Tag Archives: Vivoactive HR

I Part Company With Fitbit Ionic Exactly 3-Months After I Got It!

by Anura Guruge




Click to ENLARGE. My 3-months, February 2 — May 2, 2018 (89-days) with the Fitbit Ionic.


Fitbit and I are NOT meant for each other. There are irreconcilable differences between us.

I got the Fitbit Ionic in a HURRY and in a fit of mad pique when my SECOND (yes, 2nd) Garmin Vivoactive 3 failed after 51 days. I had had TWO (yes, ‘2’) Garmin Vivoactive 3s die on me within 9-weeks. I was so MAD and so, so DONE with Garmin.

I did NOT have much time to do my usual extensive research. I wanted an activity tracker on my wrist fast. On paper the Ionic did everything I wanted: i.e., heart rate, GPS, floors, sleep tracking. What I had not realized is that Fitbit doesn’t record anywhere close to the amount of data I was used to with Garmin.

Then 6-weeks after I got it, i.e., Feb. 21, 2018. Fitbit UPDATED the firmware to Fitbit OS 2. That was an unmitigated disaster. GPS reporting went haywire. So, for the last 5-weeks you have not been able to TRUST any of the data! That is not for I.

Plus, there are stupid things like the inability to LOCK the touchscreen! I ran in some drizzle the other day and the raindrops kept on pausing my run.

I had promised myself that I will keep the Ionic for 3-months — AS PENANCE for screwing up in buying it. I was then going to sell it.

But, a few days a ‘little’ voice piped in and said ‘give it to ME‘! I had got her an iWOWNFit i6HRC tracker for her 12th birthday in March. She had claimed, prior to that, that she would NEVER wear a activity tracker. Not only did she change her mind and tune, she quite LIKED wearing the iWOWNFit. Plus, there is sibling rivalry. In October 2017, I gave my Vivoactive HR to my 17-year old daughter.

The Ionic is PERFECT for a 12-year old! That says it all.

So, I am getting another Garmin. Ordered it this afternoon. {Smile}


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by Anura Guruge

Fitbit Ionic: Adidas Edition — $30 Worth Of Lipstick On A Pig!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


This really is BUT pure cosmetics. Thus, the ‘lipstick on a pig’ is beyond appropo!

Yes, there is an Adidas-specific workout APP for running, plus a new watch strap and a new watch face. That is IT!

The rest of the watch is the SAME. The SAME.

Come on.

Yes, I understand and now I have got to appreciate. Fitbit is all about looks, little substance. It is for posers. So, this works out well for that crowd. You can show off your Adidas version. Wow.

I have another 19-days with my dreaded Fitbit Ionic. That will be 90-days — the limit I imposed on myself, as a kind of penance, I have found a good home for it. My 12-year daughter who started wearing an iWOWNFit i6HRC Fitness Tracker, I got her for her birthday last month, wants it. That is perfect. It will be great for her. She is not a runner. She will make use of the music feature that I have not touched. It will count her steps, monitor her sleep and measure her heart-rate. It will get her used to wearing a big tracker. That is great. My 17-year old daughter got my Garmin Vivoactive HR. So, this all works out.

What am I going to get. A Garmin … BUT NOT a Forerunner 645. That still has too many problems.

Stay tuned. I will keep you posted.


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by Anura Guruge

My Inexpensive, Readily Extensible ‘Weight Belt’ For Running.

by Anura Guruge


Click images to ENLARGE.

Weighted backpack and my wrist weights.


The weights that go inside the backpack.


The whole set of weights I am currently carrying … in addition to backpack.


I have been, for the last 20 years (or more), wearing weights when I run. Just adds a bit more BANG for the buck. I used, at first, wear wrist weights and ankle weights. And as so often happens in my life, I lucked out. I met a physical therapist that told me that wearing ankle weights is BAD. They stretch your knee tendons and they STAY stretched causing your knee to pop-out in time. I stopped wearing ankle weights.

Change in elevation, i.e., up hills and down dales, is another major feature of my runs — as I have talked about in the past.

The 400+ feet elevation on one of my runs. It is greater on my other run. I alternate between the two. Click to ENLARGE.

Last Summer I decided that I really had to do something about getting back in shape and LOSING some weight. I was getting to be like Trump. That is when I got my first fitness tracker — my Garmin Vivoactive HR. The HR made me up my game. I extended my run by 0.8 of a mile and started running faster. That was when I decided I need to increase resistance by adding more weight. I had quite a few pairs of weights around the house — so I started wearing two each arm. That was good, but cumbersome, especially with the dogs — on leashes. So, I started wearing a leather belt and hanging two of the weights of it. That worked but it wasn’t comfortable.

So, I started thinking about buying a weight belt. Then it struck me … we had backpacks lying around. Take an old backpack that the kids had discarded and put my weights in it.

Works great. Real great. Been using it for the last 2 – 3 weeks. Two wrist weights and the backpack with two more weights. I think it is over 11 pounds.

On my left hand, wear I now have the Fitbit Ionic I wear a weight with a thumb insert. That keeps the weight from creeping over the watch. All works well, even in 5°F weather.

So, if you are thinking of getting a weight belt for your running.


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by Anura Guruge

Bulova GRAMMY Edition Watches A Tad Too ‘Clunky’ For My Taste — I Still Prefer The Timeless CURV.

by Anura Guruge


Click picture to ENLARGE.



The CURV


I still get an occasional e-mail from Bulova because I once considered getting a CURV to replace my 26-old Rolex I gave to my son.

But, that was before I got the Fitness Tracker bug and strapped a Garmin (Vivoactive HR then and now a Vivoactive 3) to my wrist — last June. Now the only fancy watch I will consider is the Samsung S3 Frontier that I did treat myself to at Christmas.

Bulova does makes nice watches and they are GOOD VALUE for money.

With GRAMMY Edition they are, of course, trying to make a statement — and if you like bold, brassy watches then one of these will work great for you. Just not my cup of tea.

My Samsung S3 Frontier on my wrist.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Express Is Now At 6.0 (As Of January 11, 2018).

by Anura Guruge



I updated it today, on Windows 7, to 6.0. I think the update was released in the last couple of days.

As I had previously told you, Garmin Express (at least on Windows) does NOT auto-update or provide you with any notification that an update is available. You have to check manually.

Going from 5.9 (December 16, 2017) & 5.8 (November 17, 2017) to 6.0 in January 2018 is consistent with their stated goal of an update a month.

What I still cannot find, to my chagrin, is an update history — so that we know what is new/fixed in 6.0. Why Garmin is so secretive is a mystery.

NOTE. Something I discovered today, prior to updating to 6.0. IF you are getting a ‘Garmin Server Error‘ when using Express it means YOU need to update Garmin Express. Happened to me when I still had 5.9. That prompted me to CHECK for Express updates. As soon as I had 6.0 … all was GOOD.


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by Anura Guruge

I Have Graduated To Having Two Activity Trackers, Garmin Vivoactive 3 & Samsung S3 Frontier.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.


I refused to wear the Rolex I had for 26-years, 24×7 even though I was told it would keep better time because it would always be at my body temperature.

But, since I got the Garmin Vivoactive HR in June 2017 I have got so used to having an activity tracker on my wrist that I feel LOST when I don’t have one. Well, when my new Vivoactive 3 died and I had to wait 8-days for a replacement I was very distraught.

Santa owed me a birthday present from way back in September. So, I called in my IOU. So, now I will have a backup if one of them fails, PLUS the Samsung makes a pretty decent dress watch.

Contrary to what Deanna says, I will NOT wear both at the same time to see if they record the same data. No way. This, for the picture, was the first and last time that they will grace my arm together. And no, I cannot wear a watch on my right wrist.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Express Is Now At 5.9.0.0 (As Of December 14, 2017).

by Anura Guruge



I just updated it, on Windows 7, to 5.9.0.0. I think the update was released on December 13, 2017.

As I had previously told you, Garmin Express (at least on Windows) does NOT auto-update or provide you with any notification that an update is available. You have to check manually.

I had downloaded 5.8.0.0 on November 17, 2017. So it appears that they are updating Express every month. I gather that that is also the new goal for Garmin Connect Mobile. A new update every month.

Not sure what going up to 5.8 from 5.7 did. I haven’t seen any differences. Maybe it was to add support to the Vivoactive 3.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Reviews.com’ Checks Out 87 Fitness Trackers — In November 2017 (Prior To Vivoactive 3).

by Anura Guruge



Obviously any study like this is always going to fall foul of new arrivals — and that was the case here in that it does not include the Garmin Vivoactive 3. Pity.

One of their 3 recommended trackers in the Vivoactive HR. That makes sense.

Check it out — bearing in find that it is already ‘dated’.

They kindly sent me an e-mail pointing me at this review.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Express Is Now At 5.8.0.0 (As Of November 16, 2017).

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


This was as of yesterday. As I had previously told you, Garmin Express (at least on Windows) does NOT auto-update or provide you with any notification that an update is available. You have to check manually.

Not sure what going up to 5.8 from 5.7 did. I haven’t seen any differences. Maybe it was to add support to the Vivoactive 3.


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by Anura Guruge

Got My Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Gunmetal), Discounted & Early — But Was An ABSOLUTE PAIN To Pair With My Android 7.0 Tablet!

by Anura Guruge





So, I finally got IT — after 38-days of not having a Garmin Vivoactive on my wrist.

I, of course, ordered it through Amazon BUT did not get one fulfilled by Amazon — because their promised delivery was for this coming Monday, November 20, 2017.

I had been keeping an eye on these ‘small’ Garmin distributors who kept on claiming they could get me a Gunmetal model earlier. The latest to do so was ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ — a small 14-person company in Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, having watched their listing for 24-hours, I called them up. Spoke to a lady called ‘Amy’. She seemed genuine enough and she inspired confidence. So, I placed an order — WITHOUT cancelling my prior order which was NOT due to ship till today.

Heart Rate Monitors USA shipped out the unit — to UPS — within 4 hours. Yes, I was monitoring (every couple of hours). {Smile}

I got it yesterday, Thursday, November 16, 2017 — Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

I also got it for $310 — rather than the $330 I was being charged by Amazon.

I like it. Nice and light and looks OK.

But, the JOY of getting it was MARRED by the horrendous problems I had trying to PAIR IT with my 6-month old, ASUS ZenPad 10.1″ running Android 7.0. Now I had had my old Garmin Vivoactive HR paired with this tablet (albeit with erratic syncing) and had, after 9 or 10 attempts, managed to pair my short lived Garmin Forerunner 235 with it.

Click to ENLARGE.

With the Vivoactive 3 I just could NOT get it to PAIR. I would type in the 6-digit pairing code and something would go WRONG or NOTHING would happen.

Called up Garmin support and was with them for nearly 50 minutes. They admitted that they have NEVER tested pairings with Tablets. Just phones. Which is why they call it ‘Pair With Phone’.

It paired, first time, with an old ASUS phone. I do not have a working smartphone. I prefer a 10″ tablet.

I was SO DISGUSTED I set out to return it! Even reboxed it — with a printed return label.

Then I relented. I decided to get a phone — most likely a Google Pixel XL, since my main requirement is a decent camera to use at events (e.g., concerts). So, I started looking for phones.

Also read some posts about Bluetooth. Once suggested STOPPING the Bluetooth service on Android and starting it again. Did that around midnight. Then, two attempts later it PAIRED!

I know I spent close to 2.25 hours trying to get it to pair — and MAYBE 22 (or more) attempts.

That is NOT right.

So, that spoiled the whole experience. I am still recovering!


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by Anura Guruge