Tag Archives: Garmin Vivoactive HR

‘ActiFace’ Has Now Become The Default Watch Face On Garmin Fenix 5.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

My Garmin Fenix 5 with ActiFace with THIS MORNINGS set-up. I made some changes in the afternoon!


Click to access the online documentation for this Watch Face.


Garmin Connect customization options.


My original plan had been to use ‘GearMin‘ as my preferred, and as such default, Watch Face on my Garmin Fenix 5.

I had ‘GearMin’ on my VivoActive HR. But, at least in my case, the ‘Down Button’ stops working when I use ‘GearMin’. Happened twice and that was enough for me.

I had downloaded ‘ActiFace’ at the same time as ‘GearMin’. I started using it. It has grown on me and I will even confess to liking it — especially after customizing it a few times. The top image shows more or less my current configuration. This afternoon I changed one field — the ‘elevation gained‘ reading. It was redundant. It is always 10x that of floors climbed, since that is Gramin’s criteria for floors climbed; i.e., 10’ change in elevation. So, I changed that to display ‘% of weekly step goal’.

I definitely recommend this watch face. It grows on you. Very capable watch face.


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by Anura Guruge

I Have Now Had My Garmin Fenix 5 For A Week.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Other than the ‘Down Button’ issue which I am now sure is related to the ‘GearMin’ watch face, the Fenix 5 has worked as expected — maybe even exceeding expectations.

Pretty impressive watch. Does everything I was hoping it would do.

Great to run with. I never thought I would say this, BUT I do prefer having buttons, rather than a touchscreen, to START/STOP the run. The default display is exactly what I need, in large text: distance, time & pace.

Other than setting up the widget loop, downloading a few watch faces and customizing the Controls menu, I have done minimal customization. A lot, for example, navigation I have not looked at — mainly because I haven’t had the need. Going to spend another week or so just with these settings. Then I will start to explore.

So, so far so good. But, I will confess I keep on waiting for something to go wrong! That is not good.

I hope this Garmin works well for me, as did my original Vivoactive HR.


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by Anura Guruge

Fitbit Ionic APPEARS To Be Underreporting GPS Mileage After OS 1.2 Update.

by Anura Guruge


Click images to ENLARGE.

Today, after I had updated to OS 1.2.

Same run last week. One of my regular, fixed routes that I can run with my eyes closed.


Just been told that it is a KNOWN ISSUE!

Click to ENLARGE.


Just a HEADS UP for now.

I updated to Fitbit OS 1.2 yesterday morning (very early). I ran a new route yesterday, so I had no reference as to reported mileage.

Today, I did one of my regular runs — which I run at least once a week and have run, multiple times, with multiple GPS watches: Garmin Vivoactive HR, Garmin Vivoactive 3 & now a Fitbit Ionic.

There is a metal gate and I turn around at it when my watch says I have done 1.6+ miles. That is to make sure I get at least 3.2 miles.

Today, I get to the gate … BANG on my Ionic … and it says 1.59. I go ‘strange …’.

Could be user error on my part though I am not sure how since I start at the same place.

What I am trying to determine is whether any of YOU have spotted anything strange.

Then we might have a case.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Support Confirms That “All Day Heart Rate” Menu Option Only Displayed in ‘Connect’ With Applicable Devices.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Received as an e-mail.


Click to ENLARGE.

This had to do with ‘Garmin Connect’ not displaying the “All Day Heart Rate” Menu Option once I had removed my Garmin Vivoactive HR on October 9, 2017.

I kind of suspected that this omission had to do with the removal of the Vivoactive HR — since it would have been too much of a coincidence otherwise.

But, Garmin telephone support DISAGREED!

They said menu option should always be there even if there was no device that supported HR.

So, I thought I would check with e-mail support — since I could send them a screenshot.

So, this was the outcome.

Sharing in case YOU run into the same problem.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Connect (On Android 7) Stops Showing “All Day Heart Rate” Menu Option …

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I noticed it yesterday, 7-8 hours after I had removed the Vivoactive HR from the account.

I am sure that this was NOT a coincidence.

I had originally thought I had LOST all my heart rate data from the 117 days that I did wear the Vivoactive 3 everyday — BUT luckily that is NOT the case. I can access the data from the main dashboard by clicking on ” TODAY — heart rate”. That is good.

Called up Garmin Support. No help. I am getting rather upset with them.

So this is but a heads up. OK?


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by Anura Guruge

I Relinquished My Garmin Vivoactive HR After 117-Days — Awaiting Availability Of Vivoactive 3 (Slate).

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Vivoactive 3 status at Best Buy as of Tuesday, October 10, 2017.


15-days ago I decided that I was going to upgrade from my Vivoactive HR, which I had not taken off my left wrist since June 14, 2017, for the newly announced Vivoactive 3. I had planned to trade-in or sell the Vivoactive HR ONCE I got the Vivoactive 3.

Well, as they say about the best laid plans of mice and men …

I relinquished my Vivoactive HR last night THOUGH I am unlikely to be able to get my hands on a Vivoactive 3 for at least another 2 weeks! That, however, is not the end of the world.

Devanee wanted a Activity Tracker for her birthday — which is today. She was looking at the Vivosmarts and Vivofits. So, I said she can have mine … So, that is the story.

I rest the HR and detached it from my Garmin Apps.

Appears I did 574.4 miles during the 117-days I had it. But, that coincided with the Summer and many a hike in Acadia and Monhegan Island. It is not going to be that good over the winter.

I am OK about not having an activity tracker for 2-weeks or more. I now know the distances I have to run and the various cadences I have to maintain.

I have only one regret. I want to see my activity over a 1-year period — uninterrupted. That could have been June 13, 2018. Now it will have to be … like October 23, 2018. C’est la vie.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Vivoactive HR, A Product With ‘No’ Trade-In Value.

by Anura Guruge


From Amazon — a few minutes ago and it was the same last night! Click to ENLARGE.


Just a representative item from eBay. There are more. So folks are bidding up to $81 and there is still nearly 2 days to go. This is closer to the mark. Click to ENLARGE.


Given that I will upgrade to the new Garmin Vivoactive 3 the first thing I did was check what I could get for a trade-in from Amazon since I have had reasonable joy trading in cameras and lenses with Amazon. You don’t get the ‘best’ price BUT there is no hassle and it is instant gratification.

That they are claiming that the trade-in value for a Garmin Vivoactive HR, in BEST condition, is $3.80 is hilarious. It is obviously a mistake and I will contact Amazon (a Prime Member and shareholder) and get them to rectify it.

In the case of the Vivoactive 3 I might TRY to sell it on Craigslist. If you are interested let me know. I am known for my largess when it comes to products I no longer need. {Smile}


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by Anura Guruge

I Will Upgrade To A Garmin Vivoactive 3, From the Vivoactive HR, When It Starts Shipping.

by Anura Guruge


The better heart-rate & ‘fitness’ monitoring is ideal for my needs.


Click to access Garmin’s product page for this NEW Activity Tracker.


The new features that appeal to my needs.

Click to ENLARGE. Culled from Garmin.


Click to access. The best review I have found — so far.



As I pointed out in this post from just 2-days ago, the Garmin Vivoactive HR, which I bought on June 14, 2017, has CHANGED MY LIFE — for the better. I have not taken it off my wrist, from day 1, and I never thought I could go through life wearing anything on my wrist. I use it all the time and even keep my 10″ Android tablet close to my desk to make sure I have a connection!

Though it has NOT helped me lose any weight it sure has made me exercise MORE. I run further (33%), wearing more weights (83%) and do it FASTER. The later is the most amazing thing. Having ‘pace’ staring at you, as you run, just forces you to stretch your stride.

I check my heartrate …

The Vivoactive 3 has a BETTER (i.e., near constant monitoring) heartrate monitor. I would have upgraded just for that. But, it gets better. It has ‘fitness monitoring’ feature as well as one for ‘stress level’.

Plus it looks SLIGHTLY nicer than the Vivoactive HR. Wearing the Vivoactive HR is a bit strange for somebody who wore a diamond-studded Rolex for 26-years and has a collection of fancy looking watches.

I got the Vivoactive HR basically for FREE — using Best Buy reward points I earned when he bought (the accursed) Samsung Refrigerator. I will ‘trade it’ in for the Vivoactive 3. (But that is another post. {Smile})

I will keep you posted. Oh, I will get the black with the gunmetal bezel.


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by Anura Guruge

A Million Small Steps In 98-Days Thanks To A Garmin Vivoactive HR Activity/Heart-Rate Tracker.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE.


My Garmin Vivoactive HR informed me yesterday (September 20, 2017) that I just completed a MILLION steps per its tracking. I was kind of expecting it, so it wasn’t a total surprise.

I was happy. I had to go back and do some sums. I had started wearing the Garmin on June 14, 2017. So, I had completed the MILLION-mark step in 98 days. 10,200 steps a day (which is not too bad for somebody who is said to spend all his day seated at a computer).

But, this average of 10,000 a DAY is ALL thanks to the Garmin. The Garmin, as I had hoped, is REALLY pushing me. I had got it HOPING that it would help me lose some much needed weight. ALAS, and alack, it has NOT done that. If anything I am 2lbs heavier and at my last physical on August 8, 2017, my doctor did tell me that I was going to die!

Prior to getting the Garmin Vivoactive HR my ‘daily’ runs (5-6 times/week) were 2.4 miles, at best. But, thanks to the Garmin I am now running 3.2 miles. 33% increase.

And rather than just wearing 6lbs of wrist weights I am now carrying a total of 11lbs of weights — 5 additional pounds hanging from a belt. And here is the KICKER. I am running the longer distance, with more weights, in LESS TIME — because the continual pace measurement on the Garmin spurs me on. So you would think I would have lost SOME bloody weight. Plus, it says that on average I climb 26 flights of steps a day (which is basically measuring elevation gain). 26 flights a day. I thought I did more.

The other good news, for I, despite the fact that I am dying per my doctor, is that my resting heart rate is BELOW 50. That amuses me. The other reason I got the e Garmin Vivoactive HR was that when I tried Shane’s Fitbit it said that my heart rate was 80. I nearly had a heart attack. Since my 30s, when I lost a lot of weight, and used to run 7 miles a ‘day’, do a ton of exercise and fast 3-days a week, my heart rate dropped to 60 and stayed there. That it is now below 50 is all due to Toprol XL, which I have taken, daily, for 20 years. Last night my heart rate dropped to 38! No wonder my doctor is convinced that I am dying.

Anywho …

Very happy with the Garmin. I might have to treat myself to a newer model around Christmas. {Smile}

A MILLION steps and I have checked its count. If anything it is slightly on the low side. From my measurements 30 steps that I take (while counting) register as 22.


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by Anura Guruge

Secrets For Keeping A Garmin Vivoactive HR Connected To An Android 7.x Device.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


The new “Garmin Connect” BETA dashboard.


I have now had a Garmin Vivoactive HR (bought from Best Buy) as of June 14, 2017 — i.e., 2 months, 3 weeks: 85 days.

I love it. I have NOT taken it off my wrist and prior to this I thought I would be unable to sleep with anything on my wrist. It really has made me much more aware of my ‘health’ and I am running 37% longer because it spurs me!

As some of you I am NOT a fan of mobile phones and I do NOT carry one. But, I do have multiple 10″ Android Tablets running Android 7.x, the main one at present being an ASUS ZenPad 10.1″. So, that is my PRIMARY device for syncing with ‘Garmin Connect‘ (though I will also sync, occasionally, on my PC, using the USB connection and ‘Garmin Express‘).

I lose the Bluetooth connection between the Vivoactive HR (running v. 4.0 software) and my ASUS Tablet MORE OFTEN that I would like.

So, over the last few weeks I have figured out these ‘tricks’. I am sharing them in case you are also in my boat — though I realize that I may be the last adult left on Earth who does not carry a smartphone 100% of the time.


The TIPS.

>> PROXIMITY is the key! It loses the connection (by and large) when the Vivoactive and the Android are far apart for long periods.

>> I have found that ‘it’ will automatically connect sometimes without you having to do anything — once you have the two within a reasonably close distance.

>> I have found that ‘it’ will automatically connect OVERNIGHT (i.e., 6 hours+) if you have them with 3′ while you sleep. I just leave my ASUS tablet on the nightstand when I go to sleep.

>> You can try and force a sync from the Vivoactive by going to ‘SETTING’ >>> ‘BLUETOOTH’ >>> ‘SYNC’ — provided the Vivoactive is displaying ‘SYNC’ in addition to ‘PAIR MOBILE DEVICE’. Tap the ‘SYNC’. You should see the Bluetooth download/upload arrows on your Android flashing.

>> I used to go through ‘PAIR DEVICE’ routines to establish connection and that used to work. For the last 4-days I am using the new “Garmin Connect” BETA and the pairing has gone to hell. I told them about it last night. I now let it reconnect overnight.

>> Since I do also need to charge the battery I do sync it, sometimes, using “Garmin Express”.


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by Anura Guruge