The Garmin Vivoactive is back. The Vivoactive 5 sees Garmin update its smartwatch and sports watch mash-up with an AMOLED display, while promising improved GPS performance and adding in some training features we’ve seen crop on other new Garmin watches.

Testers Mike and Nick have been put in some running time with the new Vivoactive 5 to find out what’s changed from the Vivoactive 4 and see whether this could be a good, affordable Garmin watch to track your runs with.

00:00 – Intro
00:12 – What’s new from Vivoactive 4?
04:09 – The Run Test
10:42 – Initial Verdict

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Hey this is Mike from the Run testers And this is our first run review of the Garmin Vivo active 5 okay so what's new on the Vivo active 5 now Vivo Active 4 I tested back in 2019 so it's been quite a while since We've been able to see and upgrade to That line to be honest we weren't sure It was going to get upgraded now in Terms of you're getting here you're now Getting a watch that only comes in 1K Size so the F Act 4 came in 2K sizes It's now just the one it kind of sits in Between those 2K sizes uh in terms of Other changes you are getting an Aluminium bezel as opposed to a Stainless steel one you are still Getting two physical buttons and you are Also getting a touchscreen display but That display is now an AMOLED kind as Opposed to the transflective one we saw On the Viva Active 4 so it's bringing in Line with things like the Garin venue in Terms of giving you something more Colorful more vibrant in terms of that Screen elsewhere you are getting getting Removable straps you're getting the same Sort of charging cable here and to Power It Up you are getting the same level of Waterproofing as well and you are Getting 4 gabt of memory here and there Is music uh functionality on here as Well too so a lot of things that haven't Changed but also some big things that

Have changed in terms of that size in Terms of the screen type and also in Terms of that bezel material as well too Okay so what's new in terms of features Well having a look through doesn't seem To be a huge amount that we're getting Here in terms of we saw on the vi Active 4 and the Vivo active 5 one thing we're Not getting we are not getting the Ability from a running perspective that Kind of multiband mode that we've seen On other Garmin watches so it's Something that Garmin has decided to Leave out on the Vivo active 5 S watch That isn't really designed to kind of Upload routs and give you kind of Breadcrumb style navigation support Those are going to be features that You're going to have to spend a little Bit more in terms of garmin's Collection in terms of kind of training Analysis it's all pretty much the same Terms we getting here you are getting The HRV status you are getting the kind Of Morning Report here as well too You're not getting the training R Feature that we've seen on things like The 265 and also there's kind of higher End Garmin watches as well in terms of Kind of running profiles that's all Generally the same there is a new kind Of walk stand um and run detection mode That's been added here that we didn't See in the Via Active 4 But ultimately

In terms of what I'm seeing here so far Um is that not a huge amount has changed In terms of kind of feature sets that You're getting here on the vi active 5 Compared to the V Active 4 maybe a few Extra software definitely a bigger Pushing ter of General Health and Wellness tracking so looking for it from A running perspective it doesn't look Like there's a massive amount that's Different on the Vivo active 5 compared To the for to sh the multiband uh GPS Didn't make it there or that kind of Ability to upload RS we mentioned but it Looks like it's definitely going to be a More kind of General Health and Wellness Focused watch that does give the ability To track your runs and give you some of Those features that you will find on Other gun watch watch is just maybe not On the top tier ones and also a few Notes on battery life and as you Probably expect considering that the Vactive 4 launch back in 2019 we have Seen some battery improvements but you Are getting that AMOLED display that Will affect the level of battery life That you're going to get if it is on all The time now T what G is touting here Saying you're getting up to 11 days on The Viva active 5 without that kind of Always on AMOLED mode and then it drops Down to 5 days when you are using the AMOLED 247 that's compared to I think

Around 8 days that you got on the G VI Active 4 and then when you factor in Things like streaming music it's a Couple more hours on top of what you got Of streaming music with the Via active For in terms of GPS battery life you are Seeing a boost there as well and Obviously when you are using some of the More powerful GPS modes or you are using Other features during that time that is Going to impact on the battery life but It looks like day-to-day battery life is Going to be an improvement from the Via Active 4 as I said when you are using The screen always on it's going to be Less it's going to be less than a week But it looks like ultim we are going to Get a little bit of improvement even Though you're getting that AMOLED Display in place here on the Viva active 5 so I've had the Gin Vivo active 5 on For a couple of days uh one running it Today this morning and on that front Everything looks really good on the Accuracy front I had on along with an Epic Pro which was linked to a polar h10 Chest strap and the Apple watch Ultra 2 And both the Epic and the Apple watch Ultra are both very good GPS watches With multiband and I had the all systems On the V active went for running the Forest mostly on the tree cover and the GPS Trac is very good on AO active Really similar to the epics and the

Apple watch across the board same Overall distance the lap alert was going Off at roughly the same time so yeah That's a good strong start on GPS for What is not a multiband watch and uh he Actually matched up very well with some Of the best watches on the market for GPS and the Heart actually was also Really good today so it hasn't got the Best sensor Garmin has which was is on The Epic Pro and is in the venue 3 I Believe but today it matched up really Well with the readings from the PO HG Test strap same Rises and Falls couple Of small little areas little bits of lag But nothing too bad same overall average Heart rate and max heart rate so yeah no Concerns yet on accuracy obviously we do Loads more testing of that just one run But good strong start on a run out the Tree cover I was steadily increasing my Effort throughout so we saw the rise in Heart rate with the Vivo active as well After the run you got the little blurb About training effect just saying this Will improve your aerobic fitness I mean It's it's not garmin's usual training Status stuff it feels like the kind of Thing youd look at a few times and then Mostly stop looking at except after Certain sessions but it's nice to have It on a watch that isn't so explicitly Sports focused design in general I like It's a nice small watch sits comfortably

On the wrist pretty lightweight I've had A gesture to wake on for the screen Outside of activities so far and usually It's quite responsive touch screen in General also responds to touches quite Well it's it's not perfect just not as Fast as the Apple watch on those kind of Fronts but it's still pretty good it's Not been annoying me yet so far I might Go to always on from now on just to test The battery life which has been also Quite solid so far I'm at 74% after About 2 days of use including one run Not too bad sleep tracking has been Pretty bad though that's something that Has been bad um I've got a 4month old in The house and uh not sleeping Fantastically well as a result of that And last night it was particularly bad He was you wake us up several times a Second half of the night and he was up From about 5:00 a.m. um all of which was Missed by the evvo active 5 which just Said I had a fantastic night sleep Except for like 9 hours none of those Awake periods were really clocked by it And to the point where the Sleep coach Now recommends I can reduce my sleep Tonight which made me close to Incandescent with rage when I saw that So and G has never been fantastic on Sleep tracking and this looks similar With the uh with the Vivo active 5 and All that kind of sleep coaching is going

To be a little bit uh tenuous as a Result but so far you know so good uh on Other testing just not the sleep Tracking okay so into that run test and I've done a couple of runs with the G V Active fight so far the first was a Couple of hours of kind of some Road and Trail time and I was using the Apple Watch Ultra 2 my other it and that was Paired to a Garmin HRM Pro Plus har Moner chest strap then I did a treadmill Run and that was really to kind of see How the kind of heart rate monitoring Kind of uh performed obviously it's an Upgraded sense it's not the most recent Uh Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor but It is a newer version compared to what We had on the Viva Active 4 so I'll Start with that first run that outdoor Run and in general it felt pretty good In terms of the tracking in terms of Having and wearing the watch it's a nice Kind of comfortable size I think the Screen is a good enough size to kind of Really soak in your data there's enough In terms of data feels that you're Getting there as well Kind of look at that GPS performance Obious you're not getting the multiband Mode that we've seen on some garming Watches we are getting an improved kind Of single um kind of multi- gns um Chipset compared to the kind of single Band one we've seen on the VX 4 and the

Data in general is okay digging deeper a Little bit into those kind of maps routs You know in the kind of respective apps It definitely look like some kind of More smoother kind of routs plotted on The kind of Apple watch Ultra 2 compared To the Gin Viva active 5 but in general The routes were actually okay and you Know I said I mixed some some Road and Trail time and it seemed to handle that Pretty well it's not going to be as Accurate as that kind of multiband mode On Gins uh kind of things like the 4 265 965 but it was okay on that run in General heart rate monitoring it was a Pretty steady pce run you know pretty Slow going I did find that the optical Heart rate sensor on the Via active 5 Did kind of jump up at times and I think It had me at kind of going at 193 BPM at One point in terms of spikes which Didn't really reflect what I got from The har moner chest trp so in general The kind of averages seems suggest the Same numbers but there was definitely Some kind of odd spikes in terms of my Data and that kind of you know it did Improve a little bit more in terms of What I got in my kind of indoor run you Know more steady Pac run and the kind of Average and Max readings kind of did Kind of match up quite nicely or in line With the uh chest strap that I had it Compared to so in general so far the run

Tracking has been pretty good in terms Of other thing I've really kind of Noticed living with this watch I quite Like the kind of recovery kind of Messaging um and that kind of aspect of The Viva active 5 you know basically When you are OB you've had a hard day or Hard long run like I did and you know I Kind of took it easy the following day It will kind of indicate during the Parts of the day when you're less Stressful or you know less stressful Periods of your day or if you've been Doing less active kind of work that it Kind of contributes to kind of your Recovery and I quite like the kind of Presentation of feature sleep coach kind Of elements are a new kind of thing here As well I've not got enough data in There to really see but I think the core Sleep data seems to be in general pretty Well in line with what I've kind of seen From my kind of Aur ring uh the kind of Apple watch Ultra to another Garmin as Well so from a core sleep data point of View looks pretty good the Sleep Coaching element still kind of you know Get feeling out how well that works um And Bach life in general seems to be Pretty good seems to kind of add up in Terms of what Ging claims here um I'm Seeing kind of a day to-day drop off of Maybe 5 10% depending on how much you Know I'm using the GPS say I've only had

It for a few days but the battery life Doesn't seem to drain really quickly When you are using the race to wake Obviously if you are using uh the AMOLED Always on that is going to drain the Battery quicker but for me I use the Race to weit to improve that battery Life performance and in terms of the Numbers that G and states in that mode Then they feel pretty good for me so Pretty good so far um as said it doesn't Feel like a mass M leap up from the Vivo AC 4 from a running perspective but I Like the fact that that amalo display is There now in general it feels like a Pretty solid watch to run with um based On my couple of runs with it so Far very initial verdict here like Obviously I've tested a lot of Garmin Watches and this looks to be the usual Solid Garmin experience good sports Tracking good accurate GPS heart rate For a watch like this that is more smart Watch Focus you are getting you know Better Sports tracking you going to get On on most other things like closest You're going to get to it is things like The Garmin venue and that's obious a Fair bit more expensive the new version As is the Apple watch a fair bit more Expensive and if you look at the Android Smart watches around this price I'd much Prefer the tracking you get from Garmin Watches in general so yeah it looks a

Solid option on the market reasonable Price you could maybe find the 4 on a 255 for a similar kind of price and You're going to get you know better Battery life cuz it doesn't have the AMOLED screen and slightly more accurate Multiband GPS and all that kind of stuff But I think it's is going to be a pretty Solid package around there's nothing Really to exciting that's new here for Me kind of training coaching elements You get here in the Sleep coaching uh I Would necessarily say are going to Really light up your life but you've got Another solid package you with a nice AMOLED screen that's key that it's a Really bright screen it's a nice one to Get at this price backed up by really Solid Sports and activity tracking as You expect from Garmin so yeah looks Decent watch we have loads more to say In our full review I've done loads of More accuracy testing as well okay some Initial thoughts on the Garmin Viva Active 5 and I think there's a few ways To look at this watch I think the first One is to look at what has actually Improved in terms of from the Viva Active 4 from a kind of running Perspective and I think the main things For me are you are getting that kind of Upgraded heart rate sensor here you are Getting that kind of improved chipset in Terms of GPS performance you are getting

That AML display to make it feel more Like a smartwatch as well and then some Some of those kind of newer training Kind of modes and features that we've Seen on other gun watches but not the Full kind of complement full Suite of Those features it's still pretty light In terms of kind of analysis that you'll Get on there kind of top end or kind of Mid-range for Runner watches and I think There are some nice things there I do Like the fact that it's got the AMOLED Display but I did find the screen was Pretty good on the Via Active 4 in General and there are some kind of General batter life improvements to Enjoy here as well too so I think There's some nice improvements in terms Of the Vivo active four to the five and The price is still pretty good as well I Think you look at it in terms of also What it's going to be up against so Things like the polar ignite 3 I think You're probably going to have to kind of Factor in the Apple watch SE as well now If you think about the polar ignite 3 I Think from a kind General software Performance I think battery life Performance with raised to wake or that Always on display then I think you're Getting better from the uh Garmin you're Probably getting more training and Analysis on the Polar ignite 3 than you Will get on the Garmin but I think you

Know the polar has a dual band support I Haven't been massively impressed by its Kind of application on that watch Whereas I think the GPS so far seemed Okay for me on the vi active 5 and again I think the things are packaged quite Nicely together on the 5 though it is missing some other kind Of sensor elements here too and I think With the Apple watch obviously you're Going to get more battery life from the G active 5 you're going to get a little Bit more in terms of kind of native kind Of running features here as well um and I think from a smartwatch point of view You're probably going to get a bit more From the Apple watch se but ultimately That is just for iPhone users vat 5 will Be for Android and iOS users and there Are some extra features in terms of kind Of being able to display photos and Messages if you're using Android so There are some improvements in terms of You're getting on the Vivo active 5 so I Think the G Vivo active 5 sits well with Those kind of other similarly priced Watches that clearly it's going to be up Against because they have those Amed Displays um I don't think it's an Inferior watch compared to those other Watches and I do think there are some Reasons that you may want to go for the Bat to 5 based on kind of initial kind Of testing so far I think the other

Thing to look at is the other SmartWatches in garmin's range so this Launch with the venue three so it's you Know and we have to kind of compare how Those two kind of look and in terms of What you're getting on the venue 3 Compared to the VAC 5 and they're in Different price ranges the venue 3 is Much more expensive that's got a Stainless steel bezel that's got a Speaker and microphones that gets the Kind of venue 2 plus kind of voice Enabled features um you are getting the Ultimeter you are getting some of the Kind of more um kind of richer workout Features as well so those are some of The reasons that you maybe want to go For the venue 3 over the VX 5 but I Think in terms of the price and terms of You're getting on the V 5 it's still Very good value and I think if you Looking for a kind of smart watch like Kind of Garmin watch at a kind of more Affordable price this feels like a a Good option based on what I'm seeing so Far it's a shame some of the things have Been removed from it but I think in Terms of what you're getting here and You know I imagine this is going to go Down in price again um in in a not too Distance future then at the price it Sits already if feels like a very good Value watch against the competition and I think compared to the venue 3 unless

You want those extra things maybe want a Slightly nicer design I think ultimately The feature sets are going to feel very Similar at least from the kind of core Kind of sports tracking performance Outside the maybe the ultimat that you Get on the venue 3 so I think yeah for Me the venue the the Viva active 5 feels Like a a nice update from the Viva Active 4 um some and I was hoping maybe Maybe we' get the multi mod but maybe it Doesn't make sense on this kind of more General Wellness Um kind of you know Fitness focused um Kind of watch in garments range but you Know what has come in terms of that am Display in terms of that kind of some of Those kind of training elements then I Think you're getting a nice collection Here on the Viv active 5 and yeah Looking forward to seeing how it Performs over time whether you know is Still good value and whether it is one Worth grabbing for your runs okay so There you have it some initial thoughts On the Garmin Viva active 5 plenty more Testing to do of course there are a lot Of watches that going to be launching Over the next few weeks and months so Plenty to keep us busy now if you've got Any questions about the Vivo active 5 or Other Watchers you want to see it Compared to or get a sense of how they Compare then do let us know in the

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