making the competitive intentions here clear (the Garmin price does increment to £240 with the leather strap and stainless steel body though).
The primary function of the Vivomove is to act as an analogue watch; a device that you'll want to wear all day long. We can totally see that - it's one of the best looking wearables we've seen, without oversizing the design like so many more complex wrist-based wearables (Huawei Watch being a prime example).
In addition, however, the Vivomove will track your steps and show progress towards your daily goal via the small digital bar to the left of the watch face. The bar to the opposite side, which fills red to act as an alert when you've not moved for too long, is a subtle visual cue to get you moving rather than a wild alert - the Vivomove doesn't vibrate or anything like that.
The use of digital integration is handled subtly, too, primarily because of the small scale. So with each black blip that appears in the progress bar you won't feel like you're staring at a crude screen. However, Withings uses an all-analogue approach with an additional watch hand for the same task, which makes for a more classic looking device.
To pair the Vivomove with a smart device you'll need to download the Garmin Connect app, which is the base for any other Garmin devices you may own (we use an Edge 1000 cycling computer as it happens). A press-and-hold of the watch dial to the right side begins pairing via Bluetooth - that digital bar showing an animation to confirm, acting as a useful visual cue - and then you can tailor your step goals and measure daily statistics over a period of time. Garmin is known for a decent enough software setup, so you're in good hands here.
In addition to step-tracking the Vivomove can also monitor sleep, but that's as far as it goes - there's no GPS, so it's not an all-singing all-dancing device with thousands of features, but not everyone wants a device like that. However, year-long battery life (it takes a li-ion cell which can be replaced) and water-resistance to 50-metres means you'll rarely need to take this watch off.
Good job it's comfortable then. The white silicon sports strap felt comfy around the wrist, plus it's interchangeable if you want to swap out for the swankier looking leather (only one strap comes in the box, others are sold separately - £46 for leather, £23 for silicone).
Talk about a warning to Withings. We think the Garmin Vivomove looks like a great entry to the stylish step-tracking market - you only need to check out our pictures to see that. It'll be available later this May, with a rose gold model (that we didn't see) joining the sleek black and white options.